Collabora Online 21.11 Delivers New Features and Interoperability Improvements

Powerful Document Collaboration in a Secure, Private Cloud Environment

Cambridge, January 20, 2022 – Today we are pleased to announce the availability of a major new release of Collabora Online, which makes collaborative editing even more productive. This new release enhances personal and team productivity with design improvements, as well as smoother document interchange through improved interoperability, better performance and more.

Collabora Online is the collaboration suite that offers businesses and professionals the best features, interoperability, LTS, and custom support in open source, while respecting user privacy and corporate data security.

 

Addressing the Needs of Our Users

This new major version of Collabora Online is a further example of our ongoing development and commitment to ensuring it continues to address the evolving needs of our users in a rapidly changing world where choice, distributed working, privacy and data security have never been more important.

 

Quicker Functional Sidebar

The new Sidebar is “native” to your browser, thus much more responsive and always functional and easy to use

Collabora Online 21.11 introduces a new “native” sidebar. It is both a performance and usability improvement. It is now drawn directly on the screen by the browser by JavaScript, and no longer constructed on the server and then sent to your browser, making it far more responsive and natural looking. With its more snappy responding buttons and controls, it is a major improvement for all users!

The new sidebar at a glance:

  • Polished appearance
  • Better user experience
  • Faster responding buttons
  • Faster responding drop-down menus.
Collabora Online 21.11: Many elements, like dropdown menus, respond much faster in the new native Sidebar

 

View Documents More Easily

A number of new buttons in the NotebookBar improve the user experience when viewing documents. Zooming, full-screen view or switching the sidebar on and off are now accessible via clear buttons in the layout tab, and no longer only via the status bars or the burger menu. It makes these frequently used functions even easier to find.

 

Performance Improvements

Collabora Online 21.11 brings together many performance improvements that we have been working on through the 6.4.x lifecycle as well as some more advanced optimisations. These are rather hard to screenshot for your viewing pleasure for obvious reasons, but the next two images are a try at least.

There is a lot to tell on asynchronous save, accelerating of JavaScript, saving network traffic, improved multi-user editing and more. Specifically, in spreadsheets, we’ve made auto-spell checking and AutoFilter quicker. Take a look at this performance blog post for more background from a technical point of view.

 

Ongoing Work!

We continue to work to profile and optimise uses-cases that are important to our users, and the upcoming 21.11 micro-releases will exhibit more continuous improvement in this area – as well as ongoing improvements to our document pixel compression to make things even faster and lighter. It’s well worth staying up-to-date with the latest releases.

 

Right-to-left Support Available for All Document Types

Collabora Online 21.11 now supports right-to-left (RTL) text input within all modules. This makes it easier to create and edit documents in Persian or Arabic. The text direction can be set in the “Format” tab under the option “Page Style” (or “Slide Style” for presentations). The code in Collabora Online can detect several RTL language settings and will mirror the user interface accordingly.

 

Calc-Excel Compatible Formulae Improvements

Many functions in Calc have been improved both to extend interoperability with Excel, and to add new functionality. Support for sheet-local scoped names has been added to INDIRECT(), and both TEXT() and OFFSET() have been adapted to various corner cases to behave identically to the competition. TEXTJOIN() and CONCAT() now handle array & matrix arguments row-wise for improved compatibility. In addition, functions that use powerful regular expressions now correctly honour case-insensitivity flags.

 

Interoperability Boosted by Improved PPTX Import

Collabora Online 21.11 includes many interoperability improvements around the import of PPTX files, which we had already implemented in Collabora Office. Images within shapes – even those converted to greyscale or mirrored – are displayed online true to the original.

 

Better Shadow Effects

In earlier versions, shadows used to be rendered as solid copies of objects. The new Blur option now allows for a more realistic rendering of the shadows. The options of the feature can be accessed via the Shadows tab in the Area dialog or directly through updated “native” Sidebar. This feature was initially developed during a GSoC 2020 for the LibreOffice project mentored by Collaborans and then implemented with further refinements in Collabora Office 21.06 and is now also available online.

 

Glow and Soft Edge Effects for Shapes

Collabora Online 21.11 introduces further features allowing to manipulate shapes in a more granular way. Once a shape is selected, you can choose the radius of the Glow effect and its Soft Edges within the sidebar using the Effects parameter. Furthermore, you can select the colour and the degree of transparency of the effect. This function improves interoperability as it can be used for all shapes across Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw.

