LibreOffice 3.6: Release Notes

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About this page

This is an in-progress scratch-pad of notes to build release notes from as and when we release. Please do not list features that are to be shipped already in the 3.5 release! Please do not add wish-list features that you hope will be implemented, but only what actually is implemented already.

What does a good feature look like here:

  • It has a description, and a way for a busy reviewer, to find and play with the feature. Target someone who is extremely busy, and knows little-to-nothing about the product. So if a user interface element is key to the feature, be very explicit about where it is, e. g. Menu ▸ Format ▸ Character ▸ Position [tab] ▸ ‘90 degrees’ paths to the elements you changed. Of course, you know your feature is important, and that everyone should care about the Extensible AutoShapes Properties dialog – but often the guys taking the screenshots and writing the notes do not.
  • It credits the main authors who did the work – just add them in brackets after the feature, where possible.
  • If the feature can be shown off with a sample / test file – particularly for new import-able features, it would be wonderful to have a link to/up-load of a test file that we can use to show that feature off to best effect. That really helps us to make good screenshots to show off the features, and allows reviewers to do their testing.

Thanks in advance for your help filling this out!


  • Format paintbrush now differentiates automatic character formating attributes applied to a paragraph from those applied to a portion of the text inside a paragraph. These automatic character formating attributes are applied to the entire paragraph by default; if Ctrl is held while the format is passed, these attributes are applied to only the selected text. (Maxime de Roucy)
  • Support for contextual spacing. (Miklos Vajna)
Writer's new spacing option.
  • VML import (used inside older DOCX files) now handles lines, rotations and flips. (Miklos Vajna)
  • DOCX import now handles GetExpression and SetExpression fields. (Miklos Vajna)
  • RTF/DOCX import/export now handles the document zoom setting. (Miklos Vajna)
  • Pressing Ctrl with [ or with ] will decrease or increase font size of the selected text, respectively. tdf#36187 (Cameron Paul)
  • Word count (whole document and selection) in status bar tdf#34772 (Robert Roth)
  • Table AutoFormats now record the following table-level properties: tdf#31005. (Muhammad Haggag)
  • Break
  • Keep with next paragraph
  • Repeat heading
  • Allow table split across pages
  • Allow rows to break across pages
  • Merge adjacent line styles
  • Table shadow
  • Shows Text Boundaries depending on the choice of display unprintable characters tdf#46073 (Cédric Bosdonnat).
  • Support for importing Smart Art. (Miklos Vajna)
Try this example DOCX document.

Label / business card wizard

  • Extension of label definitions with form (paper, page) size. Labels which are not centered on the form are created correctly now. (Winfried Donkers)
  • All 1700+ predefined label definitions have been modified to include the form size, obsolete definitions have been removed. (Winfried Donkers)
  • Recalculation of label position on the form. Label definitions with gaps between labels that are wider than the right margin now produce correct documents. Existing user defined labels are automatically extended with form size. (Winfried Donkers)
  • The form size can be entered/modified in the wizard dialog: (Winfried Donkers)
New form size modification.


