Understanding the differences between LibreOffice Online, CODE and Collabora Online

Collabora, happy to be a major contributor to LibreOffice technology, is also driving development in the world of free software for online productivity solutions.

What is the situation in 2021, how can you choose what best meets your needs? Read more about CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition), Collabora Online, and LibreOffice online!

 


 

CODE – Collabora Online Development Edition

  • CODE is the online version that is under constant development, so not in a stable state
    • It is perfect for home use/small teams
    • It is however not suitable for production environments
    • Builds are released on average once a month and announced on our news pages
  • CODE is built around the Collabora Office core
  • Documentation on getting CODE set up, is available at the CODE-page
  • It is available as a docker image
  • Getting involved with development is easy – and appreciated: goto collaboraonline at github.

Collabora Online

  • The production-ready and stable edition of Collabora Online
    • with Long Term Support, an SLA, and signed security updates
    • with access to our Customer and Partner portal; advanced technical documentation and support
    • Collabora also provides tailored solutions
  • Built around the Collabora Office core
  • Partners and customers receive frequent updates
  • Online trials in ownCloud, Nextcloud, and Seafile
  • Enterprises can get Collabora Online in their favorite file share and sync software via one of our partners
  • Cloud and Hosting providers can offer Collabora Online to their customers by becoming a partner
  • Getting involved with development is easy on collaboraonline at github.

libreoffice_tdfLibreOffice online

  • LibreOffice online development was set up at the LibreOffice project by Collabora in 2014
  • As a source code project, LibreOffice in the cloud aimed at growing wider contributions
  • This InfoGraph shows Collabora’s contributions to the development.
  • To ensure future investment Collabora moved the development to GitHub in 2020
    • More on this and other reasons in the FAQ
  • The source will still be mirrored at LibreOffice cgit.

Pricing, Education & NGO’s, Success stories


Background information

Collabora, a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community, is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the cloud. Initial development started back in 2011 and four years later, in 2015, CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition) was created, allowing people to check out LibreOffice in the cloud for the very first time. Shortly after this, the first production-ready Collabora Online was released.

We encourage people to contribute. While Collabora has done more than 95% of code commits so far, we are glad that since the move of collaboraonline to github more people are getting involved. Maybe you can join too?

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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 Online Development Edition (CODE) 6.4.0 released

New CODE release brings improved user experience and compatibility

Cambridge, United Kingdom, September 24, 2020Collabora Productivity is excited to announce a new, major release of our product CODE (Collabora Online Development Edition) 6.4.0 This release adds a new easier to use interface option with a notebook bar as well as excellent display of Microsoft file format documents. This release not only brings a fresh look, enhanced usability, improved interoperability, and extra functionality. It also marks a harmonization of our version numbering. CODE jumps from 4.2 to 6.4, to align with our other Collabora Office products: for the desktop and mobile devices. This release gives a showcase of our development on the next version of our supported product Collabora Online. CODE and Collabora Online offer privacy as well as the only truly open-source solution for working with and collaborating on rich documents in the cloud.

Attractive and easy to use NotebookBar option in Collabora Online

CODE 6.4 comes with a cool and modern NotebookBar providing another easy to use and pretty access to all rich features. The easily identifiable buttons allow users to quickly select functions and the thematic organization of the tabs is intuitive. Users are encouraged to test the NotebookBar when using CODE and share their experience! Users will of course recognize much of the NotebookBar from the desktop version.

The activated Home tab of the new Notebookbar in Impress in CODE 6.4

Version 6.4 – A huge leap in user-friendliness… and numbering

The new CODE with the NotebookBar marks a big step forward in usability. The version number also makes a big leap with a jump from 4.2 to 6.4. The previous numbering of CODE and Collabora Online reflected the release cycles of our online products, first released in 2016. To simplify things we make the numbering similar to Collabora Office for the desktop. This more accurately reflects the level of development, since much of the technology is shared by both products. Our mobile apps Collabora Office for Android, ChromeOS and iOS will also catch up in numbering soon.

Saving space and other NotebookBar details

When the user needs to save space, a single click on the active tab will collapse the NotebookBar. All the tabs are still there to use.

