Professional PDF Export Features in Collabora Online

Collabora Online offers numerous export features for the professional creation of PDF

Professional PDF Export Features in Collabora Online

PDF, the Portable Document Format, is currently the most important exchange format for finalised documents. Its major advantages include platform independence and consistency in the presentation of content. A significant proportion of the text documents created in Collabora Online (and of course a large proportion of presentations and a not inconsiderable proportion of spreadsheet extracts) are exported in precisely this format after completion. Collabora Online offers you the range of professional settings and selection options that you are used to from a professional office application package on the desktop. In this article on the subject, we will introduce you to some of the PDF export options and explain some of the most important features.

Exporting an image to PDF in Collabora Online

1. General Export Settings

The PDF export options can be accessed in the NotebookBar (the “Tabbed View”, the standard Collabora Online UI with the division into tabs) via the “Export as” button in the “File” tab. They appear immediately after selecting the filename of the PDF to be exported. In the compact view, the PDF export option can also be found under the ‘File’ tab. In this case, it appears as a drop-down list.

1.1 Image settings influence the file size of the exported PDF

The first Export Options tab provides a number of general settings. You can select whether to export the entire document as a PDF, a specific number of pages or only a selected range of pages using the ‘Range’ option. The Image settings allow you to specify the image quality in the exported PDF. The two radio buttons allow you to choose between lossless and compressed export of image content. The degree of compression can also be set as a percentage. The DPI of the image content can also be selected here. DPI stands for “dots per inch” and refers to the resolution or image density of a photo or graphic. 300 DPI is the standard for print products; web content is usually exported at 75 DPI due to the smaller file size. Image settings have a major impact on the file size of an exported PDF and are the most important control for adjusting the file size of large PDF documents.

1.2 Adding a watermark

The “Watermark” function allows you to add a simple watermark to the exported PDF. Please note that the text entered here will only be visible on the exported PDF and not on the original text document. If you wish to add a watermark to the editable original document, you can do so using the “Watermark” function in the “Layout” tab.

Before defining the PDF export settings, you can change the filename.
The “General” tab includes many features to define range, image quality and Universal Accessibility.
Choose the compression rate and adjust DPI to influence the PDF’s file size.

2. Define Initial View of the PDF

Defining Initial View of an exported PDF.

2.1 How to Define Panes in the PDF

In this tab, you can define various settings that affect the initial display of the exported PDF. The “Page only” option exports the content of the document without adding any elements to it, practically in the same form as the source document in Collabora Online. The “Outline and page” option, on the other hand, creates a PDF file that includes bookmarks and page content. The “Thumbnails and page” options create a thumbnail view in addition to the page content during export. The “Open on page” function can be used to specify the page on which the exported file will be opened in a PDF reader.

2.2 Set the Display Size

The options in this category allow you to specify the display size in the PDF Reader. The “Standard option” creates a file in which the page content is displayed without changing the scale. The “Window size” option ensures that the scale of the initial display of the PDF page will fit completely into the window of the reader. The “Window width” option ensures that the scale is adjusted so that the page of the exported PDF takes up the full width of the Reader. The “Fit visible” option creates a PDF file that displays the text and graphics on the page zoomed to fit the width of the Reader window, while the “Zoom Factor” option allows you to manually configure the initial zoom factor of the PDF.

2.3 Specifying the Display Size

The Default option creates a PDF file in which the pages are displayed according to the layout settings of the viewer software. The “Single page” option creates a PDF file in which the content is displayed in a page-by-page structure. If you select “Continuous”, the content of the PDF will be displayed in one continuous, long vertical column – similar to a web page. The “Continuous” option ensures that the pages are displayed side by side in a continuous column. The default setting for multi-page documents is that the first page is displayed on the right, but this can be changed by selecting the “First page is on the left” checkbox.

Collabora Online’s settings include many options to define the initial view of the exported PDF.
Define the panes and the layout of the exported PDF.
Define the magnification of the initial view of the exported PDF

3. Configure the User Interface

Defining the user interface in exported PDF.

