LibreOffice 4.3, The Almost Perfect Office Suite

By any measure, LibreOffice is a great office suite.“According to the Coverity Scan service, joined by LibreOffice in October 2012, the quality of LibreOffice source code has improved dramatically during the last two years, with a reduction of the defect density per 1,000 lines of code from an above the average 1.11 to an industry leading 0.08” Today’s release takes it another step closer to perfection. If you can’t do something with it, you probably don’t need to do it or it’s just silly. I can do everything I want with it. It lacks only one small feature for me, styles in charts/graphs, but that’s in the pipe.

LibreOffice 4.3: today, you can’t own a better office suite.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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17 Responses to LibreOffice 4.3, The Almost Perfect Office Suite

  1. DrLoser says:

    The answer is yes and has been yes for a long time. The way Libreoffice does it is different and not automatically for darn good reason.

    That reason being smug self-satisfied incomprehension, oiaohm? It won’t work with the punters. Not me (an amateur), not Kurks (a native speaker), not anybody.

    May I help out with a blast from the past?

    How to make money. 1 sell it with a book. The book provides support and teachers the user how to use it. Profit to someone like Wal-Mart for selling MS Office can be less than 20 dollars a copy. LGPL does not forbid selling disk and book. Disk can be sold for 15 to recover production and shelf cost. Basically 10 dollar profit. The book with it covers the next 10+ so making it equal or better to sell.

    Yes people have got annoyed we me at times for only selling Openoffice with book or with a installation charge. Its legal and above board. LGPL license makes no requirement to hand over the source code for nothing either.

    Basically their is money to be made. The question is can you think outside box.

    Just a random bit from 2011, and admittedly nothing to do with my beloved Greek language.

    Nonetheless, I feel the general need to be forewarned against stupidity.

  2. oiaohm says:

    kurkosdr
    Can LibreOffice use the greek dictionary when spell-checking text written with greek characters, and the english dictionary when spell-checking text written with english characters?
    The answer is yes and has been yes for a long time. The way Libreoffice does it is different and not automatically for darn good reason.

    Under font tab char and paragraph style configurations you set language. This should tell you something kurkosdr. Libreoffice is thinking from the point of view you are using a different Language you may want to be using a different font/style as well. So anywhere not assigned is a bug.

    If you read most style guides of most universities different language if its part in a paragraph is required to be italics. So you should have a style assigned with the correct language.

    kurkosdr by most standard what you are complaining about Libreoffice not doing for you would say Libreoffice should accept poor quality work.

    luvr its not silly to avoid auto guessing by char. What if someone has copied it a bit of text and has failed to translate it? Automatic means a person can get part way down the document and go o crud the remaining instructions are in the wrong language. This happens from users of MS Office.

    kurkosdr by the way Greek letters are not just used by Greek words or the Greek Language. Auto guessing because chars is different is hazard.

    It is possible to add extension to Libreoffice to cause it to auto assign style based on alphabets so can apply correct language settings as well. For the errors that can happen its not a built in default feature.

    Some writers need dictionary assigned by alphabets some strictly don’t. Translators of documents strictly need anywhere not translated to appear as an error. This is a case you cannot make everyone out the box happy. You either match up for those translating documents or multi-lingual.

    Multi-lingual can result in horible messes like greek spell checker attempting to correct mathematics because the mathematics used a stack of greek chars just happen to match close enough to a greek word.

    kurkosdr not supporting what you want reduces the number of errors Libreoffice causes for it majority of users. Now could you write an extension for Libreoffice to detect by charset and assign styles correctly the answer is yes.

    Just because you can build a feature in does not mean it will be a good idea for the majority.

  3. JD says:

    @kurkosdr
    http://postimg.org/image/s3xm3ty6d/

    Perhaps you have LibreOffice confused with notepad?

  4. luvr says:

    kurkosdr asked: “Can I right click on a link to remove said link?”
    Not sure about you, but I can. I have just tried it with LibreOffice 3.5.4.2 (which is a pretty old release, even) under Debian, and I have no idea why you seem to imply that LibreOffice won’t let you do that.

