What is the file URL for built in help?

Libreoffice Writer version:

Host system: Debian 10 (Buster) AMD64

Pressing F1 key opens (yet another) new instance of the web browser, with no URL.

Answers to other questions at this place, strongly suggest the browser should open with a URL of type “https” or “file”.
For me, it doesn’t!

Initially, all I wanted to know was the difference between “Export as EPUB” and “Export Directly as EPUB”. Since built-in help has been right royally fu… oops!, changed … some time in the last 5-8 years, It seems I, now, also need to know the file URL for built in help.

I have just checked … the same problem exists with Libreoffice Calc. I’m sure that isn’t a surprise to anyone reading this.

Please may I have a double, no make that a triple, Scotch to soothe my seething anger that a perfectly serviceable and reliable system in much older versions of Libreoffice seems no longer.

For extra information, I have attached a screenshot image of the browser window opened via F1 key.

(Edit: activated screenshot -AK)

The new help system (offline) also opens your browser. The URL points directly to your PC (File …)

Older versions of LibreOffice and the associated help pack can be found in the archive.

With the new LibreOffice versions you can directly download the help pack there.

Installation Instructions

English documentation

it seems I, now, also need to know the file URL for built in help.

Definitely no - If your browser doesn’t show an URL there is something wrong on your system. Just checked on my Debian Buster test system using LibreOffice 6.1.5 (distribution specific LibreOffice packages) and everything works as designed (F1 opens Mozilla browser with URL and shows help entry page).

(Only answering to the question emphasized by the subject:)
For quite a while now the help per language (locale) consists of interlinked html files and a few addenda. Older versions had their help system organized in a different way, but located at the same folder-URL.

The starting folder in URL-like notation for all the help per locale is:

file:///{part of path depending on OS and settings for the install}/LibreOffice/help/ where
file:///{part of path depending on OS and settings for the install}/LibreOffice/ is the base folder for the installed application (also containing program/ e.g).

For the help then comes a subfolder whose name denotes the locale like en-GB/

Thanks Lupp,

That kinda helped. I checked the Installed Files tab for the package libreoffice-help-en-gb in Synaptic Package Manager to find the help directory path. Turned out to be /usr/share/libreoffice/help/

That directory had two promising looking files: help.html and index.html. Pointed the browser at each in turn and each in turn returned the same message “Firefox can’t find the file at /usr/share/libreoffice/help/en-US/text/shared/main0108.html?&DbPAR=WRITER&System=WIN.”

Since there is no en-US directory but an en-GB directory in the help directory I looked in there. Found a file {path to}/help/en-GB/text/shared/main0108.html that seemed worth a shot. Still have no idea about the “?&DbPAR=WRITER&System=WIN” in the message.

Long story short, that lead to a not very inspiring, but sufficiently navigable page to find a partial answer my original query about exporting as EPUB.

Seems I need a browser bookmark to replace the non-functioning F1 key??

Grumpy old man

One possible work-around would be to create a link with ln under the name en-US to en-GB in /usr/share/libreoffice/help/


Have you tried navigation from Firefox (ctrl+o) to the main0000.html (that is what it is in my build) help file in LibreOffice/help/en-US/text/swriter ? At least you can see if it opens.