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User FAQ


Are binaries legal for commercial/business use?

Yes, you may use binaries for commercial use. Please refer to our download page.

Alternatively, if you are interested in StarOffice for commercial use, please see this URL: StarOffice

What are the differences between StarOffice and

The differences between StarOffice and can be accounted for in two ways:

  • Differences between StarOffice 5.2 and the future of StarOffice
    • The source code has undergone some significant changes since 5.2 was release Some of these changes are:
      • Removal of integrated desktop
      • Componentization of word processing, spreadsheet and graphic applications modules
      • Removal of email and calendar and the schedule server
      • Removal of the Browser
      • Move to XML File Formats
      • Improved Microsoft Filters
      • CJK support (CJK refers to Asian languages: C-Chinese, simple and traditional, J-Japanese, K-Korean)

These are all changes that were decided upon by Sun Microsystems before the source code was released to the community.

  • Differences between StarOffice and OpenOffice.
    • The source code available at does not consist of all of the StarOffice code. Usually, the reason for this is that Sun pays to license third party code to include in StarOffice that which it does not have permission to make available in Those things which are or will be present in StarOffice but are not available on include:
      • Certain fonts (including, especially, Asian language fonts)
      • The database component (Adabas D)
      • Templates included with StarOffice
      • Extensive Clip Art Gallery
      • Some sorting functionality (Asian versions)
      • Certain file filters

I have a copy of StarOffice 5.2/5.1a/5.1, how can I upgrade it to suite? and StarOffice have some very different features. For example, does not have the same Desktop integration. It is not possible to perform a direct upgrade from one software to the other one.

Which platforms are supported by the suite?

From the OpenOffice site you can download binaries file for the following platforms:

  • Linux
  • Solaris (Intel)
  • Solaris (Sparc)
  • Windows

There is also a MacOS X porting project.

What hardware resources does OpenOffice need to work? needs less resources than StarOffice. It has been tested on a Pentium 133 MHz 32 MB RAM Windows 98 SE system and it worked fine. However, 64 MB RAM are recommended for better performances. Linux systems with a heavy windows manager or desktop environment may need more memory (64 MB RAM).

For developer specifications broken down by versions and the various operating systems, see the General System Requirements page.

How do I install

If you have downloaded the binary file for Windows from, it may be in ZIP, TAR, or EXE format.

  • If the file is in the ZIP or TAR format, decompress it into a temporary folder (with a program such as WinZip or Pkzip).

If the file is in the EXE format, simply double-click the file to decompress it.

  • Double-click the Install icon that you find in the Install Folder; or, double-click the file named setup.exe. A guided installation dialog will begin and will step you through the installation process.

For more questions about installation, visit the Installation FAQs.

Where can I find some patches for is still an **in progress** project. Updated version are very common. You can find several new versions, updates, and patches in the download section of the web site at the Download Central web page.

This page can also be accessed via the Download tab at the top of most pages on the web site.

How can I upgrade an older version of to a newer one?

It is recommended that the previous version be uninstalled before updating to a new version. This can be accomplished, in Windows, by using the Setup program from the Start Menu and selecting Deinstallation.

You can also copy and rename the main program folder if you want to keep some or all files contained in it. If you try to install a new version over an older one on a Windows system, you could have an error during the installation procedure.

Is there OpenOffice documentation for users in .pdf format?

Yes. You can find various PDF format files in the HOW TO section of the documentation project.

How can I contact

If you are an end-user and seek further support for the suite, these FAQs may be one of the simplest forms of self-help you can find. Need more information than what is here? Try the Support page to find a list of other helpful resources.

If you are a developer or engineer, please check the Issue Tracker section of web site to see the work in process, or visit for Developers to find more developer related resources.

There are also many mailing lists at the site related to different subjects that can be useful to both users and developers. Check the General & Project Mailing Lists page for a mail list that best matches the subject you wish to discuss. With mailing lists, you can ask questions of users and developers who may have encountered your exact problem.

For more information:

Why on my Windows 9x/Me system do I have a lot of General Protection Fault crashes while I'm using applications?

