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 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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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

 

Upstream LibreOffice 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 quite some, especially these for our customers, have been introduced in earlier versions of Collabora Office. Of the 6.4 features, quite some 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.

Try the Demo

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Collabora Office for iOS and Android

Collabora brings smooth editing to Android and iOS

Cambridge, February 27th, 2020, 12:00 CET – Today we are releasing Collabora Office for Android and iOS which will allow you to edit documents directly on your phone or tablet, guaranteeing your privacy and putting you in full control of your data and documents. This release fully integrates the iOS and Android apps into our Collabora Office product family. They are now a supported part of our business suite and come with every Collabora Office Enterprise subscription. Take a look: it’s a great app: feature rich, providing smooth editing, a polished user experience and lots of design goodness.

Rich editing for mobile devices – developed with your privacy in mind!

Collabora Office for Android and iOS
From opening … to viewing … to a rich editing experience

Collabora Office for Android (minimal version 5.0) and iOS is fully open source and brings you slick and useful editing features, like rich copy and paste, that the competition fails to deliver.
The app does not depend on external storage or services, so can be used offline. There is no longer a reason to hand over your data to somebody else to get rich mobile editing. Thus you can regain control over your documents and edit them without compromising your privacy!

One-handed touch tools for all sorts of editing

 

Collabora Office allows tables to be changed easily and in many ways. Handles in the document, as well as an attractive palette of tools, helps you perfect your table layout.
In our new mobile app, you will find the features where you expect them to be, giving you access to powerful functionality.

Slides and sheets at your fingertips

Choose layout and animations for presentations. A unique feature allows slide masters to be edited as well as applied.

Collabora Office for iOS and Android comes with a refined touch of usability. Sort the slides in your presentations using the convenient slide sorter. Scroll through the different sheets of your spreadsheet with the touch of a fingertip. Mobile document editing has never been easier and more fun.

Experience the polished user interface & design

Lay out of presentation in Collabora Office for iOS and Android
Full control over layout of presentations
Rotating an image in a presentation
Rotate images with your fingertips
Text highlighting in a presentation
Highlight text with the tool at the palette

Copy & paste rich text objects on mobile

Our mobile solution stands out from all its competitors because of the smooth way in which it facilitates editing on mobile devices. Collabora Office allows you to actually copy and paste rich document content on your iOS or Android device. Try it out!

Attractive icons and an attractive layout

Sheet editing options in context menu
Collabora Office for iOS and Android text document
Editing your text file
Collabora Office for iOS and Android presentation
Editing the content of a presentation

Native platform document storage

Collabora Office gives you back control over your documents. This includes the freedom to decide where to store the documents you edit from your mobile device. Our app allows you to easily integrate with privacy respecting, open source storage services such as Nextcloud, ownCloud or Seafile as well as proprietary file services such as OneDrive, Dropbox etc. Naturally you can also store and edit documents locally on your device without an external storage space. We think it’s good to notice that all the features in Collabora Office are available for all users, independent if it’s for private or for business use.

Yet more polish

Smooth inertial scrolling has been added for this release, with significant work on performance and stability. We’ve added the ability to export to various different file formats, to provide a great collaboration and interoperability experience with the users of other apps. Many usability wins too numerous to mention have been implemented. We have bundled spell-checking for English, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and German for now – while we investigate shrinking the installation size to fit more. (Note selecting spell checking language currently is only on tablets.)

Two apps – one philosophy

Creating new document in iOS
Opening documents in the Android app

Last year, we paved the road so that the development of our mobile apps would be more consistent. In particular, the completely new development of the iOS app blazed the train. Both apps now share a substantially common codebase with our flagship product Collabora Online.

After our successful implementation on iOS, we re-used the same approach for our Android app. This replaced the existing LibreOffice Viewer code which had seen only very little activity for a long time, creating a fully functional and productive mobile office solution.

Welcome to the Collabora Office family

With today’s release, the apps for Android and iOS have officially become a part of our Collabora Office for Enterprise product. The family is now complete. These mobile apps complement Collabora Online and our existing desktop versions for Linux, MacOS and Windows. What does this mean for you? We can provide SLAs for our customers, as well as a close product management relationship to help steer our future development. Each improvement or issue addressed for one solution (online, mobile, desktop) can enhance all the others. Last but not least, it means the consistent and sustainable development of the mobile software.

For use on F-Droid, please read the information on this page.

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

Collabora invested huge effort and resources to bring into being a fully functional open source office suite for mobile devices. This success is built on the support of many individuals, the great LibreOffice community. Fundamentally this could not have been achieved without the support of SUSE, CloudOn, Smoose, Adfinis SyGroup and The Document Foundations’ generous historic donors. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work. Please check our previous articles about the beta releases of the Android and iOS app, where we credit several of the people involved and where you can read more about their valuable contributions. All of our code is contributed to LibreOffice, and can be expected in LibreOffice 7, although we have our own 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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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.

Try the Demo

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