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Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:15 am
by rhub
Hello,
I'm new to this forum and ask for your patience.

I have been using Apache Open Office for several years, first with Ubuntu OS, then for past 6 years with my Mac OS Sierra.
Generally, I haven't had capatibility issues when opening and sharing excel spreadsheets and word docs as long as I save and share in MS .doc or .xls.
However as I work more with others in a business environment and my work gets more intricate, I've noticed when I print word documents with bullet points, they are reformatted into a square with a question mark. That's not a problem if I only need to read, but it's not very professional if I need to print and share with others.

The problem doesn't present itself if only shared digitally (not printed).

Is there a way to work around this quirk?

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:21 am
by Zizi64
Do not use the old, obsolete, never standardized, binary MS document formats with the OpenOffice ot LibreOffice.
Always use the International Standard ODF file formats, like .odt, .ods.

There is not (never was and never will be) 100% compatibility between the different file formats.

Just a tip:
Check the missing fonts in your document.
You can use the TestFonts extension for this task.
https://extensions.openoffice.org/en/project/testfonts

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:37 am
by rhub
Thank you for your reply.
Unfortunately I must save in MS formats if I am sharing my docs with others to read and edit. Doing otherwise would be counterproductive if others are unable to open my documents.

I'm wondering if others have my same problem and if they are able to find a remedy.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:00 am
by Zizi64
Unfortunately I must save in MS formats if I am sharing my docs with others to read and edit.

The newer versions of the MS Office can read the ODF file formats. The MS Office users can open the standard ODF file formats.

If you must work permanently with MS type documents, then you must buy a MS Office.

Or you can try the LibreOffice. It has a littlebit higher compatibility with the obsolete MS formats, and it can save into .xlsx and .docx formats too.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:42 am
by rhub
Thank you again for your reply and helpful info regarding LibreOffice. Is LO full supported with updates and support systems?
I am not familar with that program at all but may look into it.
I also have trouble opening cvs. documents, will LibreOffice have issues too?

Someone has also offered to add me to their MS office software, she can add up to 5 users. But she is not a MacOS user, but MS. I'm not sure if my MacOs can use her software or how to go about it installing it on my MacOS. Neither is she. And I don't want to pay for updates or annual fees. It's why I enjoy OO.As you can see I lack tech skills on systems and the like.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:09 am
by John_Ha
rhub wrote:I've noticed when I print word documents with bullet points, they are reformatted into a square with a question mark.

It sounds like a missing font problem and/or a problem caused by the file having been edited by MS Word. Also see the Tutorial below for a discussion of bullets. Remember that the font showing in the Writer font drop-down selection box is the font the document is asking for.

If the font being asked for is not installed on the PC, Windows (or other operating system) will silently substitute a different font which is available, and use that substitute font to display the text.

The TestFonts add-on is invaluable for finding missing fonts which the document is asking for, but which are not installed on the PC.

You can see which fonts are installed on a Windows PC by Start > Control Panel > Fonts or by clicking C:\Windows\Fonts.

See [Tutorial] Differences between Writer and MS Word files for why you should always work in and save files as .odt.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:21 pm
by jrkrideau
BTW, I believe Tibor (Zizi64) was saying "Always work in odt or ods format". Only export to a MS format if you need to send the file to someone else. Of course, if it is a shared file, that may no be feasible.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:30 pm
by rhub
thanks for clarifying. Unfortunately it most often is a shared file.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:07 pm
by keme
Current MS Office subscriptions with multiple installs allowed are for "multiple platform" use. They allow installed apps in 5 instances of either Windows, OS-X, Android or iOS, in addition to the "cloud" (web) apps.

Afaik, with the enterprise license, all 5 instances will share the same authentication, giving shared access to cloud/online content (email, OneDrive storage, etc.) which is probably not a desirable situation. Not sure about the Home/Student/Small office licenses, but I'd expect them to allow individual authentication, as also indicated by the offer to add you as a user.

