Difference between revisions of "Apache OpenOffice"

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[https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=93168 Post on Arch Linux Forums]
[https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=93168 Post on Arch Linux Forums]
=== LibreOffice does not detect my certificates ===
=== OpenOffice does not detect my certificates ===
If you cannot see the certificates when trying to sign a document, you will need to have the certificates configured in Firefox (or Thunderbird). If after that LibreOffice still does not show them, set the MOZILLA_CERTIFICATE_FOLDER environment variable pointing to your Firefox (or Thunderbird) folder.
If you cannot see the certificates when trying to sign a document, you will need to have the certificates configured in Firefox (or Thunderbird). If after that LibreOffice still does not show them, set the MOZILLA_CERTIFICATE_FOLDER environment variable pointing to your Firefox (or Thunderbird) folder.

Revision as of 19:41, 18 May 2012

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Reason: please use the first argument of the template to provide a brief explanation. (Discuss in Talk:Apache OpenOffice#)

From Why OpenOffice.org:

OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

OpenOffice in Arch Linux

Official support for OpenOffice.org was dropped in favor of LibreOffice. See Dropping Oracle OpenOffice (arch-general).

Consider using LibreOffice instead.

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Reason: please use the first argument of the template to provide a brief explanation. (Discuss in Talk:Apache OpenOffice#)


First, install a Java Runtime Environment (optional, highly recommended). See: Java

Also, make sure that fonts are installed, otherwise you will see only rectangles: ttf-dejavu artwiz-fonts

OpenOffice is available in the AUR: openofficeAUR

Extension management and spell checking for OpenOffice 3.x

The Arch package is now shipped with some dictionaries. Check Extension manager if your language is already there simply by loading up any OO program (Writer for example) and access the Extension Manager from the Tools menu. From there enter the following location to install a spell check dictionary:

Note: If you installed libreoffice, the path will be /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/extensions/ instead and extensions are currently all already known to the system.

Alternatively, there are several ways to accomplish this:

  • 1) Use the Extension manager from OOo menu for download and installation - installs only for the user into his ~/.openoffice.org/3/user/uno_packages/cache
  • 2) Download the extension and install it using /usr/lib/openoffice/program/unopkg add extension for the user or
  • 3) Download the extension and install it using /usr/lib/openoffice/program/unopkg add --shared extension for every user on the system (requires root permission)

For spellchecking you will need hunspell and dictionary for hunspell (like hunspell-en, hunspell-de, etc), for hyphenation rules you will need hyphen (hyphen-en, hyphen-de) and for a thesaurus, mythes.

# pacman -S hunspell hunspell-en hyphen hyphen-en mythes mythes-en
Other extensions installed by default
  • pdfimport.oxt: ability to import PDF files in Draw and Impress
  • presenter-screen.oxt: when using two displays this plugin provides more control over slideshow
  • sun-presentation-minimizer.oxt: reduce file size of current presentation
  • wiki-publisher.oxt: allows to create Wiki articles on MediaWiki servers without having to know the syntax of the MediaWiki markup language

Installing Macros

In most Linux distros, the default path for macros is:


The path for this directory in Arch Linux is:


The path for this directory for LibreOffice in Arch Linux is:


Another thing to note is that if you intend to use macros, you must have a JRE enabled, use of a JRE is default behaviour; but disabling its use is listed in the speed tweaks below.

Set OOo environment variable

OpenOffice supports to use several toolkits for drawing and integrates into different desktop environments in a clean way. To choose by hand, you need to set the OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP environment variable.

To run OpenOffice.org in GTK2 mode(this is default and already preset), you can issue (using bash):

 # OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome soffice

To run OpenOffice.org in QT/KDE3 mode, you can issue (using bash):

 # OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=kde soffice

To run OpenOffice.org in QT4/KDE4 mode, you can issue (using bash):

 # OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=kde4 soffice
Note: As KDE look was removed in Openoffice3 it is highly recommended to use the GTK mode for all users. KDE4 integration is in experimental state in go-openoffice and in openoffice-base-devel (starting from m56)

Configure OOo environment globally

To configure the look for anytime OpenOffice gets started, you can export the OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP variable in /etc/profile.d/openoffice.sh, or in /usr/bin/soffice, with the value gnome, kde, or kde4.

Environment variable scripts

If for whatever reason you do not want to configure the look globaly, as a non-GNOME/KDE user you may run into problems when trying to add the environment variable to the command in a *box menu, as such menus do not seem to like environment variables.

