Collabora Office 6.4 Released

Cambridge, August 4th, 2020 – Today we release Collabora Office 6.4 providing businesses and professionals with the best features, interoperability, LTS and custom support in open source while respecting user privacy and company data security. Changes in Collabora Office 6.4 also support new and enhanced features in Collabora Online.

Excellent Interoperability and World Class Support

Collabora Office 6.4 offers excellent interoperability with all major office formats. Import text documents, spreadsheets and presentations from MS Office files or the Open Document Format and save them just as easily. We maintain the world’s largest team of certified LibreOffice developers and offer our customers a long-term supported version of LibreOffice. Version branch 6.4 of Collabora Office will be supported until August 2023 at least.

New Features in Version 6.4

In addition to improving performance and interoperability, Collabora Office 6.4 brings a number of practical improvements to your work. The newly implemented functions can be found all over the suite. The following are some outstanding examples.

 

Adding Visible Signatures to Existing PDF Files

Collabora Office already had the capability to add a digital signature to an existing PDF file. This still works the same. That signature however is (and was) only visible on the status bar and in file properties; there is no visible signature in the PDF file. Now in Collabora Office 6.4 adding a visible signature has been made possible. You start this new feature by selecting the PDF file with File > Digital Signatures > Sign existing PDF.

 

Addding visible signatures to existing PDF files
Ad visible signatures to existing PDF files

Read all details in this blog post.

 

Send Encrypted PDF Files with Mail Merge

One of the very handy and well established features of Collabora Office Writer, is Mail Merge that directly sends out PDF files. In version 6.4 this function has been extended so that you now can send encrypted PDF files. This enhances the privacy options of your workflow. Find more details in our blog.

 

Encrypt your PDF when sending them with Mail Merge

 

Padded Numbering Up to 5 Characters

Padded Numbering allows you to work with list numbering using a prefix. This is now possible up to four zeros. The feature that was introduced in an earlier version was limited to prefixes of two zeros.

 

A Padded Numbering list with a prefix of two zeros in Writer

 

Set Distance of Shapes to the Bottom of the Page

It can be very handy to specify the vertical position of a shape in text documents by setting the distance at the bottom of the page content area. Until now, this was not possible, although you can do so with the distance at the top of the page content area. If you tried to do the same from the bottom, the shape would be pushed below the margin. Collabora Office 6.4 now fixes this. You can set a negative value for the position to the bottom of the page content area, and the shape will stay in that position. Also when for example the page size is changed, or when other content is added or moved. More details are described in this blog.

 

 

Export Larger Pages from Draw using PDF 1.6

Using PDF 1.6, exported PDFs can now be larger than 508 cm (200 inch). Before the size was limited because of the possibilities of the PDF 1.5 specification. Since PDF files from Collabora Office, or more specifically from Draw, can be used to create banners, a limitation of 5 meters only is of course, impractical. More background on this can be found in this blog.

 

Export large PDF from Draw

 

Semi-transparent Text in Writer

Collabora Office 6.4 supports semi-transparent text, as it is also supported by Microsoft Word for DOCX files. So this again represents an interoperability improvement. In this blog you can find more details.

 

Interoperability improvement. Semi-transparent text in Writer

 

And more…

Collabora Office is based on the stable LibreOffice branch with extra features and fixes. Collabora Office 6.4 has the capabilities as described in the LibreOffice 6.4 release notes, of which many have been added by our Collabora Productivity team. As an outstanding example, we feature the Full PDF Export for Spreadsheets.

Full-Sheet Previews option on the PDF Export Dialog
Full-Sheet Previews option on the PDF Export Dialog

 

About

Collabora Office is the LibreOffice-technology based suite for professional, mobile, and online use. Collabora Office 6.4 provides businesses and professionals with the best features, interoperability, LTS and L3 support.
Collabora is privileged to work with so many great contributors to the LibreOffice project and appreciates all the amazing work done by so many that is also included into Collabora Office 6.4. This, our annual release, contains much work that was contributed to LibreOffice 6.3 and then LibreOffice 6.4. These cover all manner of areas from significantly improved filters, performance improvements, 95+% of online features and improvements, rendering along with a powerful redaction feature.
Please do find the full credits here.

