LibreOffice 5.1: Release Notes

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About this page

This is the page with our 5.1 release notes. It should be final now that the 5.1 version itself has been released. However, if you spot any missing or incorrect information, then please let us know. Thanks in advance for your help!


A quick look at some of the new features in LibreOffice Writer 5.1

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  • Spelling dialog no longer automatically closes once spellcheck is complete. tdf#79312, tdf#42935 (Marek Dolezel and Samuel Mehrbrodt)
  • Widow/Orphan paragraph text-flow enabled by default for new documents. tdf#89714 (SIL)
  • Mail merge embedding of the datasource definition (see this blog entry) (Miklos Vajna, Collabora)

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  • Hide Whitespace option added to View menu tdf#39080 (Ashod Nakashian, Collabora)
  • Outline split button available in formatting toolbar, but hidden by default tdf#95403 (Maxim Monastirsky)
  • While in print preview mode to jump to a specific page, the only thing you have to do is enter the page number on the numeric field in the toolbar. tdf#80657 (Gülşah Köse)


A quick look at some of the new features in LibreOffice Calc 5.1

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  • New commands to add rows below and columns right. tdf#90882 (Philippe Jung)
  • Data Sources keyboard shortcut was changed to Ctrl + ⇧ Shift + F4 and F4 was assigned to toggling cell references. tdf#59418 (Dennis Francis)
  • Formula Wizard shows the values of parameters and results on the Structure page. (Benjamin Ni)
Data ▸ Statistics ▸ Regression dialog
New PNG export in Calc
  • Option to search formatted display strings using find bar and also "Find & Replace" dialog. tdf#48456 (Dennis Francis)
  • INDIRECT function: better compatibility for legacy OOo documents, improved interoperability with Excel tdf#92256,tdf#93688 (Katarina Behrens, CIB)
  • Custom number formats with question mark in decimal part (such as 0.???), to get decimal alignment without '0', are now saved in ODF tdf#40517 (Laurent BP)

Formula engine

Table structured references

tdf#85063 (Eike Rathke, Red Hat)

  • The following restrictions of Table structured references that were present in 5.0 were addressed:
    • The column names must not be present as cell content in the table's header row any more; column-header-less tables are now supported.
      • For this, for new database ranges without header cells or with empty header cell content, internal names are generated, for example Column1, Column2, ...
      • Internal names are imported from OOXML spreadsheet documents and continue to function in formula expressions.
    • Saving to OOXML, structured references are now written (not transformed to A1 notation any more) and the table context is maintained.
    • Saving to OOXML, the defined database ranges are now exported as <table> elements.
  • Modifying header cell content updates the internal table column names.
    • When deleting header cell content, formulas referring the column name continue to function and are still editable using the previous name.
    • When duplicating header cell content, duplicated column names internally are numbered. For example, having two FooBar header cells the column names will be FooBar and FooBar2. This is automatically reflected in existing formula expressions.
    • When inserting columns within a table, numbered column names are internally generated for empty header cells, starting with the column number within the table. For example, inserting two columns before the third column of a table the generated names are Column3 and Column4.
      • The generated column names are updated if text is entered in such an empty cell.
    • All internal column names are unique within one table, which is reflected when displaying existing formula expressions.

Sticky end column/row anchors

tdf#92779 (Eike Rathke, Red Hat)

  • For range references that encompass at least two columns or rows where the end reference points to the last column or row, i.e. AMJ or 1048576, the end column or row is sticky now and not moved when inserting or deleting columns or rows.
  • When inserting columns or rows and updating a reference the end reference would be shifted out of the sheet bounds, the reference is anchored at the last column or row instead of generating a #REF! error.
    • For example a reference B2:B1048575 when inserting two rows will be updated to B2:B1048576.
    • The column or row will become sticky then, in the example row 1048576.
  • A reference like B1048576:C1048576 does not have a sticky end row anchor, because only one row is referenced.