 

Consistent Use Of Language Identification

The basic model of language annotation that Collabora Online inherited from the LibreOffice core explicitly assigned languages to regions of text. This can easily lead to unexpected results when documents created in one local language (without specifying it further) are opened by another user with a different local language setting. Instead of a powerful, but potentially confusing multi-languages result, Writer now resets the language to the user’s UI locale if no document language had been defined. The current behaviour is more consistent.

 

Shadowed Tables For Use in ODS and PPTX Presentations

Shadow effects are a great way to add depth and appeal to elements. They are available for many objects, such as shapes, and include a range of feature enhancements and parameters, such as the blur effect and transparency. For tables within presentations, shadows are now also available in Collabora Online through the Table Properties dialog.

 

Miscellaneous Changes

In addition to the larger features, there are, of course, numerous smaller changes:

  • Internet Explorer 11 – dropped. This saves significant code complexity in some areas e.g. copy-paste, simplifies testing, and removes legacy javascript polyfills.
  • Auto-cleanup – on by default. We now, by default, are more aggressive towards processes that are idle and are consuming a large amount of CPU, after around five minutes of this behaviour they are killed, to disable that checkout the ‘cleanup’ section in coolwsd.xml.
  • cool conversion. We have migrated our legacy loleaflet and lool paths to browser and cool – which impacts a number of configuration files and binaries. Integrators should continue to use the URLs they receive from the hosting/discovery end-point. Those with reverse proxy and/or HA setups may need to update their proxy configuration with a simple search & replace, please refer to updated documentation of proxy settings. For more information, please read our upgrade notes.

 

Thanks to the Community

This release is a community effort and we fully appreciate and acknowledge their hard work that has made it possible!  A few weeks ago, we already celebrated the wonderful work of these people in this blog post.

 

 

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s suitable for large-scale deployment, and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates as well as interaction with product management, helping to direct our development priorities. Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It’s ideal for organisations that want to collaborate on documents, without losing control over them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host it on your own hardware or to integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner. For any questions or tailored solutions, do not hesitate to contact hello@collaboraoffice.com.

 

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CODE 21.11 delivers key features for secure, easier and faster online document collaboration

This new major release includes a brand new side bar, performance enhancements and interoperability improvements

Cambridge, November 25, 2021 – Collabora announces the availability of Collabora Online Developer Edition CODE 21.11. This major new release targets the three key areas: ease of use, performance and interoperability. The release demonstrates the company’s mission to the technology leader in collaborative editing. Collabora Online businesses the most effective and secure document creation environment with dedicated support and depth of development horsepower.

CODE 21.11 is the herald of the next major business supported Collabora Online release. This free developer version includes all features and enhancements that will be available in our enterprise version, expected early December. CODE releases allows everyone to learn about new features early.

As always, your feedback on possible issues is much appreciated! CODE is the collaboration suite offering home users and early adapters the best features, interoperability in open source, while respecting user privacy and data security.

Get CODE 21.11

Work easier and faster with the good looking and improved UI

CODE 21.11 comes with a significantly faster and better looking user interface..A major improvement for all users.

The new major CODE release is recognized immediately from the brand new Sidebar

Ease of use is enhanced with both a performance and usability improvements. Leveraging our expertise in the mobile space, the Sidebar is built locally by the browser which is fast. Thanks to snappy and responsive buttons and controls, the Sidebar is intuitive and easy to use. This approach reduces the data transfer from the server to the browser. In addition, the widgets can be styled using the same CSS as other UX components, enhancing the look and consistency of the Sidebar across multiple platforms.

The Sidebar is now drawn directly on the screen by the browser through JavaScript, and no longer constructed on the server and then send to your browser. Earlier versions rendered the Sidebar as images on an HTML canvas. CODE 21.11 uses JSON files with the information of the Sidebar, an approach that we had applied earlier for the mobile implementations.  This approach reduces the data transfer from the server to the browser, and also the widgets can now be styled using the same CSS as other UX components, enhancing the look and consistency of the sidebar.

CODE 21.11: Fast & responsive “native” Sidebar

New handsome view functions in the NotebookBar

New buttons in the NotebookBar improve viewing documents. Zooming, full-screen view or switching the sidebar on and off are now accessible via clear buttons in the layout tab, and no longer only via the status bars or the burger menu. The NotebookBar makes these frequently used functions even more easy to find.

