August was a big month for our project, with the release of a brand new version of LibreOffice! And surrounding the release, there was lots of activity in our development, documentation, design, QA and translation communities…
LibreOffice 6.1 was announced early in the month, with many new features and updates including new icon themes, improved EPUB support, a revamped image handling engine, and the ability to sort anchored images in Calc.
LibreOffice 6.1 has been released and carries a refactored and improved new Help system, based on modern browser technologies. Let’s explore what this new help brought to LibreOffice.
The main driver of the new Help is our vision that the Help must help. When we look at the old help system from the perspective of a typical user, we realize quickly that the text and layout of the help pages don’t provide the best experience. So how can we improve the experience and help our users better? The diagnostic was straightforward: the LibreOffice Help system was tied to a very limited technology, so we had to unleash LibreOffice Help.
The approach was to look at the capabilities of modern browser technologies of 2018, and compare them to the aging help system that relied on 2000’s web standards. Until LibreOffice 6.1, the local help consisted of static description text, very few images, no multimedia and almost no easy support for evolution and improvements.