When it’s time to draft a document or make a presentation, you probably use Google Workspace or the free browser-based version of Microsoft 365. But if you need an offline experience (and you aren’t willing to pay), LibreOffice is your best choice. Now, LibreOffice is getting its first big 2024 update, complete with a version numbering change.
LibreOffice 24.2 Community, the latest major release of the free office suite, is finally here. Compared to the previous version, this jumps straight from version 7.x to version 24.x. It’s is the first version of LibreOffice to use Ubuntu-style version numbers based on the year of release, so that’s a change that you’ll need to keep track of going forward.
This is a bit of a minor release compared to previous ones. General enhancements include default activation of Save AutoRecovery information, which reduces the risk of content loss for first-time users. Notable NotebookBar adjustments, improved print preview support, and better menu options are here to improve the experience for those who are used to Microsoft 365’s UI.
In Writer, support for “Legal” ordered list numbering and styled comments enhance formatting flexibility and categorization. Multi-page floating table support is also seeing some improvements in overlap control, borders, footnotes, and nesting, while also gaining some UI refinements. Meanwhile, Calc introduces a new search field in the Functions sidebar deck, supports scientific number formats, and highlights rows and columns corresponding to the active cell. Impress and Draw, on the other hand, incorporate small caps handling, revised Presenter Console settings, and template-related fixes.
Accessibility changes include improvements in mouse position handling, dialogue box presentation via Accessibility APIs, and IAccessible2 roles management, making the LibreOffice suite more compatible with screen reader software. Security features include a password strength meter in the Save with Password dialogue box, enhanced password-based ODF encryption, and clarified macro security settings.
A total of 166 contributors worked on the LibreOffice 24.2 Community release, with 57% from developers at Collabora, allotropia, and Red Hat, 20% from The Document Foundation, and 23% from 108 individual volunteers. Make sure to check it out now.
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