First look: LibreOffice 5.0 free and open source suite

Ngoc Huynh

The latest major release of LibreOffice FOSS package brings a streamlined look, bug fixes, performance tweaks and a lot of new cross-compatibility.

LibreOffice 5.0 is here!

The landmark 5.0 release of LibreOffice, generally considered the strongest FOSS alternative to Microsoft Office as a productivity suite, is officially out today. The new version packs a lot of visible and under-the-hood changes, designed to bring it up to – and beyond – parity with its proprietary rival. Have a look.

Style previews in the sidebar

LibreOffice Writer now displays what formatting changes would look like in a sidebar preview, handy for editing on the fly.

Editing on Android

Previously, LibreOffice documents could only be viewed on the Android versions of the software – the new version introduces basic editing capability for your tablet or phone.

Emoji support

It’s 2015 – what would a modern tool for written communication be without emoji support? Fortunately, users of LibreOffice Writer don’t have to contemplate that particular fate, with the introduction of emoji in version 5.

In-app image cropping and changing

You can now tinker with embedded images right in Writer and Calc, re-sizing, cropping or otherwise modifying pics to your heart’s content.

Engineering notation option in Calc

Engineering notation is a variant of scientific notation that uses only powers of 10 which are divisible by three – i.e., it expresses numbers in thousands, millions and so on. It’s now natively supported in LibreOffice Calc.

Menu overhauls and new options in Draw and Impress

New color dropdown menus, slimmed-down context menus and more have been changed as part of a general re-work and redesign of the interface in LibreOffice Draw and Impress.

Apple Pages import

Apple Pages files can now be imported into LibreOffice Writer, as long as they were created in Pages ’09 or older versions of the software.

More general interface tweaks

A host of minor visual and UX changes have been introduced in LibreOffice 5.0, contributing to a generally more streamlined look for the new version.

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