This script will run openoffice using the GTK look while still accepting command line options like -writer.


#### openoffice-gtk - A script to start openoffice with the GNOME/GTK environment

OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome /usr/bin/soffice "$@"

Just use this script as a command (e.g. /usr/bin/openoffice-gtk) for your menu or whatever other sort of launcher you use.

Note: If you open a file in a file manager, for example Thunar, the default look will be used, as the file association will not use your personal script.

Other method

Another method is to edit the startcenter.desktop file (tested with openoffice 3.2 and gnome/xfce/awesome/openbox/fluxbox) First, copy the file to your home directory

 $ cp /usr/share/applications/startcenter.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/startcenter.desktop

Then, open the file

 $ nano ~/.local/share/applications/startcenter.desktop

and change line

 Exec=/usr/bin/soffice %U


 Exec=OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome /usr/bin/soffice %U

Or, if you wish to make global changes, open the following file in a text editor and edit the file as above.


KDE4 look and feel for OpenOffice

Check Uniform Look for QT and GTK Applications for a broad application, general tips and other methods to achieve it.

Method 1:

Open the menu editor, select Office and insert OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=kde4 before /usr/bin/soffice -(writer/calc/base/etc.) for each OpenOffice application in the general tab/Command field. For example, change /usr/bin/soffice -writer to

OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=kde4 /usr/bin/soffice -writer

Save (i.e. update system configuration), open an OpenOffice application and do a Template:Keypress to check whether it worked.

Method 2:

OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome never did the trick for me. A good workaround is to set (as root):


into /etc/profile.d/openoffice.sh. In KDE4 systemsettings, make sure "use my KDE style in GTK applications" is selected in Appearance > GTK styles and fonts (you must install gtk-qt-engine first).

Method 3:


Although by default it applies a KDE look to all GTK+ applications, it can be made to apply only to specific applications. Check the documentation in the package available at kde-look's project page.

Method 4:

Uniform_Look_for_QT_and_GTK_Applications#GTK-QT-Engine (applies to all GTK+ applications).

Alternative configuration

You may wish to set the Xorg server dots-per-inch in the KDM configuration.

Do not select "use my KDE style in GTK applications". Instead choose a native syle and font for GTK2 applications.

# pacman -S gtk-chtheme
# pacman -S gtk-engines

Use gtk-chtheme to select a style (in general different from KDE) and a font (may be the same as your KDE general system font). There are also other GTK engine packages available.

There are two relevant parts of the OOo options dialog, View and Fonts:

  • View
    • set scale to 100%
    • set use system font OFF (otherwise replacement table will not be used)
    • set antialiasing OFF
  • Fonts
    • select "Use replacement table"
    • replace "Andale Sans UI" (you must type this in -- it is not in the drop down list) with another font (your KDE system font or another if this looks bad)
    • Press the tick symbol to update the list
    • Select "always" and "screen only"
    • Press OK

When choosing fonts for OpenOffice note that the poor font rendering engine included in the package may not render a particular font in the same way as other apps on the desktop. Use the kmag magnifying glass to examine shape of each letter.

Running OpenOffice

If you want to run a specific module of OpenOffice.org (instead of the soffice default Startcenter), for example the word processor (Write), spreadsheet application (Calc) or presentation program (Impress), check for the following script front-ends:


 /usr/bin/soffice -writer


 /usr/bin/soffice -calc


 /usr/bin/soffice -impress


 /usr/bin/soffice -draw

Math (Formula Editor)

 /usr/bin/soffice -math

Base (Database frontend)

 /usr/bin/soffice -base

Printer Administration (Recommended to run as root)


Speed up OpenOffice

Some settings may improve OpenOffice's loading time and responsiveness. However, some also increase RAM usage, so use them carefully. They can all be accessed under Tools > Options.

  • Under Memory:
    • Reduce the number of Undo steps to a figure lower than 100, to something like 20 or 30 steps.
    • Under Graphics cache, set Use for OpenOffice.org to 128 MB (up from the original 20MB).
    • Set Memory per object to 20MB (up from the default 5MB).
    • If you use OpenOffice often, check OpenOffice.org Quickstarter.
  • Under Java, uncheck Use a Java runtime environment.
Note: For a list of functionality which depends on OpenOffice Java support, see this page: http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Java


Font substitution

These settings can be changed in the OpenOffice.org options. From the drop-down menu, select Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > Fonts. Check the box that says Apply Replacement Table. Type Andale Sans UI in the font box and choose your desired font for the Replace with option. When done, click the checkmark. Then choose the Always and Screen only options in the box below. Click OK. You will then need to go to Tools > Options > OpenOffice.org > View, and uncheck "Use system font for user interface". If you use a non-antialised font, such as Arial, you will also need to uncheck "Screen font antialiasing" before menu fonts render correctly.



