LibreOffice 7.2 Office Suite Is Now Available for Download, This Is What’s New

LibreOffice 7.2

The Document Foundation announced today the release and general availability of the LibreOffice 7.2 open-source, free, and cross-platform office suite for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows systems.

More than six months in the works, LibreOffice 7.2 is here as a major update with numerous new features and improvements across all core components, such as Writer, Calc, Chart, Math, Base, Impress & Draw. Again, we’re talking here about LibreOffice 7.2 Community, the volunteer-supported free office suite for desktop productivity.

Highlights of the LibreOffice 7.2 release include a new command popup HUD (“Heads-up display”) to search for and execute actions, a new LibreOffice Dark theme, Fontwork panel in the Sidebar, scrollable style picker in the NotebookBar UI, a new list view for the templates dialog, native support for Apple M1 chips, and a built-in “Xray”-like UNO object inspector.

There’s also improved support for EMF/WMF metafile formats, enhancements for linked OLE in documents, improvements to the Skia-based drawing backend, better drawing speed of large images, improved text rendering speed when using font fallback, improved swapping speed and memory consumption of graphics, as well as improved document loading speed by using zlib optimized crc32.

For LibreOffice Writer, this release adds support for background fills to cover entire pages, beyond margins, gutter margin support for page styles, a new warning in Mail merge about non-existent data sources, custom color metadata field shadings, as well as RDF metadata support in the Style Inspector.

In addition, Writer gets bibliography improvements, label and business card paper data for Japanese users, better support for merged cells in the Word-compatible table border painting, improved PDF exports for documents containing links between anchors and footnotes or endnotes, and support for list format strings in ODT files.

For LibreOffice Calc, there’s the ability to filter by color in AutoFilter, support for captions in HTML tables listed in the External Data dialog, mixed date format for cell format in Japanese locales, support for the Kahan summation algorithm, ‘fat-cross’ cursor in the options, and the ability to select the type in “Moving Average” trend lines.

Additionally, Calc now comes with a redesigned Paste Special dialog, new “Select Visible Rows Only” and “Select Visible Columns Only” options to deselect hidden cells, improved spreadsheet functions, auto-input improvements, as well as improved support for XLSX files.

For LibreOffice Impress & Draw there are several new templates available in the LibreOffice 7.2 release, including Candy, Freshes, Grey Elegant, Growing Liberty, and Yellow Idea, support for multiple columns in LibreOffice text boxes, and the ability to directly access the scaling factor via the status bar.

Impress & Draw also offers faster drawing of semi-transparent images, improved slide rendering speed by prefetching large images, PDFium-based PDF signature verification, improved document loading times, as well as improved and fixed drawing of dashed lines in the presentation mode.

LibreOffice Chart has been updated as well with the ability to add series name to a data series label and the ability to select the type for “Moving Average” trend lines, and LibreOffice Math now lets users scale the code input box from the math options panel, as well as from the expert configuration.

Once again, a lot of effort was made to make the LibreOffice office suite more compatible with proprietary, closed-source formats of the Microsoft Office suite, which still use a deprecated ISO standard that contains a large amount of hidden artificial complexity, causing all sorts of issues.

Therefore, LibreOffice 7.2 is packed with significant improvements to the interoperability with legacy DOC files, as well as the more modern DOCX, PPTX, and XLSX document formats. There are numerous enhancements and bug fixes to the DOC, DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX import/export filters.

“Thanks to the focused development activity from volunteer and sponsored developers, LibreOffice 7.2 takes a significant step forward in terms of transparent interoperability, while maintaining many advantages in terms of resiliency, robustness and compliance with standards,” said The Document Foundation.

You can download LibreOffice 7.2 Community right now from the official website, for free. This so-called “Community” edition is intended for home users or educational organizations, while enterprises need to use the LibreOffice Enterprise family of applications from ecosystem partners.

The LibreOffice 7.2 office suite series will be supported by The Document Foundation with six maintenance releases until June 12th, 2022. Meanwhile, check out the video below to see all the new features of the LibreOffice 7.2 release in action!

Image credits: The Document Foundation/YouTube

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