LibreOffice Documentation Team Activities in 2020

In 2020, the documentation community released many updated guidebooks, translated them into several languages, and participated in the Google Season of Docs

(This is part of The Document Foundation’s Annual Report for 2020 – the full version is here.)

New and translated guides

In January 2020, just before release of LibreOffice 6.4, the Documentation Team was proud to announce the Math Guide 6.4, an update of the previous version (4.0), updated to cover all of the innovations included in the latest release of the software. The guide was updated by Roman Kuznetsov and revised by Dave Barton from the documentation community. This was followed by the Calc Guide 6.2, a long-awaited update of the old Calc Guide 4.4.

In May, the guide to Base for LibreOffice 6.2 was released, covering, LibreOffice’s database component. It was updated by Pulkit Krishna, Dan Lewis, Jean Hollis Weber, Alain Romedenne, Jean-Pierre Ledure and Randolph Gamo. Another update in May was the Getting Started Guide 6.4 – the introductory guide for the latest LibreOffice 6.4, aimed to the general public interested to quickly get familiar with the software. It’s available as a PDF for offline reading, and ODT (OpenDocument Text) for editors and translators.

In summer, the Documentation Team announced the availability of the LibreOffice Draw Guide 6.4, the complete handbook for the drawing tool of LibreOffice. The guide was updated from the existing release (4.3) and include all the improvements developed since early 2014, when the last version of the guide was published.

Then there was the LibreOffice Calc Guide 6.4, the complete handbook for the spreadsheet tool. It was also updated from the existing release (6.2) and included all of the improvements developed in Calc since then.

In October, the Math Guide 7.0 was published – being the first guide based on LibreOffice 7.0. The effort was mostly carried by Rafael Lima and reviewed by Jean H. Weber. The new guide covers were designed by Rizal Muttaqin and Drew Jensen. The final publication was carried by Olivier Hallot. This was followed by the Calc Guide 7.0, a team effort of Steve Fanning, Gordon Bates, Kees Kriek, Annie Nguyen, Samantha Hamilton, Olivier Hallot and Jean Hollis Weber, coordinated by Felipe Viggiano.

Many guides were also translated in to various languages, thanks to our worldwide communities. For more information on their work, and the specific guides that they translated, see the “Native Language “Projects” section of this Annual Report.

Google Season of Docs

For the second year in a row, The Document Foundation was accepted as an organization in the Google Season of Docs, a programme whose goals are to give technical writers an opportunity to participate in contributing to open source projects, and to give open source projects an opportunity to engage the technical writing community.

In 2020, TDF’s documentation community offered a wide range of projects for technical writers, and extended the reach by providing projects for e-learning, mathematical documentation and code-oriented documentation.

TDF received several applications, containing important information including the technical writer’s resumés, proposals for project schedule and suggested deliverables. After a careful evaluation by the project mentors, TDF accepted the application of Ronnie Gandhi, a computer science undergraduate student enrolled at IIT Roorkee, India.

Steve Fanning, who had already worked as coordinator of the Calc Guide, served as mentor with Olivier Hallot as second mentor. Ilmari Lauhakangas and Olivier managed the administrative aspects of the project on behalf of The Document Foundation.

Ronnie worked on improving the descriptions for Calc’s functions, adding statements describing each function’s compliance with the Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Version 1.2 specification. Each function was also supplemented by extra use cases, illustrations and external references (where applicable).

Access the Extensive Calc Functions Description on The Document Foundation’s wiki. Thanks to Ronnie for all his work, and the mentors for assisting him on his journey.

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