The Document Foundation recently released the latest version of the open source LibreOffice office software suite: version 4.1. LibreOffice 4.1 includes approximately 3,000 bug fixes along with several new features and compatibility improvements for interoperability with Microsoft Office.

Version 4.1 makes a few positive steps forward towards supporting Microsoft Office formats. The developers have improved the Microsoft OOXML import and export filters as well as support for Microsoft Office and Microsoft RTF file formats. OpenFormula tweaks have further bolstered the Excel 2013 import/export functions.

In addition, users can now take advantage of asynchronous word counts, which delay word counting until the document itself has been loaded which will speed up load times for lengthy documents. Also in the large document support category, LibreOffice 4.1 supports the importing of hefty HTML documents with more than 64,000 table cells.

As far as big new features, LibreOffice 4.1 includes an experimental version of OpenOffice's Symphony sidebar which allows the loading of widgets and places many text formatting options in the sidebar in addition to the traditional icons above the document. Another major change is the ability to embed fonts into documents which will ensure that the document will look the same way it does for you on another system even if the font(s) you used in the document are not installed on the recipient's system. The font embedding functionality works in the Writer, Calc, Impress, and Draw applications. Further, the LibreOffice Impress program can now use groups of photos (photo albums) to create slideshows. LibreOffice Chart, well, charts can be exported as vector graphics now, as well. Finally, images used within Writer documents can be rotated in 90-degree increments.

With the multitude of new features, bug fixes, and tweaks, it is only natural that some features would end up being cut, and the latest aspect to be removed from LibreOffice 4.1 is support for PowerPC-powered Macs running OS X. Version 4.1 has an impressively long list of bug fixes and changes which are worth checking out if you are interested in all the nitty gritty details since version 4.0.

LibreOffice 4.1 (205MB) can be downloaded from the links below: