The Document Foundation Blog

2012/02/14

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.5: “the best free office suite ever”

Filed under: Announcements — Tags: — italovignoli @ 11:01

Berlin, February 14, 2012 – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.5, the third major release of “the best free office suite ever”, which shows to end users the improvements derived from the development strategy adopted since September 2010. LibreOffice 3.5 derives from the combined effort of full time hackers – the largest group of experienced OOo code developers – and volunteer hackers, coordinated by the Engineering Steering Committee.

During 16 months, an average of 80 developers each month have provided a total of over thirty thousand code commits, introducing new and interesting features:

Writer

- a new built-in Grammar checker for English and several other languages
– improved typographical features, for professional looking documents
– an interactive word count window, which updates in real time
– a new header, footer and page break user interface

Impress / Draw

- an improved importer of custom shapes and Smart Art from PPT/PPTX
– a feature for embedding multimedia/colour palettes into ODF documents
– a new display switch for the presenter’s console
– new line ends for improved diagrams
– Microsoft Visio import filter

Calc

- support for up to 10,000 sheets
– a new multi-line input area
– new Calc functions conforming to the ODF OpenFormula specifications
– better performances when importing files from other office suites
– multiple selections in autofilter
– unlimited number of rules for conditional formatting

Base

- a new integrated PostgreSQL native driver

In addition, for the first time in the history of LibreOffice, we will be enabling the online update checker, which informs users when a new version of the suite is available.
“We inherited a 15 years old code base, where features were not implemented and bugs were not solved in order to avoid creating problems, and this – with time – was the origin of a large technical debt,” says Caolán McNamara, a senior RedHat developer who is one of the founders and directors of TDF. “We had two options: a conservative strategy, which would immediately please all users, leaving the code basically unchanged, and our more aggressive feature development and code renovation path, which has created some stability problems in the short term but is rapidly leading to a completely new and substantially improved free office suite: LibreOffice 3.5, the best free office suite ever.”

“In sixteen months, we have achieved incredible results – comments Michael Meeks, a SUSE Distinguished Engineer, who is also a founder and director at TDF – with nearly three hundred entirely new developers to the project, attracted by the copyleft license, the lack of copyright assignment and a welcoming environment. In addition to the visible features, they’ve translated tens of thousands of German comments, removed thousands of unused or obsolete methods – sometimes whole libraries – and grown a suite of automated tests. Although we still have a long way to go, users – who have sometimes complained for the stability of the software, as they were not aware of the technical debt we were fighting with – can now benefit from a substantially cleaner, leaner and more feature rich LibreOffice 3.5.”

LibreOffice 3.5 is the first release where the contribution of local communities and associations, such as ALTA in Brazil, has been acknowledged. In addition, TDF tried to recognize those volunteers – where we could easily identify them – who put so much into the 3.5 release, with a “hacking” or “bug hunting” hero badge presented the same day of the announcement. TDF is encouraging the development of a global, open and diverse ecosystem where companies, associations, local communities and volunteers share the common objective of developing the best free office suite ever.

The Document Foundation invites power users to install LibreOffice 3.5, and more conservative users to stick with LibreOffice 3.4 branch. Corporate users are strongly advised to deploy LibreOffice with the backing of professional support, from a company able to assist with migration, end user training, support and maintenance. The Document Foundation will soon provide a list of certified organizations providing these professional services.

LibreOffice 3.5 is available from: http://www.libreoffice.org/download. The new features and the improvements are described in the infographic which can be downloaded from: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/116590/lo35-infofinal.pdf.

Lo35 infofinal

71 Comments

  1. Good job *thumbs up*

    Comment by FrankyBoy — 2012/02/14 @ 12:08

  2. Great job!
    I saw a bug, however.
    My OS – WinXP, JRE 1.7.0.2
    When I try to open any file, it show me the message that Java is damaged.
    But, if I click “OK” the file opens correct.

    Comment by Andrey Gagarin — 2012/02/14 @ 12:28

  3. Does not show previously opened files.
    Must go to folder where they are and load them from there.
    My Os – Win 7 Pro.

    Comment by Pedro Boda — 2012/02/14 @ 13:21

    • I have the same problem on Linux.. so far only Fedora 16 en CentOS 6, haven’t checked openSuse and Debian yet but I guess it’s the same on there.

