LibreOffice 4.3.0 and 4.2.6 are out

5 Aug

Last week was a big week at The Document Foundation (TDF) as they released both the shiny first version of the new 4.3 branch (the “fresh” one), and the very polished last version of the 4.2 branch (now nicknamed “still”) of their office suite LibreOffice (LO).

The renaming from “stable” to “still” is probably a smart move as the former would have made people think that the “fresh” branch would be too “unstable” to give it a go. (See the fourth point in Charles Schulz’ post.)

Version 4.2.6 is (possibly) the latest bugfix version of the 4.2 branch, which means it is the right time for you to transition from 4.1 to 4.2 if you are into hardcore stability: a total of 117 issues were fixed just for this release. However, it is important to note that the code gets cleaner and cleaner as the developments of LO goes, something that is partly revealed by the Coverity scan results, that went from 1.11 to 0.08 defect per 1000 lines of code since October 2012 (when LO joined the Coverity project). So moving to a more recent branch before the last bugfix update might still be a good idea if you are not satisfied by the conservative version you use.

I said that 4.2.6 might be the last version in the 4.2 branch because it is what was stated in the official TDF blog announcement but the release plan on the wiki lists a 4.2.7 version that is expected to be released in October this year (probably because 4.2.1 was an unplanned extra release).

Version 4.3.0, on the other hand, brings quite a few new features, and here are the ones that I find the most exciting:

  • The possibility to print comments in the margins in Writer
  • Images are scaled proportionally by default (makes a lot more sense)
  • A less confusing cell highlighting system for formulas in Calc
  • Feedback about the number of cells selected in Calc
  • Better layout of pivot tables in Calc: a lot more useful for data analysis!
  • New statistics tools in Calc, including 2-factor Analysis of Variance, very exciting for data analysis too!
  • “Fit slide to window” button in Impress
  • Import of 3D models in glTF format
  • New property mapping functionality for charts
  • Improved PDF import in many ways
  • Improved OOXML compatibility
  • A real colour picker instead of a silly drop-down unordered list!
  • A lot more things, and of course heaps of performance improvements and under-the-hood changes that will make the whole experience better.

You can see the full release notes on the wiki.

Download links: Still (4.2.6) and Fresh (4.3.0). There are branch-specific PPAs available on Launchpad, as updates take a long time to make it to the stock Ubuntu updates.

You can support the development of LO with a donation.

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