The latest version of LibreOffice introduces an experimental new user interface, support for cloud-based collaborative document editing, and a bunch of new features for editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

LibreOffice 5.3 is a cross-platform, open source program that’s now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

One of the most important additions may be the support for collaborative editing, something that’s available in rival office suites including Microsoft Office and Google Docs & Sheets.

But there’s a key difference: you need to set up LibreOffice Online on a server in order to allow multiple users to login and edit documents together.

LibreOffice is maintained by The Document Foundation, which partnered with Collabora to develop Libreoffice Online. But The Document Foundation has no plans to develop a Google Docs-like service that anyone can use. Instead, the developers envision LibreOffice Online as a solution that can be implemented by ISPs, large companies, or other enterprise users with the necessary resources to set up a LibreOffice system that supports collaborative features.

Most other new features are available for personal users though, including an experimental, customizable (and optional… for now) user interface called MUFFIN (My User Friendly & Flexible Interface), support for inserting PDF files into documents so that the first page is shown, and s Safe Mode that helps you identify problems with user profiles or extensions.

Other updates include:

  • Keyboard shortcuts can now be displayed in the context menu.
  • There are new items in the help menu.
  • Color palette management has been simplified.
  • There’s support for table styles in Writer.
  • Calc has a new set of default cell styles.
  • There’s a new median function for pivot tables in Calc.
  • Impress & Draw have two new templates and improvements to existing ones.

You can find a complete list of changes in the LibreOffice 5.3 release notes.

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