Developers Day: September 30th

COOL Days 2021 starts very soon with a Developers Day. Meet other developers at this event. It is free to join, virtual this year, and we expect the very first of many COOL Days to come! Reserve your seat by filling the form.

Developers Day features more than 40 sessions with included breaks for Q&A. All talks will be short, from 5 to 15 minutes, this in turn will allow you to watch more cool stuff and perhaps participate in Q&A slots! The full schedule will be released soon, but here is a test.

Starting off with the opening keynote at 09:30 CEST then a couple of talks ranging from insight on Localization of Collabora website; walk-through the Notebookbar structure; Updates on newly FreeBSD port; HowTo session on the Cypress tests and ending the morning session with Canvas for rendering UI.

Q&A ( max 15 min) followed by lunch break (1 hour), during the conference you will have multiple opportunities to participate during these Q&A time slots.

In the afternoon session, attendees will receive an update on the latest Calc canvas improvements followed by a presentation on Performance wins; Editing simulation; Android and iOS new features; Scaling improvements and Dialog improvements.

Q&A break (max 15 min)

See some of the Mobile design improvements; Get to know the ins and outs of bisecting; Collabora Online forum update; Learn how to get involved with translation; Stability and cleanup improvements; How 1&1 embeds COOL and right before the break Kubernetes setup & deployment.

Q&A break (max 15 min)

At 20:00 attendees will hear about all of the effort on the New sidebar and dialog backend. The proceeding talks will touch a variety of challenges and improvements: Async-save design; VBA macro support; OOXML document analysis; Rendering wasteage; Document searching; Multi-page PDF viewing; Text/JSON protocol performance improvement; Fuzzing / asan / string-vectors; User sentiment reporting; Setting up your own Collabora Online; SDK: creating a new integration.

Q&A break (max 15 min)

The last Collabora Online related talks centers on integration pieces and the latest development on that front. From the New Nextcloud/richdocuments pieces and New ownCloud integration pieces to the Moodle integration or the New Mattermost integration ending with a talk on how to contribute and the closing session.

The event as a whole is a great opportunity for people who are familiar with Open Source and Collabora Online. People who just want to learn more about the technology free of cost also have a great opportunity to experience the openness of COOL and the event itself.

Join us to celebrate the 1st COOL day on September the 30th, it’s free of charge:

Reserve your seat


If you have more of a business interest in deploying Collabora Online in the enterprise
then perhaps you should attend the Business Day? Early booking: 50% off before September 18!

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Collaboran talks at the LibreOffice Conference 2021

An online conference all about LibreOffice technology

Hosted by The Document Foundation, the LibreOffice Conference 2021 (LibOCon) will be an online event. The live-streaming of the talks and workshops will be taking place from September 23rd to September 25th. Collabora developers will give interesting talks on LibreOffice technology, Collabora Online and the ecosystem on all three days, providing profound insights around the latest features and developments. This article gives you an overview of our presentations. Meet us at LibOCon 2021 and just one week later at our COOLdays!

Day 1: Thursday, September 23rd 2021

Michael Meeks

 13:00 – 13:30 – Room 1

Collabora Keynote

Michael Meeks, Managing Director of Collabora Productivity and member of the LibreOffice Board, looks at the latest developments around LibreOffice from an organizational and ecosystem perspective.

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Noel Grandin

 15:00 – 15:30 – Room 1

I feel the need… The need for speed…

Optimization is a lengthy process. But also an adventure that requires a bit of detective instinct and plenty of exploratory talent. Discover which adjustments are being made to make LibreOffice even faster and better performing.

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Marco Cecchetti

 16:00 – 16:20 – Room 1

Some improvements for the SVG export filter

Marco Cecchetti reports on progress around the use of SVG in presentations and the improvements in performance and storage requirements on export.

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Tomaž Vajngerl

 16:30 – 17:00 – Room 1

Improved document searching with LibreOffice

Collabora developer Miklos Vajna introduces the latest enhancements to LibreOffice and Collabora Online search that visualize hits across different documents.

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Mike Kaganski

 17:00 – 17:30 – Room 1

Multi-column support in LibreOffice 7.2

The new feature, its relevance, obstacles and implementation status. Mike Kaganski shares his experience, how interesting was it to work on this.

