The New Features in LibreOffice 3.3

Despite earlier reports that very few if any new features would likely be seen in The Document Foundation's first LibreOffice release, the influx of new developers allowed much more work to be done. In fact, it was even released ahead of schedule. So, what kind of new goodies might one find?

In the press release the top 9 favorite amongst developers were listed. They were:

1)  the ability to import and work with SVG files

2)  an easy way to format title pages and their numbering in Writer

3)  a more-helpful Navigator Tool for Writer

4)  improved ergonomics in Calc for sheet and cell management

5)  Microsoft Works and Lotus Word Pro document import filters.

6)  many great extensions are now bundled

7)  providing PDF import

8)  a slide-show presenter console

9)  a much improved report builder

Some other new features listed on the LibreOffice New Features Webpage include:

1)  Added "Experimental" mode, test out as-yet-unfinished features

2)  Bundled Linux "Libertine G" and Linux "Biolinum G" fonts

3)  Improved slide layout handling in Impress

4)  New easier-to-use print interface

Of course, all the new features added to 3.3 are also in LibreOffice 3.3, many of which were contributed by LibreOffice developers. Some of these include: "embedding of standard PDF fonts in PDF documents; new Liberation Narrow font; increased document protection in Writer and Calc; auto decimal digits for "General" format in Calc; 1 million rows in a spreadsheet; new options for CSV import in Calc; insert drawing objects in Charts; hierarchical axis labels for Charts; improved slide layout handling in Impress; a new easier-to-use print interface; more options for changing case; and colored sheet tabs in Calc." See all the new features at


Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of


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The only thing pi$$ing me off

Eric Ross's picture

The only thing pi$$ing me off about libre or openoffice is the poor support for creating DB forms (front-end), as compared to access. ubuntu 10.10, 32bit, i try to design my own form but no controls show up even after clicking the drop down to Show Form Controls and other Form options.

Beautiful and great news for

Hukuk's picture

Beautiful and great news for the presentation. Thanks

Why would any Microsoft User Complain?

Mike Smith's picture

Really? Why would a MS fanboy complain about OpenOffice/LibreOffice, at all?
For the MS fan fanboys, there is nothing to see here.
Go buy your Office and Windows and expensive hardware to use it, and if you work for a large corporation, multiply it by hundreds or thousands, and then be happy you are using "The Best".
Complaining about OpenOffice/LibreOffice is disingenuous at best.


nellewrites's picture

I'd love to switch away from Word. I'm an aspiring writer, and the word processing element is critical to what I do. Yet comparing Word and any other programme that can handle docx files, the fonts are blurry, while Word fonts are sharp and professional in appearance. Until a programme can get this right, I'm left to stay with Word.

I'm no tech expert, so I'm tossing this out there for those who work on this stuff... get the fonts right before working on kewl add on features.


Anonymous's picture

Peace, man. I did not mean to hurt your feelings when I reported that the shiny new FLOSS flagship, the pride of the GNU/Linux community, the potential killer application to switch the masses away from M-Dollar, starts dog-slow on a standard office computer.

how fast to start libreoffice - writer

willie m. aligato's picture

it just took me less than 5 seconds to open libreoffice writer.


Anonymous's picture

Starting LibreOffice Writer on Windows XP takes 35 seconds from the mouseclick until the splashscreen appears, and a total of 1:05 minutes until the program is ready to accept keyboard input. Measured on a Core2 Duo 1.8 GHz with 2 GB RAM. And no, that was not the first start of the program (however, it was the first start after a reboot).

Needless to say, at this "speed," the program is useless for actual work.

Slooooow LibreWriter startup maybe scewed by Windows startup

Anonymous's picture

Windows can take serveral to many minutes to finish booting without an SSD (drive). Long after the desktop and icons are showing and even after the hourglass disappears from the mouse pointer, Windows can still be booting. The only way to tell that it's done is by seeing when the disk activity light indicates very little or no activity. If you start any application before this process finishes, the time it will take to start up the app will be severely lengthened. Your "test" was obviously done while the bootup was still occurring.

On my Windows XP single processor Pentium IV system with 2GB with no MS Office preloaded code running in the background stealing resources and the Windows bootup process finished, I opened up LibreWriter in 26 seconds the first time and in about 3 seconds the second time after the QuickStarter code was already loaded.

Seems just fine to me.

startup times

Anonymous's picture

Nobody here commenting about startup times seems to be taking into account that many Microsoft applications load big chucks of themselves into memory at startup by default so that they appear to load faster when or if you use them. This severely reduces resources available to other apps even if you are not using MS Office. Additionally, Windows systems often times have Anti-Virus software that do automatic scans often enough to also cause problems. and LibreOffice also have a "QuickStarter" but it doesn't load on Windows startup by default. Once it is loaded, startup times are quick. However, I am somewhat shocked and dismayed that the LibreOffice people seem to have taken away the ability to unload the Quickstarter from the Taskbar. What's going on; shades of Microsoft?

