LibreOffice 7.6: Discover the Best New Features

6 min

Here is a quick highlight of the new features of the LibreOffice 7.6 version.

LibreOffice 7.6 community was released on August 21, 2023.

Feature-wise, as usual, many changes have arrived in Calc and Writer. A few minimal updates to Impress and no such update on the Base or Math module. In addition, a good number of compatibility updates to Microsoft Office 365 are also promised in this version.

Let’s take a look at the best new features of LibreOffice 7.6.

LibreOffice 7.6
LibreOffice 7.6 (Alpha)

LibreOffice 7.6: Best New Features

Calc: The spreadsheet program

  • LibreOffice Calc brings a few changes. They are not that big ones. But are impactful in the context of spreadsheets. Here’s a summary.
  • When you are deleting an empty sheet, Calc no longer prompt you for delete confirmation. If the sheet contains data, then you get the prompt as you do today.
  • Entering a URL in a Calc cell converts it to a hyperlink with a blue/underlined style. The automatic hyperlink is now more prominent with the standard blue+underline style to stand out.
Hyperlink style changes
Hyperlink style changes
  • The Text Import dialog can now detect scientific characters while importing text or unformatted data. The option is enabled when you uncheck detect special characters.
  • The filter by colour feature was already in place. To extend it further, LibreOffice Calc now enables you to sort by colour. Furthermore, the filter and sort now work with cells which have colours set by number format (including the background/foreground colour).
New sort by colour option
New sort by colour option
  • The Pivot table options get a compact view and expand/collapse button. However, the button is not clickable (as per my test).
New Expand-colapse identifier in Pivot tables
New Expand-collapse identifier in Pivot tables

Writer: The document processor

  • The dropdown for Paragraph Styles in the Formatting toolbar has been updated to dynamically display the styles used in the document, gradually replacing the default list instead of always showing the full list at the top.
  • A new page number wizard has been introduced in the Insert menu (Insert > Page number), allowing for convenient one-step insertion of page numbers in the header or footer.
New Page number wizard in insert menu
New Page number wizard in the insert menu
  • The character properties of the paragraph marker in DOCX files are now retained and remembered when converting to ODT format.
  • LibreOffice Writer now offers support for multi-page floating tables, allowing tables to seamlessly continue onto the next page without any disruption to the table structure or formatting.
Continous Tables in next page
Continuous Tables on next page
  • The generation of a Table of Figures in LibreOffice can now be done in a more flexible manner, allowing it to be based on a paragraph style in addition to categories or object names.
  • To enhance usability during document editing, the Accessibility Check feature has been relocated to the sidebar in LibreOffice. This change enables easier access and usage of the Accessibility Check tool.
Accessibility Check in sidebar of LibreOffice 7.6 (Writer)
Accessibility Check button in the sidebar of LibreOffice 7.6 (Writer)
  • When attempting to delete a hidden section within your document, intentionally or accidentally, Writer in LibreOffice will now display a warning message to alert you of the hidden section’s presence.
Prompt while deleting hidden sections
Prompt while deleting hidden sections
  • LibreOffice Writer has introduced a new feature that highlights the used Paragraph and Character styles and the applied Direct Formatting in the text. This enhancement provides visual cues to quickly identify the styles and formatting applied throughout the document.
Style highlighter in LibreOffice 7.6 (Image credit Libreoffice team)
Style highlighter in LibreOffice 7.6 (Image credit LibreOffice team)
  • When using track changes in the Writer document, you can now track the changes in tables.
Track changes in Tables
Track changes in Tables

Impress & Draw

  • In both Impress and Draw, soft breaks are now displayed as line breaks within Fontwork. This change allows for a clearer representation of text formatting, enhancing the visual appearance of Fontwork objects.
  • The option to “Show Layer” has been made more convenient in LibreOffice, as it is now directly accessible from the right-click menu. Users no longer need to navigate to “Modify Layer > Properties” to set a layer as “Visible.”
  • A new navigation panel has been added for switching slides during a presentation. To enable this option, simply check the checkbox in the Slide Show Settings.
  • PDFium now allows for free text annotations to be added during import, as well as support for ink, free text, and polygon/polyline annotations when exporting.
  • Impress changes to the way the auto-fitting text scaling algorithm works. It now functions in a similar manner to MS Office. The updated text scaling separates the scaling for space (paragraph and line) and scaling fonts. Space scaling can now be set at 100%, 90%, and 80%, while font scaling is rounded to the nearest point size. Additionally, horizontal spacing, such as bullets and indents, is no longer scaled.

Base, Math

Not much update is available for Base and Math. However, the LibreOffice base sees the following bug fixes (from the changelog):

  • Bug fixed tdf#117313 Firebird: Data is lost when updated using the data Beamer window or Dataform in odt/ods files (Juan C. Sanz)
  • Bug fixed tdf#117118 Firebird: Saving of data should be done automatically (Juan C. Sanz)
  • Bug fixed tdf#43369 PostgreSQL: Specific UI for collecting PostgreSQL connection settings (Nirnay Korde)

Core updates, UI and Macros

  • LibreOffice now enables the “Save AutoRecovery information” and “Always create backup copies” options by default. This is used for document recovery when there is a crash.
  • You can now use the document themes with colours in LibreOffice. This is applicable to all modules. The option is available in the sidebar under themes.
Document themes in LibreOffice 7.6 (image credit LibreOffice team)
Document themes in LibreOffice 7.6 (image credit LibreOffice team)
  • Support for zoom gestures has been added to the main view of LibreOffice, specifically when using touchpads. This enhancement enables users to perform zooming actions more intuitively and effortlessly.
  • The export functionality to PDF in LibreOffice has been upgraded to version 1.7. Additionally, tagged PDFs are now generated by default during the export process, resulting in improved accessibility of the PDF files.
  • In the File menu of LibreOffice, the Recent Documents picklist has been enhanced to display the five most recent module-specific items at the top. Furthermore, users can configure the list by utilizing the “ShowCurrentModuleOnly” expert option, which allows displaying only files that the current module can handle. This improvement provides a more streamlined and module-specific view of recent documents for efficient navigation.
  • LibreOffice now supports the ExportAsFixedFormat VBA function, enabling the Export As PDF functionality within VBA macros. This enhancement specifically applies to VBA macros in LibreOffice, providing extended capabilities for programmatically exporting documents as PDF files.
  • LibreOffice 7.6 now has a minimum system requirement of macOS 10.15 or a newer version to run.

How to Upgrade?

If you are using Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora and others, you should receive this update a few days after August 22nd, 2023. However, if you want to upgrade now, use the below guide:

Windows users need to uninstall and re-install this version since there is no upgrade path. Refer to the below guide:

Fresh Download

If you want to download a fresh copy of LibreOffice, visit the official page.

Closing Notes

The changes are major in the most used Calc and Writer modules. The improvements are aligned with the compatibility with Office 365 formats, greatly benefiting users. However, little to no changes in Base and Impress may be a question for many.

Also, a few critical changes in Calc, such as one-click duplicate removal, more robust filters, and table handling, is yet to arrive in this free and open-source office suite.

That said, LibreOffice is still the most used free and open-source office suite, growing daily.

You can visit our community project on LibreOffice

Via release notes

The article is updated with the latest release information on August 22, 2023


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