Learn what’s new in the LibreOffice 24.2 release across its modules.
The LibreOffice 24.2 is released on Jan 31, 2024. From this release onwards, the team changed the versioning scheme to YY.MM is based on year and month. Earlier, it used to be a simple increment to the major and minor versions, which was a little difficult to refer to.
That said, the new features are mostly scattered across Writer, Calc, Impress, Math generic accessibility, and other updates. However, not so much for Base, Draw as we have seen before.
Without further adieu, let’s dive into the new features of LibreOffice 24.2.
Table of Contents
LibreOffice 24.2: New Features
In this release, Writer introduces multipage floating components with more improvements. This includes the tables that can stretch to multiple pages while keeping the border and footnotes intact.
In addition, you can now properly align the nested tables inside another table cell. It now starts at the proper place if your parent table contains data instead of starting at the beginning.
In Writer, you can now customize the comments using styles. That means you can now assign custom styles to all comments in your document, or you can use specific styles for individual comments. For example, you can create a custom comment style for “content only comments” or “formatting only comments” for easy browsing and managing a long collaborative document.
Managing bookmarks becomes easy with a feature in Writer, where you can drag and drop the bookmark style to any selected text to make it a hyperlink.
The Writer navigator has more features where you can expand and collapse the nested sections like headings. In addition, the hidden headings are now greyed out in Navigator since they are not visible.
The function section in the navigator gets a new function search function for better productivity.
The scientific number format is now saved as part of the ODF file format, which includes exponents and other long numbers that you can put inside cells (###.000 E0, ###.000e0, etc.).
The font preview is now available when you hover the font name in the dropdown (however, this is not working as per my test); it probably still has a bug.
After many years of feature requests, LibreOffice Calc now introduces row and column highlighting for the active cell. This feature is very handy for those who work in large spreadsheets. To enable this, you need to turn on the option
View > Column/Row highlighting.
The Small Capital format (or the Camel Case) now works in LibreOffice 24.2 Impress. It was available in Writer and Impress, but it had bugs in IMpress. Hence, it never worked. Now, you can convert characters using the Small Capital option (access via right-click> Character option).
In addition, the slide show options get a few improvements in Impress.
The setting “Show navigation panel” in
Slide Show > Slide Show Settings... will now be saved to local configuration.
The “show navigation panel” settings in “Slide Show > Slide Show Settings” are now saved to local configuration. The “presenter console” and “remote control settings” are now moved from Tools > Options > LibreOffice Impress to Slide Show > Slide Show Settings.
The options section has also been revamped with improved wording. The navigation panel moved under the display sections.
- LibreOffice 24.2 Match now supports setting and rendering a formula’s Right-to-Left (RTL) direction.
- It also introduces support for Arabic and Persian operators and symbols.
- The Math font can now be changed in Format > Fonts… (default is OpenSymbol).
- Inline (Visual) formula editing mode is now enabled by default, graduated from the experimental mode feature.
User interface and common updates
Alongside the above module-specific updates, some generic enhancements arrived in LibreOffice 24.2. These are common across Calc, Writer, Impress, Base, Math and Draw. Let’s have a quick recap on those.
The warning info bar has now been adopted for more security options instead of popups.
The macro security level descriptions are now more readable on what they mean.
LibreOffice 24.2 brings a bunch of accessibility features in terms of the NVDA screen reader, which is a free utility for blind and visually impaired users. However, it is available for Windows only in most cases.
- Tree views: Screen readers can now read the content of LibreOffice’s expert configuration dialog.
- Calc animations: Users can disable the “marching ants” animation when copying cells, improving screen reader responsiveness.
- Mouse position in Calc: NVDA screen reader now accurately announces the text of a cell under the mouse pointer.
- Popup menus: NVDA screen reader now announces the content of various popup menus like border line style control and font colour chooser.
- UNO grid control: NVDA screen reader can now read the content of the grid control used in tools like the update dialog.
- Multi-line edit: NVDA screen reader can now read the text in multi-line editing fields like the update check dialog.
- Accessibility events: Improved accuracy of accessibility events sent to screen readers.
- Frame roles: Frames are now correctly identified as frames instead of dialogs.
- Dialog status bars: Screen readers can find and report the content of dialog status bars.
- Word count dialog: The NVDA screen reader announces the content of the word count dialog.
Deprecation and additional updates
The HTML Export wizard in Impress and Draw is being retired. Instead, use the UI like
--convert-to html:"impress_html_Export" from the command line for simpler, single-document exports.
Following industry trends, FTP support is no longer built-in in LibreOffice 24.2. Consider alternative protocols for file transfers, such as SSH. Additionally, if the driver is available, you can use Google Drive or OneDrive to save files remotely.
Windows users with assistive technology (like NVDA) will enjoy enhanced compatibility as LibreOffice text attributes now align with industry standards.
Linux users, be advised: building and running LibreOffice now requires Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8/CentOS 8 (or equivalent) and Qt 5.15 minimum.
Download LibreOffice 24.2
If you want to download a fresh copy of LibreOffice, visit the official page.
How to Upgrade?
If you are using Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora and others, you should receive this update a few days after January 31st, 2024. However, if you want to upgrade now, use the below guide:
Windows users must uninstall and re-install this version since there is no upgrade path. Refer to the below guide:
MacOS users can follow the below guide for installation.
Overall, it is a moderate release, considering the features in the change log, not so much on Base or Draw. In addition, a bunch of bug fixes definitely make it a more stable office suite.
Via change log