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Day 2: Friday, September 24th 2021

Cor Nouws

 12:00 – 12:30 – Room 1

A year of COOL …

Find out about the improvements that LibreOffice technology in the browser experienced. Hear about success stories and new features in Collabora Online!

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Michael Meeks

 12:30 – 13:00 – Room 1

COOL performance

Recently, we have been focusing our Collobora Online development on improving the feel and slickness of document editing. Come and hear about the things that we’ve found and fixed, both in COOL and also in the LibreOffice core to improve the experience!

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Sarper Akdemir

 13:00 – 13:05 – Room 2

PPTX footer export & import interoperability

Sarper Akdemir outlines the challenges around the export & import of Footers in PPTX and how they have been mastered.

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Miklos Vajna

 13:30 – 13:50 – Room 1

Gutter margin in Writer page styles

LibreOffice was already capable of handling various margins in Writer page styles. A missing piece was the support for the gutter margins. Find out, how this was implemented!

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Tomaž Vajngerl

 14:00 – 14:30 – Room 1

Built-in “Xray” like UNO object inspector

When developing macros and extensions in LibreOffice, it is very useful to have an object inspector. The Document Foundation put up a tender to create a built-in Xray-like UNO object inspector. It was awarded to Collabora, and we are now in the process of implementing it. Hear about the progress!

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Tomaž Vajngerl

 15:30 – 16:00 – Room 1

PDF annotations support

The LibreOffice technology in Draw is key to PDF annotations, and the support of a recently added review-based workflow. Find out, how this has been implemented!

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Day 3: Saturday, September 25th 2021

Szymon Kłos

 13:00 – 13:15 – Room 1

JSDialogs improvements over the past year

JSDialogs is a LibreOffice component used to share UI elements with Collabora Online. Hear about the most recent updates added.

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More interesting talks on LibreOffice technology at the COOLdays


We’re excited to announce the COOL Days 2021 – just one week after the LibOCon. The online conference will take place on September 30th and October 1st and feature a vast range of topics around Collabora Online’s technological and commercial development. The 30th of September – Development Day – is focused on developers to share their experiences. The 1st of October – Business Day – concentrates on commercial topics. Discover the COOL Days program.

 

 
 

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Thank you for your support in 2020!

 

It is a good tradition at the end of the year to reflect on what we have achieved as a team and together with our partners and the community, and remember with gratitude all the hard work that so many have put in.

Of course, this year was marked by the worldwide Corona pandemic. Early during the outbreak, we had published a statement on how far Covid-19 affected our work. Even though our structure – most of our team works remotely from the home office – meant that we were much less affected by difficulties than other companies, we too have friends, colleagues and relatives whose health were affected and also have kids we had to homeschool this year. Nevertheless, this has not affected our customer’s support, and there has been a significant up-tick in interest from people who want to collaborate on their documents without surrendering their data.

Despite all challenges, 2020 has been a very productive year at Collabora. We released important major releases for all our products – Collabora Online actually even saw two major releases, and Collabora Office arrived on Android and Chrome OS. Although conferences have only been possible online since March, we could present ourselves and our work quite well there. By moving to GitHub, a lot of fresh air and many dedicated people got in touch with Collabora Online.

Here is a summary of what we achieved together!

Collabora Online – two major releases, many improvements

The year 2020 saw two major releases of Collabora Online introducing handy new features and substantial UI and UX improvements.

Collabora Online 4.2 brings the feature rich Sidebar

In March, we introduced the Sidebar to Collabora Online 4.2. The versatile Sidebar hosts many of the most used features and provides a much improved user experience for the PC browser.

A version packed with new features

With Collabora Online 4.2 we also introduced an enhanced Colour picker with Conditional Formatting and the Function Wizard in Calc. We also added rich copy/paste, made working with images and tables much more easy and added the possibility to configure the Table of Contents. Find all the details in the Collabora 4.2 announcement.

 

The new colour picker
The Function Wizard in Calc
Collabora Online table of contents
Rich table of contents in Writer

 

Exciting 4.2 updates throughout the year

Many updates followed throughout the year:

  • April: brought improved PDF handling and support of Asian date formats in Calc in version 4.2.2.
  • May: Support for dropdown lists in form fields in ODT & DOCX and other text file formats and the handling of tabstops directly on the ruler in version 4.2.3
  • June: Multiple slide selection on slide pane, handling of tab stops, improved word count on phones and many other features arrive in version 4.2.4

Find all the exciting details in the Collabora Online 4.2 release notes!



