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odt file does not exist

asked 2018-02-13 19:48:20 +0200

jopal gravatar image

When I tried to open a file this message appears - .odt does not exist I can see the first page of the document. This was for a free online teaching course, if I can not recover it, I do not have the time to rewrite the course.

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No one has addressed this issue, at least in any meaningful way for ordinary users (not geeks) to understand. The first page of the document is clearly visible, but when you click on it a message window pops up with an okay button, "cannot be opened because ... .odt does not exist". Regardless of what operating system a user has or PC or Mac, this needs to be addressed please.

JohnJR gravatar imageJohnJR ( 2018-11-02 20:29:39 +0200 )edit

For starters, please reedit your question and add your OS and version, and your LO version.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2018-11-03 00:47:42 +0200 )edit

Thank you, however I doubt my operating system is the same as the person with the first post. Given that, I'm running OS X 10.11.6 (on an upgraded 2009 iMac). My LibreOffice is v. 5.3.6.1. Neither is the latest, but I don't think are that antique and OS X upgrades can be hair-raising.

Opening LibreOffice recently to search for a Write document were a series of smaller representations of the first page of the document--something is there, but when I click on it I received the above pop-up.

JohnJR gravatar imageJohnJR ( 2018-11-03 17:13:23 +0200 )edit

Sorry to truncate, but the comment section has a character limit. Continuing the above, I can say that one document that I use regularly always opens automatically to my screen and when presented in the documents will open and not give me the message. It is on the Desktop all the time, open or closed.

It might be helpful if I elaborate on the string of characters in the "xyz.odt does not exist". Here's an example: "Users/john/Desktop/Untitled 1.odt does not exist" (saved but not on Desktop).

JohnJR gravatar imageJohnJR ( 2018-11-03 17:37:02 +0200 )edit

One last item. I noted on a website that someone's solution for this is to un-install the current older version of LibreOffice and then install the latest newer version. This seemed scary to me since the word "un-install" was there rather than "upgrade". If I un-install, even for a moment, there wouldn't be any LibreOffice and then it seems to me all my documents (and work) would disappear with the un-install and not be recoverable. Is that safe and would it really solve this issue?

JohnJR gravatar imageJohnJR ( 2018-11-03 17:51:39 +0200 )edit

@JohnRJ, A very smart friend taught me years ago how important updating and upgrading are. One can spend a tremendous amount of time fighting old issues in vein. If you have an old VW bus, you still have an old VW bus, and it get harder and harder to keep it running. Fewer and fewer people can or want to help you as your system gets older. Much easier to keep up with things, so a colleague can more easily test things out. Better overall I think to spend the time to update and upgrade.

EasyTrieve gravatar imageEasyTrieve ( 2018-11-03 19:45:21 +0200 )edit

So is this the older LibreOffice 5.3.6.1 the cause of issue, and is it the cure? I don't mind "upgrading" to, it looks like LibreOffice 6.0.2, however as a layman I was leery of the only solution I've seen; "un-install" the older version and then download fresh the the newest version. Perhaps I'm naive, but the terms do not seem like the same. If I un-install then what happens to all my documents whether they open or don't "exist"? I'm used to viewing un-install as delete--everything's gone.

JohnJR gravatar imageJohnJR ( 2018-11-04 17:32:34 +0200 )edit

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answered 2019-01-06 22:14:04 +0200

The issue is that you see a picture of the first page of the document on your "recent files" panel of Start Center. The image ("screenshot"/"thumbnail") was made when you opened the file last time, and the thumbnail image is stored in LibreOffice settings. They are shown independently of whether the file itself is available or not.

Now in a scenario when the file itself was for some reason lost - it could have been removed; or on a portable storage that is disconnected - well, in this case, when you click the preview image, only then LibreOffice tries to actually access the file at the same address it opened it last time. And when it doesn't find the file there, it naturally informs you about that. The file does not exist at the place you used to open it - that's it; and there's nothing LibreOffice can do. Only you can (if you can).

The reason for the absent file sometimes can be a user opening files from email attachments or directly from Web. Applications allowing you to open files that way often do that by first copying the document to their own temporary storage, then launching an associated application to handle the file, then cleaning up and removing the document from temporary store. LibreOffice has no idea if the place was temporary or not (except for some special cases) - so it's a user's responsibility to Save As their document to safe places. Nothing here that "needs to be addressed please" by LibreOffice. Sorry.

