Compatibility Issue with Libreoffice 7 and MS Office365

I previously solved the issue of text creeping down the page in Libre Writer .docx when opened in MS Office365 by checking (ticking) the compatibility options:

Do not add leading (extra space) between lines of text


Expand word space on lines with manual line breaks in justified paragraphs

This problem however has returned with an additional dialogue that pops up when opening with MS :

“Your document will be upgraded to the newest file format.
While you’ll get to use all the new features in Word some minor layout changes are possible. If you prefer not to upgrade, press cancel and check the maintain compatibility checkbox.”

I then updated to version (X64) but the problem remains. I tried ticking the same two compatibility options again but noticed
“Expand word space on lines with manual line breaks in justified paragraphs” refuses to remain ticked even after “save as” is used.

I tried leaving these both unticked but that also did not solve the issue.

Please help - Urgent jobs need to be done for client.

Note that:

  1. There are fundamental incompatibilities between document models of Writer and Word. These make some things possible in Writer to be impossible in Word (at all, even in theory), and vice versa.
  2. There are bugs in import and export from/to alien document formats, that cause problems when not using native document format - this applies to any program; e.g., LibreOffice has bugs in DOCX support, and Word has much worse problems in ODF support.
  3. There is a moving goal of constantly changing “compatibility mode” in Word: it already has several such modes, corresponding to differences in its versions (CompatibilityMode 11 - 15, corresponding to pre-2007 to 2016+). See tdf#131304, which tracks other bugs related to these modes. Despite the initial idea that the modes do not affect layout, the bugs that are listed there in “Depends On” have shown us that indeed the layout depends on the level.

The #3 creates more problems both in import and in export. Not only should we now make import more complex, taking the differences (known and yet unknown!) into account, but also we need to decide how to write the data back - if we make the export compatible with Word 2010, it will be incompatible with Word 2016.

Well - anyway. Whenever you see a problem like yours, please take time to file a bug with good reproducing steps, having a sample document plus screenshots attached. Without those, we would be unable to even learn about some incompatibilities. Your reports could make a fix possible.

A very good and understandable answer. :+1:

I have incorporated the answer into the FAQ:

Well, not the answer you would be waiting for but basically, if you need to work with .docx, then stick to MS Office. That’s the vendor lock-in policy.

Some hints here: [Tutorial] Differences between Microsoft and AOO/LO files.

Else, try to change different settings to avoid the extra spacing like manually defining the spacing for few paragraphs, or make more room above so that it does not trigger this feature.

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I have found a workaround. I add a header of 1.10 cm to this document (which only has a footer) and place the timestamps in their correct places. I then remove the header. This sets the timestamps in the correct place. It seems the DOCX document +/ template has an invisible header which divides paragraphs and shifts the lines up or down accordingly.

Thanks Hagar,
I assume this is a new lock-in policy then since it was compatible a few months ago. thanks for the Tut reference which mentioned the MS docx viewer. Perhaps with this I can fiddle and see what the client will see on their side.

The policy is as old as Microsoft, “Windows is not done until Lotus won’t run”. It’s just a new implementation

If Melinda can divorce Bill why can’t the world divorce Microsoft?

Because they have invaded the whole space. Why do you think they never really enforced their copyrights on pirate versions of MS Office? Why do they offer it at discount price for schools and students? Because everyone now is used to MS Office. Users as so much used to it that they don’t even think about something else. The problem is that many users think about LO as a cheap replacement of MS Office and don’t see that the real stake is not the product, it’s the file format. It’s the key that allows or not the compatibility with other products. If .docx was fully compatible with LO, why corporations would pay the full price? It’s a business model, that’s all.

Have you switched to GNU/Linux yourself and divorced MS?

I did some years back then I had issues with compatibility of other applications I used and then later my PC crashed. Ended up with Windows again :frowning: . So got divorced and remarried. Thinking about divorce again!!