Collabora Online 4.2.9: New options in comment threads


Collabora Online 4.2.12: Edit Chart titles from the Sidebar

 

Collabora Online 6.4 introduces the NotebookBar

 

In November, we released Collabora Online 6.4. This version introduces the (optional) new NotebookBar with its well-organized tabs and the possibility to collapse it to save space.

 

Collapse the NotebookBar for more space

 

This version also included leap in version numbering. This aligned with our desktop version and now reflects more accurately the level of development, since much of the technology is shared by both products.

 

Collabora Online 6.4 added many new features like the possibility to freeze panes in Calc, many interoperability improvements like, transparent text (in both Impress and Writer) and gradient backgrounds and better SmartArt import in Impress. Find all the details in our announcement.

Freeze rows & columns in Calc
Gradient backgrounds in Impress
Annotations in PDF documents

 

Collabora Office sees a new major release and powerful updates

In August 2020, we released Collabora Office 6.4. Our business-hardened and long term supported LibreOffice derivative brought a number of practical improvements to the workflow on desktops.

Security, encryption, PDF – new features on the Desktop

Naturally we had back-ported many of the new features to our supported Collabora Office 6.2 release as updates.

Padded Numbering was one of the results of this year’s hack week at Collabora and premiered in Collabora Office 6.2-9. Later this year it became part of Collabora Office 6.4 and LibreOffice.

Collabora Office 6.2-9: Padded numbering

In July, introducing the possibility to send encrypted PDF with Mail Merge, we added a privacy option to Collabora Office 6.2.-21. This also became available in Collabora Office 6.4 and LibreOffice.

Collabora Office 6.2-21: Send encrypted PDF with Mail Merge

Security features and PDF handling are focus topics. The option of adding visible digital signatures to PDF arrived in Collabora Office 6.4 in August.

Collabora Office 6.4 PDF signing.

Collabora implemented the Vulkan-capable rendering using the Skia library in LibreOffice 7.0. Download the slides from Luboš Luňák’s talk on this!

LibreOffice 7.0 Vulkan-capable rendering arrived

 

Collabora Office for iOS & Android

After the highly acclaimed release for iOS last year, we released Collabora Office for Android in February 2020.

Collabora Office for Android and iOS
Collabora Office brings rich editing experience to phones

This is the first time a fully function mobile office suite based on LibreOffice technology became available for Android. We have documented the long road to this point and the many supporters involved in the Collabora Office for Android and iOS credits.

An attractive layout & rich in features

Copy & paste rich text objects
Sheet editing options in context menu
Collabora Office for iOS and Android text document
Editing your text file
Collabora Office for iOS and Android presentation
Editing the content of a presentation

Thanks to the success of our mobile apps, we have expanded the LibreOffice user base by half a million mobile installations, as can be read in our annual LibreOffice infographic.

Adding more features to the mobile devices

Throughout the year we kept adding important new features to the mobile devices like tab stops & page set-up panels, improved word count, support for Asian fonts, and the possibility to open password-protected documents.

Collabora Office for Android & iOS 4.2.3: Page setup panel for text files on phones
Collabora Office for Android & iOS 4.2.4: Improved Word count on mobile devices
Collabora Office for Android & iOS 4.2.6: Writer document with different Asian fonts
Trying to open password protected files on Collabora Office for Android.
Trying to open password-protected files on Collabora Office for Android.

Version 6.4 – Another major release for mobile devices

The work on our mobile apps had its climax in the release of Collabora Office 6.4 for Android & iOS in November, which brought new features (e.g. gradient backgrounds, transparent text) from Collabora Online to mobile devices and introduced the NotebookBar to tablets.

 

 

Collabora Office for Android & iOS 6.4: The NotebookBar becomes available on tablets
Collabora Office for Android 6.4: The first Darkmode elements are beeing introduced

Collabora Office for Android & iOS are now available via the Play Store & App store. Additionally, we also offer an .apk file for download and made the repository available on F-Droid.