Another option which some people find useful when collaborating with MS users is the WPS suite, which is offered in a free version. Not sure whether it is available for other systems than Windows, though.

Regardless of which systems and storage formats are in use: When a document transitions between "contexts" (MS - Open/Libre - WPS - <someotherstuff>), there will be a buildup of "residue" whenever the pogrammers made a workaround for unhandled content. In most cases you will experience this as a rising "clutter factor", but there are rare cases when a doument is broken beyond repair.

If you must collaborate with people using MS Office, the safest strategy is to use MS Office. In any case, your document storage strategy should also comprise a backup routine.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:58 pm
by rhub
Keme, what is WPS suite? Is that Word Perfect? Is that an open source software for word processing?

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:21 pm
by jrkrideau
rhub wrote:Keme, what is WPS suite? Is that Word Perfect? Is that an open source software for word processing?


Not keme but see https://www.wps.com/. I have no idea what it is

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:46 pm
by keme
rhub wrote:Keme, what is WPS suite? Is that Word Perfect? Is that an open source software for word processing?

Formerly known as Kingsoft Office. The company WPS is US based, but still a subsidiary of China's Kingsoft corporation.
Not open source, they offer a free version which covers most people's requirements. In my experience, not very good ODF support.
Their wordprocessor has good compatibility with MS Word, to the point that output is usually identical.
Versions for linux, Windows, Android and iOS. Alas, not for OSX so it does not seem to be the solution you are looking for.

My experience dates back 4-5 years, but word on the net indicates that its standing is more or less the same.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:47 pm
by jrkrideau
rhub wrote:thanks for clarifying. Unfortunately it most often is a shared file.


Could you upload a small sample file, or even two? One brand, shiney new, odt file with bullets points, formatted exactly as you would normally create the file, and a sample of one of the problem files.

The actual text in either file is not important so feel free to substitute nonsense for the real text in the "working" file if anything is confidential.

There is a upload tab at the bottom of the Reply and Quote windows. File sizes are limited to 128K or less. If your example is larger you will need to upload to a file hosting site such as Dropbox or MediaFire .and post the download link here.

Probably the best approach would be to zip the two files and upload them as a single .zip file

Thanks.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:27 pm
by Villeroy
rhub wrote:Thank you again for your reply and helpful info regarding LibreOffice. Is LO full supported with updates and support systems?

Unlike OpenOffice, LibreOffice is under active development. It is the successor of OpenOffice which is almost dead by now. LO solved some of the interoperability issues with MS document formats. It is technically impossible to be fully compatible with a product that does not want to be compatible.
Nevertheless, you have to work with the native file format of the program you use to edit your work. Be it some office suite, picture editor, layouter, video or sound editor.
A doable work flow in this case:
If the receipient should be able to read your work without editing, export to PDF. This is what mp3 is for sound files.

If the receipient is a co-worker on the same document:
1) Tell him/her to install a free Open Document suite. I would recommend LibreOffice over OpenOffice. Both are availlable as protable versions for USB sticks which does not require installation on the local hard disk.
2) If it has to be doc(x) for some reason, save your finished work as .odt and then send a doc copy to the co-worker. When he he/she aswers with the next version, the first thing you do is saving this copy as odt and then continue working with that copy. This way you both have additional doc copies in your mail records and each one works with the best matching file format for the respective program.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:36 am
by AOOisdead
Hey rhub,

Try Libreoffice. It is a LOT more compatible with .doc and .docx files. Open Office can't actually work with .docx, and may be the reason you're having issues.
If that doesn't work, another Open Source software that may fit your needs is something called "OnlyOffice". If that doesn't work, you might try WPS or Microsoft, both are not FOSS.

Re: Word reformats bullets points when printing

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:42 pm
by MrProgrammer
rhub wrote:I've noticed when I print word documents with bullet points, they are reformatted into a square with a question mark.
[Tutorial] Mac FAQ Q26/A26

If this solved your problem please go to your first post use the Edit button and add [Solved] to the start of the title. You can select the green checkmark icon at the same time.