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.

25 May, 2018


LibreOffice is a truly universal office suite – it’s available in over 100 languages, across many operating systems, and it opens a huge range of document formats. But just how many? Check out the short video we made…


Managing empty fields: the status quo

When doing mail merge, it’s often (even usually) desirable that if a database field is empty for a recipient, then the corresponding line be hidden in the generated document. LibreOffice has always allowed doing this using special Hidden paragraph fields – which is very flexible, though not too user-friendly, because of its complexity in creation and support. E.g., one needs to remember to move the field along with the database field when one edits the document; or change the field’s conditions when renaming database fields or combining fields in a single paragraph.

There are situations when using Hidden paragraph fields is even impossible. Since the condition in the said field depends on a registered database name, it cannot be used when there’s no registered database (which happens when one wants to connect to data sources dynamically, when one is actually performing the merge).

Meet the convenience

Today we have released the new Collabora Office 5.3-49, which includes the improvement that we at Collabora Productivity have implemented: now database fields also hide paragraphs themselves when the field value is empty: now there’s no need to use separate fields for that. This allows for easier creation and management of the auto-hiding empty database values.


With the change, we are also more interoperable with other office suites that behave that way, including Microsoft Office.

This feature is controlled by a new compatibility option, which is enabled by default in all new documents. If one wants to return to old behaviour, however, one can easily do that using Writer’s compatibility options.


As usual, the improvement is also available in the next major release of LibreOffice, which is to be released in August.


What we had achieved previously

After we at Collabora Productivity had improved existing LDAP configuration backend to be relatively easily configurable for Windows clients in ActiveDirectory-based domain environment, we started to prepare a further improvement in this area, which purpose was to overcome the problems of LDAP-based backend. The said problems are caused by the fact that LDAP backend needs to have proper credentials for server connection explicitly configured, which leads to requirement to have a dedicated restricted service account which would have a fake password (which would be written in clear text on each configured workstation), and which only purpose is connecting to LDAP server and retrieving user information. The said approach hardly fits into Active Directory’s concept with single sign-on (SSO) in its heart. Of course, the preferable solution would be to have a configuration backend that could get user data from AD using current user’s credentials, without the need to have a service account for that.

Collabora makes the next step

In the past weeks, we have merged a brand new backend plugin (WinUserInfoBe), which uses the improvements in core made when working on LDAP backend, and which implements the said concept. It is, naturally, even easier to configure than LDAP backend (the only thing required is to set a user data field to be taken using the said plugin); neither server connection configuration, nor further LO data field to LDAP object property mapping is needed. And of course, we have made the necessary changes to our ADMX template to make this configurable using convenient GPO editor interface.

Upgrade and benefit

This change is immediately available in the released Collabora Office 5.3-49 for our customers – why not upgrade now and have a play? – and it will also be in the next major release of LibreOffice 6.1 due to be released in August 2018.

24 May, 2018


At the start of this month, we kicked off a new Month of LibreOffice, celebrating contributions all across the project! So how many stickers have been won so far? Well…

To see if your name (or username) is on the list, click the number above. If you’re not there, there’s still time to get involved! There are many ways you can help the LibreOffice project and claim a sticker:

  • Help to confirm bugs: go to our Bugzilla page and look for new bugs. If you can recreate one, add a comment like “CONFIRMED on Windows 10 and LibreOffice 5.4.6”. (Make sure you’re using the latest version of LibreOffice.)
  • Contribute code: The codebase is big, but there are lots of places to get involved with small jobs. See our Developers page on the website and this page on the wiki to get started. Once you’ve submitted a patch, if it gets merged we’ll send you a sticker!
  • Translate the interface: LibreOffice is available in a wide range of languages, but its interface translations need to be kept up-to-date. Or maybe you want to translate the suite to a whole new language? Get involved here.
  • Write documentation: Another way to earn a badge is to help the LibreOffice documentation team. Whether you want to update the online help or add chapters to the handbooks, here’s where to start.
  • Answer questions from users: Over on Ask LibreOffice there are many users looking for help with the suite. We’re keeping an eye on that site so if you give someone useful advice, you can claim a shiny sticker.
  • Spread the word: Tell everyone about LibreOffice on Twitter! Just say why you love it or what you’re using it for, add the #libreoffice hashtag, and at the end of the month you can claim a sticker. (We have a maximum of 100 stickers for this category, in case the whole internet starts tweeting!)

So don’t miss out! There’s one week to go – help other users, update our documentation, translate the software and help to make LibreOffice better for millions of users around the world!


The coding period of GSoC started 10 days ago. I'm working with LibreOffice's UI logger. The aim of first two weeks is to support logging for UNO commands, dialogs, radiobuttons, checkboxes, and buttons.
To get a summary of what has been done so far, let's perform a couple of steps and look at the generated log file.

