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Dnia 2013-10-25, o godz. 18:22:08
baldwin linguas <> napisał(a):

Now, suddenly, every time a client sends me a .docx file, I get a
complaint when I return their documents that the formatting has
changed (tables are different,
fonts changed, bullets disappear, or, worse, they can't even open the
document, although it opens fine here).

You can ask them for DOC file, LO should handle it better.
If they are on relatively new MS Office (2007 SP2 upwards), you can ask
them to save file in ODT format. Although MSO's ODT support is
handicapped, it might be better than LO's DOCX support.
It's ruining my business.
I'm losing clients, losing money, and I have a family to feed.
And I don't know what to do about it.
OpenOffice won't write to .docx, and LibreOffice messes them up.

I hate to be the one that says it, but:
you must choose between your business and your ideas.

Microsoft has made every thing possible to retain their monopolistic
position when it comes to document exchange. They lobbied for OOXML to
become international standard, although it is underdocumented and
ill-written (XML tags are not human readable, which makes reverse
engineering harder). They screwed up implementation of their
own standard, which causes three version using it (MSO 2007, 2010 and
2013) to be incompatible at minor things.
LO is constantly getting better in terms of support of that format, but
it still has problems.

If you want to be 100% compatible with DOCX, you have to use Microsoft
Office. Period.
You may try Office 365, which is browser-based solution (if your
clients are OK with sending their documents to third party, that
is...). You will have to pay for it annually, but at least you won't
have to buy Windows.

I don't know what to do to diagnose these issues, which is why
I feel I haven't sufficient information to file a bug.

You should:
- prepare the simplest case possible, that is simplest document (even
  if it has to contain one word) that will show the issue.
- provide that document AND reference (image/PDF), so developers
  without MS Office may check if this is fixed.

I doubt this is even possible without MS Office...

I know nothing of Java (LO is primarily java, yes?),

Although it's largely irrelevant here, no.
LO is primarily C++ with some components in Java. these components are
gradually rewritten to python.

For what it's worth, I'm using the LO in the Debian Wheezy
repos, on AMD64 architecture.

I doubt it will fix your issues (it might some of them, but perhaps not
all), but you may try to update your suite. 3.5 is quite outdated and
there were many fixes in OOXML support in later releases.

But don't even bother with wheezy-backports, as version there is 4.1.0.
It is not only outdated, (we are at 4.1.2 no, 4.1.2 should be released
next week), but also intended for early adopters. I would not run my
business on such version.

Just download deb packages from TDF website. They will install
in /opt/, and will not mess with any of your system files. You can
safely install and run them.
You can install both currently supported lines - 4.0 and 4.1 -
alongside each other without any hassle. Then you might use 4.0.6
(latest bugfix release of 4.0, intended for conservative and corporate
users) for most of work and fire up 4.1 only to see if they provide
better support for DOCX file you have received.

Switching versions with one user profile may raise some unexpected
consequences, so it is better to keep them separate. You can fire up
4.1 like that (from command line):
/opt/libreoffice4.1/program/soffice -env:UserInstallation=file:///tmp/lo-4.1-user/
This will create custom user profile directory in /tmp/, which will be
removed during next boot of machine.
If you want to preserve that directory, just change path at end of command line. 
But note that there are three slashes after "file:" - two are actually part of protocol
("file://", just like "http://"; and "ftp://";), third one is beginning of absolute path
at your filesystem.
Best regards
Mirosław Zalewski

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