LibreOffice 7.0 Git Adds Skia-Based Text Rendering Support

Written by Michael Larabel in LibreOffice on 18 March 2020 at 02:35 PM EDT. 18 Comments
With the in-development LibreOffice 7.0 one of the headlining changes is making use of Google's Skia library and with that is Vulkan rendering support. That initial implementation was using Skia to draw the UI while now it's also picking up text rendering responsibilities.

LibreOffice developers have begun landing Skia text rendering support for the open-source office suite. So far the Skia text rendering is wired up for Microsoft Windows as well as X11 usage on Linux.

Collabora's Luboš Luňák explained in one of the patches, "The Cairo-based way reuses code that is used for OpenGL, but it's needlessly complicated, given that Skia itself is capable of text rendering as well. This requires a small patch for Skia so that it uses the FcPattern we use for selecting a font."

The Skia-driven text rendering still is to be tweaked and at the moment may appear slightly lighter than the Cairo-based rendering.

Following that text rendering plumbing for X11 and Windows, the Skia code was updated against the latest code found in Chrome 82 development state.

LibreOffice 7.0 is due out in early August with this Skia and Vulkan support along with faster XLSX file processing, other performance improvements, HiDPI scaling for Qt5, and continued UI tweaks.
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