You can now download LibreOffice 6.0, the latest major release of this hugely popular free office software.
The release of LibreOffice 6.0 marks the first major update to the productivity suite since the LibreOffice 5.4 release back in July 2017. It also coincides with the anniversary of the very first release of LibreOffice in January 2011.
So, as you’d expect for a celebratory release, there are heaps of improvements on offer.
LibreOffice 6.0 is compatible with more office file formats than ever before, adds a number of new features, and improves the overall user interface.
There’s also the new Tabbed Compact, which is, in this release, only available in Writer. Tabbed Compact is a streamlined version of the standard Tabbed Notebook Bar and looks great:
The Ribbon UI is one of the best hidden features of LibreOffice, and while it’s still not ready for prime-time use (do keep that in mind) is helps make it easier for more some to switch from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice full time.
Remember: you have to turn on an experimental setting to use this feature, but we’ve written a post which walks you through how to enable the Ribbon UI in LibreOffice.
Elementary Icons Included by Default
The elementary icon set is now included in all versions of LibreOffice 6.0. It’s not (yet) the default icon set (Tango remains in place) but it is included.
So, if you (or something you know) uses LibreOffice on Windows or macOS, but want a little touch of Linux, just enable the elementary icon set via the Tools > Options > View > Icon Style setting. After applying you’ll see elementary’s gentle, soft coloured icons in toolbars, dialogs and menus throughout the suite.
LibreOffice 6.0 is able to export Writer documents to EPUB. This popular and widely used ebook format is well supported across operating systems and mobile devices so it’s great to see LibreOffice add support for it.
The office suite is also now able to open and import AbiWord, PageMaker and QuarkXPress files too. I’m not sure most of us will need to, but it’s nice to know we can, right?
These file formats are a little more niche than the ubiquitous typical Microsoft Office document file format (OOMXL) but it’s great that see the software cater to them nonetheless.
Better yet, the libraries which support these new export and import formats are being made available as free, open source software in order to allow other applications to make use of them too.
There’s a new splash screen shown when you launch the app:
The redesigned help system now uses your operating system’s default web browser (Firefox on Ubuntu, unless you’ve chosen otherwise) to display help pages. This is a great way to ensure you’re always reading the most up-to-date information.
That said, you don’t have to be online to use LibreOffice help. Most LibreOffice installs include local copies of documentation for offline reference.
A slate of new table styles and gradients are available to prettify documents
It’s now possible to rotate an image in LibreOffice Writer. You previously needed to use an external image editor or app to do this.
LibreOffice 6.0 also improves LibreOffice Online, a cloud-based feature that allows collaborative editing of documents using a web browser.
For a full rundown of every change do see the full release notes.
LibreOffice 6.0 features at a glance
- Better compatibility with Microsoft Office documents
- Support for AbiWord, QuarkExpress and PageMaker files
- Ability to save documents as ePub ebook files
- Improved ‘Ribbon’ UI
- Elementary icons included by default
- New online help
- OpenPGP document signing/encryption
- ‘Grammar by’ spellchecking
- Noto fonts included by default
- Easier to insert characters
Install LibreOffice 6.0 on Ubuntu and other Linux
LibreOffice 6.0 should be provided by your Linux distribution sooner or later. You can check which LibreOffice version you are using in the terminal using the command:
You can also check the version from the menu->help->About in LibreOffice.
I advise waiting for your distribution to provide LibreOffice 6.0. That’s the best if you want to keep your system pristine and stable.
Install LibreOffice 6.0 on Ubuntu, Mint using official PPA
For those who are more of adventurous nature, you can either download the DEB file or use the official PPA to install LibreOffice 6.0.
You can use the official “LibreOffice Fresh” PPA to install the latest stable release of LibreOffice on Ubuntu based distributions. You don’t even need to uninstall the previous version using this method.
Note: I just realized that the LibreOffice Fresh PPA still doesn’t include version 6.0. I’ll update the article when I have news about it. For the moment, using the PPA won’t install LibreOffice 6.0.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install libreoffice
Download LibreOffice 6.0 on other Linux distributions
You can download LibreOffice for free from the official project website. There you’ll find installers for Windows, macOS and Linux (including Ubuntu).
It’s also now possible to install LibreOffice form Flathub. Click the button below to download the ‘flatpakref’ file, and then double-click on it to open in the GNOME Software app.
You may also be able to install LibreOffice 6.0 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (or later) using a PPA as the LibreOffice developers maintain PPAs with most major releases. At the time of release there’s no 6.0 PPA available, but there should be shortly.