Migrate with our demo of Collabora Office 6.4

You can try Collabora Office 6.4 yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today, or just click the button below.

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Thank you for a splendid 2019

Christmas and the end of the year are a time to reflect on the events of the past months. We have come a long way together and would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, partners and community for your great support! 2019 has been a big year with important new releases for mobile devices. We brought Collabora Office to iOS and released a complete rewrite of our Android app. Collabora Office, Collabora Online and CODE have seen significant growth in features and improvements in usability.

Our products now bring effective collaboration with maximum control for organizations. A truly Open Source product that gives users ontrol over their own data and privacy, with excellent Microsoft interoperability, on every platform. The team at Collabora keeps growing, and more people than ever before are benefiting from our products and code contributions. Of course, this all would not have been possible without our talented staff, our great partners and the engaged community of volunteers around LibreOffice.

You all have made 2019 a fantastic year. Here is a short summary of what we achieved together!

Collabora Online improvements

Collabora Online 4.0.0

In January, we celebrated the major release Collabora Online 4.0.0 including a completely fresh look. Collabora Online 4.0 Toolbar comparison from WriterIt featured a better, simplified and more appealing UI. It also marked the point where we started to bring more of the full functionality for important features available online such as custom headers and footers or rich table of contents management for text documents.

Screenshot of Collabora 4.0 bubble renaming document

Collabora 4.0 bubble toolbar

Collabora Online 4.0 also featured integration with Vereign. We partnered with the Swiss open source company to provide authentic documents bearing the qualified electronic signature of your hardened self-sovereign identity.

Screenshot of a dialog window requesting the user to scan a qrcode with vereign appScreenshot of Collabora Online 4.0: signing documents digitally with a logged session on Vereign app

Collabora Online 4.0.2 & 4.0.3

March brought two versions with notable fixes and updates. For example, when collaborating on a single document it really helps users to see the names being displayed over the caret of the people that are actively typing and moving through the document.

Collabora Online 4.0.4

This release in May added the feature to rename a file while editing.

Collabora Online 4.0.5

This release included packages for Debian 10.

Collabora Online 4.0.6

This version introduces new admin features and made integration easier via the reuse cookie option for WOPI implementations.

Collabora Online 4.0.7

In September, we added the opacity setting to configure tile Watermarks, as well as our regular set of interoperability improvements.

Collabora Online 4.0.8

In October version 4.0.8 provided different watermarks for each user for use with ownCloud’s ‘secure collaboration’ and Nextcloud’s ‘secure view‘.


Watermark view Collabora Online
Collabora Online can give each user it’s own watermark

Collabora Online 4.0.9


To improve security, and make them harder to ignore we added 45 degrees rotated user-watermarks for collaboration in these secure environments, as well as several fixes such as highlighting search results in read-only documents.

 

CODE 4.2.0 sets the bar for the next year

In December, we released a major refresh and upgrade of CODE, the Collabora Online Development Edition. CODE is perfect for home users that want to start to run their own online office suite and for tech-enthusiast. This CODE version is the base for the upcoming Collabora Online 4.2.0 release, due in early 2020. It has a fresh new look, with updated theming, and a refreshed toolbar, and we dare to say that it represents another huge step forward in features for online office productivity and collaboration!

One of the major improvements is the powerful sidebar. Changing properties of many elements and objects in office documents is now much while working in the browser, with close to the same feature richness that is available in Collabora Office on the desktop.

The sidebar and new dialogs support numerous advanced features.

Besides choosing a colour from a palette, you can also make use of the colour picker. The handling of links has also been improved.

Click to see some of the sidebar magic happen in Calc!

 

All the powerful functions of Conditional Formatting in Calc can now be controlled via the dialog.

 

Collabora Office 6.0.2 & 6.0.3 add new features

Un-float Table button in Writer
Un-float Table button in Writer

Collabora Office, our enterprise-grade, long term supported open-source office suite, sees major updates, new features and interoperability improvements every year. In January, Collabora Office 6.0.2 introduced the Unfloat Table button, making it easy to work with imported floating tables from Microsoft Word documents.

 

Another big ask from our customers was for redaction, so this year we created a built-in Redaction tool, and went on to extend that with fast and automatic marking of text.

