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Text Boxes - how to use and why don't they work

asked 2016-05-11 21:17:41 +0200

mlungu gravatar image

Hi While using linux exclusively for all our servers, the only reason I have not used this on the desktop has been the absence of MSOffice. Tried openoffice and Libre office in the past with little joy. Now that we're at version 5 I am giving this another try but the very first document I open is troublesome. I have a letterhead with a text box with our logo and text in it. In MS word, this opens fine. In Libre office not so. The logo is not in the same place and the text is cut off on the right hand side. Tried to change margins, to no avail. Try as I may, I cannot get "into the text box" to edit the text.

  1. What is the actual way of simply double clicking a text box so I can edit the text inside? I just cannot figure it out.
  2. Is this a fluke and is compatibility with MS office really a done deal now, or should I expect this type of thing all the time. I fear that the latter is the case but I may be wrong?
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I am now four year experienced user of LibreOffice. If you can, save your document in DOC and open it in LibreOffice. It is better supported. However, when you need to do such work, use LibreOffice Draw. You can insert as many textboxes as you want. In case you need to send it to someone, you can easily copy everything to LibreOffice Impress (change page to A4) and save it as PPT. I changed the way I work and I don't have any problems.

Ljiljan gravatar imageLjiljan ( 2016-05-12 11:08:22 +0200 )edit

Can you share this document with us? (delete important part) I would like to investigate what the problem is. Thank you.

Ljiljan gravatar imageLjiljan ( 2016-05-12 13:26:55 +0200 )edit

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answered 2016-05-11 23:41:21 +0200

Regina gravatar image

The native file format of LibreOffice is Open-Document-Format (odt). It can all what you want. But MS-Office has a different file format and converting between them might have some problems in corner cases. If you want to use LibreOffice you should switch to ODF and stay with it. Converting back and forth is not good.

You can try several ways for converting: (A) Save to docx in Word and open in LibreOffice. Use the most recent version of LibreOffice because the docx import filters are continuously improved. (B) Save to doc in Word and open in LibreOffice. The doc-import filter has been improved over long time. Only the doc format is older and not all features of docx can be used in doc-format. (C) Save to odt using Word. If you have got a current version of Word, it has got such export filter.

I doubt that you have a "Text box", because a "Text box" is not able to carry an image. It is likely, that it is a frame. To edit text in a frame, you only need to click at the position and write, no double-click needed. If you need to resize the frame, then you have to click on its outer border line so that it gets green handles. Make sure the option "Text Boundaries" is checked in menu View, otherwise you might miss the frame border. Or you use the "Navigator". With a right click on the item of the frame, you get the item "Text Frame.." and then "Edit..".

It would help, if you could provide an example document with such a letterhead and some dummy text. You can write a bug report and attach such file, for example.

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answered 2016-05-12 09:05:43 +0200

mlungu gravatar image

Hi Regina

I am aware of the differences in file format. I am using the latest version. I have been using text boxes in MS word for year and am not sure why you think that you cannot add an image to a text box - that definitely works fine in word?

The problem is that it has to be seamless and I really do appreciate all the effort and admire the cause but it has to just work for us to be able to switch. I would love to switch to ODF but the rest of the world doesn't use it so I find myself getting emails back "can't open this" etc. I am sure this debate is familiar and I so wish that I could break away from MS but if I have to spend time resending things and fiddling, the cost is just higher than simply purchasing office I'm afraid.

Thanks for our input.



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"I have been using text boxes in MS word..."
It is a matter of terms. In LibreOffice Wtiter and its predecessors a 'Text Box' is an ob ject from the graphical family, similar to a rectangle, and cannot contain drawings or images. Functionally what you get for a text box when a MS Word document is opened with Writer will be a frame.
Having selected the frame (clicked on the border) you only can edit the frame properties. To edit the content simply click into the unselected frame.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2016-05-12 10:46:28 +0200 )edit

The Document Foundation can try whatever they will, even next to surrender to what MS invented for their thing. MS will never accept full compatibility. It is a central part of their marketing strategy that even the most recent Word is not completely compatible with anything (older Word included). They simply want to sell.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2016-05-12 10:52:28 +0200 )edit

Hi Fair enough I fully understand they just want to sell and it's annoying the say the least. BUT - 3 hours of time fiddling costs more than MS office will cost me. I will retain libre office and use it but am still forced to purchase MS office then unfortunately. It is what it is I guess.

mlungu gravatar imagemlungu ( 2016-05-12 13:27:50 +0200 )edit

Hi milungu, it is an ongoing work to make converting as best as possible. But therefore examples are needed, where the current solution fails. You can really help, when you write a bug report and attach a document to reproduce the bad converting.

Regina gravatar imageRegina ( 2016-05-12 22:50:49 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2016-05-11 21:17:41 +0200

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Last updated: May 12 '16