1) Click on "Writer Document" button
2) Go to Format -> Character to open the Character Properties Dialog.
3) Check the radiobutton 90 degrees and check the checkbox "Fit to line".
4) Click ok
5) Type "hi" in the main wrier_edit window


The generated log file contains the following -
  1. ButtonUIObject Action:CLICK Id:writer_all Parent:
  2. CommandSent Name:.uno:FontDialog
  3. ModalDialogExecuted Id:CharacterPropertiesDialog
  4. RadioButtonUIObject Action:CLICK Id:90deg Parent:CharacterPropertiesDialog
  5. Action on element: 90deg with action : CLICK
  6. CheckBoxUIObject Action:CLICK Id:fittoline Parent:CharacterPropertiesDialog
  7. Action on element: fittoline with action : CLICK
  8. ButtonUIObject Action:CLICK Id:ok Parent:CharacterPropertiesDialog
  9. DialogClosed
  10. SwEditWinUIObject Action:TYPE Id:writer_edit Parent:UNKNOWN {"TEXT": "h"}
  11. SwEditWinUIObject Action:TYPE Id:writer_edit Parent:UNKNOWN {"TEXT": "i"}

As evident, the log file logs about-
1) Opening and closing of dialogs
2) UNO commands
3) Radiobuttion, checkbox and button click
4) Keys pressed

I'm stuck with printing the top parent of a generic UI element (so that the Parent:UNKOWN in the log file in lines 10 and 11 start giving some useful information)

The code of my work can be found here: https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/54745

Suggestions for what I have done so far, or what I should be working on next are welcome!

22 May, 2018


The breeze icon theme was my first task for LibreOffice back in 2014. 4 Months later I proudly present the new LO Breeze icon set with more than 2.500 icons for LibreOffice.


Breeze get the default icon theme for the KDE desktop with LibreOffice 5.0. Ubuntu switch to breeze cause they stop the development of there own icon theme and prefer breeze. As LibreOffice Online was announced 2016 they ship breeze cause it was the only icon theme with full svg support. And Breeze was also the default on OSX cause sifr lack of icons.

With breeze big success story started. If you’d like to be part of the story become a Patreondownloads_wordmark_white_on_coral2x.jpg

You can read the full story on the following blog posts:

  • Mail chew, code reading, mgmt call, built ESC stats. Visited West Suffolk Urology for some fun camera action. Home. Call with Jona & Eloy.
  • Tried to mend Galaxy S4 burning up its motherboard on start - some internal short in a chip ? froze the electronics and manage to get it to an unlock-screen before thermal cut-out. Downer - even cooks itself in the recovery screen; hard to debug.
  • Pleased to get OpenShot working nicely - despite my generic horrors at AppImages: no security/signing and encouraging people to download & execute random stuff (cf. horrors of Windows virii) - it worked well.


LibreOffice 6.1 is being developed by our worldwide community, and is due to be released in early August – see the release notes describing the new features here. You can help us to test it, and make it super reliable!

After the first Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 6.1, which was held on April 27th 2018, we’re glad to announce the Second Bug Hunting Session on May 28th – this time being held on a Monday.

In order to find, report and triage bugs, the tests during the Second Bug Hunting Session will be performed on the first Beta version of LibreOffice 6.1, which will be available on the pre-releases server on the day of the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), macOS and Windows, and can be run in parallel with the production version – so you can test without affecting your existing stable installation.

Mentors will be available on May 28th 2018, from 8AM UTC to 8PM UTC for questions or help in the IRC channel: #libreoffice-qa (connect via webchat) and its Telegram bridge. Of course, hunting bugs will be possible also on other days, as the builds of this particular Beta release (LibreOffice 6.1.0 Beta1) will be available until the beginning of July.

During the day there will be two dedicated sessions focus on two of the tenders implemented in LibreOffice 6.1: The first to test the improvements on the image handling between 10AM UTC and 12AM UTC, and the second to test the HSQLDB import filter for firebird between 14PM UTC and 16PM UTC.

What happened during the first Bug Hunting Session ?

Since LibreOffice 6.1 Alpha 1 was released on week 17 of 2018, 91 bugs have been reported against Alpha 1 by more than 30 people, of which 26 have been already closed.

In total, 8 of these bugs have been categorized as critical, and 4 already fixed by the development team.

Base and Writer are the components with more reports, both having 18 each.

Many thanks to the top 5 reporters: Drew Jensen, Emil Tanev, Xisco Faulí, Telesto and Pander.

So join us on Monday, and we look forward to – and appreciate – your help!

21 May, 2018

  • Mail chew; attemped again to use the ICO's failing web registration process. Calc code & patch review. Status report.
  • Code reading with Marco on a calc validation feature. Prodded at parallel XML parsing fun.