Collapsed NotebookBar

 

Open NotebookBar

On the top left of the NotebookBar, either in collapsed or full state, there is the hamburger menu with some important tools for e.g. collaboration and language.

Use the hamburger menu to access more options

How to keep the classic mode

The new NotebookBar is set as the default interface in this new release, however we have no plans to remove the classic menu and toolbar UX – some users and deployments clearly prefer it. To change this back you can select ‘classic’ for the user_interface key in loolwsd.xml, and some integrations will provide their own admin UI for this, to configure it for the whole server.

The new look of Writer, Impress and Calc

In CODE 6.4 the new NotebookBar adapts to the users needs. With each type of document all available features are nicely sorted into clear tabs. The following images are taken from Writer, Impress and Calc.

Quick access, flexible interface option

Our developers worked effortless to provide the user interface that is both feature rich, and also flexible and small… if the user needs that. The following images present some possibilities with text, presentations and data.

New Spreadsheet rendering: freeze rows and columns

Spreadsheet rendering has been re-written from scratch in CODE 6.4! It continues to improve rapidly, please be patient as we work on performance tuning here. One big new feature is that users can now freeze rows and columns with the button on the tab Sheet or the entry in the menu View. Then, when the users scrolls/moves down in the spreadsheet, the chosen rows and columns will stay visible on top and the left. This is similar to the feature that is available in the desktop version of Collabora Office under View > Freeze Rows.

Freeze rows in Calc

Collaborating with annotations to PDF files

Collabora’s products already have many powerful features supporting the increasing use of PDF documents. CODE 6.4 allows users to collaborate around PDF documents by including a new feature to add annotations to PDF documents.

Various Collabora Online integrations let users open PDF files with Collabora Online, for example with a command in the file’s detail menu (More or simply ). After that, a comment can simply be added with Insert > Comment.

Insert annotations to PDF files with Collabora Online

 

Interoperability improvements & consistent rendering

Collabora Online’s interoperability with Microsoft’s OOXML file formats, is as excellent as in our desktop product, since all share a large part of the underlying LibreOffice code base. This 6.4 release again adds dozens of improvements in Microsoft OOXML rendering for presentations, smart art, charts and more from the whole community. Some examples are given below:

Text can be set semi-transparent

A new feature in CODE 6.4 is the use of semi-transparent text, that can be set on the tab Font Effects. Therefore now semi-transparent text from OOXML files is shown.

A DOCX file rendering semi-transparent text in CODE 6.4.
A PPTX spreadsheet including semi transparent text in CODE 6.4

Improved import of SmartArt

With the release of CODE 6.4 the import of SmartArt in MS Office documents has been further improved.

The slide displays an imported SmartArt diagram turned Shape in CODE 6.4

Gradient backgrounds in slides

The pitfalls of interoperability nowadays lie in small details. For example, colour gradients in the background of slides used to be lost with the import of Microsoft PPTX files. With version 6.4, this is now fixed.

A gradient slide background in an imported PPTX file

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.

Get CODE 6.4

Thanks to the community!

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, you can checkout LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. All of our code is Open Source, and our contributions to LibreOffice can be expected in the LibreOffice 7.1 release, although we have our own branding and theme. Would you like to be part of the story ? Participate today!

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Updated Collabora Online – version 4.2.1 – available now

First update of major release Collabora Online 4.2

After a lot of encouraging feedback we received on the major 4.2.0 Online release, we’re happy to now announce the first update!

New Features

  • Context menu option to put a shape or image to the background of text on Writer. (Wrap → Wrap Through + In Background, Arrange → To Background and To Foreground)

Shape moved to the background of a Writer document. Click on the image to start animation!
  • Writer documents can be exported to EPUB format. Use File > Download as > EPUB (.epub)
    This uses the default similar to File > Export As > Export Directly As EPUB in LibreOffice / Collabora Office.

Export as EPUB in Collabora Online!

