LibreOffice is unable to edit docx or other MsOffice files and sees them scrambled

Hello. It is not the first time I encounter this problem, it happens about every one and a half years. When I receive any documents edited with MsOffice (.docx, .xslx, .rtf), LibreOffice sees them scrambled. I can create a docx or xslx file and send it to a Windows user and he is able to edit the document. Viceversa, if I get it back from a Windows user, LibreOffice sees it scrambled and there is nothing I can do with it. I tried to reinstall LibreOffice and nothing changes. The only way I could mitigate this problem was to reinstall the whole system. Unfortunately! Did anyone encountered a similar problem? How did you solve it? Thank you.

Last minute update: After reinstalling the system LibreOffice is working flawlessly on the laptop and is able to edit any MsOffice file, while on the desktop it does not open MsOffice files. I should probably reinstall the system once more on the desktop. I can not figure it out! It’s really odd as it looks like the twilight zone.

Probably some problem with the document itself or maybe the document has stuff in it which can’t be processed by LibreOffice. My guess is, the document simply is broken in some way.

No, the document was not broken. I could open it with LibreOffice in Windows and on the computer of another colleague. Another peculiar issue lies in the fact that both my office desktop and laptop had this problem simultaneously and only in Arch (EndeavourOS). And I reinstalled the system on both of them.

Are you using libreoffice-fresh or libreoffice-still?
The former has more recent code, the latter is kind of LTS stuff.

I’m always using libreoffice-dev-bin. I also installed libreoffice-fresh and the situation is the same.

I assume you looked already at the settings if the MS office boxes are ticked, another thing could be the missing ms fonts in Linux. Just install ttf-ms-fonts with yay. (It’s in the AUR)

Dear @Bryanpwo ttf-ms-win11 is already installed, things happen with this package installed. It is one of the first things I’m doing when logging into a new system. I install paru and some essential packages, then a WM and immediately after ttf-ms-win11. Thank you

What happens?

Since you already wrote this issue is only on Arch, perhaps you can try to install the flatpack version of LibreOffice.

It also happens in EndeavourOS. I’ll try the flatpack version.

No, I meant what happens after you installed the MS fonts?

Well, I installed the MS fonts package before LibreOffice. It worked at the beginning (that was yesterday). After installing more packages in the system (that had nothing to do with Office software - such as mambaforge), the problem occurred again. For instance, I need to edit an rtf template file for a project proposal I have to submit within a short time. I had to reboot into Win11 and work there. Ironically, in Win11 both LibreOffice and MsOffice can open the files. I’m laughing when telling you about it, but it’s quite odd.

If the issue occurs after installing the other packages, it sounds to me an important package LO relies on was either removed or had a version change which isn’t compatible with the recent version of LO.

You are right, that must be probably the issue :wave:. Because I installed the systems in June last summer (on a new laptop and on my desktop) and there was no compatibility issue. Some recent modification of one of the libraries that LO uses has probably caused it! I was curious if other users have ran over this problem.

For what it’s worth, I don’t have MS-office compatibility issues and I’m using LibreOffice professionally.

Considering the other packages you have installed, Flatpak might be the solution for you since it is containerised.

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Thank you once more. I shall try it and tell you what was the outcome.

And there is another issue, I am forced to have compatibility with MsOffice as I use templates that are issued by the European Community (EC).

Isn’t it better to use MS Office, a cloud version, in that case? It comes across to me that you are working in an environment which, kind of, demands to make use of such templates. If that’s the case, you can ask them to buy the license for you.

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I have an MsOffice licence on my office desktop, but I gave up Windows 20 years ago. I won’t discuss why, you know the reasons. I do not know about a cloud MsOffice licence in my institute, even if it’s the second largest institute in my country. I have been able to work well along these years, especially based on the fact that all papers that I author are written using LaTeX. Even my research reports are edited using LaTeX.

Every current MS Office license has cloud access, so you can interact with your colleagues within the MS Office realm, it is browser-based. Since you are using it for work, it might be worth asking at your work about it.

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