Try another OS

redwoody's picture

Starts in 9 seconds in LinuxMint 9 (I need LinuxMint 10 :-))

Linux rocks

Anonymous's picture

amen brother! I'm steadily going away from M$ and more to linux. I can get a complete OS & thousands of programs for $4 on ebay, including shipping! No more malware, activations, registrations, and constant antivirus update hassels, not to mention I can install it on as many machines as I want without any licensing issues whatsoever. No illegal copies here that don't update & leave me vulnerable either. Plus free upgrades (not just updates) every 6 months or so. Its not perfect, but far better than M$ overall.

8 seconds here on a Ubuntu

Vauibhav D's picture

8 seconds here on a Ubuntu 10.10. AMD Sempron 2.7 GHz, 2GB RAM.

You need a better computer, and a better OS

zaine_ridling's picture

Starts in less than one second on openSUSE. Does anything start fast on WinXP?

Computer and OS are fine, thank you ...

Anonymous's picture

... if a word processor needs better hardware than what I reported above, then it is the word processor that has serious issues.

Ya know,

JimmyTheGeek's picture

That's exactly the same thing I was thinking when MS said I had to upgrade my hardware & buy new software & peripherals when they foisted Windows Vista/7 on us.

I bet most of the wait is

Anonymous's picture

I bet most of the wait is caused by loading the Java runtime. It seems to be more of a problem on win xp machines. You can stop LO from loading Java in the options (just like Sure you lose some functionality (I've never noticed). The LO team is working to replace the code that depends on java now that Sun/Oracle is not in the picture.

WM theme

Adam Williamson's picture

Are you running Mandrake 9.0 on that thing? :)


MicroSourcing's picture

The feature that bundles all of the extensions together is probably Libre Office's highlight. Great news.

how good does PDF import work?

SileNT's picture

So far, I've seen a couple of programs which were able to import PDF, but the quality was not very good (i.e. formatting gone, missing image and so on).

How does it look with LibreOffice?

Presentation Mnimizer

Anonymous's picture

I use this a lot working with colleagues. LO_64bit is not compatible with the Presentation Minimizer add-on .. hopefully with ver 3.3?

smart art missing

Anonymous's picture

Features like smart art and photo editing (MS office) simply do not exist in ooo or LibreOffice. MS office has smart art since 2007 and really I can't live without it. Soft shadows also. Have u seen the new transitions in powerpoint 2010? They are fantastic (video editing software quality). I am sorry that I still need to use windows because of the office 2010. ooo and LibreOffice are good, but still they are a decade behind MS office.

art and photo editing in an Office Suite...why?

lamapper's picture

If I was going to manipulate an image I would just use Gimp and save it in the best format for the final output use in LibreOffice. Back in the day anything I needed to do on a Windows system, image wise, I would use PaintShop Pro and get the job done. Never needed PhotoShop, thankfully as it cost $200 to $400 more than my budget could afford. Imagine my surprise to learn that it was equivalent to PhotoShop...loved PaintShop Pro...until the company attempted to force me to upgrade to a new Windows Operating System to continue to use I churned and never looked back.

It was around the same time as Windows 2000 ignoring user's settings and auto-updating when a user specifically told the darn thing NOT a perfect time to pick up Gimp as I churned from Windows to Linux...once again I never looked back.

Kinda reminds me of the Clipper vs Foxbase debates of yester-yore, if you had started on Clipper (PhotoShop) and had allot of time spent you probably would continue to use it. (and that would be smart based on your time investment already)

However in a very short period of time Foxbase (PaintShop Pro) came on the scene, did everything you honestly needed to do and more as the Clipper (PhotoShop) application ... but if you did not have significant time involved you would never pay the extra $200+ to $600+ (the extra was somewhere in that range) price for either Clipper or would use Foxbase/FoxPro or PaintShop Pro, save the money and be done with it.

During that time and before, I used WordStar, VisiCalc, WordPerfect, even MS Word when it came on the scene many years later...yes I owned MS Word and MS Excel for OS/2 before MS Office was a twinkle in Bill's eyes, but I was not a technical writer either and they served their purpose for my need.

As for the professionals that needed more than a word-processor, they used Harvard Graphics, WordPerfect and before publishing would load up their content to Ventura Publisher or Adobe PageMaker and publish it from that. That was how the professionals did it back in the day. They would laugh at you if you only used a Word-Processor...sorta like you seem when you mention "smart art".