      Comment by hvn — 2012/02/17 @ 21:03

      • I have the same problem with MacOS 10.6.8. Plus: there is no help file anymore, just a metafile explaining the inexistent help file :-)
        plus I can still not import excel graphs

        Comment by Tobias Waltjen — 2012/02/22 @ 08:46

  4. Reblogged this on Lourcastle.

    Comment by lourcastillo — 2012/02/14 @ 13:31

  5. Glad to see this release. A lot of nice improvements for end users. To all the Libreoffice developers, thank you from a Libreoffice user. :)

    Comment by Gabriel — 2012/02/14 @ 14:30

  6. Great job. I did notice one small point. The “About” dialog boxes still refer to the release version as “RC3″. As I said, a very small problem, but one which has happened before I believe. Thank you for your great efforts.

    Comment by Leo Petroski — 2012/02/14 @ 14:39

    • I believe I have the same problem.I also run winxp sp3.When trying to open any calc document( xls, ods…) it tries once to recover and then crashes “due to unexpected error.

      Comment by Andreas Vouzikis — 2012/02/14 @ 19:17

  7. Great to see a new version out – but calc seems to experience a significant lag on XP that wasn’t present in the previous version. If it persists will have to roll back the installation.

    Comment by Max — 2012/02/14 @ 14:55

    • Hi Max, thanks for trying it out; clearly we want to nail that – but it’s hard without more details; can you file a bug at: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=LibreOffice&bug_status=UNCONFIRMED
      and list what set of extensions you have installed, at exactly what stage you experience this lag / during what functionality you get stuck there :-)

      Thanks !

      Comment by Michael Meeks — 2012/02/15 @ 09:46

      • OK; filed as ‘Bug 46160 – Unacceptable lag when editing spreadsheet cells in Windows XP’

        Comment by Max — 2012/02/16 @ 11:47

  8. Good to see LibreOffice amazing progress.

    Comment by AlexP — 2012/02/14 @ 15:39

  9. Thanks a lot for your effort in libreoffice.

    Comment by Joshua (xihh) — 2012/02/14 @ 18:02

  10. I find it interesting that they chose the aggressive path that has “created some stability problems” as they say, and yet version 3.4.2 is the most stable LibreOffice / OOo version I’ve used. I guess I just lucked out and my computer likes what you guys are doing.

    Comment by CubeOfBorg — 2012/02/14 @ 18:28

  11. Thanks a lot for your generous work.
    I change to LibreOffice from OpenOffice and I am sure it is the right way.
    I am sure you are going to improve this program. Thanks

    Comment by expertoshardware — 2012/02/14 @ 18:55

  12. I have to use Impress productively for hours every day at work and no feature of use for my productive activities have been added to the program for over a year. The only thing new is a number of bugs that seriously hampers and slows down use of the application. I love the progress with the other programs in the LibreOffice suite though.

    Comment by adi — 2012/02/14 @ 19:43

  13. Nice job, but i have to return to 3.4.5 dutch. Can’t get it to install dutch spell checker and other language files. Saw a minor interface glitch and decided to wait for 3.5.1 or 3.5.2. Vista 32 Home premium Dutch.

    Comment by Erik — 2012/02/14 @ 20:20

    • Hi Erik,
      Pls try to find out (help with that) what prevents you to install spell checker and such! Thanks,
      Cor

      Comment by Cor Nouws — 2012/02/14 @ 20:44

      • Hello Cor.
        At this moment I really don’t know what’s going wrong. Could you guide me, so i can give you a more detailed and usable description of what i do and what i get?
        Erik

        Comment by Erik — 2012/02/15 @ 20:42

      • Would it be possible for you to communicate via the Dutch mail list for users?

        http://nl.libreoffice.org/ondersteuning/

        Easier for me and more people (with windows and Dutch) too ;-) thanks – Cor

        Comment by The Document Foundation Steering Committee — 2012/02/15 @ 21:42

  14. no final, only rc3 in o about

    Comment by Łukasz — 2012/02/14 @ 20:25

  15. A bit of doubt about quality of the product – 3.3.4 version has serious regression in data pivot module, the whole 3.4 branch has very serious regression – crash during opening of complex calc documents, and the same bugs in pivot table module in earlier versions, 3.5 has broken insert cross-reference function in writer (but the problems with calc are solved). The latest working version was 3.3.3 (if not mentioning the huge regression in exporting complex tables to .doc, which was introduced already in Openoffice.org 3.0). I think the project team should concentrate much more on quality assurance or break product into peaces, so that user can chose working writer from 3.4 branch and working calc from 3.5 branch. And LibreOffice would be out of competition with similar products if it could export complex text tables to .doc at least as good as the OpenOffice.org 2.4.2

    But anyway, LibreOffice is now the most compherensive open office suite; so, good luck in development!