LibreOffice is an office suite for ALL operating systems. With the Breeze icons for LibreOffice 5.0 it is integrated into the Plasma desktop. With LibreOffice 6.0 it get Elementary support, so one of the last platform where LibreOffice didn’t follow the OS brand is Windows.

With the coming LibreOffice 6.1 release LibreOffice will fit Windows (10) perfectly with the new Colibre icon theme.


Initial charliecnr work on a Office 2013 clone, but as this theme has some licence issues, I start the complete new icon theme Colibre. Colibre follow the icon design guidelines from Microsoft, which mean Colibre will use the same color scheme than MS Office. The typologie of the icons follow Breeze and Elementary.

So with LibreOffice 6.1 Windows get the first Office Suite that fits perfect the operation system style.

Download LibreOffice 6.1

If you like my work, become a Patreondownloads_wordmark_white_on_coral2x.jpg

CoLibre 10.png


We are announcing a Revision Sprint Week, starting Monday May 21st and ending on Sunday May 27th to review the contents of all chapters of the Getting Started Guide 6.0.

The task consist of downloading a chapter and review it. Then send it back to documentation at libreoffice dot org when revision is finished.

Volunteers are invited to visit our Wiki page and have a deep reading on the contents.


Please use our communication channels described there to access us for interaction.

Happy Revision Sprint Week!

20 May, 2018

  • Played at Church; Cornerstone project meeting afterwards - focused on making our Victorian flint church more open & inviting; interesting. Back for a roast lunch, badmington & volley-ball in the garden - out for a walk with J. and H. Read the Economist.
  • Started to watch Startup; sickened by the increasingly explicit and gratuitous hyper-sexualization / pornography; needs an '(21+)' rating or something, quit part way through episode 1; shame. Why do they do that ?


LibreOffice’s recently revamped Customize dialog was missing some features which allow carrying out certain operations on the toolbars and the menus. With recent patch series I have submitted, the first three tabs are mostly feature complete.

It is now even easier to customize toolbars and top level menus according to your taste, thanks to the newly added gear button/menu of the Customize dialog (Tools ▸ Customize…).

With the new gear menu on the Toolbar and the Menu tabs, you can now:

  • rename the custom toolbars and menus, and the standard sub-menus,
  • move and rearrange the top-level menus,
  • see the current display style of toolbars, and change it with a single click.

The plus and minus buttons, which allow you to add or remove top-level menus and toolbars, are also coming as options of the new menu, reducing the clutter on the UI.

Gear menu in the Menus tab Gear menu in the Menus tab

Gear menu in the Toolbars tab Gear menu in the Toolbars tab

Links for more info:

These changes/improvements will reach the end users with LibreOffice 6.1.

19 May, 2018

  • Up earlyish, off to Cambridge, train to London. Enjoyed the British Museum with the babes, Pizza Express with R&A for lunch - on to see a Les Miserables matine - an excellent performance.
  • Train home; Astronomy GSCE practice with H. took her to Tashie's - back, put babes to bed, hacked on unit tests finally defeating them; bed late.

18 May, 2018

  • Out for a run with J. Partner call. Sync with Miklos, finally some hacking & debugging of odd online unit test failures - interesting. Watched SHIELD in the evening with the babes.


Donations to The Document Foundation help us to grow our community, maintain our infrastructure, and continue to improve LibreOffice. Here’s a graphic showing some things that donations enabled us to do in 2017…

17 May, 2018

  • Mail, admin, Sales & marketing call; ESC call.

16 May, 2018

  • Mail; sync with Andras & Kendy, poked at bugs & customer bits; lunch, team call. Built ESC agenda.
  • Received 10 mugs in the post - 2 chipped; amazingly the chipped ones (and two others) made it through, the rest were varying types of completely broken.
  • Music group in the evening.

15 May, 2018

  • Mail chew, sync with Miklos, built slides; monthly mgmt call. Sync with Kendy, more mail. J. out to counselling meeting, put babes to bed and prodded at setting up SSL for Apache on AWS on SLE12 - hmm.

14 May, 2018

  • Mail chew, admin, pushed some online changes; lunch. Bit of testing, sync with Andras.

13 May, 2018

  • Breakfast, to the conference, Jules' talk on Facebook's use of Infer - to find various classes of problem, interesting. Bid 'bye & kindly dropped to the airport by a friendly organizer.
  • Poked at socket code on the plane. Finally home J. kindly collected me, lovely to see darling wife & much loved babies again. Pizza tea.


I researched a bit about Learn Managment Systems (LMS) and came across a system named Ilias. This LMS is used by some institutions, e.g. the Fachhochule für Verwaltung Nordrhein-Westfalen (a university of applied science in North Rhine Westfalia). I currently got an user account at their LMS and could do some work in a user space. The LMS and their instance seemed to have a lot of features. The development of the Ilias LMS seemed to be very active. They publish regularly minor releases.