What makes it smart, does it answer questions on the SAT or something...that was rhetorical and a poor attempt at humor...not wanting a response.

I remember one technical writer, she was a Power user of WordPerfect, and would tell me about something new she learned about the inner workings of that one software application, WordPerfect, every day for almost three was amazing, of course I was just a programmer/system administrator she was a technical writer. She had a need I did not so it was understandable that she would dig in deeper to the application than I would ever have a need to do.

One thing is for sure, no way in heck would she have used Microsoft Paint to create her graphics. Talk about a fact I would not have used Paint either as it did not meet my needs of needing layers and much, much guess is "smart art" as some serious limitations if compared to Gimp, PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro as well.

Nor would most users use the internal graphic package of any of the Word-Processing / Office packages in lieu of a professional graphics package, ie. Gimp / PhotoShop / PaintShop Pro. It simply would not be efficient. However my mom, dad and relatives would use Paint, but they normally did not bother paying the $400+ for office either.

And of course all the software applications mentioned would be different if you were a MacIntosh user, however even a MacIntosh Power user would not use the simple Paint program for most images.

You wrote,

"MS office has smart art since 2007 and really I can't live without it."

Okay you can't live without that, than don't switch to LibreOffice. I just see this as another false comparison making someone else who knows less think that LibreOffice is not as good (or better IMO) than Office or

I feel the same way when someone tries to make Linux seem less capable than Windows because Linux does not need Active Directory (which imposes a Microsoft specific requirement that is unnecessary per my Linux System Admin buddy that has over 10,000 Linux desktops and still scaling to higher numbers, sharing files, sharing printers, etc...

I feel like your mention of "smart art" is one of these false comparisons to make LibreOffice look like it is not as good or less. When the reality is for all but the simplest of graphics a Linux user would use Gimp and a Windows user would use PhotoShop or PaintShop Pro.

As for most average word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation use of Office packages, LibreOffice will excel (pun intended) and we simply will not have a need for either OOo or Office...and that is a very good and thankful thing.

I am FREE at last! (from an Office package perspective at least.)

Have fun switching over to

Anonymous's picture

Have fun switching over to GIMP or Photoshop or whatever just to add a proper shadow to an image. Or rounding off just one out of four corners. Or putting bevel effects on decorative text. Or adding a reflection. Or...

Not everyone will use these I know - most people won't - but clearly there is a place for such image effects inside an office suite nowadays. Why else do you think Keynote gets such rave reviews (other than its whiz-bang transitions...)

Also, SmartArt is actually a diagramming engine... and a mighty good one at that. Trying to emulate it in GIMP is just frustrating.

"Smart art" isn't graphic editing

Anonymous's picture

it's fairly obvious you have no idea what office 20007's "smart art" even is... I have used open source software for years and will continue to do so for many to come; however, office 2007's smart art feature is VERY HELPFUL and a huge time saver, especially to somebody who only creates the occasional presentation (like I do for my job). As far as I know, Libre and OpenOffice have nothing that compares to this feature and it would be great if they did.


Ken Sarkies's picture

to use MS Office will cost hundreds of dollars and force the user to use MS Windows on a superfast machine that has to handle the increasingly burdensome antivirus scanning, and so on. So my solution is to use Graphics Editor software to edit graphics. OOo may not have all the features of MS Office but surely satisfies the needs of the great majority of users.

You are fortunate

Anonymous's picture

You are fortunate to have MS Office available. So stop slumming, already.

LibreOffice shouldn't promote's new features

Anonymous's picture

I think it's unfair to fork a program and to promote new features of the origin as new features. Changes in LibreOffice are still marginal.

Why not ...?

Anonymous's picture

Why not, if these features come from the very same developers of both Suites? Please remember that LibreO developers are free to contribute to OOorg and many of them do.

The exclusive features in LibreO are mostly things that just didn't make it (for whatever reasons) into OOorg for a long time standing, so now the Devs chose to include them into LibreO exclusively. Sure, the "differential contrubution" might increase in the future as new LibreO contributors likely won't sign in for assigning their copyright to Oracle.

Another fix

Anonymous's picture

I do a lot of presentations about FOSS software, and LibreOffice has FINALLY fixed the glitch in Impress' Presentation Console that prevented it from being used as intended. Great news for presenters!

FOSS Presentations

yahtzeek9's picture

I would love to see some of your presentations. I am working on one for my kids school. If you have a website to get them it would be great. The FOSS community needs better collaboration to get the word out. Thanks, any help is much appreciated.

Good News

Anonymous's picture

This is defiantly great news, no more corporate strangle hold on the major Linux office software suite. I'm glad to see so many people contributing and releasing such a great first release. Vive la Libreoffice!