Compatibility with ODF 1.2

Function WEEKNUM strictly complies with ODF 1.2 function definition and ISOWEEKNUM has been introduced. tdf#50950 (Winfried Donkers + Eike Rathke)

  • In the UI the WEEKNUM_ADD function has been renamed to WEEKNUM_EXCEL2003 to point out it exists for interoperability of documents created with Microsoft Excel.
    • Importing such documents created with older Microsoft Excel versions map the WEEKNUM function to WEEKNUM_EXCEL2003
    • Saving to ODF or OOXML writes WEEKNUM, older LibreOffice and release map that to WEEKNUM_ADD.
    • For new documents the WEEKNUM function should be used.
  • WEEKNUM now supports all arguments of the second parameter as defined in ODF OpenFormula (ODFF), see
  • The ISOWEEKNUM function has been implemented to calculate the week number according to ISO 8601, see
  • WEEKNUM_OOO provides compatibility with older LibreOffice and releases for cases that can not be mapped to WEEKNUM or ISOWEEKNUM as defined in the standard, specifically if the mode argument is 1 the old WEEKNUM implementation returned a week number calculated as if it was an ISO 8601 calculation but with the week starting on Sunday instead of Monday. This is not covered by any standard.
    • Not offered in the Function Wizard to prevent accidental use. Use it only if interoperability with older LibreOffice or releases is required.
    • Currently still saved wrongly as ISOWEEKNUM with 2 parameters for interoperability with older LibreOffice or releases.
      • This will be changed in future for release 5.3 and the function will be saved as ORG.LIBREOFFICE.WEEKNUM_OOO, the current 5.1 release is already enabled to read that.

Impress and Draw

A quick look at some of the new features in LibreOffice Impress 5.1

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  • Slide navigation and sorting commands were added with corresponding shortcut keys. tdf#91909 (Philippe Jung, Yousuf Philips)
  • Master slide view appears in a different background color to normal view. tdf#87905 (Katarina Behrens, CIB)
  • KDE, XFCE, and Mate ScreenSavers are now also inhibited when presenting (Andrzej Hunt).

Impress Mode selection

Several modes were active in Impress:

  • Page to edit slides content
  • Page Master to edit slides container
  • Notes to add Notes
  • Notes Master to edit Notes container
  • Plan to sketch a presentation
  • Handout to define the handout format
  • Slide sorter to organise presentation

It was hard to navigate between Master / non master modes. Tabs above the working area were jumping right and left, consuming screen space.

Now, two toolbox icons have been added:

  • one to toggle Tab bar visibility. It is hidden by default. Clicking the toggle disables the new Mode Selection tool and restores the previous behaviour.
  • one to Select the Working mode among the 7 modes listed above. It is divided in two zones: top zone is regular mode (dealing with content of the presentation), bottom zone is the Master mode (dealing with container).
New mode selection

Slide Design

Slide Design dialog in Slide ▸ Slide Design now affects all selected (standard) slides. (Caolán McNamara, Red Hat)

Equalize Width/Height

When multiple objects are selected, the right click context menu Shapes submenu now supports Equalize Width and Equalize Height which adjusts the width/height of the selected objects to the width/height of the last selected object. (Caolán McNamara, Red Hat)


Save Background Image

Right clicking a slide now supports saving a background image to file, this matches the pre-existing set background image option. (Caolán McNamara, Red Hat)


View/Edit Control Points

The Shape Properties dialog for enhanced shapes now lists and enables editing the control points. This is in addition to the preexisting mechanism of selecting with the mouse the yellow control handle of the shape, but enables viewing and fine control over the control values. (Caolán McNamara, Red Hat)


Presenter Console

There is now a button on the presenter console to restart the timer of the slideshow without restarting the slideshow itself (see this blog entry) (Miklos Vajna, Collabora; Andreas Kainz)


OpenGL Transitions

All OpenGL transitions have been ported to OpenGL 2.1+, which removes support for very old GPUs but allows a better usage of modern ones. Four new transitions have been added which require OpenGL 3.2+ that exploit these new available features. (Emmanuel Gil Peyrot, Collabora; Tomaž Vajngerl, Collabora)



  • Autoclosing brackets is optional now tdf#43090

Import MathML from Clipboard

(Regina Henschel)

  • The tool “Math Input Panel” in Windows or the context menu of a formula in a browser allow to copy the MathML source to clipboard. The Math module in LibreOffice has got a new item “Import MathML from Clipboard” in menu Tools to import such source and convert it into LibreOffice’s own formula syntax StarMath.
Math Input Panel
MathML source in browser
  • MathML and StarMath have some differences and therefore sometimes corrections on the imported formula are needed, but most of the formula should be correct. If a conversion is not possible, nothing happens.
Import MathML screenshot
  • The import expects, that a <math> element exists, which has an attribute xmlns="".
Result of importing MathML


Ancient SeaMonkey based mozab driver was only used on Windows 32 bit and is removed now. This functionality is replaced with mork driver, that supports Thunderbird address book.

Given that SeaMonkey based mozab driver also provided Outlook and Outlook Express address book integration, that Windows 32 bit only feature is lost for now. Note that Windows 64 bit never supported ancient SeaMonkey based mozab driver.