3.1 Configure Window Settings

The settings in the “User Interface” tab allow you to make further configurations that affect the appearance of the exported PDF file. For example, the ‘Window options’ allow you to use the “Fit window to first page” option to create a PDF file that is displayed in a window that displays the entire first page when opened. You can also choose to “Centre window on screen” so that the PDF is displayed in the middle of the screen in the reader, or you can choose to open it in full-screen mode and display the document title. Of course, you can combine the window options as you wish.

3.2 Slide Transitions Available in Exported PDF

The “Transitions” feature is only available in the presentation module. It allows you to make the transition effects of your presentation available in the exported PDF. When exporting text documents or spreadsheets, this option is greyed out and cannot be selected.

3.3 Deactivating User Interface Elements

The options in the “User interface options” area allow the exported PDF file to be displayed in Reader without certain user interface elements. For example, the menu, toolbar or window controls can be hidden.


Collabora Online’s PDF Export settings include many UI options
The UI options include window settings for the exported PDF
Define the UI settings of the exported PDF.

Try even more features in the free Collabora Online Demo

This article only scratches the surface of the many PDF export features in Collabora Online. The export options include additional settings for accessibility checking, links and security. Would you like to try out these features? You can do so by accessing the free Collabora Online demo!



More PDF content from Collabora Online on YouTube

Interested in learning more about the development of PDF features? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest technical talks from Collabora developers.


Watch Miklos Vajna’s talk on “PDF Advanced Export Options”
Watch Balazs Varga’s Talk on “Headless PDF Conversion”!
Watch Nick Wingate’s talk “Export as PDF in Writer”

Find out more about Collabora Office & Collabora Online

Collabora Productivity created Collabora Online, a powerful online office suite, which you can integrate into your own infrastructure. It prioritises your digital sovereignty and provides you with all the tools to keep your data secure, without compromising on features. Collabora provides a wide range of products, as well as consulting services for enterprises and governments. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, Collabora is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice technology community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term support. Collabora’s multi-platform policy is completed with Collabora Office for iOS, Android, and Chrome OS. 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, follow us on Twitter, Mastodon, LinkedIn and YouTube.



New Release for your Pocket – Collabora Office for Mobile 23.05

Powerful Office Productivity in Your Pocket

Cambridge, September 21, 2023 – Today we are pleased to announce the availability of a new major release of Collabora Office for Android and iOS. This updated version of our free app includes new and improved productivity features, greater document compatibility and a much improved user experience.

Today’s world of work is far more distributed and mobile. Collabora Office for Android and iOS allows you to edit documents directly on your phone or tablet, maintaining your privacy and putting you in full control of your data and documents, any time, any place.

The apps for Android and iOS complete our enterprise-ready Collabora Office product range – consisting of desktop versions for Linux, MacOS and Windows and our flagship product Collabora Online.

New Features

Dark Mode

The widely requested dark mode functionality that was added in Collabora Online 23.05 has come to mobile. There are multiple ways to activate dark mode – either from the main screen, or whilst in a document.

  • From the Home Screen, select the hamburger icon in the top left, click ‘Settings’, ‘Choose theme’ and choose between ‘Dark’ ‘Light’ or ‘System default’.
  • From within a document, select the hamburger icon in the top right, click ‘View’ and select ‘Dark Mode’. To switch off, do the same and untick ‘Dark Mode’.

Insert Form & Content Controls

You can now create forms and insert content controls in Writer, and export them into a fillable PDF file. This feature has been included from our Collabora Online 23.05 release.

  • To insert a field on mobile, select the ‘Insert’ icon on the top right bar and scroll to the bottom, select ‘Form’. From there you can choose which content controls to insert.
  • To modify the options, select the content control, re-select ‘Insert’, ‘Form’ and choose ‘Properties’.
Create forms on mobile with a variety of options

Calc Sparklines

Calc has seen the addition of Sparklines and the ability to define spreadsheet print areas which were introduced in the Collabora Online 22.05 release.

Sparklines are mini-charts found in Microsoft’s XLSX format. There are three different ways of displaying Sparklines: as lines, bar charts or stacked as win-loss charts. Sparklines are always defined for one cell, but different ones can be grouped together.

