Writer is not displaying documents correctly (Linux)

This is how most .DOC or .DOCX douments open. Sometimes, but not always, the content shows on Print Preview and the document prints OK, but not always. Sometimes it appears when you convert to PDF, but not always. It is VERY frustrating.

I have tried opening in Safe Mode, and Factory Reset but the problem is still there.

Anyone out there with a solution, please? It is badly affecting my effectiveness.


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Thank you very much.

And what are we supposed to see on your screenshot? You didn’t even enable View>Formatting Marks.

Things we can guess:

  • your distro is Fedora with probable KDE Plasma desktop
  • your document is likely completely direct formatted (Default Paragraph Style shown in the paragraph menu)
  • you probably copied text from some Web page, which disturbs Writer: font is shown as a list and this is not possible in Writer; you can’t request some font with fallbacks in case it is not found
  • font (as understood by Writer) does not exist on your computer (displayed in italic)
  • it may be possible that the initial author wrote the document on a dark theme computer and forced white colour on some lines (resulting in white over white background on your computer)

For better diagnostic, attach the document.
If you’re the author, always save in application native format, i.e. .odt for Writer.

I’m not sure what View/Formatting would achieve apart from filling the document with random formatting marks. The text didn’t appear when I did this.
I’m using PCLinuxOS, but I’m only receiving the document not authoring it. To resolve this I’ve asked the Secretary to start afresh with a new template using only Arial font text rather than the obscure ones which were in her template.
This will resolve it.

If you need to open, print, display and PDF-export Microsoft documents on a non-Microsoft platform and have them rendered as closely as possible to how they were created in Microsoft Office apps, I suggest you use Kingsoft/WPS Office instead. I understand that they use the Microsoft document object APIs extensively, at the cost of openness. Those apps have limited functionality for document editing/structuring compared to LO (the free version even more limited), but the rendering engine seems to be Microsoft’s own, more or less, so for “Microsoft likeness” visual purposes you may be better helped that way.

Note that the ODF support is also limited/not up to date in that suite.

If those documents are your own making, consider saving to LO native format instead. Microsoft Office apps do support ODF formats, so you can still submit your documents to MSO users without much trouble.

I’m using LO on PCLinuxOS (which I’ve been using for 8 years and this problem has only been happening in the last couple of months). I don’t have the option of using Kingsoft/WPS as it is not in the Linux repository.

Install Microsoft’s true type core fonts. On Ubuntu that is sudo apt install msttcorefonts

This isn’t in PCLinuxOS, unfortunately. I’ll stick with the author changing her template to use Arial only.

As far as I know, Arial is one of these MS tt core fonts. PCLinuxOS uses rpm packages. https://mscorefonts2.sourceforge.net/