Welcome to The Document Foundation Planet

This is a feed aggregator that collects what LibreOffice and Document Foundation contributors are writing in their respective blogs.

To have your blog added to this aggregator, please mail the website@global.libreoffice.org mailinglist or file a ticket in Redmine.

19 October, 2020


Today we’re talking to Marcin Popko, who is helping to grow the LibreOffice community in Poland…

Hey Marcin! Tell us a bit about yourself…

Hello! I’m from Bialystok, a city in north-east Poland. I work as an electromagnetic compatibility tester – it’s a seriously crazy and interesting area of electronics development. I’m quite an artist soul; in my free time I dance bachata and sing in a folk band called “Kurpie Zielone”. I also write a blog about dance, emotions and technology here.

What is the free software/Linux/LibreOffice scene like in Poland?

FLOSS (free/libre and open source software) has rather more awareness in geeky and technological domains, than in everyday normal life. LibreOffice is not well know among my friends – some of them are using Microsoft Office, and some of them are even using OpenOffice. So that’s my mission here: inform them :-) Companies use LibreOffice when they can’t afford Microsoft Office or when it’s not seriously needed.

You’ve recently been running Polish LibreOffice social media. How did that get started, and how has it developed?

If found a blog post about abandoned native language projects and social media sites, wrote an e-mail to the mailing list, and there I started working with Mike Saunders from The Document Foundation.

We couldn’t reach the the existing administrator of the old Polish LibreOffice fanpage, so we decided to create a new one. Then I also added a Twitter account. Step-by-step, I did surveys about our community, and I wrote articles on Polish technology sites about the current LibreOffice situation, like this one.

Then we reached 150 fans on Facebook, and I ran a sticker giveaway – thanks to Mike and TDF I can pass these stickers on to the community. We’ve also prepared a new official Polish LibreOffice site (the old one has corrupted download links).

Any tips for other people who want to start LibreOffice/FOSS social media in other countries/languages?

If you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to ask anyone from the LibreOffice community. People are helpful there and they redirect you to appropriate place if you get lost.

Many thanks to Marcin for his superb work and help! And for everyone reading this who wants to start (or expand) social media in more languages, get in touch and we’ll assist you along the way. You can gain valuable experience running social media, and of course it helps to spread the word about LibreOffice too!


The firebird-driver package provides official Python Database API 2.0-compliant driver. In addition to the minimal feature set of the standard Python DB API, this driver also exposes the new (interface-based) client API introduced in Firebird 3, and number of additional extensions and enhancements for convenient use of Firebird RDBMS. The driver is written as pure-Python package (requires Python

18 October, 2020

  • Up early, family worship, sermon on Daniel 3, pizza lunch. H's friends over in the evening at the house.

17 October, 2020

  • Drilled a hole in tarmac & hardcore with Pete's diamond core, cut up a scaffold pole & set it into the ground with resin from Mark; great to see M&M's surfacing work.
  • Toiled away at slideware on & off:
  • Helped E. with her maths revision & homework, and H. with her Oxford test preparation. Bed, tired.

16 October, 2020

  • Mail chew; admin - worked away at historic slideware, lots of digging through old blogs.


Today I gave a OOXML / PDF Digital Signing in Draw and elsewhere talk at the LibreOffice Conference 2020. The (virtual) room was well-crowded — somehow people find digital signatures interesting. ;-)

It contains an overview of the ODF/OOXML/PDF signing feature set and also details the latest improvements, like visible PDF signing.

I expect quite some other slides from other Collaborans and the wider community will be available on Planet, don’t miss them.

You can get a snapshot / demo of Collabora Office and try the presented features out yourself right now: try unstable snapshot. Collabora intends to continue supporting and contributing to LibreOffice, the code is merged so we expect all of this work will be available in TDF’s next release too (7.1).

15 October, 2020

  • Took babes to school, poked slides, gave keynote at the great openSUSE / LibreOffice conference.
  • Pleased to see lots of good talks left & right.