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answered 2021-02-09 23:04:39 +0200

JohnJR gravatar image

I'm sorry I didn't respond until now, life intervened. Today when I logged back in I was reacquainted with the same dilemma I had back then that was not answered. Please forgive me if I seem a a little flippant but I think I may have an insight as the why the concern was never answered over many Google searches.

Open source software help forum answers always assumes too much “geek” sophistication on the part of the users, who have difficulty with free programs. This is true of open source in general, not just LibreOffice. I wonder if this tendency springs from the fact that many in the open source world don’t even use the operating systems we plebeians do: Microsoft Windows or Apple OS; or know them so thoroughly up and down backward and forward that arcane and erudite assumptions are just made of us fledgling's abilities to decipher what's being said.

More times than you can count, jargon and delving into the inner computer workings are used in answers that assume the simplest mannerisms of devise operation to the answer-er are beyond our understanding, or level of courage, or matters with which we can (or should) have the time for. Note: that we have the time for. Perhaps we freeloaders should stay with paying through the nose to have our naive hands held if there is a problem, but I don’t think that is the aim of open source; a lot of us freeloaders are starving cornered rats with a mean streak.

Searching again today through Google entries on the original question, I found my answer, and it was garbled but very quick, in the same question being asked on Jan. 5, 2021, two years later. The solution was simple; go the your Apple Finder screen, chose File, and Find. Type in the "does not exist" information starting with the /, and voila the non-existent document pops up like nobody's business, every one of them, no arcane jargon like "file manager" that might mean something to PC owners. Now I know what to do every time "does not exist" happens. I'm sure that an equally straight- forward method is available for Microsoft, who allows users more intrusion into computer workings than Apple does.

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How is using a computer and knowing how to use a file manager any different from driving an automobile and knowing the difference between the accelerator and the brake? There is nothing arcane, jargonish, geeky, or elitist about such knowledge. In fact such knowledge is absolutely necessary for effective and safe usage.

I believe that a complete answer to the original question is contained in the contribution by @Mike Kaganski, shown below.

ve3oat gravatar imageve3oat ( 2021-02-10 01:29:16 +0200 )edit

People use things like Finder, and do not know Finder is a file manager. They think that calling it file manager is more geeky than calling a WV "a car" - i.e., instead of using "proper name" of your software, call it using name of its class. They think that it's specific to "Open source software help forum answers" to call things what they are, when in fact it's more about "you are on a place where people might not know what your OS is; and even if they knew, they might not know the software name because they use a different one". Is it much different when one gets an advise "take a hammer drill to make a hole in the wall" instead of "use your Bosch"?

They even blame and put shame on those who try to help people because of that. Pity.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2021-02-10 09:10:56 +0200 )edit

I'm sorry if I sounded flippant, I hope I apologized for that to begin with. I posted with too much frustration over what I (we) see as jargon that bars finding a solution that an answer-er sees as common usage. I should have been more careful with my usage of geek as it can be both a term of admiration, but also derision. The point I wanted to make is that the "does not exist" question (as an example) has been going on in with multiple searches for at least the two years judging by Google and every attempt to answer it over that time with stated operating systems has led to a dead end, not just for me. It is obvious it's not answered. If I understand, file manager is Finder for Apple. For Microsoft, Wikipedia says file manager is called File Explorer from Windows Explorer. I ...(more)

JohnJR gravatar imageJohnJR ( 2021-02-10 19:54:51 +0200 )edit

It doesn't really matter what the file manager is called. What is important is that people learn how to use their file manager (whatever it might be called) early in their experience of learning how to use their computer. "Early" is the key word.

As it turns out, intelligent use of a file manager is the answer to many of the problems reported here on this user help site. This is a result of many people trying to use a computer and some applications on it without first learning any of the benefits of a file manager or how to use it. It is sort of like driving a car in the rain without even knowing that the car has windshield wipers or how to turn them on, and blaming all of their problems on the brake pedal instead.

ve3oat gravatar imageve3oat ( 2021-02-10 21:13:06 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2018-02-13 19:48:20 +0200

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Last updated: Feb 09