LibreOffice 7.3 – New Features, Release Info and Everything You need to know


This is a comprehensive article catering to LibreOffice 7.3 (upcoming) release. We give you all the details about the new features, download and release info. Bookmark this page for reference as it is continually updated until final release.

LibreOffice 7.3 Beta1 Running in Fedora
LibreOffice 7.3 Beta1 Running in Fedora

LibreOffice – the free and open source office productivity suite development is always active. The TDF team and commercial partners including Collabora bringing us the new features, fixes, compatibility in each major/minor release.

And, the LibreOffice 7.3 is no exception. While looking at the official changes, I found that the feature range includes all the core modules – Writer, Base, Calc, etc. – as well as VBA and other complex aspect of this office application.

That said, in this article, I have listed down all the major changes including some minor ones as well. But before you read the details, take a look the schedule and lifespan of LibreOffice 7.3.

LibreOffice 7.3 Release Schedule and Life Cycle

LibreOffice 7.3 stable releases between Jan 31, 2022 and Feb 6, 2022.

Here’s a detailed schedule.

MilestonesPlanned Date
Alpha 1Oct 25, 2021 – Oct 31, 2021
Beta 1Nov 22, 2021 – Nov 28, 2021
RC 1Dec 20, 2021 – Dec 26, 2021
RC 2Jan 10, 2022 – Jan 16, 2022
RC 3Jan 24, 2022 – Jan 30, 2022
Final release of 7.3Jan 31, 2022 – Feb 6, 2022
Point Release 7.3.1Feb 28, 2022 – Mar 6, 2022
7.3.2Mar 28, 2022 – Apr 3, 2022
7.3.3May 2, 2022 – May 8, 2022
7.3.4Jun 6, 2022 – Jun 12, 2022
7.3.5Jul 18, 2022 – Jul 24, 2022
7.3.6Sep 5, 2022 – Sep 11, 2022
7.3.7Oct 31, 2022 – Nov 6, 2022
End of Life11/30/22

Ref: 7.3 release plan

LibreOffice 7.3 – New Features

Calc – Spreadsheet Application

  • This release of Calc can recognize the “sep=” identifier for the csv file. This was one of the important missing piece for CSV import functionality today, which is already present in MS Excel. Here’s how it works.

If you have a csv file with below content, Calc now reads the first line if there are any “sep=” parameter. If found, it can parse the CSV file with that operator.

sep=|
"LETTER"|"ANIMAL"
"a"|"elephant"
"b"|"bear"
"c"|"cow"
  • Auto-completion is now enabled in rows, where Calc can give you prediction of possible string matches from the data in the same column. Here’s how it works. This is going to be a very productive feature.
Auto Completion
  • Cell highlighter color now based on system highlight color, instead of font color. This is one of the feature that should make Calc good in terms of look and feel with host system’s theme.
Change in Cell highlight color (left in version 7.2 and right 7.3)
  • A new Evaluate option in CSV import, paste special dialog is introduced. With this, you can specify whether the data with starting with = can be evaluated during import automatically or to be treated as text.
  • Link to external data can parse the external data source URL and show you possible table references in that URL. And you can directly fetch data from a specific table from the external data.

Writer – Document Processor

  • The shapes in your Writer document can have hyperlink. Earlier, the hyperlink was not available or not working when importing a DOCX having a shape with hyperlink.
  • If you use custom styles, then this is for you. The paragraph styles can have list level information. That means, if you create a custom paragraph style that have lists, then the list information is preserved. And you can apply that across your document.
Change in paragraph styles (image credit: LibreOffice team)
  • Writer now has the start of linked character and paragraph styles. You can preview it in the style window.
  • Track change module in Writer, which is used for review, gets a massive update. Here’s a summary.
    • Show moved text in green color and with double strike through or underlines
    • track changes of paragraph styles
    • insertion and deletion of empty table rows can be tracked
    • show bullet and numbering changes at the moved list item
Improved track changes (Image credit: LibreOffice team)

Impress and Draw – Presentation and Drawing Application

  • In Impress, the behavior of bullet lists changes. The bullet toggle between gray and font color based on your typing. When the list is empty, the bullet is gray and when you start typing text, it changes color.
  • Other changes in Impress includes MS PowerPoint compatible screen sizes for slides.
Grey color in bullets when no item is present

Performance

  • For Calc, following operations gets performance boost compared to earlier LibreOffice Calc 7.2.
    • Opening up XLSM (macro file) with size larger than 10mb.
    • Chart Insert with data having 800,000 cells
    • Faster opening up XLSX (Excel files) with external URL in the workbook
    • Performance improvement of VLOOKUP with CONCATENATE formula with copy/paste ranges.
    • Performance improvement in autofilter dropdown selection and Calc threads
  • For Writer, following areas expected to be speed up
    • Opening speed of DOCX file having more than 200 pages long table
    • PDF exports are faster for complex documents having 500+ pages, tables and images
    • RTL (right to left) documents (e.g. Urdu) loading is faster now.

Other Changes

A huge list (20+) of MS Office compatibility update arrives in this release. That means, your MS Office documents are more similar in LibreOffice as they look/behave in MS Office.

The help system now includes the ScriptForge library documentations. The ScriptForge is a recent initiative that brings modules to ease up macro programming via Basic, VBA, Python. You can access it via this page.

LibreOffice 7.3 requires macOS 10.12 or newer to run due to Apple’s C++ standard library consideration.

A detailed change log is available here.

Download Details

BETA 1

LibreOffice 7.3 Beta 1 is now available for download for Windows (EXE), Debian/Ubuntu (deb) and Fedora/RHEL (rpm) based operating systems. You can download them using the below link.

https://www.libreoffice.org/download/download/?version=7.3.0

Remember, this is a BETA release, and you should not use it for serious work.

If you encounter bugs, you can report them here. And if you need further assistance, create a topic in ask.libreoffice.org.

BETA 1 Installation instructions in Debian based Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Linux Mint

If you want to experiment, follow the steps to install this BETA release. Be careful as the steps mentioned below uninstalls your stock version and re-installs dev copy of LibreOffice.

sudo apt remove libreoffice*

Assuming you have downloaded in Downloads folder and extracted at the same palce.

cd ~/Downloads/LibreOfficeDev_7.3.0.0.beta1_Linux_x86-64_deb/DEBS
sudo dpkg -i *.deb

For Fedora and other RPM based Linux distributions

sudo dnf remove libreoffice*
cd ~/Downloads/LibreOfficeDev_7.3.0.0.beta1_Linux_x86-64_rpm/RPMS
sudo dnf localinstall *.rpm

Closing Notes

Another impressive release from the Document Foundation with the help of community, Collabora and Red Hat. Although LibreOffice is still far behind from MS Office in terms of functionalities, usability and adaptation, these scheduled point releases add up and make it a great software.

That said, what is your favorite feature of this release? Or any wished feature you wanted to have for a long time? Let me know in the comment box below.