  • To insert a Sparkline, long tap and scroll to the bottom of the ‘cut, copy’ dialog. Select ‘Sparkline’, customise the options, and select ‘OK’.
  • To edit or remove, long tap on the Sparkline, scroll to the bottom of the ‘cut, copy’ dialog. Select ‘Sparkline’, and choose between the various edit and delete options.
Sparklines are now available on mobile

Define Print Area

For anyone who has tried to print a large spreadsheet, you will know that having a defined print area is essential to avoid wasting paper or having cells spread across multiple pages. Now you can define print areas on the Collabora Office for Mobile Apps to easily print on-the-go.

  • To define a print area, select the cells you want to be in the print area, click the hamburger menu in the top right corner and select ‘Define print area’.

Feature Improvements

Many already available features have seen improvements and updates in Collabora Office for Mobile 23.05. For example:

  • More list options – newly added “Outline Format” and “No list” buttons.
  • Improved Formula bar – the formula bar has been revamped. It’s now completely rendered on the client side. Also seeing many more enhancements such as better collapse and expand functionality and much better text selection handling.
  • Improved Active Slide – when using Impress, the active or selected slide is now easier to discern with an outline style.

MobileWizard Popup

The MobileWizard popup is now being utilised in more dialog boxes for increased consistency throughout the app.

  • Hyperlink panel – this has been completely revamped and improved. It’s now appears as a MobileWizard popup, making it easier to work with hyperlinks.
  • Improved Comments – similarly to the hyperlink panel, this has been revamped in a MobileWizard popup and all the following actions are operated within the same place/component: View comment list, Modify comment, Reply comment and Insert comment.
  • Improved Rename Sheet – long tap on a sheet tab then choose “Rename Sheet…”. This now uses the MobileWizard popup, making it easier to reach those input fields no matter the size of the smartphone.
MobileWizard popups are more consistent in the latest 23.05 mobile release

Performance Improvements

Collabora Office 23.05 for mobile has received many performance improvements that we have been working on throughout the 22.05 life-cycle, and you will already see included in the Collabora Online core.

Collabora Office 23.05 on Tablet

The Collabora Office tablet apps have also seen some updates. Along with various performance and bug fixes, there are a few notable new feature improvements.

Rename Document Dialog

It is now possible to rename the current opened document without closing it. Before this change, or whenever the window was too small to show the document name, renaming from within the file was not possible. The user would have to use the native files app to do so.

  • Now simply navigate to “File” tab, tap the “Rename” button. The “Rename Document” dialog appears and the user can rename the current document without leaving the app.
Renaming documents can now be done without leaving the document

New Document Search Button

With the new “Search” button, it’s easier to trigger a document search without multiple clicks, even if the Status bar is hidden.

  • Navigate to the “Home” tab and swipe left to see the last buttons in that tab. Tap “Search”.
Search documents more easily with the ‘Search’ button in the notebook bar

Thanks to the Community

Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release and contributes the vast majority of the Collabora Online code. However, this release is a community effort, and we fully appreciate and acknowledge everyone’s hard work that has made it possible! We want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues in the wider LibreOffice community who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice technology upon which CODE and Collabora Online are built.

All of our code is open source and available to the public on GitHub. Join the Collabora Online Community, take part in easy hacks and discussions in the forum.

Download Collabora Office for Mobile 23.05

Collabora Office for iOS, Android and Chrome OS is available through the Play Store and App Store. We also provide the latest snapshot .apk for Android for download! While the iOS version is already available to all users, the Android and Chrome OS releases will be rolled to Play Store users gradually. A vibrant and welcoming community has evolved around Collabora Online & Collabora Office – so if you would like to get in touch or get involved, visit us in the forum or at GitHub.

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity is a leading provider of innovative software solutions, catering to the needs of individuals and businesses worldwide. With a focus on usability, performance, and security, Collabora Online empowers users to accomplish their goals efficiently and effectively.

Collabora Office for Mobile 23.05 is the latest Android and iOS release of our widely integrated, secure office suite.

Collabora Office 23.05 Unveils Exciting New Features, Empowering Users with Enhanced Productivity and Interoperability Features

The new Collabora Office 23.05 brings more features, improved performance and increased interoperability

Cambridge, August 7, 2023 – We are happy to announce the new major release of Collabora Office 23.05.