14 October, 2020

  • Mail chew; plugged away at slides, board call, board+MC+team call with an interesting new discussion tool. Lots of resin mixed with small gravel put down opposite, in the rain.

13 October, 2020


In Draw, a PDF document can be opened using the PDFium library for rendering, where each page in the Draw document contains an rendered image from the PDF. This mode is useful for viewing PDFs and allows for the best fidelity. With viewing, there is also a need to review and comment and this is where PDF annotations come in as adding the support for the PDF annotations and to support a review based workflow has been one of my recent task at Collabora Productivity.

PDF supports a wide variety of annotations, but we don't support all of them in Draw. What we do support are comments, which are similar to pop-up note annotations in PDF, so the easiest is to add those first. To be able to use pop-up notes in Draw, we need to import them. This is done at import by using PDFium after we created the PDF graphic for rendering. In Draw, we then insert this as comments and so we get the basic support for manipulating with annotations, but how to save the changes? PDF export already supports saving comments as annotations, so this mostly already works (I needed to fix some bugs and add support for saving all needed properties).

Figure 1. Pop-up Note annotation in PDF viewer (Evince) and Draw

How the output compares between a PDF viewer and inside LibreOffice can be seen in Figure 1. All this is available in LibreOffice master and should be included in LibreOffice 7.1.

What about other annotations that are supported in PDF? The work to add those is ongoing and the recent success has been adding support to draw vector graphic annotations like polygon, ink (freehand), squares (rectangles) and circles (ellipses). So the idea is that instead of the usual marker for a comment, we draw a vector graphic that we read from the PDF annotation. 

The first thing I needed to do is to extend the PDFium library, which didn't support reading all polygon vertices and ink strokes from the document. What also wasn't supported is reading the border information, which is needed for line widths.

Next thing is extending the import to read the geometry data, so I dded a special PDFAnnotationMarker class for that. Then the geometry data needs to be stored on the sd::Annotation class (implementation of XAnnotation, but I didn't extend XAnnotation at this point as it wasn't needed - yet) . Drawing is performed in AnnotationTag, where we create a new OverlayPolyPolygon object, that is responsible for creating the Primitive2D for the marker. What we get after this is done is shown in figure 2.


Figure 2. Multiple annotations in PDF Viewer and Draw

This work will shortly be merged to the LibreOffice master. 

  • New home broken into in the night; jemmy marks around the back french windows, chop-saw & stand stolen - otherwise apparently nothing gone; sad. CSI arrived at 10am to investigate, ordered security-cameras, screwed up the back-door, got back to work.

12 October, 2020


Today marks 20 years since the source code to OpenOffice was released. And today we say: LibreOffice is the future of OpenOffice. Let’s all get behind it!

It’s great to have a rich and diverse set of free and open source software projects. Hundreds of millions of people around the world have benefited from the choice and customisation that they bring. But sometimes, users can lose out when they’re not aware of newer alternatives, or when one brand overshadows another.

OpenOffice(.org) – the “father project” of LibreOffice – was a great office suite, and changed the world. It has a fascinating history, but since 2014, Apache OpenOffice (its current home) hasn’t had a single major release. That’s right – no significant new features or major updates have arrived in over six years. Very few minor releases have been made, and there have been issues with timely security updates too.

In recent years, almost all development activity has taken place in LibreOffice, with 13 major releases and 87 minor releases. In 2019, LibreOffice had over 15,000 code commits, while OpenOffice had only 595. LibreOffice has a flourishing community, yearly conferences, professional support options, development and migration certification, and a robust commercial ecosystem.

In addition, LibreOffice has integrated many features essential for end users in 2020:

  • Export in Microsoft Office OOXML formats (.docx, .xlsx etc.)
  • ODF, OOXML and PDF signing for improved security
  • Major performance improvements in Calc, the spreadsheet
  • A fresh new NotebookBar user interface
  • …and a lot more

But still, many users don’t know that LibreOffice exists. The OpenOffice brand is still so strong, even though the software hasn’t had a significant release for over six years, and is barely being developed or supported.

