The Document Foundation has officially launched LibreOffice 24.2, which is now available for download for Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms. This release introduces a new calendar-based version numbering system (YY.M). Here’s what it’s all about.
The latest major release of the well-known office suite was 7.6. However, this is set to change with the introduction of 24.2, as the version numbering will now follow a “year.month” pattern, similar to that used by Ubuntu releases, for example. This change aims to simplify version identification for end users, making it more intuitive to understand. More on that – here.
With that clarification out of the way, let’s explore what the new edition offers.
Key Enhancements in LibreOffice 24.2
Let’s start with some fascinating numbers. The latest version represents the collaborative efforts of 166 developers, who contributed 5098 new commits to the source code together.
Notably, 108 of these contributors, accounting for 65%, are volunteers, highlighting this project’s significant role within the broader open-source community. And now, on to what’s new.
Key to the general updates is the auto-enablement of Save AutoRecovery information, a feature now set by default to mitigate the risk of data loss, especially for newcomers to LibreOffice.
The suite also sees a revamp in the NotebookBar interface, with significant menu improvements, better print preview support, and enriched user interaction that echoes the familiarity of the Microsoft Office interface.
Another addition in LibreOffice 24.2 that stands out is the enhanced Insert Special Character drop-down list, which now includes character descriptions, aiding users in making more informed selections.
Writer: Advancing Document Editing and Commenting
LibreOffice Writer introduces “Legal” ordered list numbering, offering greater flexibility in document formatting. A notable upgrade in commenting allows for using styles within comments, streamlining the process of formatting and categorizing remarks.
Furthermore, multi-page floating tables receive considerable attention, improving aspects such as overlap control, nesting, and user interface enhancements, thereby enriching document layout options.
Calc: A Leap in Functionality and Accessibility
LibreOffice 24.2’s Calc spreadsheet program introduces a new search field in the Functions sidebar deck, enhancing navigability and efficiency. This release also supports the scientific number format in ODF, a significant step forward in data representation.
Additionally, Calc now highlights the row and column of the active cell, a simple yet impactful change that improves data visibility and orientation.
Impress & Draw: Focused on Presentation and Design
Impress, the presentation software, and Draw, the vector graphics editor, have both seen improvements. Handling small caps in Impress is a welcome addition for typography enthusiasts.
The relocation of Presenter Console and Remote control settings to a more intuitive menu enhances usability. Template improvements across both applications ensure consistency and ease of use, particularly in multi-language contexts.
LibreOffice 24.2: Accessibility and Security
Significant strides in accessibility include better handling of mouse positions and dialogue boxes, making the suite more accessible to users relying on screen readers.
Furthermore, LibreOffice 24.2 is now available in 120 languages, making it the most linguistically accessible desktop software, reaching over 5.5 billion people worldwide.
Security enhancements are also notable, with the introduction of a password strength meter in the Save with Password dialogue and a new password-based ODF encryption, offering improved metadata privacy and resistance to tampering.