Community fork of OpenOffice becomes the more vibrant and feature-rich free office software.

LibreOffice 3.5 is “Best Free Office Suite Ever”

The Document Foundation has announced the third major release of the Open Office fork which they say is the result of the full time efforts of the largest group of ex-Open Office developers.

When the open source developers behind the popular free became unhappy with the governance of the project following Oracles acquisition of Sun, many of them moved to the new fork LibreOffice. Now the latest LibreOffice 3.5 adds a raft of new features for the suite’s applications including Writer, Impress / Draw, Calc and Base.

"In sixteen months, we have achieved incredible results," said SUSE Linux engineer Michael Meek who is also a founder and director at The Document Foundation that was formed to oversee LibreOffice development.

"Although we still have a long way to go, users – who have sometimes complained for the stability of the software, as they were not aware of the technical debt we were fighting with – can now benefit from a substantially cleaner, leaner and more feature rich LibreOffice 3.5."

Some of the new features in LibreOffice 3.5 Writer include a new grammar checker, improved typographical features, interactive word count window and new interfaces for headers, footers and page breaks.

Impress and Draw can now import custom shapes and Smart Art from power point documents and Calc now offers better performance when importing from other document formats.

The new LibreOffice also includes an online update checker for the first time which will inform users of new versions when they arrive.

LibreOffice 3.5 can be downloaded for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X from this site.

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