LibreOffice 7.4 is Out — And It Doubles-Down on Microsoft Office Compatibility – OMG! Ubuntu!

LibreOffice 7.4 is Out — And It Doubles-Down on Microsoft Office Compatibility – OMG! Ubuntu!

LibreOffice 7.4 is Out — And It Doubles-Down on Microsoft Office Compatibility – OMG! Ubuntu! 0 0 Alan Dickson

Fresh new version of this free-software favourite
LibreOffice 7.4 is now available to download.
This update arrives on schedule, six months post LibreOffice 7.3, which was a fairly notable release. In LibreOffice 7.4 the productivity suite’s devs deliver a deluge of fixes and enhancements aimed squarely at improving ‘interoperability with Microsoft’s proprietary file formats’.
What’s more, many of the new features being added to LibreOffice are tailored to those who are migrating from MS Office to this free, open-source alternative. Y’know, keeping things familiar enough to not be scary.
Interested to learn more?
Let’s talk details.
LibreOffice 7.4 bakes in support for WebP images. With the image format picking up serious steam of late it’s great to know those working on Impress presentations or Writer documents can make use of then. On a similar tack the suite is also able to handle EMZ/WMZ files too — both common in Microsoft Office documents.
Elsewhere, LibreOffice 7.4 provides help pages for ScriptForge, the scripting library. This addition is sure to be joyous news to those who want to leverage LibreOffice macros in their workflow.
Remember the LibreOffice Extension Manager that was added a few releases back? Well, it now has a (very helpful) search field. This addition makes it easier to find a specific extension you’ve installed, which (may) aid your productivity overall. Sadly, I don’t think there’s an extension that can finish your essay for you — not yet, anyway!
In app-specific improvements Writer gains better change tracking in footnotes, shows edited lists with original numbers in change tracking, and debuts some additional typographic settings for hyphenation — great for those of us who use hyphens a lot 🙌🏻.
Need help with your grammar? LibreOffice 7.4 Writer now offers integration with remote LanguageTool APIs. This feature is not enabled out of the box, requires setup, and you need to accept a privacy policy. But once turn on it gives you right-click menu suggestions to fix grammatical errors. An alternative to services like Grammarly, kinda.
LibreOffice’s Excel analogue Calc now supports up to 16,384 columns in spreadsheets, adds more functions to the AutoSum widget, and a menu item you can use to search sheet names.
Impress is already a fairly robust, feature-packed presentation creation tool. In this release it debuts (early) support for document themes. This work caters for similar functionality from in Microsoft’s PowerPoint app, which lets users define a set of colours, fonts, and formatting to master pages. Early days for LibreOffice’s attempt, but it has to start somewhere.
Not that it’s much use to Linux users but LibreOffice 7.4 includes experimental dark mode support for Windows 10 and Windows 11, including a dark variant of the (really rather lovely) Colibre icon theme used by the app on Windows.
Finally, performance boosts and compatibility improvements are a staple feature of every LibreOffice update – LibreOffice 7.4 is no exception.
The Document Foundation say “LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite market segment, with native support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) – beating proprietary formats for security and robustness – to superior support for MS Office files, to filters for a large number of legacy document formats, to return ownership and control to users.”
LibreOffice 7.4 is free, open source software available to download for Windows, macOS, and Linux. You can grab the latest release from the LibreOffice website.
LibreOffice is pre-installed and available from the Ubuntu repos but unless you’re running 22.10 daily builds this won’t be the very latest version. If you’re impatient to sample the changes mentioned here you can download the latest version from the LibreOffice website, or (once available there) get it via Flathub or via the corresponding LibreOffice PPA.
Home » News » LibreOffice 7.4 is Out — And It Doubles-Down on Microsoft Office Compatibility
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