LibreOffice 5.1 new features include revamped user interface, remote server support

The Document Foundation non-profit organization yesterday announced the release and immediate availability for download of LibreOffice 5.1 64-bit and LibreOffice 5.1 32-bit. It comes just under six months after version 5.0 debuted back in August.

Jan Holesowsky, a Director at TDF, and a member of the design team said in a press release announcing LO 5.1 that “LibreOffice’s third development cycle is leading us to a new user interface concept, where the user will be able to choose the best layout of the elements on the screen for his own needs, to leverage desktop space in the best way.”

After being in development for the last three months or so, LibreOffice 5.1 now comes to a desktop environment with some of the most attractive features that one has never seen in an open-source office suite software product, irrespective of the operating system used. With this new stable release, the LibreOffice office suite becomes the number one free office suite for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows systems.

The latest version of open source office suite LibreOffice includes new and simplified application menus, speed enhancements, a redesigned user interface with menus that help you find certain functions more quickly, and support for opening files on remote servers.

For instance, LibreOffice 5.1 lets you add FTP, SharePoint, OneDrive, WebDAV, or Google Drive sources so you can open, edit, and save files all from within LibreOffice.

The “Open a Remote File” and “Save to Remote Server” options under the File menu give you easy access to this feature. Once you select “Open a Remote File” option, it will ask you to enter username and password and then you are all set to read and write files to that storage right from LibreOffice. Similarly, after you set up a remote server once, it will take just a few clicks to access it in the future.

Here are just a few of the other changes in LibreOffice 5.1:

• Writer has a new Styles menu for quick access to Heading, title, paragraph, quotation, and other formatting options.
• Calc has a new Sheet menu with operations such as Insert or Delete Cells, Rows, Columns, and Page Break.
• There’s a new Slide menu in Impress for creating and altering slides and their properties.
• You can export Calc spreadsheets as PNG images (this was already available for Writer and Impress).

LibreOffice 5.1 also boasts improvements for importing old Microsoft Office documents in binary formats: DOC, XLS, and PPT files. It also does a better job of importing RTF files and Microsoft Visio projects. Further, it also widens interoperability in other areas too, adding filters for Apple Keynote 6, Microsoft Write and Gnumeric files. Besides these visible changes, a lot of work has gone under the hood to improve the codebase powering this open source office suite.

For a complete rundown of the extensive changes in LibreOffice 5.1, please check its release notes.

LibreOffice Productivity Suite 5.1 64-bit is available now as a free, open-source download for Windows, Mac and Linux. LibreOffice Productivity Suite 5.1 32-bit is also available for 32-bit Windows and Linux machines.

You can download your version from here.