    Comment by Andis — 2012/02/14 @ 20:28

  16. I already installed it and I begin to know the novelties that it offers.
    The changes in Writer are excellent.
    I like them a lot.
    LibreOffice 3.5 is a great gift for this Day of the Friendship!
    Thank you!

    Comment by DrakoDrakkonis — 2012/02/14 @ 21:36

  17. Nice! Can’t wait to check it out. I am so indebted to the TDF for taking over stewardship of this code – couldn’t work without it.

    Comment by Andy Prough — 2012/02/14 @ 22:18

  18. great.. i like new writter ui :)
    i hope base can handle pivot query latter :D

    Comment by linux-user — 2012/02/14 @ 22:19

  19. Reblogged this on Notes from the Metaverse and commented:
    LibreOffice 3.5 is out! Many new features, and an easier install. I’ve downloaded the Windows version, and will anxiously await its arrival in the openSUSE repositories. No doubt, I’ll have more to say after some use. Meanwhile, you should check it out!

    Comment by metaverse — 2012/02/14 @ 22:39

  20. This file was created Feb 02, 2012, where is Feb 14, 2012 final version?

    Comment by Graig — 2012/02/14 @ 22:56

  21. As a long time Mac user (now on Lion 10.7.3) and a user of iWork 09, MS Office 201, I have always enjoyed OpenOffice as my main goto app. Now with this release and the improvements I haven’t touched iWork or MS Office since this install. Awesome app no matter what OS you have. Great work and an outstanding Suite of Applications!

    Comment by Pat — 2012/02/15 @ 01:33

  22. ¡Muy bien! Felicitaciones y, por supuesto, gracias por el esfuerzo. A esperarlo en Fedora 16.

    Saludos

    Comment by Juan Carlos — 2012/02/15 @ 04:08

  23. “online update checker”
    I wait it a lot, this is very good!!

    Comment by Sergey Novokhatskiy (@Serjnovaho) — 2012/02/15 @ 07:43

  24. Where can we see those “bug hunting” hero badges?

    Comment by Holographic Elf — 2012/02/15 @ 08:12

  25. lang pack ita on osx do not install. it freeze long time and never install.

    Comment by erik_ilrosso — 2012/02/15 @ 09:10

  26. Hi all!

    Thanks LibreOffice developers!

    Eder S. G. (Jordan)

    Comment by Eder S. G. (Jordan) — 2012/02/15 @ 11:05

  27. Awesome job on the release !!! Especially the VISIO import ! The most sought after feature by most Office people.

    Thank you LibreOffice ! Thanks to all who did the code, test, document, publicize for the Document Foundation. This release makes me so happy.

    Comment by man iii — 2012/02/15 @ 11:57

  28. Hi
    I have just downloaded LibreOffice 3.5. It says that it can check for update automatic or manual. And when i press check for updates it request me an user and password for update.libreoffice.org?!?!?!

    Comment by Bobo — 2012/02/15 @ 12:05

  29. I think it is time for me to go back to libreoffice. I really like the addition of built-in grammar checker. I really need this feature.

    Comment by Edmar — 2012/02/15 @ 14:16

  30. I’m always following LibreOffice developments, but my issues are never addressed, and those in charge are always rude and dismissive of my comments.

    The Commenting feature is useless on long documents. I’m a novelist and editor, and whether working on my own or someone else’s project, I need to insert a lot of comments – sometimes half a dozen or so per page on documents that are 200+ pages. This drags my system to a complete halt. I’m guessing the feature is implemented entirely in java. Whatever the case, it’s terrible and a complete deal breaker. By contrast, and I know you’ll all insult me for saying so, MS Word does this flawlessly and without noticeable slowdown.

    And, of course, compatibility with Word formats is still terrible. Developer’s standard response to this is, it’s MS’s fault. That doesn’t matter. What matters is, it needs to be fixed. Softmaker did it. Kingsoft did it. I haven’t tried, but I bet Pages and Wordperfect did it.

    As long as the developers refuse to address real world issues, LibreOffice will remain bush league. Ideology does not matter. Application performance matters, free or paid.