Collabora Office, for Linux, Windows and Mac, is the enterprise version of the world’s most popular open-source office productivity suite, LibreOffice. It is the foundation for new versions of our online collaborative office, Collabora Online, and also powers our apps for iOS, Android and Chrome OS.

The enterprise office suite provides businesses and professionals a richly featured, secure document creation environment with Long-Term Support (LTS) and bespoke development services backed by decades of experience.

Collabora Office’s new release includes new features targeting three key areas: accessibility, interoperability and usability. Below you will find an overview of the exciting new features and improvements that are available in Collabora Office 23.05 and where you can download it.

Accessibility Features

Accessibility features are created to provide comfort to all users, for example, those who prefer to use just a keyboard, those who cannot see the screen very well or those who have impairments.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode has seen over 40 bug fixes and improvements and further support for switching between dark and light mode manually.

To toggle dark mode on and off:

Along the top navigation bar select: Tools → Options

Collabora Office → View → Appearance Mode: “System”, “Light”, “Dark”
Toggle between light and dark mode

Interoperability Features

For some time, users and organizations have faced a major challenge when trying to find an alternative to Microsoft’s widely-used productivity suite: the issue of file compatibility and interoperability. These improvements continue to build on our already solid base of excellent interoperability and are fully compatible across both the desktop and online versions of Collabora Office.

Document Themes

Document themes are predefined formatting settings that you can apply to a whole document to easily change and re-purpose its appearance, add your own branding and give it a consistent feel. They usually include a combination of specific colours and fonts for heading, subheadings and body text. When the formatting is changed within the theme, it will change across all parts of the document following that formatting.
Themes also allows the user to choose between multiple default looks of objects when inserting and changing, which are derived from the current theme.

To apply a document theme:

Select on the top bar ‘Format → Theme’
Select the theme you’d like to apply
Press ‘Ok’

To create a document theme

Select on the top bar ‘Format → Theme → Add’

From here you can define colours for each part of your document.

Change and customise your Document Theme via a dialog box

Multi-page Floating Tables in Writer

This new feature is a combination of two existing capabilities. Multi-page tables and floating tables. Multi-page tables are tables than span their content over more than one page. Floating tables are tables inside a floating frame. This allows you to wrap text around them, which is particularly useful for brochures. Previously, it was not possible to combine these two features.

Floating frames used to work only on a single page. Now you can create floating tables that span across multiple pages. It improves interoperability with Microsoft’s OOXML format. It also significantly improves interoperability with tables that have been accidentally floated by users in Microsoft Office – often by just adjusting table sizing and positioning. This is frequently a problem in mis-designed Government forms – where tables are used for rendering borders, these should render and be editable with this update.

If you are interested in the complex technical challenges behind this feature, we encourage you to take a look into the series of posts by developer Miklos Vajna. There’s also a very insightful talk presented at COOL Days 2023 on YouTube. This feature is is still under active development, with some minor issues on specific use-cases to be ironed out, but you can make use of it in Collabora Office 23.05 now.

Multi-page Floating Tables in Collabora Office 23.05

Compact View of Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables are a flexible and powerful analysis tool for mixed data sets. Collabora Office can create and import Pivot Tables. The feature had first been introduced to in early 2021 together with numerous statistical tools. Meanwhile, the feature has seen further interoperability improvements. Collabora Office Calc is now able to preserve the more recent default compact Pivot Tables created in Excel. In addition to the more accurate visual representation, this improvement also avoids incorrect cell references.

Multi-Stop Gradients

Exciting improvements have been made to the under-the-hood renderer! Our rendering engine has been enhanced and can now handle even more complex gradients. You can now turn up the visual appeal of your document by incorporating multi-stop gradients into shapes, borders, and other elements. This update is essential for anyone who works with intricate graphics – bringing improvements and better interoperability for existing documents and making it easier to edit more complex designs and graphics.

Improved Frame Anchoring and Position

Collabora Office 23.05 includes improved compatibility with older document-framing descriptions including better positioning for frame handling, better support for combining/splitting frames and overlapping frames, fixes to some cases where parent styles were ignored, and fixes to avoid UI anchor changes that caused movement on the page.