Another really useful feature, particularly for web integration of spreadsheets is the Page per sheet PDF export we implemented for Calc, allowing users to see apparently non-paginated spreadsheet previews.

 

Collabora Office 6.2: The best in features, interoperability and support in open source

And right before the end of the year, we made another huge step. Not only concerning the release points, but also in features and interoperability. Version 6.2 came just in time for Christmas.

This includes many features from ourselves and the community, such as the enhanced printing dialog, and improved Help which make working with Collabora Office even more efficient and user-friendly.

Collabora Office new Print dialog

Collabora Office new online Help

Collabora Office on Apple iOS

In 2019 we delivered our first version for Apple’s tablets. In a huge joint effort together with Adfinis SyGroup, started in 2018, we brought Collabora Office to iOS (beta). It is now available through Apple’s app store for free.

Collabora Office on iOS for editing spreadsheets.
Collabora Office on iOS for editing spreadsheets.

Creating presentations in Collabora Office iOS
Creating presentations in Collabora Office iOS

Composing texts in Collabora Office iOS.
Composing texts in Collabora Office iOS.

Making the app easier to use: The sidebar contains contextual features and makes good use of the wide screen of the iPad.

Working with tables in text documents.
Working with tables in text documents.

Including pictures in Writer documents
Including pictures in Writer documents

Selection of cells in a spreadsheet
Selection of cells in a spreadsheet

Collabora Office on Android

Shortly after the release of Collabora Office on iOS, we released a complete re-write of Collabora Office on Android. This is now based on the same technology as Collabora Online. More than just a viewer it allows the editing of documents with a new phone-friendly UI. The beta version is available from the Google Play Store.

Text file with spreadsheet embedded – Collabora Office for Android

Image handling in text document – Collabora Office for Android

Community & LibreOffice

We love to work alongside with, and contribute to the LibreOffice community. We were pleased to sponsor the LibreOffice Conference 2019 that took place in Almería, Spain.

One day before the conference we organized a special team building day for our staff, partners and customers and went snorkelling in Cabo de Gata. Big fun!

Conference Slides

2019 has also been a year full of traveling, conferences, … and of course slides. Here are just a few examples of talks held by Michael Meeks, Andras Timar and Jan Holešovský held this year. They and many others are available for download.

LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp in Ankara

As part of our community building investment we sponsored a LibreOffice Developer Bootcamp in Ankara. Here, Collabora Productivity Developer Muhammet Kara is teaching enthusiastic students of the Hacettepe University about C++ and developing LibreOffice. Pranam Lashkari has also been training students in India:

Summary

In summary, it has been a busy year here at Collabora Productivity. We can only present a small part of what we got up to with a few pictures and links in this overview. We have advanced our mission to make Open Source rock; giving users privacy and businesses control over their data, with our open products. Not only has our work produced excellent results, but we have also had a lot of fun. If you’d like to get involved its easy to partner with us, buy from us, or to get involved in the awesome LibreOffice community. We are full of energy and have lots of new ideas and plans in the pipeline for 2020. We would like to thank the whole team, particularly our great partners, and customers who make our work possible, and the community who make it fun, and we look forward to continuing the successful work with you in 2020!

Thank You!

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Collabora Office 6.2

Cambridge, December 20, 2019 – Today we release Collabora Office 6.2.0 providing businesses and professionals with the best features, interoperability, LTS and custom support in open source as well as respecting user privacy and company data security. Changes in Collabora Office 6.2 also support new and enhanced features in Collabora Online.

The Best of Features, Interoperability, and Support in Open Source

We’ve selected the following of the new possibilities and improvements, available in the new release of our office productivity suite.

Writer 6.2

  • Better language support and exchange with Word documents including support for bottom-top left-right text direction.
  • Extended support of the legacy type Microsoft form fields.

  • Table-size actions involving column/row size now behave more in line with expectations.
  • HTML export has an opt-in mode to write the ReqIF subset of XHTML.

Calc 6.2

 

Full-Sheet Previews option on the PDF Export Dialog

  • Copy & paste of spreadsheet data directly in text document tables.
  • Data Validation now supports custom formula.
  • Multivariate regression analysis is possible using the regression tool (DataStatisticsRegression).

