Document Liberation Project: New releases


LibreOffice’s native file format is the fully standardised OpenDocument Format. This is ideal for long-term storage of data, but many of us have to work with other file formats as well, including those generated by proprietary software. The Document Liberation Project (DLP) develops libraries to help us access these files, and there have been various updates in the last two weeks, so let’s see what’s new:

  • libfreehand 0.1.2 – This is a library for importing Aldus/Macromedia/Adobe FreeHand documents. In this release, the library can import more elements, such as text on paths, text effects, stroke patterns, arrows and paragraph attributes.
  • libzmf 0.0.2 and libcdr 0.1.4 – libzmf is a library for importing Zoner drawing and bitmap files, currently supporting Callisto/Draw 4-5 and Bitmap, while libcdr is a library that parses the file format of CorelDRAW documents of all versions. Both have been made more secure thanks to OSS-Fuzz, which we talked about recently, and there have been build fixes as well.
  • libwpg 0.3.2 and libwpd 0.10.2 – The former is for importing WordPerfect Graphics images, and has performance improvements when reading image data from WPG2 files, while the latter has had build system improvements and also fixes from the aforementioned OSS-Fuzz.

These improvements will be included in future major releases of LibreOffice, and indeed other open source programs that use Document Liberation Project libraries.

Meanwhile, DLP developer Laurent Alonso sent us this great before-and-after picture, showing recent improvements to the import of Lotus 123 spreadsheets. At the top you can see a Lotus 123 file (that contains lots of formatting) being displayed in LibreOffice 5.3 – but the formatting is missing. Thanks to improvements in DLP libraries, though, LibreOffice 5.4 can read and display the spreadsheet much more accurately, as you can see underneath (click for bigger):

The DLP community appreciates all contributions, and even if you’re not a coder, there are many ways to help – such as documenting file formats, or preparing sample documents. To learn more about DLP, check out our short video:

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