64-bit Zip Support

The Zip64 standard extends numerous internal limitations in the XLSX and ODS formats used to compress documents. While the old zip limitations are enough for most practical user cases, documents with enormous amounts of content embedded could occasionally run into such limits. With support for Zip64 included in 23.05, editing and working with huge spreadsheets is now possible in Collabora Office. Zip64 also serves as a replacement – replacing the older standard for smaller files.

Zip64 support makes for exciting news for all, whether you’re a pro handling massive documents or a casual user who will surely benefit from the interoperability improvements! Everyone can expect improvements across the board.


Keyboard Navigation through Forms

You can use the tab key to circularly navigate through content controls and fieldmarks. The modern content controls have a tabIndex field, which allows for precise ordering of keyboard navigation. The tabIndex also allows a control to be skipped – which is useful to avoid getting stuck in rich text controls (since the tab key needs to insert a tab character in that case). Form developers can specify the tabIndex via the content control properties UI.

Navigate easily through forms using the tab key

Page Number Wizard

A wizard dialogue box has been added, combining inserting the required headers, footers, and page number fields into a single, easy to use, familiar dialog for users. This features all the common alignment options, support for a variety of languages, and a preview.

Simply select ‘Insert → Page Number...’

and you will see a dialogue box appear which enables you to customise the positioning, alignment and style of page numbers, along with a preview. There are a variety of supported languages available.

To remove page numbers, simply delete the page number in one of the footers and it will remove the page numbers on all pages.

Insert page numbers with the new Page Number Wizard

Other New Features

  • New ‘plain text’, ‘combo box’ and titles and tags options in Content Controls.
  • Added support to open multi image TIFF files.
  • Auto fitting text scaling algorithm has been changed so it works similar to MS Office.
  • Categorized link targets when linking to a presentation.


Collabora has invested significantly in bringing a host of new features and functionality to this latest release and contributes a vast majority of the Collabora Office code. However, we want to acknowledge all of our friends and colleagues in the wider LibreOffice community who helped to contribute not only to this, but also to the underlying LibreOffice Technology upon which Collabora Office, CODE and Collabora Online are built.

All of our code is open source and available to the public on GitHub. Join the Collabora Online Community, take part in easy hacks and discussions in the forum.

Here are some new features contributed by the LibreOffice community.

Typographical Editing

New optional hyphenation settings are available to give rules for adjusting text flow. You can now limit hyphenation within paragraphs, set a minimum word length for hyphenation and opt to not hyphenate the last word of a paragraph.

This work was done by László Németh, NISZ.

Typographical Editing Options

Change Tracking in Numbered Lists

When making changes within numbered lists, the numbering has now been fixed to show actual and original numbers within the document.

Example of new change tracking in numbered lists

Table Style Design Support

You can now modify table styles and create new ones in Impress and Draw. Modified styles are saved into documents, and can be shared via templates. You can access this function by right-clicking on a design in the Table Design Sidebar panel.

This work was done by Maxim Monastirsky.

Table Design Options in the Sidebar

Other community wins include:

About Collabora Productivity

Collabora Productivity is a leading provider of innovative software solutions, catering to the needs of individuals and businesses worldwide. With a focus on usability, performance, and security, Collabora Office and Online empower users to accomplish their goals efficiently and effectively.

Collabora Office is the latest enterprise release of our desktop office suite based on LibreOffice Technology, for professional, mobile, and online use. Collabora Office 23.05 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 outstanding work done by so many that is included into Collabora Office 23.05. Our annual release, contains code that was contributed to LibreOffice 7.4, 7.5 and 7.6. For a deep dive on all details and credits, please do take a look at the release notes.

It’s easy to migrate to Collabora Office 23.05 or try Collabora Office 23.05 for yourself! Just head to the Collabora Office page and request your demo today, or download on the Windows or Mac App store.

If you would like to help test out the very latest Collabora Office versions before official release, you can download the development snapshots.



