Infinite white boxes

When I reopen a spreadsheet sometimes it comes up with giant white rectangle shapes anchored in the top left corner. I tried deleting them but there seems to be an infinite number of them underneath. I have no idea if I’ve pressed something or what.
What do I do? :’(

I just saved a sheet in .xlsx format which I did in LibreCalc. There were no shapes on it when I saved it. Reopened it on another computer with Excel and the rectangles popped up. Clearly there is a ghost in the machine laughing at my pain.

Can you please attach or link to a screenshot or (preferably) an example file? Which platform and LO version?

Sorry you have a problem, cait, but I’m rather relieved that I’m not the only one with this frustrating issue, I thought I was going mad… I have had the same problem over the last few months, it occurs at random, affecting some files and not others, and some worksheets and not others. I have discovered that the white boxes are listed in Navigator (click View>Navigator>Drawing Objects), where all the copies of the objects are listed as 'Customshape 1). more to come…

The ‘drawing objects’ seem to be text boxes, as I can enter text in them. They completely hide the data behind them. All the objects are identical size and position, so you can only see one at a time.You can select an object and delete it, but I have had up to 190 objects appear in a worksheet, so this method is not practical. I have not found a way of selecting them all at once and deleting, that would be good. More . . . . .

If I copy the worksheet in the same file, sometimes the boxes are copied as well, but sometimes, when I’m lucky, the new worksheet is clean, no sign of the boxes. This certainly looks like a bug, does anyone out there have an answer? My setup: My files are saved in .xlsx format. Occurred with LIbre Office, I have just installed version and it’s still there. Windows 8.1. I have a sample file, but I can’t see how to attach it ??

@DaveOz, it may be an issue related to bug fdo#71394 or it may be a problem with comment handling in XLSX. Can you attach an example file displaying the infinite boxes for others to examine? Thanks for investigating further.

Thanks oweng, have just seen your comment. Looked at fdo#71394, it doesn’t seem to be the same problem. In that bug it looks like boxes or text moves a few pixels each time the file is saved. In my case, a whole pile of blank boxes suddenly appear when I open the file. They are in one position, in the top left corner of the spreadsheet, all superimposed on one another. When I save the .xlsx file as a .ods file, the boxes appear exactly the same. I have example files, but how do I attach them?

@DaveOz, you can upload files in an answer, not post the answer (but copy the link) and then link the file in a comment.

Thanks oweng, but when I try this I get the message ‘>3 points required to upload files’. I suppose they mean Karma points. I only have 1 Karma, so I’m still stuck.


This question is closed, but I ran into the same trouble recently.

The file in question is an .xlsx file, share by several people. Some of them use Excel, other LibreOffice.

From time to time, we have this “lots of blank shape” happening.

For those who need help, I founded some useful macro and adapted it. Beware! It will delete all Drawing object of your file!

Sub DeleteAllPics()
    Dim oDoc As Object
    Dim oDrawPage As Object
    Dim oShape As Object
    Dim iShape As Integer
    Dim iSheet As Integer
    oDoc = ThisComponent
    For iSheet = 0 To oDoc.getSheets().getCount() - 1
        oDrawPage = oDoc.getSheets().getByIndex(iSheet).getDrawPage()
        For iShape = oDrawPage.Count - 1 To 0 Step -1
            oShape = oDrawPage.getByIndex(iShape)
        Next iShape
    Next iSheet
End Sub

I use Libreoffice 6.1 on Debian stretch.

Not an answer, but this is still an issue for LibreCalc (Both the one included with Debian Wheezey and Mac and opening either .xls or .xlsx files from Mac’s Office 2011. Number of boxes range from 10 to infinite. Unworkable to use.

Not enough points to upload a file…

Please note that Mac Office 2011 has several compatibility issues that do not exist in other MSO versions. For example, refer this blog post.

I don’t have an answer–just more clues… The boxes are drawing objects. They reappear when the file goes from Word to LibreOffice OR from LibreOffice to Word.

To get rid of the boxes in Libre:
LibreOffice Calc
Drawing Objects (Hide)

To get ride of the boxes in Word:
Find & Select
Selection Pane
Hide All

I finally opened the file in Excel 2013 Unhid them and deleted the drawing objects where they are listed on the right. I then choose HideAll again and I saved the document and reopend in LibreOffice 5. Looks good! Changed one cell in Calc and saved and opened again in Excel. Looks good! I tried it another time so far so good! fingers crossed

This just happened to me. Thank you so much for this workaround.