A new version of the free office suite LibreOffice has been released, offering expanded compatibility with Microsoft Office file types.
In a blog post (Opens in a new tab) When announcing the update, the maker of the open source software package explained why it has been difficult to build into Office compatibility throughout history.
The blog post states that “Microsoft files are still based on the proprietary format that was discontinued by ISO in 2008, not on the ISO-certified standard, so they hide a great deal of artificial complexity.” “This causes issues with LibreOffice, which defaults to a true open standard format (OpenDocument Format).”
Due to the popularity of Office, and the huge number of documents in circulation, LibreOffice needs to provide comprehensive compatibility in order to lure users away from Microsoft. The team says that users can expect multiple updates in quick succession, with this goal in mind.
For those not in the know, LibreOffice is a suite of office software designed to cover all the same bases as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. In the words of our reviewer, LibreOffice provides “a competitive suite of office software that is exceptional, versatile, and feature-rich at no cost to its users.”
With the high cost of living, the open source suite of software can be an excellent choice for anyone looking to save on subscription cost, especially with the arrival of improved compatibility with Office.
According to the blog post, users should check for new versions of LibreOffice on a regular basis, as the compatibility upgrades come so thick and fast that “each new version is vastly improved over the previous one”.
Although it is arguably the largest, this is not the only change in LibreOffice 7.4. In fact, there are quite a few improvements in the latest version of the productivity suite, including the spreadsheet app, Calc, which now supports 16,374 columns, and the entire suite now gets support for dark mode in both Windows 10 and 11.
When it comes to performance, the team has also made improvements for cases like PDF export, document upload, and more.