A major release with many performance improvements

CODE 21.11 brings together many performance improvements that we have been working on through the 6.4.x lifecycle as well as some more advanced optimizations. These are rather hard to screenshot for your viewing pleasure for obvious reasons, but the next two images are a try at least.

There is a lot to tell on the subject:

  • Asynchronous save
  • accelerating of JavaScipt
  • saving network traffic
  • improved multi-user editing
  • specifically in spreadsheets, we speeded up auto spell checking and AutoFilter.

Improved multi-user editing

One of the test-cases we use, generates text at around ten times the speed of a normal typist. This is something we have been optimizing along with scalability to larger numbers of concurrent editors of the same document. Read more details here, or a deeply technical blog on optimizing for a larger number of users. Or simply watch this video of a torture test of an intense multi-user editing session showing old, 6.4.x, and 21.11 versions from top to bottom.

Optimizing pathological loads – old/6.4.x/21.11

Don’t miss all details in the special blog post!

We publish a specific blog post with more interesting details, ready this week. I can be found here. It is mostly technical but comes with some nice graphics too. Make sure you do not miss it. Follow our announcements on social media (see the footer of this website).

Improving performance is ongoing work! We continue to work to profile and optimize uses-cases that are important to our users, the upcoming 21.11 micro-releases will exhibit more continuous improvement in this area – as well as ongoing improvements to our document pixel compression to make things even faster and lighter. It is well worth staying up-to-date with the latest releases.

Spreadsheets benefit with Excel compatible formulae improvements and extensions

Relentless focus in Calc to extend interoperability with Excel, and to add new functionality do show. Support for sheet-local scoped names has been added to INDIRECT(), and both TEXT() and OFFSET() have been is adapted to various corner cases to behave identically to the competition. TEXTJOIN() and CONCAT() now handle array & matrix arguments row-wise for improved compatibility. In addition, functions that use powerful regular expressions now correctly honour case-insensitivity flags.

PowerPoint PPTX Interoperability boosted

PPTX import improvements include managing images within forms – even those converted to greyscale or mirrored – are displayed online true to the original. This had been implemented in Collabora Office before.

More attractive and realistic shadow effects also enhance interoperability

A new Blur option does now allow for a more realistic rendering of shadows. The options of the feature can be accessed via the Shadows tab in the Area dialog or directly through updated “native” Sidebar.  This feature was initially developed during a GSoC20 for the LibreOffice project mentored by Collaborans and then implemented with further refinements in Collabora Office 21.06 and is now also available online.

Glow and Soft Edge effects for shapes – more than just interoperable

New features manipulate shapes in a more granular way. Once a shape is selected, you can choose the radius of the Glow effect and its Soft Edges within the sidebar using the Effects parameter. You can select the colour and the degree of transparency of the effect.
Not that these interoperability features apply to all shapes across Writer, Calc, Impress and Draw.

Version 21.11 – The new CODE release of the year

Starting with CODE 21.11, we are adopting the numbering of our online office suite to the scheme of our desktop product. The version number indicates the year and month of the first release of the current major version. CODE releases a major version annually and updates with fixes and improvements at approximately monthly intervals. As before, the updates are marked with a third consecutive number. We think that this kind of numbering makes it easier for CODE users to keep track of the versions.

Improved language handling in Writer

The basic model of language annotation that CODE had inherited from the LibreOffice core is that languages are explicitly assigned to regions of text. This can easily lead to unexpected results when documents that have been created in one local language (without specifying it further) are opened by another user with a different local language setting. Instead of a powerful but potentially confusing “multi languages” result, Writer now resets the language to the user’s UI locale if no document language had been defined. This more consistent behaviour was previously implemented in Collabora Office on the desktop, and is now also available online in Writer.

Shadowed tables for use in ODS and PPTX presentations

Shadows are now available for tables within presentations through the Table Properties dialog. The newly added shadow option includes different parameters such as blur and transparency.

Thanks to the Community!

Before we conclude with some final improvements and news, we really want to let you know about all the people that did the hard work, luckily often with joy and fun too, the community that made this release possible!
Shortly  before this release, we celebrated the wonderful work of these people in this blog  post. Do read it and join us in saying thanks!

