LibreOffice at InstallFest 2020, Prague, 29 February – 1 March

Our Czech LibreOffice community attends events around the country, spreading the word about LibreOffice, free software and open standards. Today, Petr Valach reports back from InstallFest, which took place on 29 February and 1 March. InstallFest focuses on GNU/Linux, helping new users to install the operating system, but also has lectures and stands for many other free and open source software projects…

For the first time this year, the LibreOffice community attended the InstallFest conference. The following is a summary of the knowledge and insights we gained there…

The vast majority of visitors were from younger generations – often high school or even elementary school pupils. The new mobile application from Collabora, released just a few days before – and surprisingly, almost no one knew about it – aroused great interest. Collabora Office Mobile has proven to be a highly featureful and functional alternative for the desktop version – although it has a limited range of features, but its capabilities are surprising.

One of the questions was about handling ODF files with embedded fonts. Experiments have shown that if the file contains text written in non-traditional fonts, and these are inserted into the file, it will display correctly in the mobile application. The only problem is with the file size, because LibreOffice does not allow you to embed font subsets – it embeds whole fonts. On the other hand, it ensures full compatibility when editing a file on another device; all characters defined in the font are inserted in the file.

LibreOffice Online has also gained great interest. It enables collaboration within a corporation, which can have thousands and tens of thousands of users (and it works, as we know from foreign deployments). There is a certain obstacle to the need to install the application as a cloud service – the method of installation is not widely known (solved by the documentation team, as the LibreOffice Online manual is published, and the Czech documentation team completes its Czech version).

Some users complained about several problems, for instance: scrolling doesn’t work on the touch screen, instead of text. It is a bug inherited from, not solved under number 85677.

One requirement also involved inserting the name of any worksheet in the Calc list into the selected cell, and dynamically linking it to the worksheet, to change the content of that cell when the worksheet name changes. Currently, only the name of the current worksheet can be inserted into the cell, either by field or by function:

= MID (CELL ("filename"); FIND ("# $"; CELL ("filename")) + 2; LEN (CELL ("filename")))

Now it is not possible to insert the name of any sheet in the list – it is not solved in bug 94975. (This is not possible in Microsoft Excel, by the way.)

Defender Folder Access Control in Windows 10 blocks LibreOffice installation. You must disable this feature before installing LibreOffice. For more information, see the LibreOffice wiki page.

We also learned from other visitors at the event about other schools and companies that use LibreOffice. We will address them shortly.

A big thanks to Petr and the whole Czech community for their work! And to anyone reading this who’d like to attend local events and help to spread the word about LibreOffice, join our marketing mailing list and drop us a line. We’ll point you in the right direction!