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LibreOffice 24.2 unveils new features and improvements alongside switch to date-based version numbering.

31 January 2024, Nick Peers

The latest version of popular open-source office suite LibreOffice is here, but its release number may surprise those expecting to see LibreOffice 7.7. Instead, LibreOffice 24.2 makes its bow as developer The Document Foundation switches to a new date-based version numbering system.

Going forward, LibreOffice version numbers will follow the YYYY.MM method, hence 2024.2 (February 2024) for the new release. Adding to the confusion, LibreOffice 7.6.4 remains in existence for those looking for a more stable, older release.

The NotebookBar gives LibreOffice a more familiar feel to Microsoft Office switchers.

There are numerous highlights accompanying LibreOffice 24.2’s bow, including a switch to making the 'Save AutoRecovery information every' setting the default, providing frequent backups that improve the chances of data recovery after unexpected crashes.

LibreOffice’s NotebookBar – its attempt to provide switchers with a more Office-like interface – gains numerous menu improvements, proper resetting of customised layouts and superior print preview support.

The Special Character dropdown list is also improved with the addition of a character description for the currently selected special character, while those using the Save with Password feature now gain a password-strength meter along with improved encryption across ODF documents.

Impress’s Slide Show settings have a new home in LibreOffice 24.2.

Individual apps also gain a sprinkling of new features. In Writer, comments now support the use of styles, with a special Comment paragraph style enabled by default to allow all comments to be reformatted quickly and consistently.

A new search bar has been added to Calc’s Functions sidebar deck, while users gain highlighted columns and rows based on the currently selected cell and support for the scientific number format in ODF documents.

Impress users can now incorporate small caps text in their slideshows, while the Presenter Console and Remove control settings migrate to Slide Show > Slide Show Settings, complete with improved labelling and dialogue layout. Templates also benefit from several improvements and fixes.

As always, the LibreOffice wiki contains a detailed and comprehensive list of all changes.

LibreOffice 24.2 is available now as a free, open-source download for Windows 64-bit and 32-bit, macOS and Linux. The previous build, LibreOffice 7.6.4, also remains available.

LibreOffice Productivity Suite 24.2.4 (64-bit)

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