Trend Line

  • Exponential and Power trend lines accept negative Y values tdf#70673 (Laurent BP)
  • Improve equation rendering by removing some useless 1: (Laurent BP)
    • polynomial: f(x) = 1x^2 + 1x +1 => f(x) = x^2 + x +1
    • exponential: f(x) = exp( 1 x ) => f(x) = exp( x )


Unicode character input with Alt + X

Some Windows applications, such as Microsoft Word and WordPad, permit the user to input arbitrary Unicode characters by typing an hexadecimal code point (for example, 2026 for ) and then pressing Alt + X. LibreOffice now includes this functionality as well. (Note: This feature adds to the long-existing, equivalent Linux/GTK functionality of pressing Ctrl + ⇧ Shift + U+hexadecimal code point.) tdf#73691 (SIL)


  • Toggles (switches back and forth) between the character before the cursor and its Unicode notation.
  • Intelligently handles combining characters, expanding the entire character immediately.
  • Selection is not necessary, but if used will limit the input to those characters. (Draw/Impress/Calc have the final result selected, but not Writer.)
  • Handles all 16 Unicode planes
  • Available in Writer, Draw, Impress, Calc and Math.
  • Re-assignable keyboard shortcut: Tools ▸ Customize ▸ Keyboard ▸ Category:Options ▸ Function:Toggle Unicode Notation. Defaults to Alt + X assigned at the global level. (Alt + C used for Basque/Dutch/Galician/German/Brazilian-Portugese locales and ⌘ Command + ⌥ Option + X used for MacOS).

WebDav Improvements

Options / General

  • Support for the HKEY_CURRENT_USER Windows registry hierarchy which enables per-user configuration policies (Michael Meeks, Collabora)


New import filters

  • Gnumeric is now an officially supported import format (does not work on Windows, see tdf#94834) (It was supported as part of the experimental features for some time) (Markus Mohrhard)
  • Microsoft Write (.wri files) can now be imported, via libwps. (Sean Young)
  • Apple Keynote 6 files can now be imported, via libetonyek. tdf#88682 (David Tardon, Red Hat)
Sample document opened in Keynote 6.6
Sample document opened in LibreOffice 5.1

Improvements in OpenXML filter

  • Export of the modified VBA stream back to binary Microsoft formats and OOXML (Rosemary Sebastian, Markus Mohrhard)
    • There is a new configuration value that allows to control whether to use this feature (by default yes) or switch back to the old behavior of discarding or writing back the unchanged stream
    • The following features are not yet (completely) supported: Protected macros, macro sheets, active x and some of the designer features.
  • Improved export of embedded objects to DOCX and PPTX, including export of Math formulas (Michael Stahl, Red Hat)
  • Numerous other improvements to the Microsoft OOXML import and export filters, the Microsoft Office binary file formats and the RTF format. Details:

Improvements in MS Visio filter

  • Implement overriding of colour of lines and of text from layer properties and the visibility and/or printability of a layer. tdf#50309, tdf#68392 (Fridrich Strba)
  • Fix incorrect handling of stencil text. tdf#90154 (Fridrich Strba)
  • Basic initial implementation of hatch fill. tdf#44552, tdf#76835 (Fridrich Strba)
  • Implement support of bullets/lists. tdf#92349 (Fridrich Strba)
  • Implement support of default tab-stops and custom tab-sets in paragraph properties. (Fridrich Strba)
  • Instead of line-break, spit out a new paragraph when a paragraph break is found. (Fridrich Strba)
  • Initial emulation of line rounding property. (tdf#90603) (Fridrich Strba)
  • VSDX theme color import fix (tdf#92270) (Andras Timar, Collabora)
  • fix VSDX char background handling (tdf#92271) (Andras Timar, Collabora)

Improvements in CorelDRAW filter

  • Do not drop empty text lines. tdf#67873 (David Tardon)


  • In dialog Tools ▸ Options ▸ LibreOffice ▸ View was added displays the current status OpenGL: Enabled or Disabled
Current status OpenGL.png

Reorganization of the menus

The main menus in Writer, Calc and Impress were reorganized to improve usability, group similar functions together, add functions that were not present and sorting items based on their usage and importance. blog entry

  • Reorganization of the menus in Writer, including the addition of a Styles menu tdf#91781 (Yousuf Philips)
New main menu Styles in Writer
  • Reorganization of the menus in Calc, including the addition of a Sheet menu tdf#91820 (Yousuf Philips)
New main menu Sheet in Calc
  • Reorganization of the menus in Impress, including the addition of a Slide menu tdf#91857 (Yousuf Philips)
New main menu Slide in Impress

Remote Files Dialog

  • In the Start screen and menu File was added item Open remote files for opening file on remote resources such as Google Drive, OneDrive, SharePoint, etc. tdf#86703 blog entry (Szymon Kłos, GSoC 2015; Yousuf Philips, Heiko Tietze)
  • In menu File was added item Save to remote server for saving file on remote resources such as Google Drive, OneDrive, SharePoint, etc.


