Undo button does not work

I am using Version: (x64) with Zotero add-on. I have been working in an unsaved document for 2 working days when I accidentally selected all the text and started typing, which meant that I deleted the text I had been writing. I pressed ctrl + z, but nothing happened and in the Edit menu, the last command is written under the Undo option, but nothing happens. I really need to recover the text, I am desperate. Does anyone know how to solve this? Seems like it is a known bug.


There are other people with the same problem:Why doesn't "undo" command work sometimes? and I am simply asking if there is any way for me to recover my document?

I am simply asking

No, you’re not. You’re claiming a bug. This is highly rude, arrogant and disrespectful to the LibreOffice developers (unless you provide a solid testcase, and you do not).

Anyway, try searching in /backup and /temp in your user profile. Just maybe you’ll have some luck.

I did not mean to be rude or disrespectful. The bug seems to be in the Zotero add-on which I should have clarified better perhaps, sorry for that. The question is if there is a way to access the cache where the last versions of the documents are saved? I have checked the backup folder and there I can only find the last autosaved version. Under the Undo dropdown menu I can still see the list of the last changes but nothing happens when I select them.


Then, I’m afraid, no luck. If the last autosaved version does not contain the text you want to recover, it’s just gone. Lesson to learn: Ctrl + S is your good friend.

1 Like

On Word for Mac there is an edit option called, “Delete selected text when you type.” Is there an equivalent in Writer?

This is ABSOLUTELY a bug. I don’t know what the rambling about being “rude” is about, either a feature works or it doesn’t. It may only exist with Zotero installed, but it absolutely happens outside the Zotero functionality.

I have the same issue. I can type Test, Test, Test.
Delete Test.
I see Undo: Delete “Test”
I select Undo
Absolutely nothing happens.

Does anyone know if this had ever been addressed? I do have Zotero installed, but deleting and restoring text should have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Rather than responding with indignation that people should expect a basic wordprocessing feature common on most systems since the early 90s to work reliably and as expected, I’d be interested if anyone has any constructive input?

It looks like most people having the issues are running under Windows 10. Is anyone aware it’s a Windows 10 conflict. I do see one OSX report.
Someone else suggested it may be an issue with long manuscripts?

Is there anyone who has any workarounds, extensions, or potential settings that could impact it. This is not a trivial issue.

With two documents open Undo works with the shorter document, but not the longer, so it is length related. This makes me inclined to believe Zotero is a canard. It happens to be a common extension for people working on very long manuscripts, in fact probably most nonfiction writers use it for longer works.

Note that this also suggests PC memory is not the issue. The long document was still open, but Undo does not work correctly.

So yes it is a bug. Zotero Undo does not work in longer documents.


If you can’t undo, then close without saving and you will only lose anything since last save. Maybe 5 minutes work.

You could file a bug report at zotero

Let me see if I can be clear.

The issue is not with the Zotero extension. It occurs in documents that have not been touched with Zotero. It occurs in LONG documents.

Yes it is possible to use backups not to tragically lose hours of work. That is not the point. Undo is a basic level one word processor feature. A word processor that does not support Undo is a return to a roughly 1980s level of technology. The Leading Edge Word Processor supported Undo. You understand, correct, that this is not about “losing work” it’s a basic workflow issue.

This is not a minor issue. If there is a size cap on documents that LibreOffice can process and remain functional, we need to know that and have some rough ability to estimate what it is.

It is clear from the vast number of posts this has been a bug for years and never been thoroughly acknowledged or explored, because it likely only exists with documents in excess of 200+ pages.

I’d love to get more information to help bracket
(1) what causes the issue, exactly
(2) any potential workarounds to restoring functionality

“Just save a lot” has been acknowledged as an awful, dysfunctional, absolutely unacceptable workaround. Thanks. People do NOT need to keep reposting that.

I’m going to test if the same issue occurs in OpenOffice. It is my belief that it does not. Apache OpenOffice has its own host of concerns, but as noted, if one saves frequently one does not lose work, and if it can manage basic word processing functions it may be a better alternative for long documents.


This seems to be two issues.

Undo-problem with Zotero

Stating something once, in a concise and descriptive manner, does not constitute “rambling”. Three parallel adjectives to stress the point may be seen as overkill by some. The OP took the point and explained accordingly.

The No undo with Zotero situation was a known bug at the time of original posting from @scottsp. He went to the Zotero forums and posted the issue, and got directions towards resolution. Alas, the solution seems to have been lost with newer Zotero versions.

Granted. However, …

  • this place is not a bug report facility,
    and also …
  • the bug seems to be with the Zotero plugin, not with LibreOffice Writer.

I posted a comment on that same thread in the Zotero forums, which just might trigger new work towards a resolution.

Undo-problem for huge mistakes

With the data size I have tested (100+ pages of text and some graphic content) it seems to work fine. Larger data chunks (like the mentioned 200+ pages) may be “forbidding” undo in the framework of LibreOffice. It is a matter of resource management, I guess.

That said, I tested with overwriting 370 pages of pure text, multiple subsequent edits/undo entries, and it was perfectly recovered by undo. IOW, I am unable to reproduce the issue on my system without involving Zotero.

I disagree on most of that statement.

  • Saving works.
  • It is acceptable to most users.
  • It is not a “workaround”, but the de-facto, universally recognized solution towards preserving your work.
  • Recurring postings about work lost indicates that we DO need to repost the advice.

You are of course entitled to your own opinion, and may have observed the acknowledgement you mentioned somewhere out of my current view (failing to see that, I assume it to be your own, strongly conditioned, acknowledgement).

If you feel that a different tool does the job better, that should perhaps be your tool of choice. None of the word processing apps out there is the perfect choice for everyone. If you feel that LibreOffice needs fixing, the bug tracker is where you request that.

Thanks for caring!


From what I read, a track should be explored to narrow down the issue. I never had any problem with 200+ pages documents, but I don’t use Zotero because it creates big problems with formatting (in simple words, it is a set of macros which apply direct formatting).

@James_Gordon says the issue occurs on a “big” document using no Zotero feature. However, his LO copy has Zotero installed. Even though Zotero is not used, it is present and its macros come into the way and take over some basic feature management.

To definitively put the blame on Zotero or LO, you should have a try with the problematic no-Zotero file under a LO installation without Zotero. If it still occurs, that’s LO fault. But if Undo is now correct, Zotero interferes badly with Writer, probably because its history buffer is limited. I am not sure that restarting in safe mode with extensions disabled is sufficient.