Trying to open pdf document but it opens in libre office draw format

I created a 238 page pdf document from an .odt in office libre and now I am trying to open it in office libre but it opens as a one page blank libre office draw format page. How do I get it to open in a pdf??

Just discovered that I have the same problem. Open LO Writer directly. Use menu File → Open. Then Navigate to the pdf document, select it and click Open. Instead, LO Draw opens on top of Writer to display the document. Even checking “Open as read-only” fails to prevent LO Writer from switching to Draw.

Using LO v6.1.5.2 on Windows 7 Pro.

For quite some time my versions of Draw have been able to open multi-page PDFs. This is handy for small cosmetic changes to PDF-documents or to extract some graphics. But to extract the full text or to work on the document there are other tools.

LO is free. It is not MS Office. If all you need is a writer and occasionally a spread sheet or to make a presentation, it works. If you want sophistication and simplicity, you likely have to do business with Microsoft. The folks who perfect it are likely good people working to help the world have a suite of basic tools for free (donations welcome). Respect that.

PDF documents will always open in Draw because they are not editable text documents. PDF format may contain many different “static” objects: images, lines (note: not paragraphs), etc. which are laid out in pages. By default, LO sees this as a collection of shapes set in a page, which is a definition for a Draw file.

From File>Open and its variants, you won’t be able to change this behaviour. Opening a file in LO is a complex process where the file extension is basically ignored. An analysis of contents at beginning of file is performed to decide which component to launch (Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw).

Consequently, to display a PDF file as a PDF, double-click on it from the OS file browser or right-click and choose an adequate application.

To illustrate the difference between PDF and ODF (the format for Writer files), select a block of “text” (one paragraph) in the PDF, copy it and paste it in Writer. You end up with a collection of single-line paragraphs, not the single original paragraph.

Aha! So, once a document has been exported as PDF, it is now “fixed” (as in stationary or unchangeable). And if there is a need to edit that document, one has to go back to the original (hopefully saved as .odt) and edit that, and then export it again as a new PDF. Thank you.

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Yes, PDF was meant originally as a way of exchanging non-modifiable documents. This constraint has since then been relaxed as there exist now utilities to edit them. But don’t expect something as fully fledged as LO Writer.

Yes, as @ajlittoz pointed out, the Portable Document Format was designed for transfer between computers, to be compatible with various operating systems and software, while preserving the layout (fonts, graphics, pagination, etc.). It was never meant to be editable, but soon people wanted to be able to annotate inside the PDFs, highlight text and other stuff. But real editing with a PDF as a base, is total nonsense - there are other formats for that.

If you have generated a so called hybrid PDF file you can edit it in Writer directly. The Writer content then is encapsulated in PDF as a Writer content. The difference to a simple PDF file is that the encapsulation needs more disk space, but the content can easily be edited.

For export into specified PDF format always use menu File > Export as > Export as PDF…


Use a real programme! Libre is THE WORST bunch of CRAP I have EVER tried to work with. I’m a copy editor! This is an absolute nightmare and has cost ME money. Live and learn. Libre SUCKS. Simple as.

Oh, btw, it’s obvious why it’s free!!!

Sorry to hear that your intended workflow is not compatible with the way most software and file-formats are designed to work.

All tools can be characterized by what they are good for and what they are not good for. Perhaps you expected all the keyboard shortcuts from some specialized copy-editting program to work just the same in LibreOffice. Your rant didn’t include much explanation.