OpenOffice Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: OpenOffice fails to save the document I am working on. What can I do?

A: The default Open and Save location for OpenOffice is the Desktop unless OpenOffice is opened by double-clicking a file. In that case the Save/Save As... location is where the file was opened from. You will likely find it on the desktop or in the location where you opened the file. Drag it from there onto the floppy or to whatever method you are using to save. If the document was loaded from the web O.O. may try to save it to the web and since this is forbidden, refuse to save it. To overcome this, choose Save As . . . from the File Menu and then choose desktop or floppy.

Q: The templates in OpenOffice are read-only format. How can patrons make changes to create and save their own documents?

A: To load a template, right click on the desktop (or directory window) and choose the desired template from the Templates sub menu.

Q: Can OpenOffice read WordPerfect files?

A: No, not at the moment though this facility should be available soon. At the moment if you want to read WP files you should export them from WP as .rtf (rich text format) or as .doc (MS Word ) documents. Open office will then read them fine.

Q: Why does my document, imported from Microsoft Office, look funny in Office Suite?

A: This problem likely results from special fonts and characters in the imported document. Userful will explore options for including more fonts with Userful Desktop in the future. If a user is unsatisfied with the output and sends Userful the original file, we can do a comparison and file an appropriate bug report with the StarOffice/OpenOffice development team. These user reports also help Userful decide on additional fonts to be licensed for inclusion in impending Userful Desktop upgrades. Visit

Q: After saving a document in Open Office the save button is grayed out. How can I save the document again?

A: The button will re-appear as soon as the document is changed; i.e. as soon as it makes sense to save it again. If you want to save the document twice, using a different name or location the second time, the second save should use Save As.

Q: Why does Open Office occasionally take an extra long time to load?

A: The first time the office suite loads after a reboot it takes substantially longer than subsequent loads. Subsequent loads are faster because part of the software remains in memory after closed.

Q: A document saved as a ".wps" file won't open in OpenOffice or on our Windows XP Stations. How do I handle it?

A: For a detailed explanation see here: There are moves afoot to incorporate a .wps import filter for OpenOffice.
In the interim, we would strongly encourage anyone using works to upgrade to the free (and vastly more capable) OpenOffice office suite. It is easy to download, install, and use and even works on older versions of Windows.
Recent versions of Microsoft Works (2001 and later) include Microsoft Word hence write by default to the supported (.doc) format. Older versions write by default to Microsoft's proprietary, obscure, and poorly supported (.wps) format. Even Microsoft's own Office Suite won't import .wps files without first downloading and installing a special converter.
To import legacy Works files (.wps versions 3.x --> 6.x) to Userful Desktop first use Microsoft works to save them in the Rich Text Format (.rtf) (.rtf is widely supported even in old versions of Works).
Alternatively if you have access to Word 2000 or 97 you can install the appropriate Works converter linked above and import your old Works files then save to .doc or .rtf.

Q: I have somehow maximized the Screen in Open Office. How do I get back the toolbar?

A: Ctrl+Shift+J should take you from Full Screen Layout back to the normal view, with the usual toolbars.