Collabora Office ships on Chromebooks

After making Collabora Office available on Android, this summer, we completed our multiplatform strategy by making Collabora Office available for Chromebooks as well.

The Chrome OS version is also available via the Play Store and is now also available as version branch 6.4. Interested in the technical background? Check that out in this talk:

from Jan Holesovsky’s talk “Chrome OS as a new platform” at oSLO2020 available on YouTube

Download the slides of “Chrome OS as a new platform” by Jan Holesovsky at oSLO2020

CODE 6.4 and a growing vibrant community on GitHub

 

In September, we released the Collabora Online Development Edition 6.4. This showcased all the cool new features, interoperability improvements and the new NotebookBar that would two months later become available in the enterprise edition of Collabora Online 6.4.

Collapsed NotebookBar

 

Open NotebookBar

Use the hamburger menu to access more options

The release of CODE 6.4 also marked the beginning of our initiative to lower the barriers to join the project. A few weeks later we announced moving the source code of Online to GitHub making it easier for interested people to get involved, and tackling some of the intriguing community marketing problems we faced.

The community rocks

This year we invested a lot of time, effort and passion to make Collabora Online & CODE a more accessible and fun project to work on. We created a forum for users to find support, many easy hacks and assigned developer Muhammed Kara as a community mentor, helping people getting on board. Why are we doing all this? Read about it in our FAQ!

 

Screenshot of GitHub Pulse for Collabora Online
Development Activity on Collabora Online GitHub Repository from November 27, 2020 to December 04, 2020

Regular round-ups and calls

Part of our efforts to grow a vital, transparent and welcoming community are Muhammet’s regular Community Round-ups published on our blog, as well as weekly community calls on Jitsi. We really appreciate all the new contributions we saw coming in this year from so many people, checkout their names & credits in the round-ups.

An engaged team of translators

Want to get involved in another way than contributing code? Join the engaged community of translators over on hosted Weblate to make Collabora Online available in more languages. Thank you to the dedicated team of translators.

Getting involved

It’s never been easier to get in touch with the project. You can ask questions in the Collabora Online forum or chat with us on Freenode, Matrix or Telegram or just drop us a mail at hello@collaboraoffice.com. Or use #cool_dev on Twitter or Mastodon to talk with us about Collabora Online on social media.

Important announcements, interesting figures

Our partner network hits 200

2020 has been an excellent year to close new partnerships. We now have can rely on over 200 partners from more than 50 countries, we help each other to promote FLOSS, privacy & digital sovereign solutions and re-invest the proceeds into creating great new software. Find a Collabora partner in a special field or area… or why not become a partner yourself!

CollaboraOffice.com available in 8 languages

This year, we dedicated a lot of effort to make our website and information about our product available to even more people. At this point collaboraoffice.com is available in English , German , Spanish , French , Traditional Chinese , Italian , Portuguese and Turkish . And we have only just begun…

 

Updated LibreOffice growth infographic 2020

We also updated our popular LibreOffice growth infographic. With some impressive numbers… Over 200M active LibreOffice users, over 50M pulls from the CODE Docker image, 500K installs of the Collabora Office mobile apps, and over 16K code commits from the whole community to LibreOffice. Have a look at the numbers!

 

Collabora Online as default in Nextcloud 19

In June, Nextcloud Hub 19 started to ship Collabora Online as the default office application, featuring an easy installation with just a few clicks.

Collabora Online with ownCloud Infinite Scale

In October we announced that Collabora will be integrating Collabora Online with ownCloud Infinite Scale.

Events and conferences 2020 – virtually different

Events were dominated by the global pandemic for most of the year. Sadly there were few opportunities to meet in person.

FOSDEM 2020

In February, FOSDEM 2020 could take place as the last big meeting of the open-source community with many presentations by Collabora developers.

