Finally after a long waiting. The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 5.3. Which fairly can be considered a huge release full of updates and new features for the free office suite.

What’s New in LibreOffice 5.3?

Probably, the most waited feature was the new toolbar layout options. However, this features is still experimental and not activated by default in the newer version. Actually you need toggle Tools > Options > Advanced > Enable Experimental Features to be able to see options in View > Toolbar Layout to select how your toolbars should look like:

LibreOffice 5.3 Toolbar Layout Options
LibreOffice 5.3 Toolbar Layout Options

This is the single toolbar mode:

Libreoffice 5.3 Single Toolbar Mode
LibreOffice 5.3 Single Toolbar Mode

This is the sidebar mode:

Libreoffice 5.3 Sidebar Toolbar Mode
Libreoffice 5.3 Sidebar Toolbar Mode

This is the notebook mode, which is similar to that in Microsoft Office:

Libreoffice 5.3 Notebook Toolbar Mode
Libreoffice 5.3 Notebook Toolbar Mode

A new small dialog was added to LibreOffice Writer, which would allow you to go quickly to any page you want. You can access it using Ctrl + G or Edit > Go To Page:

Impress, the presentation files processor in LibreOffice got some love too in 5.3. Now you can select the template you want to use directly upon launch:

If you installed a bad extension or missed improperly with the configurations of LibreOffice. You can now start the program again in “Safe Mode” using the –safe-mode option from the command line. Or, if you have access to the interface, you can toggle Help > Restart in Safe Mode. This would allow you to start the program again using a fresh profile with the default configuration:

The extension manager in LibreOffice 5.3 was redesigned, making it simpler and more efficient:

LibreOffice 5.3 extension manager
LibreOffice 5.3 extension manager

You can now sign or see certificate of the PDF files as well:

Credit: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:Signing-pdf.png

You can also insert Emojis easily now in your documents:

Microsoft office URI schemes are now supported. Providing a better compatibility with Office documents. A lot of improvements and bug fixes were added to the OpenXML filter.

LibreOffice 5.3 also comes with a different cross-platform text layout engine which is called “HarfBuzz“. It depends on OpenType specification. HarfBuzz would allow you to create complex text layouts easily and compatibly on different operating systems. If you are using RTL or CJK languages in your documents, you would be happy to know that a lot of bugs about text processing were solved in the new version:

LibreOffice now offers a complete self-hosted version of the program. You can grab it as a docker container from here:

LibreOffice 5.3 Online, credit: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:Lool-writer.png

Check the following video from TDF about the new features in the release:

Download LibreOffice 5.3

You can also read the complete release notes. Or go now and download LibreOffice 5.3 on Linux. Probably it should be in your distribution’s repositories in a few days (hours?), depending on your distribution.

Download LibreOffice 5.3

M.Hanny Sabbagh

Python programmer and open source software enthusiast. Worked on developing a lot of free software. The founder of FOSS Post. Computer Science major.

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  • Kyrre Sørensen

    Will there ever be a way to update libreoffice OTA, like firefox does it inside the app? Or is it not needed since most people use package managers?

    • Probably not, because they will have to make it cross-platform. And they will have to deal with a lot of APIs and package managers on these operating system. It’s better to leave it for the package manager.

  • Tolga BALCI

    Aren’t there any UI designers in LibreOffice? The interface, the icons in 2017 are still uglier than Windows 95.