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LibreOffice 7.4: Interoperability with Microsoft Office is key

The Document Foundation Released for Windows, macOS, and Linux, the free office suite LibreOffice 7.4 focuses on interoperability with the industry leader Microsoft Office and its three separate components Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. The open-source office collection also runs directly in the browser.

Better compatibility with Microsoft Office

The new LibreOffice 7.4 by the developers of the nonprofit The Document Foundation is called a “milestone of interoperability” according to the official Release Notes, in particular, even better compatibility with Microsoft’s Office applications. In addition to general improvements, such as file format support WebP, EMZ, Windows Compressed Enhanced Metafiles, and WMZ, the spreadsheet Calc can now handle 16,384 columns like Excel. The main new features in LibreOffice 7.4

  • General
  • WebP image support
  • Support EMZ/WMZ files
  • Performance and compatibility improvements
  • Help pages for the ScriptForge library
  • Search field in Extension Manager
  • author
  • Improved tracking of changes in the footnote panel
  • Edited lists show the original numbering in the tracking
  • New hyphenation typography settings
  • calc
  • Support 16,384 rows in tables
  • Additional features in the AutoSum widget
  • New menu item for table name search
  • print
  • Document theme support

LibreOffice 7.4 also works in the browser

The developers have been planning to add a browser version to the free Office suite for some time now that can be used as an alternative for installing the Office suite. A first experimental version of this offshoot has already been developed in collaboration with the software developers of the Allotropia Software GmbH based in Hamburg. LibreOffice in the browser should have the following key data in the final version:

  • Based on WebAssembly (WHAT M)
  • Implemented with ‘s Emscripten toolchain LLVM
  • C and C++ translated into JavaScript and WebAssembly
  • LibreOffice 7.4 includes GUI directly in the browser
  • WebAssembly System Interface (WAS I)
  • Backend based on Qt

The still very experimental trial*, which is already available to everyone and runs in Mozilla Firefox, the various Chromium and Apple Webkit-based browsers, is based on the source code of LibreOffice 7.4. *) The WebAssembly port loads approximately 300MB of application code when it is first launched and therefore takes some time to get started.

All features in detail

The developers have published a two-and-a-half-minute video that presents all the innovations, optimizations, and corrections in detail.

Mark Goodman

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