LibreOffice files not opening/corrupt on other word processors


I use LO Writer to do a lot of editing work - usually with track changes, but often use the comment function as well. I’ve noticed that if I do more than two or three pages with track changes on, as soon as I send the file to the person I’m helping out, they cannot open it. Either it refuses to open at all, or the error message 'We’re sorry. We can’t open file name because we found a problem with its contents" comes up.

This happens when I email, or when I transfer the file over via a USB. It happens when the file is from my laptop - Lenovo running Windows 10 64 bit and LibreOffice (x64) - and the other work laptop - also Windows 10, but I haven’t checked the specs, and LibreOffice 6.3, I think - when I worked on that briefly the other day.

LO docs will not open in Word, OpenOffice, Word online, WPS or Google Docs, or will open, but with the above error. They will not open no matter if they’re saved in ODF, doc or docx. On my laptop, it opens perfectly with no problem whatsoever. Sometimes it will open on the client’s PC in LO if I ask them to download LO when nothing else works, but it’s a hit-and-miss - sometimes even LO won’t let them open it. Even if I send it to them in ODF format.

I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling LO, and the same error appears.

Is there any way around this so other people can open the documents I have worked on and tried to send them? I really would like to continue using LO, because it has the most accurate word counter of every open source writer, and that’s incredibly important to me, but I’m completely at my wits end on how to let other people access the document short of me mailing my laptop to them or taking screenshots of every page, at this point.Example For Help Site.docx

ETA: Somebody else just told me: “LibreOffice inserts it’s own style of corruption (duplicate attributes within a single tag-end-tag construction) into Word documents. In the case of LibreOffice corrupted documents, I have seen maybe a dozen now that could not be opened in Word because of the duplicate attributes issue and it has only been with LibreOffice documents that that error has occurred.” Is this true? If so, is it fixable?

Can you attach a non-confidential sample file with the problem? A maximum of 5 pages is sufficient as you say the problem occurs from 2-3 pages.

Thank you for your response. I took a thesis (around 400 pages, originally) that I looked over for a student that gave huge problems and cut out random sections of the literature review to make it unintelligible and attached the file in my question above. If that works/doesn’t replicate the problem (which I’ll be surprised about, honestly, because we tried copy-pasting smaller sections into new documents and even that didn’t work) then I’ll have to go back to the drawing board, because I cannot send full documents online, as they are all people’s work.

Somebody else just told me: "LibreOffice inserts it’s own style of corruption (duplicate attributes within a single tag-end-tag construction) into Word documents.

There are cases when that happens; when we have a reproducible case of such a problem, we fix it. However, the case you describe is a different one. When there are duplicated attributes in the XML, the resulting file would also emit corruption warning when opened in the same LibreOffice - but you write:

On my laptop, it opens perfectly with no problem whatsoever

… so it’s not that.

is it fixable?

yes, if you prepare a normal document and exact steps what to do to make that document broken, and put all that info into a bug report.

Filed tdf#134801.

I’m completely at my wits end on how to let other people access the document short of me mailing my laptop to them or taking screenshots of every page

If screenshoting each page is an option, then using PDF must be much superior option.

I downloaded your sample. When I try to open it, I get a notification about a previous crash. I click on the button to continue recovery. The document opens. I save it, still under a new name as .docx format. It reopens like a charm.

Trying to repeat the experience to take precise notes (wording of messages et al.), I no longer have the notification. Even downloading again doesn’t lead to any initial error notification.

Config: LO, Fedora 32, Plasma desktop

My opinion is there is an interference between your file and some information in the user profile which has been fixed by saving the document. And this “fix” is strong enough to balance discrepancies which may exist in your original file.

@Desastre I downloaded your sample file and opened it on LO (LinuxMint). No special message, no problem. It is a mixture of page orientation (portrait/landscape) and the page styles have names like Converted4 etc, only the first page has got page style First Page. It seems that updatet LO is able to open your DOCX-document without any delay or irritation.
Track changes can be seen well, also one comment.

Nevertheless Microsoft Word is the better option for editing a DOCX-file… - Cheers

No problem opening the document in LO / openSUSE Leap 15.1.

Thanks so, so much to everybody who tested this out for me. It seems as though the biggest issue is with somebody opening it with Microsoft; as I said, sometimes LibreOffice opens the files, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Does anybody know why Microsoft would hate opening files from LO with large amounts of track changes? In any format - doc, docx, ODF.

I have a feeling I might just have to give it up and resort to using Microsoft Online for editing from now on, but I’m going to give it one more go to see if I can have my cake and eat it, too. Mostly because converting from US dollars to my currency makes it impossible for me to afford Office at this time.

I have been having the same problem for the past two months or so, never before in years and years of LO and OO on linux. It happens when a MS Word user (Windows or Mac version) sends me a document for review, which is the default scenario in my professional environment (academia). When I add track changes and comments and save it as .docx or .doc, the original user can’t open it anymore.
This has happened with docs of various lengths 15-100 pages, though in all cases I added dozens of comments or teach changes. I can’t say if it’s track changes or comments that contribute to the crashes.
I have resorted to convert commented docs into pdf (comments now usefully show up as clickable comment icons), but if the problem persists I will be forced to reconsider my use of LO; or no longer accept MS Word docs.
I’m happy to share a sample file, but preferably offline.

Question is rather broad. We can discuss on concrete examples or issues.

For attached docx, it was a problem with charts, new MSO 2016 couldn’t open it if saved in LO, old MSO 2010 could. But it was fixed in so no more problem if you are using current fresh LO 7.0.2 or newer.

As explains, it has only been fixed for newly created/saved DOCX files. If a similar file was saved twice with earlier LibreOffice, the file is corrupted.

Mike already advised to submit bug report to LO Bugzilla for a concrete issue. My piece of advice, in addition to wiki, would be to search first if already reported.

Bugzilla is not “document based”, like "this document doesn’t display nice". Bugzilla is “issue based”, so a single issue (section break, paragraph break, text box size, picture position, chart, tracked chnages…) must be pointed at.
If possible, example file should be reduced to minimum test case for a specific problem, with clear file history or steps to reproduce from scratch. Filetype is important and fileopen issue is different from filesave.