LibreOffice 7.1 Office Suite Enters Beta, Promises a Plethora of Improvements

LibreOffice 7.1 Beta

The Document Foundation announced today the general availability for public testing of the beta milestone of the upcoming LibreOffice 7.1 office suite series, due for release in early February 2021.

After about four months of development, the upcoming LibreOffice 7.1 office suite is now ready for public beta testing. The first beta release has arrived and anyone willing to help the development team discover and fix bugs can download it right now from the official website for Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms.

LibreOffice 7.1 promises a plethora of improvements and some new features, starting with a new outline folding mode for Writer. This adds a button with arrow next to a selected heading in a word document, allowing users to fold all text from the current heading to the next one when clicked and with all its subheadings when right clicked.

To enhance the document interoperability with MS Word, LibreOffice 7.1’s Writer component will also gain new table formulas, including ABS table formula, COUNT table formula, PRODUCT table formula, and SIGN table formula.

On top of that, Writer features a new Styles Inspector dialog for showing all the attributes of Paragraph Styles, Character Styles and manually formatted (Direct Formatting) properties, automatically detect Unicode type in documents where a BOM doesn’t exist, allow users to toggle input fields via View > Field Names, and offer faster find and replace operations.

The Calc component has received a bunch of improvements too, such as a new option to disable paste with the Enter key, the ability to select items in the Autofilter window by clicking an item’s row, better spell checking performance, better searching in Autofilter, support for sheet-local scoped names in the INDIRECT function, and several fill with merged cells fixes.

Another interesting new feature is the so-called Additions Dialog, which makes it possible to get more content (e.g. icons, macros, templates, etc.) from an external storage.

“This dialog is appropriate for searching and installing not only general extensions but also other types of extensions such as templates, macros, icons, etc. The main purpose of creating this dialog is to improve user experience,” explains The Document Foundation.

Among other noteworthy changes coming to LibreOffice 7.1, Draw will let users add visible signatures to existing PDF files, Impress will allow you to simultaneously change animations for multiple objects, and Math now offers full support for HTML colors.

Of course, there will also be improvements to the interoperability with DOCX, PPTX, and XLSX files, and lots of under the hood changes to make LibreOffice more stable and reliable and the best free office suite for GNU/Linux. As mentioned above, the final release of LibreOffice 7.1 is expected in early February 2021.

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