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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:

libreoffice 5.3 43 February 1, 2017

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:

libreoffice 5.3 45 February 1, 2017

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:

libreoffice 5.3 47 February 1, 2017

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:

libreoffice 5.3 50 February 1, 2017

You can also insert Emojis easily now in your documents:

libreoffice 5.3 52 February 1, 2017

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 5.3 54 February 1, 2017

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

libreoffice 5.3 56 February 1, 2017
LibreOffice 5.3 Online, credit:

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

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5 Comment
Kyrre Sørensen February 2, 2017
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?
Tolga BALCI February 10, 2017
Aren't there any UI designers in LibreOffice? The interface, the icons in 2017 are still uglier than Windows 95.