FOSDEM 2020: Download “Bringing Collabora Online to your web app” by Michael Meeks
FOSDEM 2020: Download “LibreOffice turns 10 & what’s next” by Michaeal Meeks
FOSDEM 2020: Download “Integrate Collabora Online with web applications” by Andras Timar

Find all our FOSDEM talks in our playlist on YouTube and more slides for download in our blog.

oSLO 2020 – open SUSE & LibreOffice conference

The LibreOffice conference – this year co-organised by the open SUSE community – took place as an online event. Our team was involved with no less than 15 talks.

oSLO 2020: Download “Bringing The Notebookbar to Online” by Szymon Klos
oSLO 2020: Download “OOXML / PDF Digital Signing in Draw and elsewhere” by Miklos Vajna
oSLO 2020: Download “Implementing Vulkan-capable drawing using the Skia library” by Luboš Luňák

The talks are available in our playlist on YouTube and the complete set of slides can be found in our blog.

LibreOffice developement Workshop in Eskişehir

Collabora sponsored an impactful four-day LibreOffice development workshop during the Free Software Winter Camp at Anadolu University in Turkey. We wrote an article about the impressive results. Two participants of the workshop later went on to work GSoC projects for the LibreOffice project.

Google Summer of Code 2020

In addition to the Collabora Online community, our developers were very committed to this year’s Google Summer of Code. Read about the LibreOffice projects we mentored and the successful new implementations that resulted from these GSoC projects. Participants in the Google Summer of Code often become long-term contributors to the project.

 

Summary

In summary, it has been a busy year here at Collabora Productivity. This overview only sums up a small part of the great things we have been working on alongside the community. We have advanced our mission to make open-source rock; giving users privacy and businesses control over their data. We not only produced excellent results, but also had a good time working on these things – despite the challenging conditions that 2020 offered. If you’d like to get involved its easy to partner with us, buy from us, or get involved in the growing Collabora Online community. We have lots of plans in the pipeline for 2021 and hope there will be more possibilities to meet in person on conferences and on events. We would like to thank the whole team, particularly our great partners, and customers who make our work possible, and the community of developers and users who make it fun. We look forward to continuing the successful work with you in 2021! Have a very Happy Christmas & a peaceful New Year.

Thank You!

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Collabora’s contributions to the LibreOffice Conference 2020

Three full days dedicated to LibreOffice technology

The LibreOffice Conference 2020, this year also known as oSLO 2020, took place from 15 to 17 October 2020 as a joint online event with openSUSE. The number of participants at the online conference was roughly the same as at an on-site event. A total of over 320 participants had registered on the conference platform. Individual talks were attended by up to 150 people simultaneously. The LibreOffice community in Latin America had organized an additional track in Spanish and Portuguese. Our team contributed 16 talks (find the complete list here). Enjoy some recorded recordings, download the slides and feel free to ask further questions in our forum.

Collabora & the LibreOffice Ecosystem

Some much-acclaimed topics were the lectures by Michael Meeks, which highlighted the exciting and long-standing history of LibreOffice, and those that dealt with the relationship between profit-oriented companies and the voluntary community—and pointed out possible perspectives.

“Collabora & LibreOffice” by Michael Meeks
“Ecosystem, Branding & Investment” by Michael Meeks

Collabora Online

This year’s talks on Collabora Online had a strong focus on improving the user experience. Ashod Nakashian talked about the challenges of integrating Sidebars into Online, while Szymon Kłos explained the path to the NotebookBar, the new optional user interface. Tomaž Vajngerl showed the great new features for PDF files. Pedro Silva held a presentation on visual consistency, user experience, as well as possibilities for customization. He also showed how to join the project. Slides of his talk are also available in Portuguese (as part of the Latin-American Track). Muhammet Kara‘s presentation highlighted the new one-click option, that makes installing Collabora Online by home users much easier.

“Bringing The Notebookbar to Online” by Szymon Klos
“Improving visual consistency in Collabora Online” by Pedro Pinto Silva
“Making Online trivial to setup” by Muhammet Kara

LibreOffice & Collabora Office

These talks dealt with new functions added to LibreOffice by the Collabora team. This includes the extensive work with the SKIA graphics library, presented by Luboš Luňák, and the digital signing of files in PDF and OOXML, showcased by Miklos Vanja. Collabora Office is now also available on Chrome OS. Jan Holesovsky outlined what it took to port the Android app to Chromebooks.