If Apache OpenOffice still wants to maintain its old 4.1 branch from 2014, sure, that’s important for legacy users. But the most responsible thing to do in 2020 is: help new users. Make them aware that there’s a much more modern, up-to-date, professionally supported suite, based on OpenOffice, with many extra features that people need.

We appeal to Apache OpenOffice to do the right thing. Our goal should be to get powerful, up-to-date and well-maintained productivity tools into the hands of as many people as possible. Let’s work together on that!

The Board of Directors at The Document Foundation

Update: Discussion on Reddit and LWN

  • Planning call. Several tons of stones & resin arrived with the wrong size fork-lift, and couldn't be put into place. Mark arrived with a lift to help fix that, helped him a little.
  • Plugged away at slideware, out to take H. to and back from Scouts, noticed the security fencing was off its hinge opposite, assumed the skip people had undone it & mended it.


Ahmad Haris writes:

Last month, LibreOffice Indonesia held an Impress Template Contest and today we announced the results. There are several items for prizes, such as ARM Mini PC and shoes, sponsored by FANS Shoes Factory.

The main goal of this contest is to get more people active in the community, design good Impress templates, and if possible, change the old default templates with the new ones. Most of the participants are from the younger generation (since in our group, only fewer than than 10 members from 739 are older than me).

Thanks to Haris and the whole Indonesian community for their great work! The templates are available on the website here.


Having fun everyone. I wish you are all doing good in this tough time.

It was Adolfo who complaint about Colibre's failure to accomplish WCAG contrast guideline. He said the colors are too faint and everything looks washed out. Furthermore, MS Office 365 has since moved those colors to a brand new monoline style iconography. See this bug report for details

So I took the chance to update this Windows default icon theme. Luckily, the icon theme comes with SVG version, I can easily use bash script to automate a neccessary color conversion, and take the rest manually. In one month, I finally managed to finish this "Neo" Colibre. Hopefully this will benefit the largest LibreOffice user platform (approximately more than ~80%).

Here you can see side by side comparison to see the improvement (click to enlarge then right click > "View Image" for Firefox, right click > "Open image in a new tab" for Chrome for maximum appearance)

Start Center

Standard User Interface







Tabbed User Interface
















3D Settings

By God will, this will be available in 7.0 release. You can try it earlier from my github repo as an extension (make sure your LibO version equal or greater than 6.0):

11 October, 2020

  • Played with H. at All Saints communion service; Susan's first communion, Bob preached on sheep. Home for a fine pork lunch. Lynn & girls over in the afternoon, relaxed variously.


Attila Szűcs, one from hungarian LibreOffice developers (he's from NISZ team) made great improvements for work with merged cells.

I'll show you pair of images for illustrate it (left - 7.0, right - 7.1):


Select three cells, merge it (as shown on left image) and then try drag-fill columns down. A result was strange and very unexpected. Now in 7.1 it works as users wanted last 8 year, look at right image. It works for filling in to any direction!

Go further:

If you want to have merged cells with some number sequences, then you got a result as on left image above (Merge A1 with A2 and A3 with A4, type 1 into first merged cells and 2 into second, select both and try fill cells down). But now in 7.1 all work as users could expect! Look at a right image above.

It's really great, right?

10 October, 2020

  • Cleared the garage out to make room for resin & gravel with J. Put up H's bloc blackout blind, ordered some more.
  • Various bits of statistics / maths with M. - had a virtual birthday party for G'ma with wider extended family in the afternoon.

09 October, 2020

  • Mail chew, more PM / ranking and customer input crunching to weight our next round of Online investment. TDF Board call.
  • Packed glass-wool insulation into a very small utility room attic void with J's help.

08 October, 2020

  • Helped unload some oak boarding; mail chew, sync with Eloy, Product Mgmt / planning, catch up with Muhammet.
  • Ferried H. and M. to in-person music lessons. Really pleased to see Muhammet's first Community Roundup of week one of our move.