Improved features

  • Consistent Calc formula bar focusing in all cases

  • Possibility to easily navigate across wide merged cells in Calc

  • You can use Table of Contents links in Writer document

  • Updated translations

Fixes

  • In some cases the font dropdown contained only 2 fonts instead of all fonts installed. This has been fixed

  • Search bar did not accept letter ‘r’. This has been fixed

  • Fixed slide reordering by drag-and-drop in Impress

  • Fixed printing in Internet Explorer 11

  • Collabora Online never supported opening .oxt files (LibreOffice extensions) and .odb files (LibreOffice database files). We removed these file types from WOPI discovery.xml

  • Fixed the z-index of some pop-up dialogs, e.g. the warning to exceeded document/connection limit dialog is visible again

  • Fixed download action when server is running with no capabilities

  • On CentOS 8, Ubuntu 18.04, and Debian 10, which have OpenSSL 1.1.1, now we link loolwsd with Poco 1.10.1. That solves SSL connection issues, e.g. connecting to sites that have certificates made with elliptic curve key
  • On some systems the “child-root” jails were not cleaned up after use. This has been fixed

 

4.2.0 information

Since this version is an update. you may be interested in the information on the major release 4.2.0.

 

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 @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

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Collabora Online 4.2.0

A perfect combination of functionality and privacy

Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 5, 2020Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind bringing LibreOffice to the cloud, is excited to announce a major new release of the enterprise-ready online suite Collabora Online 4.2.0. This release includes a fresh look, mobile improvements and better interoperability alongside new dialogs and functionality. Collabora Online enables users and enterprises to work on rich documents in the cloud and to collaborate effectively hosting their own services on-premise. Collabora Online is the perfect online document solution for organizations and services that want to choose digital sovereignty, respect for their users privacy and want to stay in control of their own documents and data.

 

 

A fresh clean look, feature rich side-bar, and much much more

This major update of Collabora Online comes with a fresh new user interface and is built on top of the stability and performance of our LTS version of LibreOffice: Collabora Office 6.2. This new Collabora Online includes many improvements in functionality and user-friendliness as well as a raft of bug fixes and polish. The most obvious new feature is the powerful sidebar, which allows users to easily change settings for text, tables, colours, charts and other objects in the documents. It gives Collabora Online almost the same feature- richness available in Collabora Office on the desktop. Furthermore there is a redesigned status bar, much-improved toolbars and a powerful function wizard now available in Calc online. Copy and paste of rich text and content is added for online functions, and our responsive user interface adapts attractively to smaller and mobile screen sizes.

Extending our great interoperability

Among the all improvements, there is also much improved interoperability with Microsoft Office files. Smart art, rotated and left-right text in tables, pivot tables, special sections and headers in text files, math and gradients in Powerpoint files and much more.

 

Collabora Online Logo

Rich chart functions from the sidebar

The sidebar now gives you access to a wide range of features for charts. Select the chart and it is easy to choose from chart types such as bars, lines and points, pies and more, and also whether the diagram should be displayed in 3D. The sidebar also provides other elements and details, for example titles and legends, colours, transparency, axes and grids. All you need for rich chart editing, is available in Collabora Online.

Collabora Online charts
Editing Charts in Collabora Online

Click to see it in action:

Click to see the chart sidebar in action

Magic in Calc online with a powerful function wizard for your formulae

If you work on formulae, especially  more complex formulae with many parameters, the function wizard in Calc is extremely helpful. It makes handling complex formulae as simple as possible by offering access to all elements of the structure and showing detailed explanation for the different arguments. This makes using the full set of hundreds of interoperable formulae easy!

Collabora Online function wizard
Powerful function wizard in Collabora Online spreadsheets

 

In excellent condition: Calc brings full conditional formatting

Conditional formatting is a very effective way to understand and visualize your data: you can choose what formatting or icons your cells will receive for certain values.
Collabora Online already offered a limited palette of conditional formats in the tool bar, but the new version of Collabora Online now gives you access to the full set of possibilities by displaying the dialogs for the feature. All you need for creating and adapting conditional formatting is now available in Collabora Online.