    Next, kurkosdr asked: “Can LibreOffice use the greek dictionary when spell-checking text written with greek characters, and the english dictionary when spell-checking text written with english characters?”
    Don’t know about Greek, but LibreOffice can handle multi-language documents just fine—albeit not automatically. I can, however, mark any fragment of text as being written in a language different from the main text, and it will get handled properly. Granted—it may seem silly that the software won’t attempt to match the language with the alphabet that a text fragment uses, but so be it. I wouldn’t call it a bug, but simply a (depending on your needs, potentially annoying) missing piece of functionality. Thus, if you really, badly want automatic language recognition, LibreOffice (in its current incarnation) is not for you. That doesn’t have to mean, though, that it cannot be for me, does it?

  5. Bilbophile wrote, “software that cannot do certain things”.

    That’s very true and especially true for general-purpose/utility stuff. It would be plain silly for everyone to drive a tank just because they can blow stuff up, for instance. LibreOffice is more like a station wagon, great for a wide range of activities, but it’s not a tank or a truck. Those are more specialized roles. I need a station wagon every few days but I only need a truck a few times a year. The station wagon can deal with those few times even if not optimally.

  6. Bilbophile says:

    I think software that cannot do certain things than is a lot better than software that can do more things badly. This kind of honesty results in better predictability and therefore improved productivity.

    Plus, on the long run (although some would claim on the longer run we are all dead) it is easier to add new features than to rectify improperly implemented ones.

  7. dougman says:

    Let’s not forget activating your software, golly, thats sooo much fun!

    “To activate an Office, you must enter your 25-digit product key, we also reserve the right to check on your activation every 90-days, you may not install on more than one computer. You must pay us more money, but feel free to pirate all you want, so long as your pirate M$ software.”

  8. dougman says:

    Lets see, M$ Innovation is where?

    Office 2003 (Improved UI)
    Office 2007 (ribbon)
    Office 2010 (same BS)
    Office 2013 (same BS)

  9. dougman says:

    Hmmmm… how many people write in Greek? Seriously?? International business is almost always done in English anyways.

    I am almost certain that with Greece gone into default, that LibreOffice is THE only viable solution for them, as they are broke.

    If you like paying every three years for a new office suite, by all means, but be aware that M$ is changing its revenue model soon and eventually its entire office suite will be only available for a annual subscription fee.

    So in essence, you are paying less, but it provides a more stable and increased annual stream of revenue, which is acceptable per GAAP.

  10. DrLoser says:

    Can LibreOffice use the greek dictionary when spell-checking text written with greek characters, and the english dictionary when spell-checking text written with english characters?

    I can think of a few cases where such action might be useful, say, creating a Greek/English dictionary or writing a multilingual pamphlet or some scholarly article on languages, but those are pretty special cases with easy workarounds.

    Forget the “easy workarounds,” Robert: I can think of two immediate use-cases that meet Kurkos’ stated needs:

    Use case 1: I’m writing text mostly in English, with some quotes in Greek. I’d like the spell checker to spell check the English for the English and the Greek for the Greek.

    Use case 2: I’m writing text mostly in Greek, with some quotes in English. I’d like the spell checker to spell check the Greek for the Greek and the English for the English.

    Tricky stuff, this, I suppose.

    If you’re monolingual.

  11. DrLoser says:

    Customer to (say) Dougman: I want the best Office Suite out there!
    Dougman (why not?): You may not have heard of -Open- LibreOffice. It’s free, and it’s feature rich!
    Customer: Actually, I have heard of it, sort of. I guess it sounds worth a go. Feature rich, you say! Anything else I should know?
    Dougman: Not only is it feature rich (it’s up to version 4.3, btw!), but it also has a very, very low density of defects according to Coverity.

    You lose right there, don’t you?

    Coverity, density, defects? Not a chance that any normal person would regard any of these as reasons to invest (even for free) in the wretched little thing.

