[Solved] Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Discussions about using 3rd party extension with OpenOffice.org

[Solved] Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Paddy Landau » Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:48 am

I have used three extensions, successfully, for some time on Windows Vista:
Each of these opens a dialogue whenever used.

Now, I've migrated to Linux Ubuntu. I installed these extensions on OO on Linux.

However, the dialogue boxes that these extensions open are tiny, allowing me to see only a tiny part of the dialogues (see attachment). These dialogues cannot be resized.
Screenshot-small-dialogue.png
Tiny dialogue screen from an extension in Writer
Screenshot-small-dialogue.png (10.79 KiB) Viewed 10560 times

The funny thing is, when I first installed it earlier today, the first dialogue that I checked was full-size. This lasted only for a few minutes, though.

I've tried uninstalling the packages and reinstalling them (restarting OO each time and even rebooting), but that hasn't solved the problem.

Any idea as to where I could start looking to diagnose this problem?

More information:
  • This problem happens in both Writer and Calc.
  • I'm using OO 2.4.1
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: tagged the thread as Solved.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby TheGurkha » Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:47 pm

You could try resetting your user profile.

Resetting User Profile.

Please add [Solved] to the the start of the title of your first post (use the edit button) if your question has been answered.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Paddy Landau » Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:43 pm

TheGurkha wrote:You could try resetting your user profile.

Thanks for the idea.

Sadly, that didn't work.

I see (from the Ubuntu forums) that I'm not the only person to have this problem.

Any other ideas?
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Paddy Landau » Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:34 pm

I think that I've found the cause of the error!

It seems to be with my graphics card, strangely.

When I set the graphics mode to "Normal" or "Extra" (in Ubuntu: System -> Preferences -> Appearance), then the problem happens.

When I set the graphics mode to "None", then the dialogues work correctly.

I suspect that it's to do with the fact that my specific graphics card is not fully supported on Linux.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby hanya » Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:05 pm

Please, edit this thread's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:08 pm

It's indeed a bug with Compiz but the official version (Sun) is not affected IIRC. You should try with that one, see here: [Tutorial] Installing OOo on Ubuntu, Debian and Co.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Paddy Landau » Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:25 pm

Hagar de l'Est wrote:It's indeed a bug with Compiz but the official version (Sun) is not affected IIRC. You should try with that one, see here: [Tutorial] Installing OOo on Ubuntu, Debian and Co.

Thanks for the advice, Hagar.

On my system (Hardy 8.04.1), OO reports its version as 2.4.1. In Synaptic Manager, it reports it as "1:2.4.1-ubuntu2".

Do you still think it would make a difference? I don't want to go through the hassle if not needed, as I don't mind working with reduced special effects -- I use my computer mainly for business, not games.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:42 pm

Hardy has upgraded to 2.4.1 IIRC. But the issue come from the version itself. Ubuntu version of OOo is based on Novell build (go-oo.org) instead of the Sun's version. Add to that the tweaks from the Ubuntu team (for example separate icons themes, ...). I think that it's worth installing the un version.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Paddy Landau » Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:02 am

Thank you for the reply, Hagar.

I followed the instructions, choosing "Mark for Complete Removal" in Synaptic Manager for every "openoffice" item.

----------------------------------------

:( Unfortunately, it has not solved the problem. I'll just stick with the reduced Visual Effects, as that is what solves the problem.

:?: I notice that Synaptic Manager also removed language-support-en, language-support-translations-en and language-support-writing-en. Is that a problem? The description mentioned other packages such as Mozilla and The Gimp.

:) The new installation looks a lot cleaner than the old one, with smaller icons, which is great. It leaves more space for extra icons, and for the document itself.

:?: The Update Manger now displays several greyed-out "Recommended updates" (e.g. "openoffice.org-base"). What is that about?

:( Unfortunately, this new installation doesn't have the Quickstart functionality! I will really, really miss that, as I use it a lot.


----------------------------------------

In other words, the new installation is a mixed review!

Question: Is it possible to restore the Quickstart functionality? I'd like to stick with the new installation because of its smaller icons.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby sybille » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:42 am

There is a workaround for the small dialogs. What you can do is use the advanced Compiz settings manager and set the dialog windows to be of a fixed size. The procedure is a little complicated, though:

  • Install compizconfig-settings-manager (that's an apturl)
  • Open System -> Preferences -> Advanced Desktop Effects Settings
  • Locate the "Regex Matching" plugin, and enable it.
  • Locate the "Window Rules" plugin, and enable it.
  • In the "Window Rules" plugin, choose the second tab, "Size rules." This is where you will do the configuring, by establishing a rule so that the dialog windows will always be fixed to a good size, rather than being tiny.
  • Here's the tricky part. You're going to need to figure out a way to identify the window containing the tiny dialog box for the rule. There are several variables that you can use here, but my suggestion would be to try using the title variable first.
  • To discover the title of the window containing the tiny dialog, open a document and run the extension. Then open a terminal and type the following command:
    Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
    xprop WM_NAME | cut -d\" -f2

    When you enter that command, your mouse cursor will change into a cross shape. With that cross, click on the tiny dialog window (in the body of the window, not on the title bar). Now look in the terminal, and you should see some output there. That's the title variable. Hopefully it will be something really specific, like "Alternative Find & Replace"
  • So hopefully now you have the title, and you can write a rule. Back in the "Size rules" tab, click the New button. In the text field of the dialog that will appear, add
    Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
    title=^the title you found with xprop&

    For example, if the title variable is "Alternative Find & Replace," you would put
    Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
    title=^Alternative Find & Replace&
  • Now you'll just need to experiment to determine what size is the most pleasing, and adjust the Height and Width accordingly.
  • Repeat if there is more than one problematic dialog.

