Collabora Online 6.4.0-released

New major version of Collabora Online brings improved user experience and compatibility

Cambridge, United Kingdom, November 2, 2020Collabora Productivity is excited to announce a new, major release of our product Collabora Online, version 6.4.0. This release adds a new easier to use interface 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. Collabora Online jumps from 4.2 to 6.4, to align with our other Collabora Office products: for the desktop and mobile devices. Collabora Online offers 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

Collabora Online 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 will of course recognize much of the NotebookBar from the desktop version.

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

The new Collabora Online 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 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.


The hamburger menu also packs 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 Collabora Online 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.

Collaborating with annotations to PDF files

Collabora’s products already have many powerful features supporting the increasing use of PDF documents. Collabora Online 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.

 

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.

Improved import of SmartArt

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

The slide displays an imported SmartArt diagram turned Shape in Collabora Online 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.

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 6.4 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. 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 hello@collaboraoffice.com.

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 check out LibreOffice community credits. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. All of our code is open source, and available to the public on GitHub. Would you like to be part of the Online-story? Check the new website for Onlinewith information, easy hacks and a forum for Online, and participate today!

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Collabora Online Shines at the Nextcloud Conference

#nextcloudconf2020

 

The Nextcloud Conference 2020 took place on October 3rd and 4th – typically for this year as a virtual event. Participants were able to follow the compact presentations in the livestream and then ask questions to the speakers online. On behalf of Collabora Michael Meeks spoke about all the latest developments for Collabora Online.

Watch Michael Meeks Talk at the Nextcloud Conference 2020

Showing some highlights

Documents always stay on your server, and on your server alone

Data security is one of the top features of Collabora Online. The application lets the edited document never leave the server; only images of the documents, pixels, are transmitted to the viewing and editing parties. This differs from other approaches for online cooperation and editing, where centralized keys or even the sending and receiving of the actual file at all devices are used. On top of that, the use of watermarks make the handling of the content of your documents even more secure.

New UI – Experience options

An absolute novelty is the new user interface, which was presented only a few days before in Collabora Online Development Edition release 6.4. The new intuitive NotebookBar arranges the most important functions in clearly arranged tabs, and can also be folded up to maximize the workspace. The user interfaces can be selected in the admin area. For Nextcloud users, the classic toolbar is currently the default setting.

Collaborating with annotations to PDF files

Collabora Online offers more features for PDF files. When a PDF is opened in Collabora Online, from the three dots menu of the file, users can now search the text and also add annotations. Allowing easier cooperation on PDF documents.

Questions from the Nextcloud Community

After the streaming of the talk viewers of the Nextcloud conference had the possibility to address questions to Michael Meeks. We give you the (slightly shortened) answers below with timecoded links to the full answer in the recording of the stream.
Michael Meeks answering questions from the Nextcloud community

How to you get the new NotebookBar?

There are two answers to that. We are working on putting a UI into Nextcloud to make that extremely trivial through a check button so that it will become really easy for people to check on it, play with it and see if they like it. This is to be incorporated soon with the stable release. Currently, you can edit your loolwsd.xml file – soon to be renamed into coolwsd.xml. You’ll find the UI settings in there. All the details are available in the announcement post of Collabora Online Development Edition 6.4. (watch full answer)

Can you use custom colour pallets and corporate design colours in documents?

In terms of documents, we have a very powerful style engine in the ODF file format to create all kind of elements in different colours. You can drop that into a template and use it in Nextcloud right today. In terms of UI colours it is quite an easy thing to push elements into the iframe. We invite people to get involved on GitHub & Telegram and play around we can help you extend the range of what is possible there. (watch full answer)

When will CODE 6.4 turn into an enterprise version?

That depends on the feedback. We want to make sure that it is really ready and fully baked. I’m seeing Collabora Online 6.4 released in a matter of 3 to 4 weeks. (watch full answer)

Thanks!

We’d like to thank the Nextcloud team for the invite and the community for the awesome work it is doing in the project. Since Nextcloud Hub 19 there is an easy to install built-in server option available in Nextcloud. Of course, you can also check on the quick try-out with docker. Fancy a closer look at the slides? Please find the download link below.

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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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