Writer - Custom background size (image as page background) - unwanted images are not deleted

Hi all

Is there someway I can see what makes up the size of a Write file? (Adobe DC has this function)
I’ve been experimenting with some custom backgrounds and with each test and addition of a background the file size gets larger, it seems the Writer file is keeping the old backgrounds as well.

Anyway to clear all the old custom backgrounds?

LO on LinuxMint 19.2-64 Mate

  1. The images for page background are
    stored within the file, no linking
  2. After you have changed the image,
    the old one and the new one are
    stored within the file. So the file gets larger and larger.

How to delete unwanted pictures

Rename your ODT file into a ZIP file. Now open this file (e.g. with 7-zip) and check the PICTURES folder. Delete unwanted image(s). Close ZIP file. Rename to ODT file. Open with LibreOffice again. In most cases the file is destroyed. The STYLES.XML won’t work correctly, so you have to repair it… (IMHO too cumbersome.)

As a workaround you may apply e.g. a color as page background, then save and close the file, proceed as described in above paragraph. After that open the document again in LO, apply the image background and don’t alter that…

Write a feature request/bug report, this behaviour obviously is counterproductive.


Today I found another problem concerning linked bitmap background of table cells. I edited an older OpenOffice file, last modified 2018, and the backgrounds of the table cells were… no more existing. Opened by OpenOffice the backgrounds showed again.
In LibreOffice you have to import/embed the raster graphics anew, then they show as background for table cells.


I found the description of the problems of page background in bug reports. See https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=90273

The functionality of page background has altered. So I think that this misbehaviour will be dealt with before long…

Brilliant, the ZIP file method worked perfectly!

I’d even say it’s a bug, not a feature…

@mikekaganski wrote: I’d even say it’s a bug, not a feature…


The help page (Changing Page Backgrounds) does little to explain how to change a page background:

The Styles dialog box appears to have 2 Page style Icons, one at the top, and one at the right side. The one at the top allows adding a new page style.

On the help page, Step 6 says. Click the Background tab.

There does not appear to be a “Background” tab on the Page Style dialog.

A workaround appears to use the Area tab>Bitmap>Add/Import.

Thank you!

Your answer doesn’t address the file inflation issue.