Six Reasons Why Collabora Online is the Best Microsoft Office Alternative

Microsoft Office has led the office productivity market for many years, but is now no longer the only option for your online document editing. Collabora Online is perfect for businesses who are looking for a modern and secure workspace.

Here are six reasons why Collabora Online is the best Microsoft Office alternative:

1. Excellent interoperability with major (and minor) file formats

If you can’t work with the files, then you aren’t much use as a file editor. Fortunately Collabora Online provides excellent interoperability with a wide range of file formats. DOCX, XLSX, PPTX, we’ve got you covered. In actual fact, we have greater interoperability between our online and offline editor than even Microsoft’s desktop and online editors offer (more about this coming in a future post, watch this space!). So rest assured, you’ll still have access to that legacy Microsoft Works file you still have lying around. Got an unusual client who likes everything sent to them in .docm? Not a problem. Need to import a FlatXML spreadsheet? With Collabora Online, you’ll have all the interoperability you need for your modern, or indeed legacy working environment!

2. Digital security and sovereignty

Collabora Online offers distinct advantages over Microsoft Office from a digital sovereignty perspective. First and foremost, Collabora Online is an open-source solution, providing transparency and giving organizations full control over their software stack. This allows users to verify and modify the source code, ensuring data privacy and security. Additionally, unlike Office 365 which operates on a cloud infrastructure managed by a single provider, Collabora Online can be deployed on-premise or in a private cloud, enabling organizations to maintain complete sovereignty over their data. This level of control enables full compliance with data protection regulations and safeguards against unauthorised access. By choosing Collabora Online, you can prioritise your digital autonomy and protect your data.

3. Collaborate effectively with anyone you chose

The clue’s in the name! Collabora Online allows you to collaborate, co-edit, review and track changes, add comments, and share your documents securely. Furthermore, Collabora Online gives you a whole range of security and permission settings, enforced server side, to ensure your data and the content of your documents, is always protected.

4. Great platform availability and ease of use

Whether you’re a Mac, Windows or Linux user, or you like to edit on desktop, mobile or your favourite modern browser, Collabora Online is available to offer you freedom of choice. Also, unlike the familiar alternatives, our browser-based and desktop applications have full interoperability since they share a common codebase. No more glitches when you try and edit that slide show online that you just had on your laptop.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and with Collabora Online you won’t have to. With a familiar user-friendly interface, you’ll feel right at home and can skip costly retraining that might come with other alternatives.

5. No more vendor lock-in

Have you noticed the inexorable rise of Microsoft’s pricing structure, or new changes nobody asked for? We certainly have. Break free from vendor lock-in with Collabora Online! Unlike other tech giants, with Collabora Online you’re not tied to any one service provider. Integrate our secure office suite into your own solution and infrastructure, or with any of our 200+ partners, paying for as many services as you require. Want to switch to a hybrid cloud solution or fully on-premise down the line? Not an issue with Collabora Online.

6. Exciting Community Spirit

Did you know that by joining Collabora Online, you’re joining a huge community? Collabora Online was born out of the open-source world, long before crowdfunding or crowdsourcing was a thing, and we’ve stayed true to our roots. Alongside Collabora Online, we also offer Collabora Online Development Edition (or CODE for short) allowing everyone to enjoy the latest features and provide feedback. This vibrant and engaged community fosters a collaborative environment where users, developers, and enthusiasts come together to contribute, share knowledge, and drive the evolution of Collabora Online. The CODE community offers an opportunity to help others through forums, mailing lists, and dedicated channels. Furthermore, this community-driven ecosystem provides opportunity for contribution to the enhancement and expansion of Collabora Online’s features, compatibility and performance, giving you access to a support network and bespoke solutions Microsoft Office users can only dream of.