Read the blog “our next major release was made more fun and beautiful by the community”

Miscellaneous changes

In addition to the larger features, there are of course a large number of smaller changes:

  • Internet Explorer 11 dropped. This saves some rather significant code complexity in some areas eg. copy-paste, simplifies testing, and removes legacy JavaScript polyfills.
  • Auto-cleanup on by default. We now by default are more aggressive towards processes that are idle and are consuming a large amount of CPU, after around five minutes of this behavior they are killed, to disable that checkout the cleanup section in coolwsd.xml.
  • cool conversion. We have migrated our legacy loleaflet and lool paths to browser and cool – which impacts a number of configuration files and binaries. Integrators should continue to use the URLs they receive from the hosting/discovery end-point. Those with HA setups may need to update their proxy configuration with a simple search & replace as/when we do our enterprise COOL release. Generally we have back-compatibility symlinks to make this migration process smoother and simpler.
  • Quarantine. We now have an experimental way (disabled by default) to slowly accumulate files which caused a problem with Collabora Online in a quarantine directory. This can help report issues see thequarantine_files section in coolwsd.xml.
  • Notebookbar by default. Integrations can now change the look and feel of Collabora Online easily, so we have added a new state default state to our user_interface setting to go with the classic vs. notebookbar options to allow using the integration’s default.
  • Dropped deprecated reuse_cookies. This setting was originally a workaround to aid with authentication, prior to having access_token. However, it proved much less useful than originally anticipated, primarily because cookies nowadays have security restrictions in browsers.
  • Initial simple OT undo/redo. In place of falling back to our ‘repair’ mode, we can now undo and redo simple edits in writer to different paragraphs which were made out-of order.
    Surprisingly this  has never been requested as a feature, but we made a start here.

LibreOffice Technology

CODE and Collabora Online are built with LibreOffice Technology by the LibreOffice community in which we love to participate. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work.

Built with LibreOffice Technology

About CODE

CODE is the Collabora Online Development Edition. It contains the latest developments and is perfect for home users. It enables them to regain control of their own online documents and to host them themselves in a secure and private environment. For tech-enthusiasts, it is a low-threshold way to get involved and familiar with our online office solution. CODE will be improved continuously and our next supported and maintained Collabora Online product will be built from it. The code is available on GitHub.

Get CODE 21.11

Open source – so feel welcome to join

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release, and accounts for the overwhelming volume of contributions. However, we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice technology. All of our code is open source, and available to the public on GitHub. Would you like to be part of the Collabora Online success story? Check the new website for Online with information, easy hacks and a forum for Online, report issues, and participate today!

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CODE 21.11 RC2 – a preview on the next major Collabora Online

CODE 21.11 RC2 – you can learn and test the new features already now

CODE 21.11 is the herald of the next major Collabora Online release. The free developer version – the final release is expected already within a week – includes all features and enhancements that will be available in our enterprise version. This release candidate allows everyone to learn more about new features already now. As always, your feedback on possible issues is much appreciated!

Beautiful and responsive new Sidebar, enhanced performance, improved interoperability, easier to use UI

With the upcoming release, a long list of new features and improvements will be made available. To mention a few:

  • The new “native” sidebar is drawn directly in the browsers by JavaScript, and not constructed on the server. It uses JSON files and is always beautiful and responsive. A major improvement for all users;
  • Performance improvements in many areas;
  • New “Full Screen” and other zoom buttons are available inside the “Layout” tab inside the NotebookBar;
  • New “Report an Issue” button in the “Help” tab links to the issues section on GitHub;
  • Optimized AutoFilter searching for large numbers of unique records;
  • Improved PPTX import of grey-scaled & mirrored shaped images;
  • and many, many more…
CODE 21.11: Fast & responsive “native” Sidebar

About CODE

CODE is the Collabora Online Development Edition. It contains the latest developments and is perfect for home users. It enables them to regain control of their own online documents and to host them themselves in a secure and private environment. For tech-enthusiasts, it is a low-threshold way to get involved and familiar with our online office solution. CODE will be improved continuously and our next supported and maintained Collabora Online product will be built from it. The code is available on GitHub.

 

Get CODE 21.11 RC2

 

More soon…

The final release and Collabora Online 21.11 are expected in the next weeks.
Those come with full information and with the credits we really love to make to all people in the Collabora Online community and also those in the LibreOffice community making these release possible.

