Documentation/How Tos/Handling the User Profile

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Apache OpenOffice (AOO) stores all the data user-related in a dedicated folder, often called the profile. You can check its location on your hard disk in the OOo menu Tools > Options > OpenOffice > Paths. Most of the folders mentioned in that dialog are in the AOO user profile.

The folders are hidden by default, make sure your file explorer is configured to display the hidden files and folders.

Documentation windows.png Before Vista:
\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\OpenOffice\4\user\

From Vista:
\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\OpenOffice\4\user

Documentation linux.png For GNU/Linux users:
/home/<user name>/.openoffice/4/user
Documentation Mac Logo 40.png For Mac users:
/Users/<user name>/Library/Application Support/OpenOffice/4/user

Note that version 3 & 4 profiles have slightly changed from the 2.x branch, a directory level has been added, former profile was ...\OpenOffice.org2\user\ .

Profile Content

The user profile has several sub-folders related to dedicated items:

  • autocorr: table of replacement from Tools > AutoCorrect
  • autotext: your AutoText entries
  • backup: backup files if you have activated the feature in Tools > Options > Load/Save > General. Always create a backup copy. Each time you save manually a file, the previous version is saved here (overwriting the former one). So you have the version n-1, n being the current version saved.
  • basic: contains all the macros you have installed
  • config: some configuration files
  • database: registered databases
  • gallery: customized gallery (Tools > Gallery)
  • psprint: used for PDF export ?
  • registry: contains most of the configuration files that could be damaged, especially in /data/org/openoffice/Office subfolder
  • Scripts:
  • store:
  • temp:
  • template: your custom templates (File > Templates > Organize > My Templates)
  • uno_packages: contains the extensions installed for the user only (including the spell checking dictionaries)
  • wordbook: contains the custom dictionaries

Note that in parallel with this user profile, AOO also takes into account the configuration set for all users, that is the subfolders located in the main installation directory:

Documentation linux.png /opt/openoffice4/share under GNU/Linux
Documentation windows.png \Program Files(X86)\OpenOffice4\share under Windows
Documentation note.png Because there is no 64 bit Version of AOO for Windows, all program file are in the Program Files(X86) area on 64 bit Versions of the Windows OS

Moving User Settings

That's rather easy, just copy the whole profile (\user\ ...) to the new machine. You can even do that between a Windows install and a GNU/Linux one.

Documentation caution.png Note that version 3 asks during the install if you want to transfer your personal data, that is import your former 2.x version user configuration. Don't check that option! It can lead to issues afterwards, so better start from scratch and do that step by step.

Resetting the User Profile

A corruption of your profile can sometimes occur (an OS crash when using OOo for example). If you notice some strange behavior of OOo or if it just crashes or does not start, the first thing to try is to reset the user profile.

  1. Rename it: change the \user folder (see above for its location) to \user.old for example. This way, you still keep a backup of your configuration.
  2. Restart OOo, it will create a new profile. You will have to go through the welcome process again. Note that if you had a version 2.x installed before, version 3 asks if you want to transfer your personal data, that is import your former 2.x profile. Don't check that option! It can wreck the new profile because of deprecated configuration files.
  3. See if the issue has been fixed or not.
    • If it has not been fixed the user profile may not be involved and you can replace the new profile by the old one (delete the new and rename back the old one to \user).
    • If it has been fixed one or few configuration files have been damaged. But that does not mean that the whole profile is dead. If you have heavily customized OOo, you can still try to retrieve some parts of your configuration: as you have kept a backup, copy the sub-folders (one at a time), and restart OOo to see if the issue is back or not. You can therefore spot from where the issue comes.

Contents of this article derived from the OpenOffice User Forum

Content on this page is licensed under the Public Documentation License (PDL).
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