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Docx file truncated [closed]

asked 2013-11-11 06:00:00 +0200

tkv gravatar image

updated 2015-11-14 14:52:27 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

So I had a word document (.docx), spent about a day, coding in ubuntu, taking screenshots and updating this docx document in LibreOffice 3. When all was done, I closed LibreOffice, uploaded the docx file of supposedly about 125 pages to cloud. When I opened the file again, it had only 20 pages, rest were gone !! just like that. I see that the 'Auto back up feature' is turned off. Is there anyway I could recover the document? It is a very important document, literally broke my back spending all day today. Any help would be deeply appreciated.

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Closed for the following reason question is not relevant or outdated by Alex Kemp
close date 2015-11-14 14:52:41.673530

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answered 2013-11-11 12:08:39 +0200

Pedro gravatar image

If the file had 125 pages when you last saved it, then you must have a complete copy somewhere. Even if the final upload to the cloud was incomplete, in the PC where you saved it originally the file has to be complete (again, if you saved it when it was complete)
If you were using Dropbox you can always right click on the document and have access to Previous Versions. Probably you can do the same with other cloud services.

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Well, looks like the document got messed up while saving. I have the initial version as of Saturday night, but the issue is one day changes were lost. So my question is if there a way to retrieve that.

tkv gravatar imagetkv ( 2013-11-12 01:30:48 +0200 )edit

@tkv, if you didn't save regularly and if your cloud service doesn't keep versions of the document then you could try to rename the file extension from docx to zip, open the zip file and extract the contents to look for the text and images...

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2013-11-12 11:19:04 +0200 )edit

rename the file extension from docx to zip, open the zip file and extract the contents to look for the text and images... This worked for me, but it took a long time to edit out the short paragraphs of good text from the code, and I think I still lost some text. Still, I'm glad to have at least this.
This is a serious problem, and LibreOffice should do more to warn people about it.

waytogo gravatar imagewaytogo ( 2014-04-12 05:46:16 +0200 )edit
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answered 2013-11-13 12:08:50 +0200

Well, interoperability with Microsoft Office is certainly not the greatest strength of LibreOffice. If you need to open and save doc/x, xls/x, or ppt/x faithfully without quirks and oddities, you should use SoftMaker Office.

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Softmaker Office is not free and has the odd peculiarity that Planmaker (spreadsheet) supports XLSX but only loads 2^16=65536 lines (the same as XLS). I would recommend testing with the free Kingsoft Office (but I haven't used it enough to guarantee the quality/safety of the files)

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2013-11-13 12:55:58 +0200 )edit
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answered 2013-11-12 16:08:45 +0200

As a regular user of LibreOffice (from 3.x up to current 4.1.2.3) I can confirm that .docx support is horribly broken. Broken as in: editing and saving in .docx format WILL randomly toss your content into the bit bucket, never to be seen again. Adding comments to a .docx file is notoriously bad: comments will simply be lost when you save the file.

Unfortunately, as much as I admire and respect all the developers/contributors to the LibreOffice project, the party line on this issue seems to be "Well, then don't save in .docx format" Yeah. Duly noted.

So my Word of wisdom (pun intended) is to never use .docx format for any editing or saving in LibreOffice until there is an official bug fix for this rather critical error. (imho there is no bug more critical in an office app than one that randomly trashes user content) ODT is the safest bet of course, though .doc (sans 'x') seems to work pretty reliably as well.

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Asked: 2013-11-11 06:00:00 +0200

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Last updated: Nov 13 '13