  12. kukosdr wrote, “Can LibreOffice use the greek dictionary when spell-checking text written with greek characters, and the english dictionary when spell-checking text written with english characters?”

    I can think of a few cases where such action might be useful, say, creating a Greek/English dictionary or writing a multilingual pamphlet or some scholarly article on languages, but those are pretty special cases with easy workarounds. e.g. one could turn on various dictionaries as needed or insert foreign snippets as images or pasting from other documents. LibreOffice, by design, is a general purpose software and it does a lot for many people and their documents. English, for instance, borrows from many languages. I would not want a misspelling in English to be interpreted as good French or German. For me a single language per document makes sense.

  13. dougman says:

    As if Office doesn’t have any bugs or “known issues”….LOL.

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/office-2013-known-issues-HA102919019.aspx

    Also to add, even a recent M$ update broke Office, updates never break my Libreoffice installation….hahaha.

    “Microsoft’s latest batch of Patch Tuesday updates broke Office 2013 for some users, leaving the productivity suite unable to run whatsoever, the company admitted in a Friday blog post.

    “Shortly after the release of the June Public Update, we received notification of a potential issue affecting a subset of Office 2013 Click-to-Run users,” the Microsoft Office engineering team wrote. “In some cases, users running Office 2013 may not be able to launch Office products after the June Public updates are installed.”

    The solution was to uninstall and reinstall Office, LOL. What kind of fix is that??

    BTW, hope you like paying yearly for M$ Office that you do not own but lease, that is the revenue model that they have decided to go with, enjoy being a rental asset for M$.

    I can remove and reinstall LibreOffice in around a few minutes, M$ Office takes half an hour at best! Why is that? Can you say bloat??

    With the UI changes in Windows 8, Office 2013 did not escape being ribboned all over again. Silly Start Screens, saving of files online to SkyDrive, adding only Sharepoint or SkyDrive as save to places and to add Dropbox you have use a crowbar by way of script, forcing one to use SkyDrive is another revenue model they have in store for you M$ wants your money! There are other annoyances and bugs to be sure, but eh, I do not care about the Dohs of Windows.

  14. kurkosdr says:

    “Gee, I didn’t know I needed a Greek spell checker to do my term paper.”

    (Typical open-source neckbeard. Proper localization of text input, aka handling different alphabets correctly? Most of the contributers in the project are english-speaking so why bother?)

    Anyway, the problem here is LibreOffice not being able to pick the correct frickin’ dictionary, even for betwen two languages with completely different alphabets, not just greek vs english.

    This bug existed in the versions of Word from the 90s, but it has been resolved decades ago. Libreoffice still has it.

    Right click to remove link? MS Word had it since -like- forever.

  15. matchrocket says:

    Gee, I didn’t know I needed a Greek spell checker to do my term paper.

  16. kurkosdr says:

    Can I right click on a link to remove said link?

    Can LibreOffice use the greek dictionary when spell-checking text written with greek characters, and the english dictionary when spell-checking text written with english characters?

    This is what I get when I copy and paste to LibreOffice. Trying to break the text using commas doesn’t clue LibreOffice either

    http://i.imgur.com/xgpCW2d.png

    Oh, guess what? It’s using the greek dictionary to spell-check words written with english (latin) characters).

    http://i.imgur.com/u5jbFff.png

    (Ελληνικά = Greek)

    I mean… com’ on! This bug has been corrected from MS Word since forever!

    Then there is Impress, with templates drawn by 12-year-olds and not making it easy to insert animations.

    I don’t have to open many docx and pptx files, so I don’t have the OOXML compat issue open-source fans claim it’s the reason people don’t use Libre.

    I don’t use Libre because this feeling that LibreOffice is Word From The 90s annoys me. I have version 4.0.3.3 and I won’t even bother to check 4.3, and whether they have fixed the above problems. If they can’t implement something as simple as my first two complaints (remove link by right-click and use the correct dictonary for languages with entirely different alphabets), who knows what other treasure chests are hiding in there.

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