  • Also, many more statistical measures are now available in the analysis output.

Impress/Draw 6.2

  • A whole series of improvements in animations.
  • In Draw the attributes to display and protect layers, are now compliant with ODF specifications.
  • Many layer improvements.
  • There is now a Table sub menu to menu Format.

Miscellaneous 6.2

  • The Help is improved, nice looking and completely available online, making finding information on many topics easy and fast.

Collabora Office new online Help

  • Redaction feature, with automated finding of targets, to remove sensitive content before sharing documents.

  • The new Print dialog makes handling all print tasks easier.

Collabora Office new Print dialog

  • Encryption improvements for OOXML-documents.
  • Signature Lines can be used in combination with (a signature) image and are now available in Calc too.

Integration, business

  • Improvements in COLEAT, for integration with business applications written in Microsoft Office Visual Basic.

 

  • File locking in mixed environments with Microsoft documents improved.
  • Better integration with SharePoint 2010 via ActiveX.

Series interoperability improvements

  • Microsoft OOXML charts.
  • There are many improvements in interoperability, of which quite some may look as minor, but that all together make a real difference.

User interface

  • There is a rich choice in toolbar layouts – a solution for every need and each preference via menu View > User Interface.

Collabora Office 6.2 - Rich choice in tool bars

  • Nice and clear new icon sets.

Mobile improvements 6.2

We only mention a few items here: better support for HiDPI displays, improved performance, enhanced Document signing with Verisign.
Most important are a huge amount of improvements that show in better integration on small devices, more powerful features online, better look and user-friendliness. We recommend our information on Android, Apple iOS and CODE 4.2.0 (showing what will be in Collabora Online).

About

Collabora Office 6.2 provides businesses and professionals with the best features, interoperability, LTS and L3 support. Based on upstream LibreOffice 6.2 source code, the project in which we are happy to cooperate and where all our code is contributed, and extended with improvements and backported stable features from newer releases, or features for our customers that are not yet available in the stable upstream branches.

Migrate with our demo of Collabora Office 6.2

You can try Collabora Office 6.2 yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today, or just click the button below.

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Thanks for a great 2018

As we come to Christmas and the new year, it is great to reflect on everything that we’ve achieved this year. Collabora Productivity would not exist without the funding, support and friendship of our partners and customers. When reviewing what we’ve achieved we’re really grateful for your trust & input into our product development, helping to guide which features and fixes we invest in next. Of course we could do nothing without our talented staff – who have worked extremely hard to turn your ideas into working code, alongside a wide community of volunteers.

Because of you 2018 turned out to be an outstanding year! Here are a few tastes of what we achieved with links to the full details:

 

Collabora Online improvements

Collabora Online 3.0

In February we had a major release, bringing for the first time the infrastructure necessary to bring many rich dialogs to the browser:

Calc format cells dialog

This release also brought change tracking management, a thesuarus, sorting and auto-filtering, IPv6 support, PAM integration, and much more. It formed the base for a series of incremental fix and improvement releases through the year.

Collabora Online 3.1

The key feature in this update, requested by our Asian partners was much improved IME integration:

IME integration shot of Chinese input

This release also brought support for chart data series editing, hidden tabs,

Collabora Online 3.2

In April we had an update, that brought chart creation to our existing chart editing functionality into writer, calc and impress, as well as data validation – allowing complex spreadsheet data entry:

New chart insertion dialogData validation in action

We also managed to include context menu spelling correction, column formatting, and a new scripting API for integrators.

Collabora Online 3.3

In June we brought another update that significantly improved clipboard paste – preserving formatting, tables, images and more. Another great win was the ability to paste text as CSV (Comma Separated Values) into Calc:

Pasting into calc shows rich CSV import options

We also took some time to allow people to set basic conditional formats, borders, and added a no-color option to the drop-down:

New convenient drop-downs

We also included responsive design improvements for mobile, as well as options to anonymize document and user names when logging and cleaning up our warning dialogs. We also added the ability to connect a remote monitoring server for better Alfresco locking integration and powerful cluster management. With some more fixes and improvements in a 3.1.1 follow up release

Collabora Online 3.4

In October we brought a major set of improvements with significantly improved interactivity halving typing latency in many cases:

Slide highlighting halving of latency

We also improved our mobile experience, impress slide-sorter performance, as well as allowing a configurable web root and other fixes. With a pair of 3.4.1 and 3.4.2 minor releases to further address partner issues.

