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The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 4.0 today, which, according to the official announcement, is the "first release that reflects the objectives set by the community at the time of the announcement, in September 2010: a cleaner and leaner code base, an improved set of features, better interoperability, and a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem".

The new version brings Unity appmenu support, option to use Firefox Personas,  better interoperability with DOCX and RTF documents and many other changes.

The most important changes in LibreOffice 4.0 include:
  • Better interoperability with DOCX and RTF documents;
  • Possibility to import Microsoft Publisher documents;
  • Integration with several content and document management systems – including Alfresco, IBM FileNet P8, Microsoft Sharepoint 2010, Nuxeo, OpenText and others;
  • Writer: allow different header and footer on the first page without using a separate page style;
  • Introduction of the widget layout technique for dialog windows, which makes it easier to translate, resize and hide UI elements, reduces code complexity, and lays a foundation for a much improved user interface
  • Linux: GStreamer 1.0 support, and refactor existing Gstreamer code;
  • New templates manager;
  • PDF Import, the Presenter Console, and the Python Scripting Provider are no longer bundled extensions but core features;
  • Significant performance improvements when loading and saving many types of documents.

LibreOffice 4.0 Template Manager
New templates manager

The new version also features Unity integration out of the box, meaning you won't be needing to install a separate package to get appmenu support (global menu):

LibreOffice 4.0 Ubuntu Unity appmenu integration
Appmenu integration

However, the appmenu integration by default didn't work in my test under Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 (with LibreOffice debs downloaded from its website). This does work with the LibreOffice 4.0 beta 2 version available in the LibreOffice Pre-Releases PPA for Ubuntu 13.04.

And there's also support for Firefox Themes (Personas) which you can use to give LibreOffice a personalized look:

LibreOffice 4.0 Personas
Personas in LibreOffice

LibreOffice 4.0 Personas
Personas in LibreOffice

To set a Persona, from the LibreOffice menu select Tools > Options > Personalization > Select Persona.

With LibreOffice 4.0, there's also the first release of the Impress Remote Control App for Android which for now only supports a limited number of Linux distributions but in the second release which will be coming soon, all platforms should be supported: Windows, Mac OS X and all Linux distributions:

LibreOffice 4.0: Android app -  Impress Remote Control
Impress Remote Control App for Android

You can download the LibreOffice Impress Remote Android App from the Google Play Store.

Other minor but still interesting changes:
  • Improved performance of ODS document import;
  • Calc: Enhanced chart visualization - better quality rendering / print and PDF export of charts;
  • Impress: much accelerated multimedia previews, and previews of embedded video on Linux;
  • Base: On all non-Windows platforms a new mork driver implementation is used to access Thunderbird address book. This means that Debian/Ubuntu users can finally integrate LO with their Thunderbird address book;
  • The bundled Python was upgraded from Python 2.6 to Python 3.3;
  • Integration of session installer to add missing parts of LibreOffice on the fly.

For a complete list of changes in LibreOffice 4.0, see THIS page.

Download LibreOffice 4.0

Update: the main LibreOffice PPA has been updated with LibreOffice 4.0 for Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10 and 13.04.

Ubuntu: Ubuntu 13.04 users can use the LibreOffice Pre-Releases PPA to install LibreOffice 4.0 beta 2. There's also LibreOffice 4.0 alpha 1 in the same PPA for Ubuntu 12.10, but I don't recommend installing it. It's easier to simply download LibreOffice 4.0 deb files from the LibreOffice downloads page.

It's better to wait for the stable LibreOffice PPA to be updated, but if you can't wait, to install it in Ubuntu, firstly you'll have to remove the current LibreOffice installation:
sudo apt-get purge libreoffice*

Then, download the LibreOffice deb archive from its website, extract it, and inside the folder where the deb files are extracted you'll find a folder called "desktop-integration" with a deb inside - copy this deb into the folder where all the other deb files are located and run the following command from a terminal to install LibreOffice 4.0:
sudo dpkg -i /path/to/libreoffice/DEBS/*.deb

Download LibreOffice 4.0

(available for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux (dep and rpm) as well as source files)

info and Android app screenshot via LibreOffice.org