LibreOffice 24.2 Open-Source Office Suite Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

This major release introduces a new calendar-based numbering scheme, new security and accessibility features, and many improvements.
LibreOffice 24.2

The Document Foundation released today LibreOffice 24.2 as the latest stable version of this popular, powerful, open-source, free, and cross-platform office suite for GNU/Linux, Android, macOS, and Windows systems.

Highlights of LibreOffice 24.2 include a new calendar-based version numbering scheme (YY.M), enablement of the Save AutoRecovery information by default to always create backup copies reducing the risk of losing content, improvements to NotebookBar UI like better print preview support, proper resetting of customized layout, and enhanced use of radio buttons, as well as support for the Insert Special Character drop-down list to display a description for the selected character.

LibreOffice 24.2 also introduces new security-released features, such as a new password-based ODF encryption that performs better, hides metadata better, and is more resistant to tampering and brute force, a password strength meter in the Save with Password dialog, and clarification of the text in the options dialog box around the macro security settings to make it clear exactly what is allowed and what is not.

New accessibility features are also present in this release, namely the ability to correctly report status bars in dialogs with the right accessible role so that screen readers can find and report them appropriately, the ability to toggle checkboxes in dialogs using the space bar, better handling of mouse positions allowing screen readers to present them correctly, as well as improved management of IAccessible2 roles and text/object attributes to enable screen readers to present them correctly.

For LibreOffice Write, this release introduces “Legal” ordered list numbering to make a given list level use Arabic numbering for all its numeric portions, styles for comments with the Comment paragraph style being enabled by default making it easier to change the formatting of all comments at once or to visually categorize different types of comments, and improvements to multi-page floating table support like overlap control, borders and footnotes, nesting, wrap on all pages, and more.

For LibreOffice Calc, the LibreOffice 24.2 release adds a new search field to the Functions sidebar deck, adds support for the scientific number format in ODF, and introduces the ability to highlight the Row and Column corresponding to the active cell.

For LibreOffice Impress & Draw, this release adds support for handling small caps in LibreOffice Impress, moves the Presenter Console and Remote control settings from Tools > Options > LibreOffice Impress to Slide Show > Slide Show Settings, and adds several improvements and fixes to templates, such as better placement of various placeholders, more consistent fonts and formatting, fixed slide ordering, fixed styles and their hierarchy, improved ODF compliance, and more.

The interoperability with MS Office has been improved as well in this release thanks to support for the SVG OOXML extension for importing the SVG image (svgBlip element) instead of the fallback PNG and exporting the SVG image in addition to the fallback PNG image used when the svgBlip element is not supported on documents created with older MS Office versions.

In addition, LibreOffice Writer received improvements to first page headers and footers on OOXML import by using the first page property in the existing page style instead of creating a new page style, optimized templates for Japanese text to improve interoperability with MS Word for Japanese users, as well as support for importing “drawing canvas” from DOCX documents.

“LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite market, from native support for the Open Document Format (ODF) – which beats proprietary formats in terms of security and robustness – to superior support for MS Office files, as well as filters for a wide range of legacy document formats,” said The Document Foundation.

LibreOffice 24.2 is available for download right now from the official website as ready-to-install binaries for 64-bit DEB and RPM-based distributions like Fedora Linux, Debian GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, etc. Of course, the source tarballs are also available for download for other GNU/Linux distributions.

This series will be supported with a total of seven maintenance updates until November 30th, 2024. The first maintenance release, LibreOffice 24.2.1, is expected at the end of February or early March. Until then, keep an eye on the stable software repositories of your Linux distros for the new LibreOffice version.

Image credits: The Document Foundation

Last updated 4 weeks ago

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