CODE 4.0 RC1

In December we released a major refresh and upgrade as a base for a Collabora Onine 4.0 release in 2019. This refreshed the look of toolbars with a fresh new look from Colibre:

Refreshed toolbar look

This included lots of ergonomic improvements, improved shape editing controls with re-sizing previews and a convenient palette to insert shapes. A large number of mobile device improvements were also made – including a stripped-down viewing mode, with auto-hiding, scrollable toolbars, and panning menus. We also added zoom & pan of complex dialogs allowing access to rich desktop functionality on mobile:


screenshot of collabora online from mobileZooming and panning into different areas of complex dialogues

Retina / HiDPI display improvements make text look crisp using the browser’s details to render at the display’s real resolution, getting crisp pixel rendering (example at 200% zoom):

screenshot showing not so crisp pixel rendering of calc   screenshot showing crisp pixel rendering of Calc

Collabora Office 6.0 brings major improvements

Every year, we refresh Collabora Office; our enterprise-grade, long term supported open-source office suite. Collabora Office 6.0 brought a host of new features and interoperability improvements. After all the work on interoperabilty and our creation of an innovative new interoperbility tool: COLEAT, we called Collabora Office 6.0 The Migrator’s Choice.

COLEAT interoperability tool

One of the major problems large enterprises often have is un-documented, legacy line of business applications often written in VB using COM to drive and re-use Microsoft Office. With Collabora Office 6.0 we have created a great new complementary interoperability tool: COLEAT that lets Collabora Office 6.0 act as a drop-in replacement via our compatibility APIs. It also implements a tracing tool to allow easy troubleshooting it complements our work making many more VBA macro driven documents work out of the box.

COLEAT - replace with Collabora Office

Checkout a video of COLEAT in action.

Improving Interoperability

Several of our partners asked us to improve PPTX interoperability so we invested a chunk of time in improving round-trip fidelity between Powerpoint and Collabora Office, avoiding unnecessary warnings, fixing export of group shapes, export of embedded videos, and preservation of customXML on export. We also implemented PPTM (PPTX with macros) – preserving the VBA streams on export. Other hard to visualize fixes around animations were done too, as well as improving document layout:

Much improved PPTX interoperability

Other 6.0 pieces:

In 2018 – we deprecated the GovOffice brand, and made 5 years of support lifetime an option that can be ordered for Collabora Office. We included large numbers of features and fixes which we had implemented for our customers on top of LibreOffice 5.3 as well – from mail-merge, ADMX lock-down improvements, autotext import improvements, SharePoint lists / IQY import and much more.

We continued to implement small new features and fixes on top of 6.0 through 2018 including a built-in MariaDB/MySQL connector, font effect transformations and other VBA and interoperability fixes as well as ongoing security updates. In 2019 we’ll be releasing Collabora Office 6.2 incorporating another round of Collabora and community development by mid 2019.

Collabora Online for bulk Document Conversion

One thing that we tried to encourage this year is the move to using Collabora Online’s built-in REST API for Document Conversion – which can re-use all the efficiency, sharing and security improvements we’ve built into Collabora Online. Good process management of conversions, size limits, timeouts with hard-killing the few processes that mis-behave – all in a friendly package. And of course faster than JODConverter and unoconv too:

Graph showing improved conversion performance of Collabora Online

We could also enjoy spending the time tweaking various conversions to accelerate specific cases. It is great to be able to focus on specific conversions and squeeze out some low hanging fruit, eg. 5x faster ODT → XHTML

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4608/39674632615_de78265c7f_o.png

Adding, and using lots of new options such as NoFileSync, NoThumbnail, HiddenForCovnersion, and lazy loading autoformat tables when they’re actually needed.

Adfinis & Collabora bring LibreOffice to iOS

In 2018 thanks to a joint investment with Adfinis to address different customers of ours, we brought Collabora Online to iOS, with lots of interesting details and a pretty picture:

A presentation under iOS

Why not get involved in development using TestFlight and help us meet our goal of a good, Open Source, offline office suite solution in the first half of 2019.