  • Sidebar Deck and Panel states are saved between sessions tdf#67770 (Laurent Godard)
  • Using the Scrollwheel over the Sidebar tabs now swipes through decks, instead of scroll the document in the main window (Bjoern Michaelsen)
  • Reorganize the Area content panel found in the Properties deck. tdf#90078 (Rishabh Kumar, GSoC 2015; Yousuf Philips)
To left section Area in Libreoffice 5.0, to right - in LibreOffice 5.1
  • Reorganize the Line content panel found in the Properties deck. tdf#89543 (Rishabh Kumar, GSoC 2015; Yousuf Philips; Katarina Behrens [CIB])
To left section Line in Libreoffice 5.0, to right - in LibreOffice 5.1
  • Creation of a Shadow content panel found in the Properties deck in Calc, Impress and Draw. tdf#87702 (Rishabh Kumar, GSoC 2015; Yousuf Philips)
New section Shadow in Sidebar in LibreOffice 5.1
To left section Wrap in Libreoffice 5.0, to right - in LibreOffice 5.1
  • Increase and decrease font size buttons added to sidebar properties pane in Calc. tdf#86179 (Maxim Monastirsky)
On top - section Character in Calc 5.0, from below - in Calc 5.1
  • Cell reference edge added to alignment section of sidebar in Calc. tdf#91802 (Rishabh Kumar, GSoC 2015)
  • Cell styles added to properties pane in Calc. tdf#73071 (Rishabh Kumar, GSoC 2015; Yousuf Philips; Maxim Monastirsky)
  • Grouped Slide Transitions for easy selection and added icon based selection palette to Sidebar in Impress tdf#36946 (Tor Lillqvist, Collabora; Michael Meeks, Collabora; Andreas Kainz, Yousuf Philips)
Section Slide Transition in Impress 5.1
  • New Chart sidebar tdf#91063 (Markus Mohrhard, Yousuf Philips, Heiko Tietze)
    • Some limitations still apply
New section Elements for Charts in Sidebar for version 5.1
  • Image flip buttons are now available in Writer also (Samuel Mehrbrodt [CIB])
Images can now be flipped in the Sidebar in Writer
  • Icons now honor RTL/Vertical Text settings and rotate/flip accordingly, as in the toolbar. tdf#85767 (Samuel Mehrbrodt [CIB])

AutoCorrect context menu

  • An "AutoCorrect Options" item has been added in the spell checking context menu. Users can now directly enter the autocorrect replacement table when there's no satisfying suggestion in the "Always correct to" submenu. tdf#92341 (Yousuf Philips, Samuel Mehrbrodt [CIB])
Autocorrect context menu.png

Spelling Dialog

  • The Spelling Dialog now has a toolbar for pasting and inserting special characters. tdf#95682 (Caolán McNamara, Red Hat, Inc.)


  • Enable auto-accelerator behaviour for gtk tdf#92630 (Simon Long, Raspberry Pi)

Special Character

  • Enter in the decimal or hexidemical of a character in the Special Character dialog. tdf#34882 (Steve Hart; Adolfo Jayme Barrientos)


New languages/locales with locale data

Available as default document language and for locale specific formatting.

  • Added locale data for Arabic [ar-BH] [ar-IQ] [ar-JO] [ar-LY] [ar-MA] [ar-QA] [ar-SY] [ar-YE]. tdf#95485 (Ghasan Al-Sakkaf and Eike Rathke)

Improvements to proofing tools and language support

  • Proofing tools for German language (de-AT, de-CH, de-DE) have been largely improved (tdf#96782):
    • The spell-check dictionary now contains over 250,000 words. The new version adds over 20,000 new words.
    • The thesaurus now contains over 135,000 words in over 35,000 meaning groups. The new version adds ~ 35,000 new words.
    • The hyphenation patterns have been updated and contain an improved exception list.
  • Updated Slovenian thesaurus (Martin Srebotnjak)
  • New Guarani (gug-PY) thesaurus (Giovanni Caligaris and Olivier Hallot)
  • Updated Hungarian spell-check dictionary (tdf#95024), major update, implemented the spelling reform defined by the 12th edition of Rules of Hungarian Spelling (by the Hungarian Academy of Science, 2015) (László Németh, Collabora)
  • Updated Greek spell-check dictionary (tdf#94415)
  • Updated Portuguese (pt-PT) spell-check dictionary
  • Updated Swedish spell-check dictionary
  • Updated Spanish spellcheck dictionary (Ricardo Palomares)



