LibreOffice 4.2.0 was officially released on January 27th of 2014. The alpha had previously been released in early November of 2013. The Document Foundation reports that LibreOffice 4.2 will be supported until November 19th of 2014. You can see the full release plan here.
What is LibreOffice?
LibreOffice is developed by the Document Foundation, a non-profit organization that is open to input from anyone around the world. The Document foundation was formed by members of OpenOffice in 2010. You can read more about the Document Foundation, getting involved, and donating here!
LibreOffice is an office suite application that comes with 6 applications and can run on all major operating system including Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. LibreOffice acts as a free and open source replacement to expensive programs like Microsoft Word or iWork.
Writer is a Word Processor that can handle a very wide variety of file types. Writer can be used to write quick memos, or create clean and impressive resumes.
Impress is a presentation program that allows you to make multimedia slideshows, either form scratch or from any of the many premade templates.
Calc is a powerful spreadsheet application that can handle and manipulate large datasets.
Base is a desktop front-end database application that can be used to maintain all sorts of information ranging from students grades to population and census data.
Math is a formula developer and editor. Once you have created a formula it can be integrated through text documents, spreadsheets, presentations and drawings.
Draw is a graphic design application that allows for 2d and 3d design of anything from posters to complex blueprints.
Installing LibreOffice 4.2 on Ubuntu is quick and easy.
First you will want to add the LibreOffice repository. Open a terminal(ctrl+alt+t) and enter the following command.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
Next run an update command to ensure everything is up to date.
sudo apt-get update
Finally run a dist-upgrade command. This will merge the old and new LibreOffice applications and resolve any conflicts.
sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade
New Features and Updates
You can refer the full change list of LibreOffice 4.2 that brought a lot of changes and improvements.
Look and Style
Right away you will notice a new and improved landing page. Providing you with the option to start any new file, or open recent documents.
In addition 4.2 boasts a new Icon Set that gives the program a more modern and clean look. This can be enabled through Tools > Options > View.
Calc has been given a new engine and can now support OpenCL
Perhaps one of the most notable changes is the addition of the ability to support Microsoft's Word Document Template files (.dot files).
Impress can now open and edit Apply Keynote files. 4.2 also brought along improvements to the group share ability where multiple people can edit a single file. The Remote Impress App allows user to control their presentation with the smartphone. The app is currently available for download on the Google Play Store now.
Many little things in 4.2 have been added and improved. Characters can now have their own borders, and the ruler at the top of the document ticks with each movement. You will find a very large variety of options in the new Expert Configuration Window. In addition Impress and Writer come with a variety of templates to get you started. LibreOffice also now supports its very own random number generator which can be used throughout its applications. A bug fix was made where users could pick which applications to install.
In conclusion LibreOffice is an incredibly well rounded application and all for free! 4.2 provided some great support for more files and all the small UI improvements make LibreOffice a joy to use.