Yet more LibreOffice goodness

Of course, we contribute all of our code changes back to LibreOffice, or
the relevant up-stream project. We love to contribute to and work alongside
the LibreOffice community (infographic). Serving with two seats on the TDF Board and Membership Committee, as well as being Advisory Board members.

We sponsored the LibreOffice conference (summary) and ran a team build event for those of our partners that didn’t mind getting wet:

Team building stand up paddle

And also celebrated the 5th birthday of Collabora Productivity, and enjoyed the FLOSS weekly experience:

five years cake cutting

Thanks to TDF’s generous donors we significantly improved image handling inside LibreOffice, as well as working towards enabling Firebird migration in base.

Thanks to AMD we’ve managed to hugely improve parallel CPU computation of large spreadsheets, and test all available bug documents with both threading and OpenCL to ensure great behavior in all known corner cases. We’ve also re-worked text rendering to avoid lots of redundant re-shaping of the same text – accelerating complex text locales.

Working with SUSE, we have recently started to improve our support for SmartArt where shape fallbacks are missing, and making some progress towards sensible constraint-based layout of diagrams from Office files, follow Miklos’ blog for improvements working towards LibreOffice 6.3.

We’ve also managed to fix large numbers of bugs, and continue to do large scale cleanups of the C++ core to make it easier to develop against – more detail than can fit in what started as a short write-up.

Summary

Just a taste, a few screenshots and some pointers towards more details of what has been achieved. Thank you once again to all who worked with us as partners, customers who funded everything we do, and community who made it fun. We’re looking forward to achieving even more next year, if you’d like to get involved its easy to partner with us, buy from us, or to get involved in the community. And finally – thanks to the whole team that worked so hard to make it all happen.

Happy Christmas and New Year to our partners

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Collabora Office 6.0 – The Migrator’s Choice

Cambridge, June 13, 2018 – Today we release Collabora Office 6.0 with great new features to smooth our customer’s migration to an Open Source office suite with associated cost savings – as well as adding a large set of features and enhancements.

Migration – New Line of Business Interoperability

Tooling Large enterprises are often infested by legacy line of business applications from small – a parking ticket solution, to large – eg. a complex patient record system. This legacy, un-documented often un-supported solutions can tie some groups of users in an enterprise to the deep past. With Collabora Office 6.0 we’ve created a great new interoperability tool: COLEAT that lets Collabora Office 6.0 act as a drop-in replacement via our compatibility APIs. We also implement a tracing tool to allow easy troubleshooting, allowing us to extend those APIs to cover new tools and users. This is critical to unblocking estates of stranded users. This complements our work to extend our VBA macro interoperability making many more macro driven documents work out of the box.

Migration – Manageability and Interoperability

We’ve been listening to our partners and customers, supporting them through their migrations and working hard to improve things for everyone migrating. This release for the first time brings together a large set of functionality. From deeper Sharepoint support with Excel Web-Query (iqy) file import and ADO recordsets, to significantly deepened interoperability with Microsoft file formats, to smooth migration of complex AutoTexts – we have worked hard, with the community to deliver smoother more effective migrations. For admins deploying and managing large estates of Windows computers – in addition to providing easy to deploy MSP patches, we have significantly improved our ADMX lock-down for Group Policy configuration, allowing granular file-filter management, as well as improving our Active Directory integration to easily identify users for hassle-free change tracking.

Migration – Support & Open Source improvement

Collabora is privileged to work with so many great contributors to the LibreOffice project and appreciates all the amazing work done by so many that is also included into Collabora Office 6.0. This, our annual release, contains much work that was contributed to LibreOffice 5.4 and then 6.0. These cover all manner of areas from significantly improved Enhanced Metafile Format (EMF+) rendering, to initial import filters for QuarkXPress, along with a new export filter we created to produce EPUB3 from Writer.

Complete list of updates

Check out the complete list of updates in the 6.0 release page.

Collabora Office 6.0 release notes

Migrate with our demo

You can try Collabora Office 6.0 yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today, or just click the button below.

Try the Office Demo!

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