“Implementing Vulkan-capable drawing using the Skia library” by Luboš Luňák
“OOXML / PDF Digital Signing in Draw and elsewhere” by Miklos Vajna
“Chrome OS as a new platform” by Jan Holesovsky

Collabora Office on Android & iOS

Our mobile apps are a lot of attention. Their huge success recently added 500K users to the LibreOffice user base. Szymon Kłos presented technical details how the LibreOffice Sidebar get re-used on phones. Tor Lillqvist focused, on the latest developments for Collabora Office on iOS, while Jan Holesovsky presented the history of online and mobile.

“Re-using the Sidebar on phones” by Szymon Kłos
“Mobile – Development on iOS” by Tor Lillqvist
“History of Online & Mobile” by Jan Holesovsky

Living on video?

Missed the conference? Would you like to watch or re-watch some talks? The sessions at the openSUSE & LibreOffice Conference have been recorded and are going to be published. We have a playlist collecting all the talks held by our developers. Find it here on YouTube. We are continuously adding the all published oSLO2020 talks there. In the meantime, please subscribe to our YouTube channel to not miss any updates from us.

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Collabora developers mentor successful GSoC Projects

Autumn is just around the corner. For many participants in the GSoC 2020, a busy and instructive summer full of hacking on open source projects came to an end a few weeks ago. Commits have been contributed and final reports have been written. This year experienced Collabora Productivity developers were again mentors for various projects of the Google Summer of Code for the LibreOffice project. Here are some examples of projects our team helped to succeed!

Analysing Writer documents with the “Style Inspector”

The “Style Inspector” is a great new tool. You can access it through a new icon (an eye combined with a pencil) in the Sidebar (also via “Sidebar Settings”). The Style Inspector displays in full detail (and hierarchical) all styles and also direct formatting applied to a cursor position in a Writer document. So you can analyse, identify problems and clean them up. Sometimes formatting in documents is messy and people mix styles with direct formatting. The Style Inspector allows you to see that.
The feature is available for testing in pre-released development versions of LibreOffice. Shivan Kumar Singh picked up the proposal from the LibreOffice Design Team. He was mentored by Collaborans TomažVajngerl and MikeKaganski with Heiko Tietze from the LibreOffice Design Team. Take a look into Singh’s final report! It is an inspiring a guide on how to approach a big project like LibreOffice.

Improving the way to find and add extensions

There are many useful extensions to LibreOffice and users should be able to find them easily! Like in app stores like Gnome Software or the Play Store. That is basic idea behind “Tight Integrations” and the proposal from the LibreOffice design team. Yusuf Keten made this his GSOC project a success and added the possibility to search and sort the through extensions without having to leave LibreOffice. You start this new way to search with a clear yellow star with a download arrow, that is in the templates dialog, at the icons in the view options, or from the galleries pane in the side bar.
If you are curios about this handy extensions feature you can already test and find it in the latest LibreOffice pre-releases. Yusuf was mentored ba Collabora’s Muhammet Kara and Heiko Tietze from the LibreOffice design team. Find all the details of Yusuf’s work in his final report.

I learned a lot of things during the GSoC. Although GSoC is finished, I will continue to contribute to LibreOffice. I am very happy to be part of the LibreOffice community.(Yusuf Keten)

Access the Tight Integrations manager through the icon in Gallery
Browse, search and sort through Templates, Galleries & Icons in the new extension dialog.

Changing the contour – shadows are becoming blurry

New blurry shadow option

Did you know, that in LibreOffice the shadows are just a copy of the object? There are already a lot of settings to change their appearance, like its colour, its angle, the transparency and distance behind the object. Mentored by Collaboran’s TomažVajngerl and Miklos Vajna, Ahmad Ganzouri added another option. The “Blurry Shadows” make use of the already implemented BitmapFilterStackBlur and make the shape of the shadow look very realistic. Find the details around the development in Ahmad’s final report. We have seen the Blurry Shadow option in the master branch and expect it to be available to all users in Version 7.1 of LibreOffice. The option can be easily accessed via the “Area” dialog in “Objects & Shapes” or directly via the corresponding Sidebar module.

The blur setting can be defined Area dialog.

Searching for a mentor? Join us GitHub!

Google Summers of Code are an excellent opportunity to learn working in many open source projects. But where to find mentors during the rest of the year? We recently moved the code of Collabora Online to GitHub. You will find a growing community there, with easy hacks to get started. Community Mentor Muhammet Kara and the rest of our team of open source developers are there and willing to share their vast experience.

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