But I was also curious about the admin site of the Ilias LMS and thus I took the time to install an instance on my notebook. I used the current version 5.3.5 and copied all files to a webcontent directory of the Apache webserver. Once I pointed my browser to that directory I got a webpage with the check of the installation requirements. I installed the missing ones and set the necessary permissions. Then I followed the next steps of the Ilias installation. I got an issue with the database installation, because the setting for ‚max_allowed_packet‘ didn’t suit the needs of Ilias. I fixed that on the command line of  MariaDB. I logged into MariaDB with admin rights and typed on the command line: ‚SET Global max_allowed_packet = [new value];‘. Then everything went fine and the database was created and populated.

Once I finished the further steps of the installation, I got an adminstrator account. I could log into this account with the standard password and replace this with my own one. I created a new user and configured its settings, e.g. the language setting. I took a short look at the available tools of the LMS, especially those for the learn managment. Ilias came with an impressive set of such tools by default. I’ll examine this tools and will look for additional plugins next time.


I worked with a small team on a WordPress website project for some month. We finished the site during the last weeks and decided to replace the old website with this new WordPress site today. Because the new website lives in a subdirectory of the webspace I had to make some edits inside the WordPress admin backend (e.g. changing some general URLs) and fix some hard coded links. This took some effort but in the end I managed to get the site live.

This project is technically done yet. I’m looking forward to some further projects using FOSS software to support the work of this organization of  volunteers.

12 May, 2018

  • Overslept, taxi to the conference; tried to learn Spanish by listening to security talks - with mixed success. Lunch - presented some slides on our security fun:
    Update on security challenges of the LibreOffice code-base

    Almeria is a lovely place - GUADEC should be amazing here.
  • Walking tour of Almeria in the evening, passed a marching band, and a statue being propelled by lots of apparently dis-embodied legs; interesting. Party in the evening.


Just sharing: videos of LibreOffice mini conference 2017 Japan were published. Thanks to openSUSE.Asia 2017 Tokyo team and MNU (video sponsor)

Of course, you can find some lightning talks related to LibreOffice in the YouTube playlist. Enjoy! And Today May 12th, 2018, we, Japanese LibreOffice community have an annual LibreOffice Kaigi 2018 in Osaka (Japanese event page). Now I'm heading to the venue (this post is written in my laptop in the train ;). Hope I'll post some news from this soon.

11 May, 2018

  • Up unfeasibly early; coach to STN, fight to Almeria, worked on slideware; admin; short sleep - I feel so Spanish - more work, out for a lovely dinner with Ismael & a number of other interesting folk. Tapas, bed late.


This weekend you can find us in two different conferences, where our team members will conduct a talk.

In Almeria, Spain…

From 11th to 13th May – we will be in Almeria, Spain to speak at National Congress on Software Development (SUPERSEC) conference. Michael Meeks will talk about securing your documents online. His talk with be on Saturday, May 12th at 4 pm.

LibreOffice and Online – securing your documents

Speaker: Michael Meeks
Time: 16:00
Day: Saturday, May 12

In Osaka, Japan…

Around the same time, we will be attending another event as well. On May 12th we will be in Osaka, Japan. One of our engineers, Tomaž Vajngerl, will explain the changes in LibreOffice 6.x from a developer point of view.

LibreOffice 6.x from a developer point of view

Speaker: Tomaž Vajngerl
Start: 13:10
Day: Saturday, May 12
End: 13:55

Say hi to us!

If you will be around and would like to have a chat with us drop us an email at hello@collaboraoffice.com and we would be happy to see you there.

The post Meet us in Spain and Japan! appeared first on Collabora Productivity.

10 May, 2018

  • Mail, poked at slides, sales & marketing call. ESC call, chat with Caolan - more sliding for Almeria.


I worked a bit inside the virtual machine which runs the LibreOffice extensions and templates website today and reordered the files and moved some of them inside new subfolders. The directory with the Plone instance is much cleaner again.

I had also a look on the content of the site and reviewed some template projects. I had to remove two of them because they didn’t fit the terms of use.

09 May, 2018

  • Mail, chat with Markus. Interested to see Excel adding Javascript functions. We have some horrific, ancient Rhino - JS implementation that is built on Java; so in theory we're already there - but ... I suspect a modern JS engine would perform better and run everywhere; then again - it is always fun to see how many separate garbage collectors we can fit in one process sharing the same signals etc. mix and match Java, C# & JS ... who do you hand your SEGV handler to next ?
  • Sync with Kendy, Miklos, chat with Lubos; much massaging of text. Up late chasing a very interesting file corruption issue.

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