Berlin, October 8, 2020 – LibreOffice 7.0.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 7.0 family, targeted at technology enthusiasts and power users, is now available for download from https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. LibreOffice 7.0.2 includes over 130 bug fixes and improvements to document compatibility.

The most significant new features of the LibreOffice 7.0 family are: support for OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.3; Skia graphics engine and Vulkan GPU-based acceleration for better performance; and carefully improved compatibility with DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files.

LibreOffice offers the highest level of compatibility in the office suite arena, starting from native support for the OpenDocument Format (ODF) – with better security and interoperability features – to wide support for proprietary formats.

LibreOffice 7.0.2 represents the bleeding edge in term of features for open source office suites. Users wanting the robustness of a more mature version optimized for enterprise class deployments can still download LibreOffice 6.4.6.

For enterprise class deployments, TDF strongly recommends sourcing LibreOffice from one of the ecosystem partners, to get long-term supported releases, dedicated assistance, custom new features and other benefits, including SLAs (Service Level Agreements): https://www.libreoffice.org/download/libreoffice-in-business/.

Support for migrations and training should be sourced from certified professionals who provide value-added services which extend the reach of the community to the corporate world. Also, the work done by ecosystem partners flows back into the LibreOffice project, and this represents an advantage for everyone.

LibreOffice – thanks to its mature codebase, rich feature set, support for open standards, excellent compatibility and long-term support options – represents the ideal solution for businesses that want to regain or keep control of their data and free themselves from vendor lock-in.

LibreOffice individual users are supported by a global community of volunteers: https://www.libreoffice.org/get-help/community-support/. On the website and the wiki there are guides, manuals, tutorials and HowTos. Donations help us to make all of these resources available.

LibreOffice users are invited to join the community at https://ask.libreoffice.org, where they can get and provide user-to-user support. People willing to contribute their time and professional skills to the project can visit the dedicated website at https://whatcanidoforlibreoffice.org.

LibreOffice users, free software advocates and community members can provide financial support to The Document Foundation with a donation via PayPal, credit card or other tools at https://www.libreoffice.org/donate.

Availability of LibreOffice

LibreOffice 7.0.2 and 6.4.6 are immediately available from the following link: https://www.libreoffice.org/download/. Minimum requirements are specified on the download page. LibreOffice Online source code is available as Docker image: https://hub.docker.com/r/libreoffice/online/.

LibreOffice 7.0.2’s change log pages are available on TDF’s wiki: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/7.0.2/RC1 (changed in RC1) and https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Releases/7.0.2/RC2 (changed in RC2).

All versions of LibreOffice are built with document conversion libraries from the Document Liberation

07 October, 2020

  • Mail chew; plugged away at requirement bits, dug at some text / stats with Muhammet.