    Comment by michel — 2012/02/15 @ 14:56

    • Sir, no one is going to insult you, but you should appreciate the fact that we have a majority of volunteer developers, and you are comparing the work donated to the community by volunteers with the work paid by a commercial company. We are a free software project, and we donate our time to LibreOffice users. Volunteer developers use their time to take care of features and bugs they consider more important than others. LibreOffice is a special software, because is free (as in freedom), and expects to have special users who understand the implicit advantages of a free software.
      Microsoft Word is a very good piece of software, but is backed by a commercial company with a turnover of many billion dollars. Comparing Microsoft Office with LibreOffice as they were both commercial software, where people is paid to listen to users, is wrong. You might be one of those users who will always find that Microsoft Office is better suited to their needs, and this is absolutely fair. Contrary to Microsoft, we are not trying to dominate the market, because we consider that competition and diversity are positive for end users.

      Comment by italovignoli — 2012/02/15 @ 15:16

      • Microsoft technical support has never been helpful to me. The experiences with MS Office technical support over the past 20 years have run from bordering on implied insults of stupidity to dismissal of documented bugs as nonexistent. I’ll happily take free support over paid-for-abuse any day.

        Comment by Ken Jennings — 2012/02/15 @ 16:08

      • While I am excited to hear of the new release I sadly share similar woes with Michel. The question is when will commenting be similar to MS Office? Inline, printable with the page size reduced and the comments to the right rather than end of the doc or creating an extra page after each document page. It really is a highly needed functionality. This is the largest complaint I receive from my users. That and of course sharing documents seamlessly with MS Office users. Keep up the great work, but please address these questions. How do we promote these issues to the top of the list to be addressed next? Thank you for your hard work.

        Comment by James — 2012/02/15 @ 20:22

  31. Reblogged this on 竹日門 and commented:
    誰不喜歡免費的軟件?

    Comment by 簡sir — 2012/02/15 @ 15:37

  32. - Microsoft Visio import filter

    – a new integrated PostgreSQL native driver

    …causing a chorus of angels to sing in unison.

    Awesome.

    Comment by Ken Jennings — 2012/02/15 @ 16:01

  33. I installed the new 3.5. yesterday on my laptop running with Windows XP home SP3. I noticed that the startup of Libre Office now is painfully slow, it takes much longer to get the start screen than with the previous 3.4.4. version on the same machine. Has anyone had the same experience?

    Comment by Thomas Kreitmair — 2012/02/16 @ 08:52

  34. Great work … recommend this to all my clients …

    a couple of bugs to report … I’m using Linux Mint 10

    * every time a document is opened an error msg occurs : “existing templates already exist”

    * the option : “File / Recently opened”
    … is not working !! e.g. no entries are being populated here.

    Ajc

    Comment by Ajc — 2012/02/16 @ 09:56

    • Same problem on “templates” (Impress).

      Comment by Enry — 2012/02/16 @ 16:07

  35. I just installed 3.5, but get an error message whenever I try to start it. It crashes without opening, so I’m switching back to 3.4.5 for the moment. Any idea why this would not work?

    Comment by Liz — 2012/02/17 @ 05:28

  36. I just installed 3.5, but get an error message whenever I try to start it. It crashes without opening, so I’m switching back to 3.4.5 for the moment. Any idea why this would not work?

    Comment by Liz — 2012/02/17 @ 05:29

  37. In Linux Mint 12 sometimes do not start. But thanks for your work.

    Comment by Michal — 2012/02/17 @ 08:42

  38. The documents created in LibO 3.3 with a picture in the header, open diferent in LibO 3.5. Maybe in LibO 3.5.1 can you repair the problem.
    The priblem was reported in https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=43695.
    After 10 years use OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice, I have thousends of files with this format.

    Comment by Eduardo Moreno — 2012/02/17 @ 19:26

  39. Excellent software ! I was user of OpenOffice 3.2 since many years… LibreOffice is Faster ! i’ve only a question : how to edit PPS files ? each PPS opened is allways in full screen mode…? Thanks for your work ! ;-)

    Comment by Soufflet Frédéric — 2012/02/18 @ 13:52

    • Change the extension PPS to PPT. Open the file and edit.

      Comment by Eduardo Moreno — 2012/02/21 @ 15:36

  40. Downloaded and installed latest version 3.5 three times and when I try starting program it locks up at loading the danish spell checker
    Had to go back to version 3.4.5
    I am running windows 7 professional edition
    I will have to wait until the next release to see if the problem goes away

    Comment by Robert L Niedzwiecki — 2012/02/18 @ 17:18

    • I had a similar problem (with Win 7 Pro also), so decided to use the Custom installation mode. All I really did was to not install any dictionaries other than English – and it seems to be working fine now.

      Comment by Liz — 2012/02/18 @ 22:58

      • Thanks. Got it to load without the dictionaries. Hope future releases will fix this problem. Not sure if I have the English dictionary as I had to de-select all dictionaries.

