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19 April 2011, 10:08

LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 arrives for testing

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LibreOffice Logo The Document Foundation has announced the arrival of the first beta for version 3.4 of its open source LibreOffice office suite. Following further betas and release candidates, the final version of LibreOffice 3.4 is scheduled to be released on 2 May 2011.

According to the developers, this second major release of the LibreOffice project addresses a number of issues found in previous versions and includes "many exciting new features". Based on the preliminary release notes, LibreOffice 3.4 will include updates to Writer, such as a new gradient / drop-shadow to highlight writer pages, and changes to Calc, including a redesigned Move / Copy Sheet dialogue, support for autofilter per sheet and a "massive re-work of external reference handling".

Other changes include support for unlimited number of fields in DataPilot and improvements to Impress / Draw. Core changes include startup performance improvements on Linux systems and tweaks to the application's graphical user interface (GUI).

The developers note that, as with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

Details about the development release can be found in a post on the Document Foundation blog by Florian Effenberger, a member of the Foundation's Steering Committee, and in the change log. LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the project's QA builds download page. The latest stable release of LibreOffice is version 3.3.2, a maintenance and bug fix update from late March.

LibreOffice forked from the office suite following Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the original copyright holders of the name and main sponsors of the project. LibreOffice source code is licensed under the LGPL version 3.

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