LibreOffice Documentation Updates in 2023 – TDF’s Annual Report

LibreOffice Bookshelf

In 2023, the documentation community continued to update LibreOffice guidebooks, and the Help application

(This is part of The Document Foundation’s Annual Report for 2023 – we’ll post the full version here soon.)

New and translated guides

Throughout the year, the documentation project closed the gap between LibreOffice’s major releases, and the updates of the corresponding user guides. By the year end, all of the version 7.x guides were updated to match the release of LibreOffice 7.6, and ready to continue for the forthcoming release – 24.2 – which arrived in February 2024. The goal of tracking the software release closely was achieved, and the documentation team is now in a steady state of small updates between releases.

The updates and enhancements of the guides were an effort of all the team, coordinated by Jean Weber (Writer and Getting Started Guide), Olivier Hallot (Calc) Steve Fanning (Calc and Base guides), Peter Schofield (Impress and Draw guides), Vítor Ferreira (Math guide). A number of volunteers also worked in each guide by writing and reviewing contents and suggesting improvements. Special thanks to Jean Weber for making the guides available for sale in printed format via Lulu Inc.

LibreOffice Help updates

The documentation community also had a team of Help page bug fixes, closing Help documentation bugs, bridging gaps, fixing typos and improving quality, a must-have update to keep LibreOffice in-shape for its user base and documented reference of the application features. A total of 650 Help patches were merged in 2023. The Help pages, which are part of the LibreOffice codebase, were also refactored continuously for better maintenance and code readability. The localisation and translation team of volunteers was quick in flagging typos and English mistakes – while translating the Help content and the user interface.

LibreOffice Help

LibreOffice Developer Guide

Thanks to Ilmari Lauhakangas and Hossein Nourikah, the LibreOffice Developer Guide is now available on TDF’s infrastructure and under LibreOffice developers’ control, allowing update and improvements of the guide for the specifics of the LibreOffice application.

ScriptForge libraries, and Wiki updates

The documentation community also had a nice contribution from Jean Pierre Ledure, Alain Romedenne and Rafael Lima, for the development of the ScriptForge macro library, in synchronization with the much-needed Help pages on the subject, a practice rarely followed by junior developers of LibreOffice. As we know, undocumented software is software that’s lacking; features that are unknown to the user can be a cause of costly calls to a help desk in corporate deployments. ScriptForge developments came together with their documentation, demonstrating the ScriptForge team’s professional maturity.

LibreOffice Bookshelf

In 2023, the documentation community also updated the LibreOffice Bookshelf, another download page for LibreOffice guides that is different from the current server page. The Bookshelf can be cloned and installed in organizations, libraries, colleges and schools, for immediate availability in controlled environments, as well as online reading of the guides. The Open Document Format chapters were transformed into static HTML pages, and are ready to display on computers, tablets and cell phones, bringing LibreOffice user guides closer to its public, anywhere, anytime.

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