  • Ctrl+D fills-down in more familiar ways, filling with the contents of the cell above if no cell is selected, and filling down multiple cells with larger selections (Kohei Yoshida)
  • New option to specify a custom sheet name prefix in new documents. (Albert Thuswaldner)
Calc's new Defaults options page.
  • Marked cells in Calc can now be merged via the right mouse click context menu. tdf#37210 (Greggory Hernandez)
  • Sheets can be hidden and shown by using sheets tab context menu (Noel Power)
  • Improved error message for invalid sheet name. tdf#45285 (Albert Thuswaldner)
  • Export conditional formatting to xlsx (Markus Mohrhard)
  • Improved CSV file import.
    • Handle lines with more than 64k characters. tdf#48501 (Eike Rathke)
    • Differentiate between "max rows exceeded" and "max columns exceeded" and "max cell size exceeded" error messages. tdf#48516 (Eike Rathke)
    • Better handling of broken CSV files where generator didn't follow RFC 4180 quote rules. tdf#48621 (Eike Rathke)
    • Import numbers in scientific notation without having to check "import special numbers". tdf#39716 (Eike Rathke)
    • Better initial default separators, comma, semicolon and tab. tdf#38088 (Eike Rathke)
  • Added a "Save cell formulas instead of calculated values" option to CSV export. tdf#45664 (Florent Gallaire)
Formulas CSV export option
  • New spreadsheet function DATEDIF as defined in ODF OpenFormula and for MS-Excel interoperability. tdf#44456 (Winfried Donkers, Eike Rathke)
  • New spreadsheet functions IMTAN, IMSEC, IMCSC, IMCOT, IMSINH, IMCOSH, IMSECH and IMCSCH as defined in ODF OpenFormula. tdf#51017 (Regina Henschel)
  • Support field items in cells. You can now insert date, sheet name, and title fields into cells. To insert a field, activate the cell to be in edit mode, right-click on the cell, and select Insert Field in the context menu to insert a field. (Kohei Yoshida)
Insert field into cells.
  • Allow sorting of data from the autofilter menu. (Kohei Yoshida)
Sort option in autofilter menu.
  • Quickly allow pasting only text, value, or formula from the context menu. (Noel Power)
Paste only from menu.
  • Detailed configuration options for formula calculation. You can now configure the reference syntax for built-in function INDIRECT. In the future we may add more calculation options here to allow users to configure run-time formula calculations. (Kohei Yoshida)
  • Remove the limitation to 3 sort entries in calc. tdf#45747 (Albert Thuswaldner)
Sort dialog with multiple sort keys (more than three).
  • Default number of sheets for new document will be 1, instead of 3 – tdf#50183, (Stefan Knorr)- Note that since version 3.5 you can edit this setting via Tools ▸ Options ▸ LibreOffice Calc ▸ Defaults.
  • Support for X errorbars in scatter and bars charts, import and exporting to xls and ods when using ODS 1.2 extended. tdf#33773 (Rafael Dominguez)
  • Support for color scales and data bars. Import from xlsx and import/export from ods in ODF1.2 Extended. Warning: Some limitation still apply and will be fixed in 4.0.0 (Markus Mohrhard)

Color scales and data bars in calc.

  • New dialogs for conditional formats to support color scales and data bars (Design: Stefan Knorr, Implementation: Markus Mohrhard)


  • Added widescreen format for impress-slides. tdf#42986 (Rob Snelders)
  • Correctly detect the external display and put the presenter console on the local display (Michael Meeks)
  • 10 new master pages (Alexander Wilms, Mateus Machado Luna, Björn Michaelsen)

New Templates.


Help Button

Basic IDE

  • Docked Object Catalog pane (Bence Tomcsik)
Docked Object Catalog pane


  • Support for Japanese postcard paper size in all applications. (Takeshi Abe)
  • Recent Documents list are updated on Save, Save As, Save All, and Close. tdf#37775 (Muhammad Haggag)
  • Allow for editing of read-only documents. (Stephan Bergmann) Paraphrasing from the commit message of [1]:
    • When e.g. viewing mail attachments (that have been stored r/o to some download directory by the mail application), it would be nice if the user could easily temporarily modify them (say, play around with a spreadsheet, changing some numbers and triggering recalculation of formulas) by clicking the "Edit File" button and not being asked to create a copy for editing. Thus:
      • The "Edit File" button now only toggles the r/o status of the view. It no longer asks to create a copy for editing if the underlying document is physically r/o.
      • When a modified document is toggled to a r/o view via "Edit File," LO still asks the user to save or discard the changes. However, if the underlying document is physically r/o, saving the document opens the "Save As" dialog, instead of just doing a "Save" operation (which would fail on the physically r/o document).
      • The title of the document window now contains "(read-only)" if and only if either the view is r/o or the document is physically r/o (or both).
  • Add Support assistive technology tools option to installation process tdf#39833 (Andras Timar).
  • Added Lanczos algorithm for resizing of images and use it instead of interpolate algorithm. This change has increased the quality of images when reducing image resolution in PDF export. tdf#46378 (Tomaž Vajngerl)
Lanczos Resampling.jpg
  • Macro recording can be activated with a separate option: Tools ▸ Options ▸ General ▸ Enable macro recording. tdf#41865 (Cor Nouws). This allows using that (limited) functionality without turning on the experimental features.
Option enable macro recording


