January 22, 2013, 4:31 PM — It's hard to believe LibreOffice has only been around about two years, so thoroughly has it come to dominate as the leading free and open source productivity suite, but late last week a release candidate for its next major version appeared.
"The Document Foundation is pleased to announce the first release candidate of our upcoming LibreOffice 4.0," wrote Thorsten Behrens, SUSE developer and deputy chairman of the Document Foundation board, in the official announcement. "4.0 will be our fifth major release in just over two years, and it comes with a nice set of new features."
Last month the foundation held a "test marathon" for the software, followed soon afterwards by the appearance of a second beta release. After two more release candidates in the coming weeks, LibreOffice 4.0 is due to arrive in its final form next month.
In the meantime, there's nothing like a release candidate for offering a sneak preview. Ready for a quick peek? Here are a few key features we can expect.
1. Support for Firefox themes
Firefox fans will notice a new level of integration between LibreOffice and their favorite browser. Specifically, in this upcoming version of LibreOffice, you'll be able to choose "Tools," "Options," "Personalization," and then "Select Persona." From there, you can choose the theme you like in your browser, paste its address into a dialog box, confirm, and then see it used in LibreOffice, as shown below.
2. Integration with Ubuntu's Unity
Users of Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution, meanwhile, will find new integration with that distro's Unity desktop environment.
3. Wider access