  • SUM function now uses optimized arithemetic and SSE3 if present, giving a ~5x win for large sums (Michael Meeks, Collabora, Tomaz Vajngerl, Collabora)
  • Formula Group SoftwareInterpreter used for simple functions: +, -, *, /, Sum, Product giving a 2x+ win for large function runs (Jan Holesovsky, Collabora)

Scripting: Python and Basic

Make PyUNO provide more Pythonic behaviour (Matthew J. Francis)

  • Simplifies working with UNO objects by giving the behaviour of Python lists, dicts and iterators to objects which implement UNO container interfaces
  • Applies a custom behaviour to allow objects which implement com::sun::star::table::XCellRange to yield cells and cell ranges by subscript
  • When UNO container objects are addressed in the new style, eliminates the requirement to manually construct Any objects for contained elements which are typed sequences
  • Allows lists and iterators to be passed wherever a UNO method accepts a sequence
  • Relaxes the requirements for initialising UNO structs to allow some members to be skipped when all initialisers are passed by name

All details here

PDF: Presentation at Aarhus

bundled Python upgrade

On macOS and Linux, the bundled Python was upgraded to 3.5. Due to Visual Studio compatibility issues, Windows releases still bundle Python 3.3. (David Ostrovsky)

Access2Base updated

Access2Base, the Basic library for Base users, is now available in its version 1.4.0 (Jean-Pierre Ledure).

The main improvements are related to the OutputTo action, which makes it easy now to export the data contained in a Base table or query to Calc, Text or HTML pages. Examples of HTML output are available on the documentation site.

Easy access to Online Documentation of LibreOffice API

There is a theServiceDocumenter singleton available now. It provides the showServiceDocs() method, that opens the documentation of any UNO service passed to it. This allows faster orientation in rapid application development -- esp. in Basic or Python scripting or extension development. There is a short video of a talk at the LibreOffice conference available, which both discusses basic concepts of the UNO API and how the new documenter helps developers.

Feature removal / deprecation

  • Embedding NPAPI Plugins (mostly Adobe Flash) in documents now warns you this is deprecated. It will not work in all environments and support for NPAPI is being removed in the 5.2 release.
  • ActiveX support is considered deprecated and may be removed in the future. If this change negatively affects your Windows application please email the LibreOffice development list with your use case and plan for moving off of ActiveX. We specifically want feedback if you use ActiveX to embed LibreOffice components into your application.

Under the Hood

See what changed under the hood.

API changes

Removed configuration options

Java UNO language binding

List list = Arrays.asList( Bootstrap.getDefaultOptions() );
Bootstrap.bootstrap( list.toArray( new String[list.size()] );

  • URE and officebean JARs (juh, jurt, ridl, unoil, unoloader, officebean) uploaded to Maven central repository and can be deployed from there (David Ostrovsky, Katarina & Thorsten Behrens, CIB)

Unpublishing UNO APIs

The interface was published erroneously when it was introduced in the previous release, and is no longer published core commit cd581f7e5d1eb7724463949a15bbec1ca950d461

UNO API changes

  • Data points now also provide the service. (Markus Mohrhard)
    • all chart2 objects should now support the same property names for fill properties [1]
    • the new names are just aliases to the old names so the old names are still supported [2]
  • Sidebar has now an API (Laurent Godard)
    • entry point getSidebar() added to (still unpublished) [3]
    • supports Decks > Panels hierarchy
    • pyUno unit test as workable example [4]

The following UNO interfaces and services were changed:

Dispatch commands

Platform compatibility


  • Known Issue: LibreOffice on macOS needs to be run at least once before installing a LanguagePack, see tdf#89657.
  • New Issue: LibreOffice on macOS now requires installation of an Oracle Java JDK for use of Base (HSQLDB) or any extensions authored in Java (e.g. NLPSolver).


  • Added flat ODF support. blog entry (Miklos Vajna, Collabora)


  • new baseline (Cent OS 6): requires kernel 2.6.32 or newer, glibc 2.12 or newer