We could go on, but suspect you’re getting the message. Collabora Online is the best alternative to Microsoft Office, and if you ask us, is better than the current market leaders. Try the demo today at:

CODE 22.05 Released with Powerful New Features like Grammar Checks, Sparklines and “Jumbo Spreadsheets”

This New Major Release Brings Grammar Checking, Giant Spreadsheets and Performance Wins

Cambridge, June 29, 2022 – Collabora announces the availability of Collabora Online Developer Edition (CODE) 22.05. The latest major release targets three key areas: ease of use, performance, and interoperability. It demonstrates the company’s mission of being the technology leader in collaborative editing. Collabora Online businesses the most effective and secure document creation environment with dedicated support and depth of development horsepower. CODE 22.05 is preceding the next major release of our long-term supported business suite Collabora Online. This free developer version includes all features and enhancements that will be available in our enterprise version, expected later in July. The CODE releases allow every interested user to learn and test new features on an early stage. As always, your feedback on possible issues is much appreciated! CODE is the collaboration suite offering home users and early adopters the best features, interoperability in open source, while respecting user privacy and data security. In this announcement, we are showcasing some of the latest functionalities added to Collabora Online.


Get CODE 22.05


Using Grammar and Style Checks in the Browser

Grammar checking in a Writer Document in CODE 22.05

Starting with version 22.05 we introduced the support for external grammar checkers. You can now benefit from the style and grammar checker by LanguageTool in your browser. To make use of this feature, you have to enable this inside Collabora Online’s configuration file. Depending on whether you are using a free or a premium account, both the quality and amount of the suggestions may vary. We would like to express our gratitude to Nicolas Christener and his wonderful team at Adfinis for making this great feature a reality.


“Jumbo Spreadsheets” with 16k Columns in Calc

CODE 22.05 increases the maximum number of columns available in Calc to 16384

Collabora Online does now support up to 16384 columns in spreadsheets. This is a sixteenfold increase in the maximum number of columns compared to previous versions. Previously, Calc would display an error message on opening large sheets that exceeded 1024 columns. Combined with up to one million rows per spreadsheet, Calc can now handle enormous amounts of data on the right hardware. Previous performance improvements in Calc paved the way for this feature, which also increases the interoperability with Excel spreadsheets from Microsoft. This work was funded by DEVxDAO as part of their mission to support open-source and transparent research and development of emerging technologies and frameworks.


Sparklines Now Available for Calc

Sparklines for Calc have arrived in CODE 22.05

Sparklines are mini-charts found in Microsoft’s XLSX format. The support for them premieres with the release of Collabora Office 22.05. Sparklines are always defined for one cell, but different ones can be grouped together. There are three different ways of displaying Sparklines. They can be displayed as lines, bar charts or stacked as win-loss charts. The Sparklines feature can be accessed through the right-click dialog. The unique data for a Sparkline is defined in the data range.

This feature was made possible by funding from NGI and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871498. For more information on the technical background, see Tomaz Vajngerl’s blog.


Webp support available for all types of documents

CODE 22.05 supports the WebP format across all modules

WebP is a graphics format for lossy or lossless image compression. It can be used for both static and animated images and is also supported by the vast majority of modern browsers. The current version of CODE now allows for importing images in WebP format. The graphic format can now be used in all document types, i.e. in text documents, spreadsheets, presentations as well as Draw files.


Content Controls in Writer: Dropdown, Picture and Date Types

Content Controls menu in Collabora Online Writer 22.05

Writer now has content controls functionality, a new way to set properties on a piece of text, primarily for form filling purposes. This feature improves compatibility with the DOCX format. There are now five types of inline Content Controls that can be imported and added to Collabora Online. Writer had already included form controls and fieldmarks, providing similar features. However, there are some differences in their behaviour. Among other differences, Content Controls can contain rich text and a set of properties. Instead of fieldmarks, they can’t span over different paragraphs. Here is a small summary of the capabilities of the new Content Controls.

  • Rich Text Content Controls simply show an indicator when you’re inside the content
  • Checkbox Content Controls contain a single character, but you can interact with them: clicking on the content control toggles the checked state of the checkbox
  • Dropdown Content Controls have a list of dropdown items. Each item is a display-text and value pair, allowing to differentiate between a human-readable string and a machine-readable value.
  • Picture Content Controls allow the author of a form to pre-format the image before the filler of the form inserts the actual image.
  • Date Content Controls were emulated with Writer fieldmarks in the past, which created trouble during export, since Word itself doesn’t have a date form-field.
Date Content Control in Collabora Online 22.05
Date Content Control Properties in Collabora Online 22.05

This feature has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871498. For more information on the technical background, see Miklos Vajna’s blog post.