Collabora Online conditional formatting
Collabora Online offers full conditional formatting features

Smooth zooming in Calc: scaling of spreadsheets improves significantly

The scaling of spreadsheets sees a major improvement in Collabora Online 4.2.0. While previously  (as in other products) the choice was 100% or 200%, now you can select a zoom level that best suits you. This improvement is accessible with a comfortable quick selector in the lower right corner.

 

Proudly presenting the cool and handy Impress sidebar

Collabora Online now brings you lots of new functionality via the new sidebar in Impress. You can adjust character settings, font-types, objects, sizes, colours, spacing and more from the sidebar. In addition changing the slide layout and even choosing and editing Master Slides is also possible. This provides unprecedented functionality for online editing and is very convenient! All you need to use and edit presentations is available in Collabora Online.

 

The sidebar in Collabora Online offers users great control for presentations

A fantastic image: working with pictures is easier and more precise

Images are fun, and working with them across all types of documents has been massively improved in Collabora Online 4.2.0. Rotating is easy with the clear handles and the new sidebar allows you to adjust colours, brightness, contrast and transparency.  You can also use the sidebar module to arrange the foreground or background positioning of your images.

 

Paste how you like: rich copy/paste features between different documents

When doing work online, you frequently have multiple documents open that need to be combined via copy and paste. In the browser, however, rich copy and paste features are far from trivial. Now the great news is that Collabora Online introduces copying and pasting of rich formatted content like images, charts, and other complex elements across different types of document. Almost all you can wish for working in multiple documents, is now available in Collabora Online.

Rich copy and paste in calc

Enhanced online colour picker

Selecting your desired colour for an object is much more convenient in Collabora Online 4.2.0. In addition to the usual colour selector offering a palette, a new colour picker to choose any custom colour is now available. Use it with text and background in presentations, lines in spreadsheets and presentations, text and background for floating frames in text documents.

Improved collaborative editing with clear links in text documents

Launching links in previous versions required a control-click, which was hard to discover. In Collabora Online 4.2.0, when you collaborate on a document and you want to know the destination of a link, then our new release shows it at a glance. If the mouse cursor is over a link, you will see a pop-up displaying the links target. The pop-up also allows you to see and access the destination with a single click.

Redesigned and clear new icons and a attractive theme

The new design of the icons embellishes the upper toolbar. The new theme is tidier, generally clearer and has more generous spacing, with more distinct highlighting of selected buttons. All of this increases productivity and reduces friction.

New buttons and theming make things more attractive and easier to work with

The status bar benefits from our visual redesign too. Not only does it look cleaner, it also improves quick access to more functions. For example, the language in documents can now also be set via a pop-up.

Table editing: faster with the sidebar and in-document handles

In Collabora Online Writer it is now possible to manipulate tables extensively from the sidebar and we have also added easy-to-use in-document selection handles that make adjusting row height and column width very user-friendly. These features are a convenient extension of the table dialogue, that still also offer access to the tiniest details.

Collabora Online tables
Collabora Online Tables in text documents

You want to insert rows or columns from here? Of course! Or delete some or all of them? A click! Furthermore, the sidebar also allows you to set the background colour, to fine-tune the sizes of rows and columns, as well as merging cells or distributing them evenly. Really all you would wish for if you are working with tables, is available in Collabora Online.

Table of contents

Collabora Online now allows you to configure the full table of contents in text documents, thanks to the new Table of Contents dialog. So even online, you can customize your complex table of contents in a few clicks according to your wishes. For example, you can edit the entries and change style, background or columns. In the same way you can update indices of figures, tables and so forth. This brings the full power of rich table of contents and index creation to Collabora Online.

Collabora Online table of contents
Collabora Online offers rich table of contents for text document

Get Collabora Online 4.2

Collabora Online 4.2.0 is our first release of our next development series, 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.
(Customers can find the URL for the repository in the customer portal.)
Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It is ideal for organizations 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 sales@collaboraoffice.com.

Get access to the online demo of Collabora Online 4.2.0 and discover its potential!

 

 

 


Thanks to the community!

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 document technology, you can checkout LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. All of our code is contributed to LibreOffice, and can be expected in LibreOffice 7, although we have our own branding and theme. Would you like to be part of the story ? Get involved today!

 

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 @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

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