General Activities

  1. LibreOffice 7.0.1 was released on September 03
  2. Ivan Stefanenko (Collabora) made improvements to the PDF accessibility checker
  3. Seth Chaiklin made improvements to the UX of menu and toolbar controls
  4. Tomofumi Yagi fixed a performance issue when editing with external tool and made Calc and Writer able to correctly import text in UTF-8 encoding without BOM
  5. Attila Szűcs and Tibor Nagy (NISZ) fixed longstanding issues with Calc’s drag-fill functionality, a frame width issue in DOCX files, missing AutoFilter button with XLSX export, vertical image alignment relative to bottom margin in DOCX import and invalid detective marks cells in XLSX import
  6. Szabolcs Tóth and Regényi Balázs (NISZ) fixed problems with shapes in DOCX/XLSX export, made it so word-wrapped textboxes are imported correctly in the case of DOCX files, fixed missing overflow properties of textboxes in exported XLSX files and made it so tracer arrows (Tools – Detective) are not needlessly exported in XLSX files
  7. Björn Michaelsen continued internal improvements to Writer
  8. Mike Kaganski (Collabora) improved the rounding of decimal numbers when drag-filling in Calc and made code cleanups and optimisations
  9. Szymon Kłos (Collabora) made improvements to Notebookbar and Styles preview
  10. Michael Stahl (CIB) fixed Writer regressions related to undo, bookmarks, tables, text wrapping and input fields
  11. Daniel Arato (NISZ) made lots of refactoring in Writer’s export tests and fixed issues with DOCX OLE object import/export
  12. Miklos Vajna (Collabora) made it so Writer always defaults to UI locale when no language is defined for the document, improved embedded object HTML export support, made the handling of Tab key presses in numbered lists more intuitive, greatly improved the speed of importing embedded EMF files in certain cases, improved the SmartArt support for PPTX files
  13. Olivier Hallot (TDF) added extended tooltips to the UI and added many missing topics to Help content
  14. Seth Chaiklin added help for Expert Configuration and updated control names on Rotation help page
  15. Adolfo Jayme Barrientos improved the CSS styles of Help content and made cleanups in Help files
  16. Xisco Faulí (TDF) added dozens of UI and cppunit tests and improved existing tests. He also added support for testing the jumbosheets and the layout in Impress
  17. Stephan Bergmann (Red Hat) made renovations in the internal handling of strings. He also made many cleanups as well as build and test fixes
  18. Caolán McNamara (Red Hat) fixed old crashes when saving a POTX file, when undoing & redoing comment resolution and when viewing a slideshow with hidden slides. He fixed deleting all comments after formatting all comments, improved the performance of Calc’s autofilter dialog and made it so highlight colour is shown in style previews. He also continued the crucial user interface backend work and did many cleanups and crash fixes
  19. Justin Luth (Collabora/SIL) fixed DOC table import issues, made it so setting contour for an object does not change wrap setting, fixed the generating of styles with DOCX export
  20. Luboš Luňák (Collabora) continued polishing the Skia

06 October, 2020

  • Mail chew, admin, sync with Cor. Started reviewing customer and community feedback for roadmap planning. Partner call.


The joint openSUSE + LibreOffice Virtual Conference 2020 will take place from October 15 – 17. And there’s lots going on! We’ll have talks, presentations, keynotes, tutorials and much more – see the full schedule for all the details.

And there’s more: we’ve got merchandise too! Get prepared for the conference with a T-shirt, hoodie, bag or baseball cap, and help to support The Document Foundation, the non-profit entity behind LibreOffice.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

05 October, 2020

  • Electrician arrived - promptly putting a screw through a hole I'd marked 'GAS' - and crossed out with sharpie; hey ho. Got the A/C commissioned in the end, odd to see your condensing indoors unexpectedly.
  • Planning call at some length; chewed through a mass of E-mail; sync with Eloy. More wiring late at night.


Today we’re talking to Adolfo Jayme Barrientos, who has been active in the LibreOffice community for many years. He helps out with translations, design and documentation…

To start, tell us a bit about yourself!

I live and work in Mexico. I grew up in a home where we didn’t have video games or a computer, but it was filled with books; I developed a liking for reading, typography, typesetting and book design.

I was mesmerised when I got my first computer: reading also gave me an edge for learning languages, and when it came to choosing a university major, I went straight to linguistics. I work as an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher with 12 to 15-year-old pupils.

I started translating software eleven years ago, and started doing it professionally some five years ago, to finance my university tuition. I am now trilingual, and continue reading books in various Romance languages whenever I have free time.

What are you working on in LibreOffice?

As well as providing Spanish translations for the different products developed under The Document Foundation, I collaborate with the design and documentation teams.

How did you originally join the community – what was it like?

When the news broke that Oracle was buying Sun, I became concerned. I had been using Linux for a year; I feared that the main productivity suite available for Linux, OpenOffice.org, would gradually die as a result of bad leadership. Fortunately, the project’s community took the reins of it and avoided a negative fate for people like me who worry about having to store our life’s work in proprietary formats that may be deprecated in the future.