  • Import filter for Corel Draw documents. More details here and here.
terra v16.cdr in Corel Draw
terra v16.cdr in Corel Draw
terra v16.cdr in LibreOffice Draw
  • PDF Export with Watermark option. See it at File ▸ Export to PDF. (Andreas Mantke)
PDF export with watermark.png
  • ODF Export now comes with a "ODF 1.2 Extended (compat mode)", that yields better interoperability with older consumers of the Open Document Format. It comes at the price of a slightly reduced standards conformance though. (Thorsten Behrens)


  • General cleanup of the UI: 3D borders in rulers and status bars were removed, toolbars are borderless and have a subtle background gradient for improved look (Windows Vista/7/later only) (Mirek Mazel, Stefan Knorr, Jan Holesovsky, Michael Meeks)
LibreOffice 3.5 LibreOffice 3.6
  • Default to Tango icon set on Mac OS X (Michael Meeks & UI team)
  • Rulers are now much cleaner and more light-weight (design by Mirek Mazel, implemented by Jan Holesovsky)
  • New Splash screen design (Andrea Soragna, Stefan Knorr (astron)).
LibreOffice Splash Screen.png
  • The About dialog (access via Help ▸ About) has been redesigned for a cleaner look (Andrew Higginson) and received new artwork (Stefan Knorr (astron), based on the splash screen design by Andrea Soragna).
LibreOffice About Box.png
  • New artwork for the “Start Center” window (Stefan Knorr (astron), based on the splash screen design by Andrea Soragna).
LibreOffice Start Center.png
  • Writer and calc use split color buttons, making it possible to apply the last used color with one mouse click for font, background, border and highlight colors (Winfried Donkers)
Split-Colors-writer.png Split-Colors-calc.png
  • Clicking the >> overflow button will not show toolbar options anymore, the options could be shown by right-clicking the toolbar. tdf#38276 (Iain Billett)
Toolbar options menu in 3.6.png
  • Support for Trinity Desktop Environment integration (widgets, open/save dialogs, and address books) (Timothy Pearson and original KDE3 integration authors)
  • Dictionary choice removed in spellchecker when there is only 1 dictionary active tdf#40778 (Caolán McNamara & Rob Snelders)
  • Zooming does now base on a geometric progression instead of an arithmetic one tdf#44173 (Tim Hardeck)
  • GTK themes are now able to render background gradient (the screenshots here use oxygen-gtk's "libreoffice" branch) (Ruslan Kabatsayev)
  • GTK themes now have a way for tab prelight rendering (Ruslan Kabatsayev)
  • GTK theming is implemented for fixes lines and frames (Ruslan Kabatsayev)


  • Implemented locale dependent date acceptance patterns for input of incomplete dates.
    This prevents erroneous detection of dates in Calc and Writer cell input and CSV file import.
    See blog article for details. (Eike Rathke)
  • (Available since 3.6.2) Edit date acceptance patterns under Tools ▸ Options ▸ Language Settings ▸ Languages for date recognition of keyboard input, pasted text, CSV file import, ... tdf#52240 tdf#52137 tdf#52288 (Eike Rathke)
  • Added English_Malawi en_MW locale data. (Eike Rathke)
  • Added Erzya_Russia myv_RU locale data.
  • Improved language tools (spell-check dictionaries, thesaurus, hyphenation patterns). Information taken from dictionary repository:
    • Updated Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR) spellchecker (Raimundo Moura)
    • Updated Swedish spell-check dictionary
    • Updated French spell-check dictionary and thesaurus
    • Updated Czech thesaurus
    • Greatly improved German language tools (de-DE, de-AT, de-CH) with over 30,000 new words added to the German spell-check dictionary and over 7,000 new synonyms added to the German thesaurus. Hyphenation patterns were also improved.
    • substantial improvements to the Danish spellchecker and thesaurus
  • The default locale now is the locale of the operating system. tdf#45830 (Rob Snelders)