Well, GPF crashes are very common on Windows system and, of course, not all are caused by applications! However, even OOo might trip over what Microsoft calls a General Protection Fault. is an integrated Open Source Software suite of applications based on the computer code released to the Open Source community by Sun Microsystems; a similar version is also sold separately by Sun(R) as StarOffice(R). Some features of StarOffice(R) are still held under Sun's copyright. The checkspell and the help system are examples and OOo versions continuously progress.

Due to the nature of Open Source Software development, sometimes features of the OOo suite may simply not work, not work as expected, or suffer an unsightly GPF termination. The developers' community is certainly working very hard to improve the software! Much has been done, but much more remains to be done. You, as a user, can give your help by using the Issue Tracker section of the web site.

If you are convinced that you have found a reproducible **bug** (not a one-time-only crash) in an OOo application, report it in the Issue Tracker. As a community, is striving to find and fix all issues, and your help is appreciated.
At the FAQ collaboration, Rob Winchester added the following tips to help stabilize your Windows OS, which may help to minimize General Protection Faults on your system.

First it is very important to apply the OS updates, even though they are from Microsoft. There are some flaws, pick that chin off the ground, in some important MS library files that have, in fact, been fixed, but you must update your computer. After you perform the update(s) and reboot(s), you need to search for and rename a .dll file in other applications folders. This file is named MSVCRT.DLL. It should only be in a windows (or winnt) sub folder (subdir). Using search, ignore what you find under c:\windows (or c:\winnt). Rename MSVCRT.DLL to old-msvcrtdll.old (or something you can remember). Do not attempt this until you have installed all the microsoft updates completely.

To get the upgrades:

  • Open Internet Explorer (yes, IE - not Netscape or any other.)
  • Go to You may have to let MS install a small program to search for what you need - and this might require restarting IE (or maybe rebooting).
  • Check off everything it will let you (some are only able to be done one at a time), then download.
  • Reboot.
  • Repeat (yes, go back and see if any more files (optional or critical) are there. This is a big pain over a dialup line.

Note that this will help everything run better. It's especially important for Win9x users, due to its unstablility.

You also NEED to empty your temp files folder regulary (and manually). Under 9x it's usually C:\windows\temp. Close all programs. Open this folder. Edit->Select All. Hit delete. Then Yes and maybe Yes to all later. You want to empty this folder completely. Then empty the recycle bin. Make a routine of emptying the temp folder - MS Office is especially bad to this folder and many, many help desk calls are related to this issue.

Is compatible with MS Office and StarOffice file formats?

Yes, applications can open and save documents in MS Office (from version 6.0 onwards) and StarOffice file formats. 627 has its own file format (XML), but you can convert your StarOffice documents and templates into OOo formats using the AutoPilot Documents Converter.

I downloaded an file, but when I try to open it, I'm prompted to select a filter. How do I open this file?

This file may be compressed. Uncompress the file (with a program such as WinZip, Pkzip or other) or untar it using the tar command (on Linux systems) and re-try.

I have a problem with the icons on the "command and functions" bar being displayed incorrectly. I see some doodles instead of the icons. How can I resolve this problem?

The problem may have two origins:

  • If the icons that are not displayed correctly are always the same ones, the image files were corrupted during installation (or subsequently during your daily work). We suggest that:
    • You use the special function in the Setup program, which you can find in the group '' in the Windows Start menu (or use the setup script in the installation directory of if you are using the Linux version of the Suite).
    • A more drastic solution is to de-install the Suite and then to re-install it, remembering to save in another location your personal data that could be lost by doing such a re-install. We advise this only as a last resort.
  • If the defective icons vary from work session to work session, or if they return (correctly displayed) when you pass the mouse pointer over the image - and if such defects are also visible inside documents (especially drawing ones) - it may be due to your graphic card (driver). In this case:
    • First, press the following combination of keys inside your OOo application:'CTRL+Shift+R'. The screen will be redrawn and the less critical problems should be resolved.
    • If the previous step doesn't work for you, try changing the options for your graphical resolution or colour depth.
    • Use OpenGL off under Tools->Options->General->Other. Cards with known problems: ATI, Matrox, S3 Virge... Explanation: assume you have in a graphic standard spectrum of 150 features. Most of the cards support the top 10. Unfortunately, sometimes needs the support of the 142nd one...