What else do you plan to work on? What does LibreOffice really need?

It’s great that TDF’s leadership has produced such a healthy ecosystem of companies who contribute developers to LibreOffice, without monopolizing power. Its community is very equitative as a result. However, investments are needed in the front-end. We can’t rely so much on volunteers to develop that kind of user interface enhancements that signal progress to end users. Papercuts like SVG icon rendering and touchscreen scrolling are long-needed, but haven’t yet found their funding.

As for my plans, I’d like to spend time learning about the best ways to market our products and attract contributors from my area.

A huge thanks to Adolfo for all his contributions and support over the years! And to all users reading this: find out what you can do for LibreOffice, to build your skillset, meet new people, and have fun in our worldwide community!

04 October, 2020

  • Slept in at length; answered a few questions at the Nextcloud conference, see the video or the PDF slides:
    Hybrid PDF of Nextcloud conference lightning talk slides
  • A picture may be worth a thousand words, but how can the Hybrid-PDF of the slide-deck be larger than the video recording of the talk ? interesting.
  • Worship & sermon together; a fine pizza lunch, slugged variously with babes & the lovely wife.

03 October, 2020

  • Up early, cut in boxes, fitted more sockets, out for a run with J. David over to help. E's night in the babes cooking competition - chicken cornflakes & pavolova - yum.

02 October, 2020


Impress now has support for an improved auto-fit-of-text layout across multiple shapes, also the snake algorithm now handles width requests from constraints much better for SmartArt graphics from PPTX files. This builds on top of the previous improvements around SmartArt support.

First, thanks to our partner SUSE for working with Collabora to make this possible.


SmartArt allows declaring your content and requirements for a graphic, then the layout will take care of arranging that in a suitable way. It is allowed to ask for an automatic font size, which is small enough so that all the content fits into the shape. At the same time, you can ask that the font size is the same in multiple shapes. Impress lacked the ability to do the latter, leading to different font sizes in different shapes, all automatic inside a single shape.

Results so far

Here is how the automatic text scaling across multiple shapes works in practice:

Figure 1. Autofit synchronization, new output
Figure 2. Autofit synchronization, old output
Figure 3. Autofit synchronization, reference output

You can see how the old output used to have unexpected large text in shape A, but now has the same text size as shape B. This is not applied unconditionally, shape C can request to have an independent, fixed font size.

Figure 4. Snake rows, new output
Figure 5. Snake rows, old output
Figure 6. Snake rows, reference output

You can see that the old output laid shapes all over the place, while the new output puts them to a 3 by 2 matrix. The reason this works is because now we parse width requests from constraints correctly. This means we give spacings a smaller width, real shapes a larger width, so the content fits in less rows and the layout looks like a grid, matching the reference rendering.

How is this implemented?

If you would like to know a bit more about how this works, continue reading… :-)

As for the autofit synchronization:

Beyond that, for the snake rows

30 September, 2020


International Translation Day is an international day celebrated every year on September 30 on the feast of Saint Jerome, the Bible translator who is considered the patron saint of translators. The celebrations have been promoted by International Federation of Translators (FIT) ever since it was set up in 1953. In 1991 FIT launched the idea of an officially recognized International Translation Day to show solidarity of the worldwide translation community in an effort to promote the translation profession in different countries. This is an opportunity to display pride in a profession that is becoming increasingly essential in the era of progressing globalization. In line with the celebration of 2019 as International Year of Indigenous Languages, the theme for 2020 is “Finding the words for a world in crisis”.

We celebrate our community of translators, which is providing LibreOffice in 119 different languages (with other 26 hopefully becoming available in the future), more than any other software, fulfilling one of the most important objectives of The Document Foundation: “to support the preservation of mother tongues by encouraging all peoples to translate, document, support, and promote our office productivity tools in their native language”. Today, there are over 4 billion people in the world who can use LibreOffice in their native language, and this is an achievement which deserves a recognition.


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