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Collabora Office 6.4.next for Android & iOS – Gives You the Widest Range of Features and Best Performance

The latest Collabora Office release brings many new features to your Android-based phones and tablets, as well as to Chromebooks and iOS. It offers better speed and comes with many user interface improvements. Among the new features are the editing of fontworks, CSV import and the ability to open PDF documents on mobile devices. Many of the improvements had already arrived on iOS with the recent 6.4.12 update. More-so than ever, Collabora Office empowers you to maintain control of your documents, no matter where you are!

 

 

Import CSV files to your phone

Collabora Office 6.4.13 for mobile adds the ability to open CSV files in a spreadsheet. When opening a CSV file in Collabora, the dialog with the import settings, such as the character set, language, starting row, and separator, are shown. The dialog will also display a preview of the imported values before you tap ‘OK’ to import a file in Calc.

 

VBA compatible macros on mobile

Macros extend the functionality by automating tasks in Collabora Office. Run them now on your mobile application.

 

Move sheets and freeze rows or columns

Two very convenient features for working with spreadsheets arrived on Android. Use the tabs to access a dialog allowing you to move or copy the selected sheet. Also, the possibility to freeze panes or rows is now available on your mobile devices via the Sheet dialog.

 

Fontwork text art on mobile devices

Fontwork objects are fun to work with and a good way to add visual highlights to your documents. You can now add and edit them on your mobile device. The new feature is available in the Insert dialog.

 

Connector tool and glue points

The connector tool is a very handy feature to visualize relations in presentation, drawing with for example organizational charts. The new glue points can be attached to the junctures of any objects. The glue points will appear automatically when a connector is selected.

 

Style preview on tablets & Chromebooks

All the above features are available on phones, tablets, and Chromebooks alike. However, there is more to be discovered using the bigger screens. Tablets and Chromebooks do feature the new Style Preview widget found on the NotebookBar, making it easier to recognize and select Styles in all your text documents, such as open document format (ODT) and Microsoft OOXML DOCX.

 

Improved context menus for tabs in spreadsheets

The context menus of the tabs in spreadsheets have been revised. They now react flexibly and display the appropriate options in each case. For example, if only a single or several tabs are available in the spreadsheet.

 

Largest set of features and best performance

There are also important aspects to our mobile apps which you can’t see with your naked eyes, but which noticeably improve your workflow with documents. Over the last few months, we have focused heavily on maximizing the performance of our flagship product, Collabora Online, streamlining code and optimizing processes in a number of places. Many of these improvements have been incorporated into Collabora Office 6.4.13 for Android and Chrome OS, and the earlier released 6.4.12 version for iOS. The current release is our mobile office suite with the largest set of features, and is at the same time the most performant.

 

Download Collabora Office 6.4.13

Collabora Office for iOS, Android and Chrome OS is available through the Play Store and App Store. We do also provide the latest snapshot .apk for Android for download! The iOS version had recently already been updated to version 6.4.12 and will see additional fixes soon. A vibrant and welcoming community has evolved around Collabora Online & Collbaora Office. If you would like to get in touch or get involved, visit us in the forum or on GitHub.

 

LibreOffice Technology

 

LibreOffice Technology
Collabora Office for Mobile devices is built on LibreOffice Technology

 

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud, providing Collabora Online and a range of products and consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term, multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, visit www.collaboraoffice.com or follow Collabora Office on Twitter .

 

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Collabora Online 6.4.4 – making presentations more beautiful with shadowed tables

Collabora Online 6.4.4 is adding the handling of shadows for tables in Impress

Besides various performance improvements, Collabora Online 6.4.4 also brings a few new features. You can now add shadows to the tables in Impress, enhancing your presentations and also improving the interoperability with Microsoft PowerPoint documents. Furthermore, Collabora Online now supports the latest ODF 1.3 format and all its improvements. Have a look at the 6.4 release notes for a detailed overview of this important update.

How to add shadows to tables in Impress

When a table is selected, you can access the new feature through the Tables Properties button on the Tables tab – or in the menu Table for the Classic Toolbar. Inside that dialog choose the Shadows tab and mark the Use Shadows checkbox to activate the feature.

The shadow option is available through Table Properties in the Tables tab

 

To customize the appearance of the shadow, you can:

  • specify the direction,
  • choose a colour from the various palettes the colour picker,
  • set the distance from the object,
  • and define the percentage of the transparency of the shadow.

 

 

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud, providing Collabora Online and a range of products and consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term, multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, visit www.collaboraoffice.com or follow Collabora Office on Twitter .

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