If the problem remains, the last solution that we can recommend is to look for an update of the driver for your graphics card.

Why doesn't the help system work properly in the Suite?

This is no longer a problem with the newer versions of Please Download a more recent version of

I just installed OOo, now I can't open DOC files with Word anymore! What happened?

When you install Open, it asks you whether you want to associate MS Office files with In order to not associate these MS Office file types, you must uncheck the appropriate boxes before continuing.

Once this association has been made, though, there are several ways to fix the association issue.

  • Go into your file types setting (It should be under either tools or folder options) from one of the windows in My Computer. Then delete the association for .doc, .xls, and any other file types that you do not want associated to the program.
  • When you next click on a file of that type (such as .doc or .xls), it will ask you what you want to use to open it. Click on Word, Excel, or whatever program you want to use. You will also be given the option to select always use this application to open the file type.

The list of recently opened files is too short. I need to see more than the default 4 items on this list. How do I achieve this?

The easiest way to increase the size of this list is to use a macro. For example, Recent Files List Changer Macro If using a macro is inconvient or you simply want to dig into, here's how:

  • You need to edit one of the configuration files. Before you do that, close all OOo windows, and also make sure that the Quickstarter is closed, too.
  • Now, on your computer, search for the file "...\user\registry\data\org\openoffice\Office\Common.xcu." If you find more than one file named "Common.xcu", make sure it's in the path specified here.
  • In this file, look for the line:

<node oor:name="History">

  • Now, directly after this line, add the following lines:
<prop oor:name="PickListSize" oor:type="xs:int">
  • Save.

Once you've opened and closed the next file in OOo, the list of recently opened files will have grown by one line. Its maximum number of items will be the value you've specified; in the above example that's 10.

What is the difference between Add-Ons, Add-Ins, and Plugins with respect to

  • Add-Ons are components that integrate into the OOo GUI.
  • Add-Ins are components that provide Calc formulas.
  • Plugins are what you know from your browser.

How do I fix the internal error, Get Storage: No Content? fails to start, and the following error message appears:

OpenOffice can not be started due to an error in accessing the configuration data.
Please contact your system administrator.
The following internal error has occurred: Get Storage: "No Content".

The message often occurs because a file named Common.xcu becomes corrupted. In most cases, this file becomes filled with 0s. The problem seems to occur most often in Windows, possibly as a result of a crash or an improper exit while was open.

Windows systems:

It is easiest to use the Find function (sometimes called Search) in the Windows Explorer to locate this file in Windows.

'Multi-user installations:'

Where is installed as multi-user under Windows NT/W2k/XP, this file is likely to be in a special system user directory. Therefore, one must have administrator rights and enable the option to view system directories in Explorer before using the Find function. This particular file should be found in the following path:

C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\<release>\<user>\registry\data\org\openoffice\Office\Common.xcu

where user is an actual user name.

Once the file is located, simply rename the file (for example, to something like Common.xcu.old) and restart A new Common.xcu file is created, and the problem should disappear. 'Single-user installations:'

Where is installed for a single user, this file is likely to be in the following path:

C:\Program Files\<release>\<user>\registry\data\org\openoffice\Office\Common.xcu.

If the OS is NT/W2k/XP, this file may be in a special system user directory, so use administrator rights and enable the option to view system directories in Explorer before using the Find function. In Windows 95/98/ME, the location will likely be in the suggested path. Again, once the file is located, simply rename the file (for example, to something like Common.xcu.old) and restart A new Common.xcu file will be created and the problem should disappear.

Note: There may be shared files called Common.xcu under paths, such as the following:

C:\[some path]\<release>\share\registry\......

Do NOT delete these shared files!

UNIX systems:

The default location for this file under a UNIX installation (single or multi-user) is the following path:


where $HOME is the user's home directory. As above, simply rename the file (for example, to something like Common.xcu.old) and restart A new Common.xcu file will be created and the problem should disappear.

Where <release> is the release number of the you have installed and <user> is the user namme of the particular user installation.

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