For more information about using window rules with Compiz, check the following:
http://wiki.compiz-fusion.org/WindowMatching
It gives more details, including other xprop commands for finding other attributes of the windows if you need to do that. I don't think you will, though.

Once configured, you should be able to use Compiz and OOo at the same time, and have appropriately-sized dialogs when using extensions.

BTW, you can change the size of the icons to the smaller size in the Ubuntu version of Ooo:
Tools -> Options -> View, "Icon size and style," change to "Automatic" or "Small"
I'm not advocating that you use one version of OOo rather than another. But I think you do need one of the go-ooo builds, like the Ubuntu packages, to get the Quickstarter in Linux, so if that's important to you, you'd want to use the Ubuntu version.
If your problem has been solved, please edit this thread's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line. Thanks!
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby sybille » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:51 am

Another alternative would to install "Compiz-Switch," a little utility that makes it easy to turn Compiz on and off. I believe you can add it to the GNOME panel, as well.

So, with the utility, you could turn off Compiz when you want to use the extension, and then re-enable Compiz again afterwards.

Compiz-switch: http://forlong.blogage.de/article/pages/Compiz-Switch

Here's the Ubuntu forums thread about the application : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=662926
If your problem has been solved, please edit this thread's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line. Thanks!
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:48 am

Paddy Landau wrote:[color=#000080] :( Unfortunately, it has not solved the problem. I'll just stick with the reduced Visual Effects, as that is what solves the problem.

I'll check on my system as soon as I get back home. I know that it worked with 2.4.0 or 2.3.1, I had checked.

Paddy Landau wrote: :?: I notice that Synaptic Manager also removed language-support-en, language-support-translations-en and language-support-writing-en. Is that a problem? The description mentioned other packages such as Mozilla and The Gimp.

I don't think so. At worst, you should be able to reinstall them without reinstalling the Ubuntu version of OOo.

Paddy Landau wrote: :?: The Update Manger now displays several greyed-out "Recommended updates" (e.g. "openoffice.org-base"). What is that about?

I know, strange indeed. I've had the same and have installed the base update (one was not greyed ou), I haven't seen any change since. For the other greyed out entries, no worry, I just ignore them also since they can't be installed.

Paddy Landau wrote:Question: Is it possible to restore the Quickstart functionality? I'd like to stick with the new installation because of its smaller icons.

In the past, the French team had enabled the Quickstarter in its localization. If it's still the case, you could install the French version and then install an English language pack.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Paddy Landau » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:08 pm

sybille wrote:There is a workaround for the small dialogs.

Wow, thanks for that. It does work!

I've experimented, and can add some more details.

In the "Size rules" tab, when you click on "New" (or "Edit" for an existing rule), you can press the big "+" key. Choose what type you're after (Window Title, Window Role, etc), and then press "Grab". Click on the required window and it will fill in the details.

It's extremely useful to find what size the window should be.

Turn off your visual enhancements (System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects -> None).
Then for each window that causes a problem:
  • Use the following command to find its width and height: xprop WM_NORMAL_HINTS.
  • Go to Compiz as sybille described and create the rule.
When you've finished, you can turn on your fancy visual effects again (System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects -> Normal or Extra).

sybille wrote:BTW, you can change the size of the icons to the smaller size in the Ubuntu version of Ooo...
I think you do need one of the go-ooo builds, like the Ubuntu packages, to get the Quickstarter in Linux...

Thanks for that information!
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Paddy Landau » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:11 pm

Hagar de l'Est wrote:
Paddy Landau wrote: :?: I notice that Synaptic Manager also removed language-support-en, language-support-translations-en and language-support-writing-en. Is that a problem? The description mentioned other packages such as Mozilla and The Gimp.

I don't think so. At worst, you should be able to reinstall them without reinstalling the Ubuntu version of OOo.

Unfortunately, they have dependencies. Anyway, I haven't noticed any problems, so it should be fine.

Hagar de l'Est wrote:In the past, the French team had enabled the Quickstarter in its localization. If it's still the case, you could install the French version and then install an English language pack.

Hmm, something to check out. Thanks again, Hagar.
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby sybille » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:23 pm

Paddy Landau wrote:In the "Size rules" tab, when you click on "New" (or "Edit" for an existing rule), you can press the big "+" key. Choose what type you're after (Window Title, Window Role, etc), and then press "Grab". Click on the required window and it will fill in the details.

Oh, I didn't realize that xprop has been integrated into the CCSM (compizconfig-settings-manager) interface, thanks for reporting back on that.

Paddy Landau wrote:It's extremely useful to find what size the window should be.

Turn off your visual enhancements (System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects -> None).
Then for each window that causes a problem:
  • Use the following command to find its width and height: xprop WM_NORMAL_HINTS.
  • Go to Compiz as sybille described and create the rule.
When you've finished, you can turn on your fancy visual effects again (System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects -> Normal or Extra).

That's a really good method, too, much better than the trail-and-error approach I proposed.

Thanks, this is good information. :)
If your problem has been solved, please edit this thread's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line. Thanks!
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Re: Extensions giving tiny dialogue boxes

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:58 pm

Paddy Landau wrote:
Hagar de l'Est wrote:In the past, the French team had enabled the Quickstarter in its localization. If it's still the case, you could install the French version and then install an English language pack.

Hmm, something to check out. Thanks again, Hagar.

:oops: Had forgotten to reply!

It seems that the Quickstarter is no longer enabled neither in the French version. Don't know why it has been removed.
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