LibreOffice 7.1 has been released and is now available to download.

The Document Foundation say the changes assembled within this release, which is the first major update to the vaunted productivity software this year, help make it the “best open source office suite ever”.

In this post we run you through the key changes and additions on offer in this release, so read on for that. If you want to download LibreOffice 7.1 right now you can skip to the download section at the bottom of the post to avail yourself of various options.

LibreOffice 7.1 Features

LibreOffice 7.1: User Interface Dialog
The new UI picker

We’ll start with a change that hits you in the face — a new user-interface selection dialog on first run.

If you like to use LibreOffice “as is” then just dismiss the sheet and roll with the default. Otherwise, go through the UI variants (each one is ably demoed by a screen grab) to find the layout that works best for you.

A new UI picker appears on first run to help you pick a layout that works best for you

The new UI picker shows up on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Different UI variants can be used in different parts of the suite, e.g., you can use the tabbed UI in Writer, but a single toolbar in Impress, and so on.

LibreOffice Writer boasts several notable changes, including faster find/replace; a new Style Inspector to see the values of paragraphs and character settings; an option to set the default anchor for images; and better detection of Unicode in documents.

And there’s better DOCX compatibility too, including improvements to the .docx import and export filter, and support for table formulas, change tracking in floating tables. The editor is also able to ‘preserve the spacing below the last header paragraph’ — i.e. no more wonky docs!

LibreOffice Impress gains new “physics based animation capabilities” and new animation presets to go along with them, and adds “Pause/Resume” and “Exit” buttons to the Presenter’s Screen during active slideshows. It’s also possible to change the animation for several objects at once, and add “soft blurred shadows” to objects.

Other parts of the suite get modest tweaks too, including LibreOffice Draw, which now lets you add visible signatures to PDF files; and LibreOffice Calc, which boasts major speed boost when using the Autofilter and find/replace operations.

Want a deeper dive? That’s what the official release notes are for!

Oh, and there’s a new name

As well as shipping with several new features this version of LibreOffice also comes with a new name.

Well, kind of.

The version you and I use is now referred to as the “LibreOffice Community” edition.

The ‘community’ label is to indicate that it is supported by the community (i.e. unpaid volunteers) only. Business owners, and those with broader or more demanding support needs are encouraged to ‘get’ LibreOffice from ecosystem partners who provide a supported version., e.g., Collabora Office.

It is still the same LibreOffice underneath the new name, with the exact same features, and top-tier support for the ODF standard file format, as well as the best interoperability with proprietary document formats (like those from Microsoft Office) available in open source software.

Download LibreOffice 7.1

You can download LibreOffice 7.1 for Windows, macOS and Linux direct from the project’s official website — but there are other ways to get it too if you’re running Linux.

Such as?

You can upgrade to LibreOffice 7.1 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or later using the official LibreOffice PPA. While this PPA doesn’t have the very latest version available when you read this it will appear there shortly.

Should you prefer your software containerised there’s an official LibreOffice Flatpak build available, as well as an unofficial LibreOffice Snap on the Snap Store (though this is still on version 7.0.x at the time you read this).

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