LibreOffice 7.4: Top New Features and Release Details

4 min


This post contains the top new features of LibreOffice 7.4 (upcoming) across Writer, Calc, Impress and other core modules.

The LibreOffice team improves the famous free and open-source office product with each iteration. Perhaps the only stable and well-managed open-source project as a replacement to Microsoft Office.

The LibreOffice 7.4 version (planned in August), bringing regular updates to core modules including Calc, Writer and Impress with features and enhancements. Furthermore, in this release, the compatibility with Microsoft Office improved with changes to the core filters and platform updates.

Before we round up the new features, here’s a tentative schedule for LibreOffice 7.4:

Schedule

MilestoneRelease Date
Alpha 1May 9, 2022 – May 15, 2022
Feature FreezeJun 6, 2022 – Jun 12, 2022
Beta 1Jun 6, 2022 – Jun 12, 2022
RC1Jul 4, 2022 – Jul 10, 2022
RC2Jul 25, 2022 – Jul 31, 2022
RC3Aug 8, 2022 – Aug 14, 2022
Release 7.4Aug 15, 2022 – Aug 21, 2022

LibreOffice 7.4 Features

Calc

First and foremost, the most crucial change coming in 7.4 is the support of 16k columns in LibreOffice Calc. It was available in earlier LibreOffice 7.3 but hidden as an experimental option. Finally, it is open to support 16384 columns, i.e. up to XFD. Additional columns are going to help several high-volume data work.

LibreOffice 7.4 Calc now supports 16k columns
LibreOffice 7.4 Calc now supports 16k columns.

Second, the Autosum button gets the following additional functions to improve productivity and save time.

  • COUNTA
  • PRODUCT
  • STDEV
  • STDEVP
  • VAR
  • VARP
Additional options in Autosum button
Additional options in the Autosum button

Moreover, the height of the formula bar is now part of the *.ods files. Hence, you can see the height retained after saving the file and opening it. Earlier, it was being reset to the default height. It is one of the small changes but has a more significant impact on heavy Calc users.

Height of Calc Formula bar
Height of Calc Formula bar

In addition, a new menu option Sheet > Navigate > Go to Sheet shows an entire new dialog which is similar to the Writer’s Go to Page.

Writer

Firstly, the hyphenation settings get three new options. You can now specify the size of the hyphenation zone, minimum word length and ability to stop hyphenating the last word.

New Hyphenation settings
New Hyphenation settings

Image credit: LibreOffice Team

Secondly, the menu item Tools > Update > Update now updates the preview of all OLE objects. Also, if you are importing a DOCX file in LibreOffice 7.4, the paragraph borders bring more clarity. In addition, the import also improves the Rich text and checkbox contents inside the text box for DOCX imports. Moreover, Write 7.4 now supports clearing breaks from Word files improving layout consistency.

Secondly, the menu item Tools > Update > Update all now updates the preview of all OLE objects.

Also, if you are importing a DOCX file in LibreOffice 7.4, the paragraph borders bring more clarity. In addition, the import also improves the Rich text and checkbox contents inside the text box for DOCX imports.

Moreover, Writer 7.4 now supports clearing breaks from Word files improving layout consistency.

Impress

The significant change in Impress is a new Theme tab in the Slide properties for the master slide. It contains several accent colour options which control all the sildes in your presentation. It will be a really neat feature in this version.

New Theme option in Slide Master Properties
New Theme option in Slide Master Properties

Common Updates (across all modules)

Firstly, the most important change as a standard feature is LibreOffice now supports WEBP images officially. You can directly export and import WebP images across Writer, Calc, Draw etc. Now you do not need additional software to convert WEBP images, especially in Linux systems.

Moreover, the support for Windows compressed enhanced meta file (EMZ/WMZ) also lands in this release.

New WEBP Image Support
New WEBP Image Support

Secondly, the Fille > Recent Documents can remember the state of the last opened document, whether it was read-only or editable.

The 3D shapes lighting gets some bug fixes and corrections corresponding to the ODF specifications.

Performance Updates

A bunch of performance boosts also makes this an important release of LibreOffice. Here’s a quick recap of the performance boosts.

That’s not all. LibreOffice 7.4 also brings a huge set of filters (export and import) for Microsoft Office 365 file types, extended PDF export options (such as a sign) via command line, updated language support and API changes.

Download LibreOffice 7.4 for Testing

You can download the development version of LibreOffice 7.4 using the respective links and help to test.

If you need assistance, you can refer to our guide here to install the development version in Linux. Make sure to report any issues or bugs in the official bug tracker.

LibreOffice 7.4 is planned for release between Aug 15, 2022, and Aug 21, 2022.

Via Release Notes


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Arindam

Creator of debugpoint.com. All time Linux user and open-source supporter. Connect with me via Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or send us an email.
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