        Comment by Robert L Niedzwiecki — 2012/02/24 @ 00:42

  41. Great Job, thanx guys:)

    (btw i didnt had any trouble with win7 but had used custom installation without changing a thing (english/french dictionnary were set by default as i wanted))

    Comment by elfamosomarco — 2012/02/20 @ 14:22

  42. MS had been unable(or unwilling) to access certain files for decades and on a hunch I installed LibreOffice (and promptly UNinstalled MS Word and MS Office Suites) BLISS! Such a relief. Now I have my lost work back with no fuss.
    It is so heartening for an old man, to see LIBRE’s wonderful philosophy in action and substance – especially as good as this. I thank you all without reserve and wish you all prosperity and success.
    I will be looking for a decent alternative OS to Windows as soon as i get settled. Suggestions anyone? So nice not to be ripped off. I hope we users can give you all the support you need. Wonderful. Thank you all.
    If anyone likes good ethics with their office suites – go to Libre Office. Dont hesitate! I love it!

    Comment by Charles Bassett — 2012/02/21 @ 06:34

    • I would recommend Ubuntu as substitute for Windows. It’s free, works fine (have been using it fro more than 3 years on a dual boot machine besides Windows). Unless you have any special programs, you’ll be fine with the software that is available for it.

      Comment by Thomas — 2012/02/21 @ 20:09

  43. Smart kid!

    Comment by asdasd — 2012/02/21 @ 09:39

  44. I’m glad that all of these features have been added, but I don’t see any mention of fixing Draw’s unforgivable flaw: it’s down-right awful precision. (To see what I mean, just try to make an accurate ruler with 1/8″ marks without resorting to scaling the entire document. It simply can’t be done. Precision is limited to just 2 decimal places, and is based not on an internal measurement system, but on the unit used in the document. In other words, if the (scaled) unit is metres, everything is rounded off to the nearest centimetre. If it was even changed to a small internal unit that was converted to inches/etc., and/or 4 digits of accuracy were used, it would become usable.)

    Don’t get me wrong; I love O/LOffice, and use it almost exclusively, but I rarely even try to use Draw anymore.

    Comment by Keith From Canada — 2012/02/21 @ 10:31

  45. Great job on the new release! I’m especially delighted to see a focus on better typographic control and rendering. Does anyone know the rough time frame for implementing the improved text justification features detailed by László back in Oct 2011? (http://libregraphicsworld.org/blog/entry/libreoffice-is-diving-into-desktop-publishing)

    Specifically, paragraph level full justification, and auto scaling of characters as well as white space (preferably, user tunable).

    This would make such a big different to the work involved in typesetting a book, and generally make any full justified text look a whole lot more professional.

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Joe — 2012/02/21 @ 15:18

  46. I’ve downloaded 3.5.0 for Mac Intel three times today using 2 different links on this site. The .dmg file won’t mount and I’m getting a message “image data corrupted”. I’ve downloaded two other .dmg files today from different sites and they mount and install fine.

    Anyone else experience this with LibreOffice 3.5.0 for Mac Intel? Anyone have a better link?

    Comment by AB — 2012/02/21 @ 20:49

    • Update: Just attempted the 3.5.0 Mac Intel download again on Wed AM and the .dmg mounted and installed fine. Thanks!

      Comment by AB — 2012/02/22 @ 06:07

  47. Libre Office doesn’t work well with Headings.
    When I make a Heading 2 all paragraf above is making heading2. That is a serious bug.

    Comment by pety — 2012/02/23 @ 10:11

    • Go back to 3.4.5… 3.5 is with serious problems

      Comment by pety — 2012/02/23 @ 10:13

  48. “LibreOffice 3.5″ does not save recent files

    Comment by Xabier — 2012/03/03 @ 13:27

  49. Older versions had “Open recent documents” but though the option is still shown it produces a “No documents” reply. Small point but a nuisance.

    Comment by Ian Sinclair — 2012/03/11 @ 10:48

  50. Please in the Writer put image rotation button! It’s very important

    Comment by Emilie Rollandin — 2012/03/15 @ 10:39

  51. LibreOffice 3.5.1.2 Build ID: 350m1(Build:102), No “Open recent documents”. Please fix this bug. Thank you.

    Comment by goldenpick — 2012/03/30 @ 03:52

  52. I like LibreOffice because it is one of the few free Office Suites that opens MS-Works files…an issue i have come across a few times.

    Comment by Mark Bloggs — 2012/06/17 @ 23:56


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