New Formula Input Bar with Pure HTML

Faster native rendering of the input of formulae in Calc

We continue working in the conversion of various UI components in Collabora Online to “native” HTML widgets. This helps to get better user experience, especially on touch and mobile devices. This time we have converted the formula bar which is used to edit data in cells inside a spreadsheet.

Previous “tunnelled” approaches had some disadvantages like a blurry look under some conditions and a cursor position setup depending on pixel-based coordinates. Now the edit field is rendered by the browser, ensuring a crisp display of text under all circumstances and resolutions. The position of the caret is represented as a logical value and also handled by the browser. This adds a lot of benefits to the user experience. It has now become much easier to type into the formula bar, especially on touch devices.

New formula input bar in CODE 22.05 using a touch device


Bandwidth wins and improved performance with Deltas

Previous versions of Collabora Online have managed documents as a series of tiles, when a tile is invalidated by its contents changing, new tiles have been compressed and sent. Interestingly this cost usually outweighed all other rendering and managing of document content. In this version we adopt a simple time-based compression – whereby for actively changing tiles we send the user a small set of changes since the last tile. Thus if you type a ‘period’ we can generate a tiny compressed change for just those pixels. This gives up to a 75% bandwidth saving depending on your workload – as well as saving CPU time. We also have laid the foundation for switching to a far faster zstd compression library in the 22.05 lifetime to save yet more CPU cycles and serve more users from the same server hardware.


Accessibility Check Helps to Create Documents According to the PDF/UA Standard

Accessibility Check in CODE 22.05

The current version of CODE includes a new Accessibility Checker. This helps to create documents according to the PDF/UA standard. Published as an International Standard in 2012 (ISO 14289), the PDF/UA format provides clear normative terms for achieving accessibility in the PDF format. The goal is to enable users to use documents without assistance from others, and to be able to receive the same value from the content as people without disabilities. This is accomplished by standardization of the content structure within the PDF files and the technology capabilities available to the end user, including PDF readers and assistive technologies (AT).

The Accessibility Check is part of the first step in an ongoing journey to improve accessibility, both in Collabora Online (Browser) and Collabora Office (Desktop). The Accessibility Check button can be found in the Review tab. The dialog shows a list of all issues found in the text document. Through a quick access button, it is possible to access the critical element. The issue is highlighted. See this article for more details on the already implemented checks.


Faster Rotation of Bitmap Graphics

Fast image rotation in Collabora Online 22.05

The rotation of bitmap graphics has undergone a significant speed improvement. When rotating graphics via the button (the slightly off-set filled circle above a selected graphic), the movement is now much smoother and easier to position. This improvement makes manipulating bitmap graphics much more comfortable. Here’s how you can try it for yourself. Select a bitmap graphic by clicking on it. Move the cursor to the grey circle above the graphic. The cursor now changes into a palm. Now move the palm cursor to the right and left as you wish while holding down the left mouse button.


Dynamic Configuration of Multiple Hosts


Collabora Online uses a WOPI-like protocol to interact with hosts who want to integrate Collabora Online. The improved admin configurations allow for multiple WOPI hosts with multiple aliases. This means you can use a single Collabora Online server with different software integrations at the same time. It is also possible to manage these hosts dynamically without a server restart. This makes Collabora Online much easier to deploy and configure, particularly when scaling to integrate with large numbers of different services. All of this saves cost and reduces management complexity, making this feature especially interesting for hosting companies. We have summarized the technical background information on Multihost Configuration inside our SDK documentation.

LibreOffice Technology

CODE and Collabora Online are built with LibreOffice Technology by the LibreOffice community in which we love to participate. We cannot thank everyone involved enough for their passionate work.


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. The code is available on GitHub.


Get CODE 22.05


Open Source – so feel welcome to join

Before we conclude with some final improvements and news, we really want to let you know about all the people that did the hard work. Thanks to the community that made this release possible! 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. All of our code is open source, and available to the public on GitHub. Would you like to be part of the Collabora Online success story? Check the new website for Online with information, easy hacks and a forum for Online, report issues, and participate today!