LibreOffice 6.3 Boosts Document Performance, Fixes Security Bugs


Major update improves loading and saving times for complex documents, improves compatibility with Microsoft Office formats and adds new features

LibreOffice, the open source alternative to Microsoft Office, has improved file loading times and added new features in the major version 6.3 release.

The project, which began in 2010 as a fork of OpenOffice, is developed by The Document Foundation and now aims to release major updates every six months, with the last coming in February.  Version 6.2 introduced a tabbed ribbon-like interface option.

Two of the suite’s components, Writer and Calc, now load and save files significantly faster, and a security issue that could have allowed documents to auto-run arbitrary system commands has been fixed.

Developers targeted files known to present performance problems, such as Writer ODT files with large numbers of bookmarks and documents with large tables or embedded fonts, and performance on these has now been improved.

The Document Foundation, LibreOffice
LibreOffice’s new redaction feature.  The Document Foundation

Document performance

Calc’s load speed for XLSX and ODS files and saving of XLS spreadsheets, and loading and rendering of files with VLOOKUP, have also been improved.

The 64-bit version of LibreOffice for Windows is now able to scan documents through a re-implementation of the TWAIN module, while the suite has added a new redaction feature to Writer, Calc and Impress.

The feature exports documents to LibreOffice Draw, where a Redaction Toolbar allows users to draw rectangles over the content to be blotted out.  The redacted document can then be exported as a PDF.

The new suite improves interoperability with Microsoft Office formats, and users can now export document templates, import and export PowerPoint SmartArtand import charts that use Word DrawingML.

The Calc spreadsheet now has a FOURIER function.

The update can be downloaded directly from the official LibreOffice website or via the suite’s built-in update function.

LibreOffice is available for platforms including Windows, Linux and macOS, with a viewer available for Android and an online office suite available in the form of LibreOffice Online.

It is the default office suite for distributions including Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat’s Fedora and openSUSE.

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