New Features of LibreOffice 5.3

LibreOffice 5.3 was released in Feb 2017 with lots of new features. The most notable feature is the Microsoft Office-like Ribbon-UI (notebook bar) even though this is one of the experimental features.

It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac platforms. Also an online version, called LibreOffice Online is available, so that it can be used with private cloud based environments.

The experimental features, such as the notebookbar (ribbon) interface are not enabled by default.  It has to be enabled by checking “Enable experimental features” under Tools > Options > LibreOffice > Advanced > Experimental features.

To enable the new Ribbon UI, select View > Toolbar Layout > Notebookbar.  The UI you see on the screenshot above is enabled by default, but you may switch it using View > Notebookbar to either Contextual Groups or Contextual Single.

As far as other features are concerned, there are quite a few that deserve mentioning. One interesting option that the developers built-in to LibreOffice 5.3 is the ability to sign PDF documents, and to verify PDF document signatures.

You find both options under File > Digital Signatures in the interface.

PDF documents can be embedded into documents now as well. They are added to documents as images, with the first page being shown by default.

If you like to use the keyboard shortcut, you may like that the Windows and Linux versions of LibreOffice 5.3 highlight shortcuts now in context menus. So, whenever you use the mouse, you see the corresponding keyboard shortcut as well.

The Writer application got some exciting new features. It supports Table styles now for instance, and there is a new Page deck in the sidebar to customize the page settings quickly and directly.

There is also an option to use the new “go to page” box, and arrows in the drawing tools which were not available previously in Writer.

Calc got a new set of default cell styles offering “greater variety and better names”, a new median function for pivot tables, and a new filter option when you are inserting functions to narrow down the selection.

Impress & Draw start with a template selector when you start  them, and two new templates have been included for use.

Another interesting option is the ability to link to images or photos of photo albums, so that they are not saved in the document directly.

LibreOffice 5.3 supports better import and export filters to new and legacy Microsoft Office Documents.

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