  • Substantially improved OLE2 document import: .doc, .xls, .ppt (Caolan McNamara, Michael Meeks)
  • Substantially improved simple .doc/.docx import (Michael Meeks, Caolan McNamara)
  • Large document scrolling / re-layout / interactive editing improvements (Caolan McNamara)
  • Large autocorrect lists handled around twice as fast (Michael Meeks)
  • Improved performance of pivot table in Calc. Refreshing of pivot table should be now 35-50% faster than 3.5. In addition, memory footprint of pivot table is reduced significantly. (Kohei Yoshida)
  • Improved performance of raw cell value import from xlsx documents. (Daniel Bankston)
  • Improved performance of merged cell and matrix range import from ods documents. (Daniel Bankston)
  • Embedded HSQLDB databases are now size-minimized before being saved (LibreOffice uses "CHECKPOINT DEFRAG" and not only "CHECKPOINT"). The space occupied by deleted rows is thus really freed, but saving/closing the file may take a longer time. (Lionel Mamane)


  • Many modules ported to faster, more reliable gnumake (David Tardon, Matus Kukan, David Ostrovsky & more)

Most Annoying Bugs

The following annoying bugs were not fixed in time and will be addressed in the regular bug fix releases:

  • (Microsoft Windows only) The ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) driver is inactive. Hence, the default way of connecting to MS Access databases (.mdb and .accdb files) does not work; confirmed corrected in 3.6.1. Workaround: connect through ODBC (or use a 3.5.x LibreOffice release). tdf#52615 Fixed in 3.6.1
  • Report wizard "Finish" button does nothing -> cannot create report through wizard; Workaround: create report in design mode or with a previous version of LibreOffice (the report can then be used and edited in LibreOffice 3.6.0). Fixed in 3.6.1.
  • Exporting files with hyperlinks in footnotes/endnotes or even a table of content to DOCX was generating corrupted files that other office suites weren't able to open. tdf#52610 Fixed in 3.6.1
  • (Microsoft Windows only) LibreOffice silently terminates after splash screen. This happens the first time a user starts LibreOffice after the upgrade (and generally whenever there are changes to bundled or shared extensions). Workaround: manually restart LibreOffice. tdf#43989 Fixed in 3.6.1
  • Various problems with bundled extensions. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to the below issues. Workaround: manually remove the per-user cache for bundled extensions and restart LibreOffice. How to do this is platform-dependend. On Linux, in a terminal window enter “rm -rf ~/.config/libreoffice/3/user/extensions”. On Mac OS X, in a Terminal window enter “rm -rf ~/Library/Application\ Support/LibreOffice/3/user/extensions”. On Microsoft Windows, in a Command Prompt window enter “rmdir /q /s %appdata%\LibreOffice\3\user\extensions” (and note the requirement to restart LibreOffice twice, see above). tdf#53006 Fixed in 3.6.1
    • No spell-checking (the “ABC” check is missing in front of items in the lists at Options ▸ Language Settings ▸ Languages ▸ Default languages for documents even for languages for which bundled dictionary extensions are installed under Tools ▸ Extension Manager...).
    • The “Correct TWo INitial CApitals” AutoCorrect option does not work.
    • Missing dictionary options pages (in Tools ▸ Extension Manager..., selecting a bundled dictionary extension like “English spelling dictionaries, hyphenation rules, thesaurus, and grammar checker” does not display an “Options...” button).
    • In some cases, LibreOffice will refuse to start completely. On Windows, it will display an error box about an “InvalidRegistryException”, on Linux and Mac OS X it will print a message about an unhandled exception to stderr (visible when starting LibreOffice's soffice from a terminal window).
  • Exporting (saving) spreadsheet file with cell comments to XLS/XLSX will lose comments. Workaround: use LibO 3.5.x release or save as ODS instead. tdf#52998 Fixed in 3.6.1
  • The option of conditional spacing between paragraphs is not displayed when formatting style (tab Indents and Spacing). tdf#53360 Fixed in 4.2.0
    1. Workaround:
    2. Creates the style (F11), checking "Autoupdate".
    3. Apply to a paragraph style created.
    4. Formats the paragraph and checking "contextual spacing" (Don't add space between paragraphs of the same style).
    5. If you prefer, modify the style unchecking "Autoupdate". tdf#53360