LibreOffice is a free and open source suite of office applications for creating, viewing, and editing text, spreadsheet, and presentation documents, among other things.
Basically it’s an open source alternative to Microsoft Office — and for the most part you can use it to open and edit Office documents without paying for an Office license, although it lacks some features that power users may be used to.
LibreOffice also has a user interface that looks a lot more like the way MS Office did more than a decade ago — up until now LibreOffice hasn’t offered anything quite like Microsoft’s “Ribbon” UI, which debuted with Office 2007 and includes toolbar tabs for different settings and features.
Now LibreOffice does support a tabbed toolbar. But it’s optional.
The Document Foundation released LibreOffice 6.2 this week, and it has a lengthy list of new and improved features. But the first one you’ll probably ontice is the new NotebookBar menu system.
It’s a customizable user interface that lets you choose between a Ribbon-like “Tabbed” toolbar with separate tabs for things like File, Home, Insert, Layout, References, Review, View, and Tools.
The tabbed UI isn’t enabled by default, but it’s an option for users who may be more comfortable with this type of layout — like folks who may be switching from MS Office to LibreOffice, for example. You can enable or disable it from the View->User Interface menu.
Prefer the old LibreOffice layout? You can switch back to “standard.” There’s also a new “Grouped” layout that offers drop-down menus for frequently used features in the main toolbar, without separate tabs.
Other changes in LibreOffice 6.2 include improved change tracking, the ability to copy data from a spreadsheet and paste it into a table in Writer (the word processor), and faster keyword filtering.
The Document Foundation says compatibility with MS Office documents has also been improved, and context menus have been cleaned up, with more consistent options across different components of the office suite.
You can download the latest version of the office suite from LibreOffice.org.