LibreOffice 5.3 Released With Much Awaited ‘Ribbon’ Interface

LibreOffice logo

It was only a couple of days ago that we reviewed OnlyOffice and suggested that LibreOffice has a serious competitor. Well, LibreOffice has just upped the game.

LibreOffice 5.3 has been released today and The Document Foundation (the organization behind LibreOffice) has called it the “most feature-rich releases in the history of the application“.

It’s not bragging. LibreOffice 5.3 does boast of a number of new features to it, most important of them all, its own version of MS Office’s Ribbon interface.

In case, you didn’t know already, LibreOffice is a free and open source productivity suite available for Windows, Linux and MacOS. While you have to pay a huge amount of licensing fee for Microsoft Office, LibreOffice is completely free to use on any platform.

New features in LibreOffice 5.3

Let me discuss the most talked about feature of LibreOffice 5.3. It’s the new Muffin interface.

LibreOffice has got its own Ribbon interface called Muffin

If you ever used Microsoft Office 2007 or above, you might have used the Ribbon interface already. Basically, Ribbon interface replaces the traditional drop down menu with a tabbed interface. Each tab has a related set up of tools/commands/options. Below is what a typical Ribbon interface looks like in MS Word.

MS Office Ribbon interface
A typical Ribbon interface in Microsoft Office

Until now, this is what LibreOffice interface looked like:

LibreOffice normal interface
LibreOffice Writer normal interface

This is what the ‘Muffin’ interface in LibreOffice 5.3 looks like:

LibreOffice Muffin interface
LibreOffice Muffin interface

The above gif was originally created by OMG! Ubuntu!

Introducing LibreOffice Online

Not really part of the regular LibreOffice bundle, LibreOffice Online is “a cloud office suite which provides basic collaborative editing of documents in a browser by re-using the LibreOffice “core engine”.”

LibreOffice 5.3 is introducing this cloud office suite for the first time and thus brings collaboration to its users.

One important thing to note here is that it’s not the same as MS Office 365 or Google Docs where you can use it via the internet. This is an open source tool that must be installed on your own server.

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Basically, it means that it is more suited for enterprises that have their own internal servers to install such productivity tools for their employees.

Other features in LibreOffice 5.3

  • New cross-platform text layout engine using HarfBuzz to provide consistent text layout on all platforms
  • Help menu now has quick links to user guides and community support forums
  • Writer now has Table Styles, for applying formatting to a table which is preserved while making edits
  • Go to Page Box enables to jump to another page in the document
  • Impress now opens with a template selector
  • Emoji support
  • New color palettes
  • Calc has a new set of default cell styles
  • Keyboard shortcuts in context menus
  • Revamped extension manager

Plenty of more features has been added in LibreOffice 5.3. You can read about them in detail here. If you prefer watching over reading, here are some videos from LibreOffice that show you what’s news in LibreOffice 5.3:

Download and install LibreOffice 5.3

While it will take some time before your Linux distribution provides you the upgrade to the just released LibreOffice 5.3, you can surely download the installer files (.deb or .rpm) and install it. You can get it from the official download page:

Download LibreOffice 5.3

To avoid conflict, uninstall any earlier version of LibreOffice you have installed on your system.

Your thoughts on LibreOffice 5.3?

What do you think of LibreOffice 5.3 features? Does it fill the gap with MS Office or not? Or perhaps, you think it’s already ahead of MS Office. Is there something you would like to see in LibreOffice 5.4? Do share your views.

Comments

  1. Get the latest version and add the repository in Linux Mint 18. Close all programs of Libre Office.
    sudo apt-get remove –purge libreoffice*
    sudo apt-get clean && sudo apt-get autoremove
    # Install
    sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:libreoffice/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install libreoffice

    With this install you will have libreoffice 5.3.0.3

  2. Can Libre Office be upgraded to v5.3 via sudo apt-get, or will I have still uninstall v5.2 before installing v5.3?

    • Hello Neil,

      Most Linux distributions won’t include LibreOffice 5.3 immediately. You’ll have to wait a few weeks/months to get the upgrade.
      If you want to use it before that, you’ll have to uninstall and install the newer version.

  3. I have been using the beta 5.3. I like it – good to see continuing improvement and convenience from this open source project. The inclusion of Draw is particulary good I feel, a much more versatile and useful tool than MS Publisher. Writer deals with images within text in a very straightforward way making placing and formatting easy. And of course I can still handle MS file formats when I need to aquire or provide documents in that way.

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