$ echo "Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault" | xrdb -merge

To make the change persistent, add Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault to your ~/.Xresources file. [1].

If this does not work, make sure you are running xrdb -merge ~/.Xresources every time you launch X. If you do not have this file, you will have to create it.

TrueType font detection

To add fonts to those already available in OpenOffice, run spadmin.

Qt looks with KDE >4

OpenOffice has transitioned to Qt 4, and as such the look of the applications can not be set with Qt 3 tools.

Spell checking problems

As of openoffice 3.0.0-2, various dictionaries may be buggy due to a character encoding problem. To solve this issue, follow the following instructions.

Find where the particular openoffice distribution places its dictionary files; e.g., pacman -Ql openoffice-base. Most distibutions follow the convention of installing these to /usr/lib/openoffice/share/extension/install. Once the directory has been found, assign it to a shell variable:


Install unzip and zip packages in order to be able to extract the dictionary files:

pkg=$(pacman -T unzip zip) || pacman -S $pkg

For reference, get a list of languages whose dictionary files are packaged with the base distribution:

cd "$droot" && ls | sed -rn 's,^dict-(..)\.oxt$,\1,p'

Define a list of languages whose dictionary files are to be fixed:

lang="en es"

Extract the target languages' dictionary files and convert the erroneous encoding to UTF-8:


mkdir "$tmp"
cd "$tmp"

for i in $lang; do
	unzip "$i" -d oxt.tmp
	iconv -f ISO-8859-15 -t UTF-8 oxt.tmp/dictionaries.xcu > dict.tmp
	mv dict.tmp oxt.tmp/dictionaries.xcu
	(cd oxt.tmp && zip -r "$i" .)

rm -rf "$tmp"

Finally, use the openoffice extension manager (available through the Tools menu) to install the dictionary from the resulting dict-xx.oxt file(s).

Dark GTK themes, Icons and gtk-qt-engine

For a quick fix, see openoffice-dark-gtk-fixAUR or if you have go-openoffice see go-openoffice-dark-gtk-fixAUR in the AUR. This also sets 'OOO_FORCE_DESKTOP=gnome'. Another fix is to export SAL_USE_VCLPLUGIN=gen (generic X11). See for more info

In newer version of OO (3.2.0) and Libre, the fixes mentioned above do not seem to work. If you use a dark GTK theme, you will be unable to change the icons from “high-contrast”. The colors can be configured manually in Options -> Appearance, but Impress and Calc (maybe others too) will stay dark unless you disable automatic detection of high contrast themes first. The problem is with the default setting of “Automatically detect high contrast mode of operating system”. To change the default setting and allow the selection of icons and custom colors with a dark GTK theme, edit the following option:

Tools > Options... > Accesibility|> Uncheck:   [ ] Automatically detect high contrast mode of operating system

Now the colors can be configured in Options -> Appearance.

Hanging when using NFS shares

If OpenOffice hangs when trying to open/save a document located on a NFS share, try prepending the following lines with a "#" in /usr/lib/openoffice/program/soffice (/usr/bin/soffice if using go-openoffice):

# file locking now enabled by default

Original post here

Note: Only NFSv3 is affected. NFSv4 works well with OpenOffice.

Fixing Java Framework Error

You may get the following error when you try to run OpenOffice.

[Java framework] Error in function createSettingsDocument (elements.cxx).
javaldx failed!

If so, give yourself ownership of ~/.config/ like so:

sudo chown -vR username:users ~/.config

Post on Arch Linux Forums

OpenOffice does not detect my certificates

If you cannot see the certificates when trying to sign a document, you will need to have the certificates configured in Firefox (or Thunderbird). If after that LibreOffice still does not show them, set the MOZILLA_CERTIFICATE_FOLDER environment variable pointing to your Firefox (or Thunderbird) folder.

export MOZILLA_CERTIFICATE_FOLDER=$HOME/.mozilla/firefox/XXXXXX.default/

Certificate Detection