Gutter Margins and PPTX import improvements available in Collabora Office 6.4-33

Version 6.4-33 of Collabora Office introduces the new Gutter Margins feature developed by Collabora to the desktops and includes several fixes regarding the PPTX import, improving the way Collabora Office handles shaped Bitmaps.
The latest developments around our business-hardened and supported LibreOffice distribution are documented inside the release notes. Learn more about how Collabora Office can help you to control your data and business in our 6.4 announcement; or order a free demo!

 

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Improving printed publications with Gutter Margins

Collabora Office 6.4-33. Add Gutter Margins to text documents

The Gutter Margin feature has first been published in Collabora Online 6.4.6. The new Writer feature adds an extra space to the side margin, top margin, or inside margins of documents. The gutter margin makes sure that the text of a printed publication is not obscured by the binding. Since the Gutter Margins feature is also available in Microsoft Word, this feature is an interoperability improvement, too.

How to use Gutter Margins

Access the Gutter Margin feature via the menu option Format > Page Styles… and select the page tab. Alternatively, you can access the Page Style though a right-click or via a left-click on the style button in the status bar at the bottom. Inside the Page Style dialog you will find several new options to adjust the size and the position of the gutter.

Gutter Margins: The new settings are available inside the Page Style dialog

 

PPTX import improvements for shaped bitmaps

Collabora Office 6.4-33 includes improvements on the PPTX import of shaped images

Collabora Office 6.4-33 includes various code stability fixes and improvement regarding the import of shaped bitmap images created in MS Office. Earlier, shaped bitmap graphics of PPTX presentations could be rendered inaccurately, or in some cases the shape could get lost. Thank you to SUSE for sponsoring this work. This is fix is another great interoperability improvement that will also become available in the next version of LibreOffice.

Original: shaped image produced in MS Office
Earlier: Shaped images might not be imported accurately into LibreOffice & Collabora Office
Collabora Office 6.4-33: true to the original PPTX import of shaped images

 

Read more about Collabora Office 6.4

Read all about the new Collabora Office 6.4. Or try it yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today, or simply click the button below.

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Improving PowerPoint Interoperability

Product vs. Professional services

One of the great things about our product relationships with our customers and partners is that they allow us to invest in improving specified areas. We provide products that allow our customers to file individual bug fixes, and get an SLA (Service-level Agreement) to have an engineer start work on a problem; but while this focuses our work rapidly on exactly what a customer wants improving and delivering a fix to them fast – it can give a somewhat piece-meal result. Product customers, in contrast, allow us to tackle larger areas that they’ve experienced problems in.

In our recent release (Collabora Office 6.0 and also back-ported to Collabora Office 5.3, and in the forthcoming community LibreOffice 6.1 release) we have had a chance to invest in significantly improving our OpenXML PowerPoint (PPTX) interoperability.

What got better?

In the past, occasionally when we saved a file in PPTX format, Microsoft Office warned of problems with the document on load. We investigated why that was happening and it turned out that LibreOffice was missing PPTX export code for many important features – like the export of group shapes (all shapes were exported without grouping), export of embedded videos, and preservation of customXML on export. We implemented all of these.

Another huge missing hole was handling of PPTM files (PPTX with macros), including preservation of the VBA stream on export – now Collabora Office and LibreOffice 6.1 can do it too.

We also had a chance to fix a number of other important issues around animations (which are hard to see), like the implementation of animation type Command, Motion or Spin.

Finally, the most important were several document layout pieces. For example, when the original document looked like this:

After roundtrip (opening and saving) in LibreOffice 5.4.0 it turned into this one:

Luckily now, with the layout problems fixed, the original document roundtrips without issues:

Why not try it out?

In common with all other implementations trying to inter-operate with Microsoft, there are corner-cases where interoperability still needs improvement – but it is encouraging to see the significant reduction in easy annoyances here, and the results of improved rendering.

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