[Tutorial] User configurations

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[Tutorial] User configurations

Postby huw » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:14 pm

Has anyone written a definitive guide to backing up / deleting / transferring the user configurations used by OpenOffice / StarOffice? (macros, toolbar buttons & positions, keyboard shortcuts, custom dictionary, options & customisations in general, etc.)

  • Where exactly are they on the various supported platforms?
  • What should be deleted to cause a rebuild with defaults? Or to backup all customisations?
  • Can only certain bits be backed up or deleted?
  • Can they be transferred to a new user login? or a new computer? or a different OS?
  • Can they be shared between the two different installs for the same user on a dual-boot machine?
  • Are there any "gotchas" when restoring a backup copy? Are partial restores possible?
  • Are the above answers the same for all flavours of OpenOffice (OO.o, Novell, Star, etc.)? Or how do they differ? And different releases (2.2, 2.3.1, etc.)?
  • Which settings are document specific, and not actually part of the user configuration at all?

I don't know the answers myself, and have always set up a new install to my liking from scratch rather than risk corrupting it copying the wrong files over.

e.g. Is it
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\StarOffice8\user\config

or
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C:\Program Files\Sun\StarOffice 8\share\config\soffice.cfg\modules

or is it, as it appears, a combination of the two? (Note, I'm not desperate to know the answer to this specific question, I'm just using it to illustrate how baffling I, and no doubt others, find it all).

Edit: added Villeroys suggestion
Last edited by huw on Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tutorial suggestion - user configurations

Postby Villeroy » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:22 pm

Just another point:
[*] Which settings are stored individually with documents?
The options dialog mixes document properties with component/application settings.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Tutorial suggestion - user configurations

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:17 pm

I don't recall such tutorial. I don't recall neither any compatibility issue with sharing a profile between Linux and Windows for example.
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Re: Tutorial suggestion - user configurations

Postby kabing » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:37 am

Some of the information you've asked about has been written up for NeoOffice users in the neowiki.

As it stands, that info is pretty Mac (and Neo) specific. It would provide some direction in terms of what is stored where, however. For example, the Neo path for autotexts is:

~/Library/Preferences/NeoOffice-2.2/user/autotext
where ~ is the user's home directory. But the ~/Library/Preferences part of the path is specific to the MacOSX structure.

I don't use Windows or Linux, so I don't know the parallel path for these OSs, but I am reasonably confident from the various posts that I've read that end of the paths, starting with "user" are consistent across platforms.

As frequently as I see problems that are preferences related (especially the disappearance of the data to fields button and mail merge problems), it would be very helpful to have a tutorial that covered these topics. I'm at a loss to help Windows and Linux (and OOo X11) users on the exact procedures for moving/renaming the preferences folder.

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Re: Tutorial suggestion - user configurations

Postby huw » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:07 pm

Custom dictionary reference:
http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=66950

On sharing dictionaries:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4490
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Re: [Tutorial] User configurations

Postby foxcole » Fri May 30, 2008 8:23 pm

huw wrote:
  • Where exactly are they on the various supported platforms?

This path could vary slightly for everyone who uses OpenOffice Portable, so it's not really possible to specify it by platform alone.

The universal way to find its location is to look in Tools> Options> OpenOffice.org> Paths. (In the Windows installatoin, tt's the \settings\user directory, but I don't know whether it's represented that same way on other platforms... in any case, that's where to look. "user" is, of course, the directory that must be renamed if a fresh profile needs to be generated.

huw wrote:
  • What should be deleted to cause a rebuild with defaults? Or to backup all customisations?

  • I wouldn't delete anything but just rename the user folder, at least at first. OOo can then be restarted to create a fresh default version. Updating OOo pulls the "user" folder into the new version, preserving the profile settings, so if you have a renamed copy and still want to keep it, I'd move that out of its default location and put it somewhere else on the hard drive before installing. (I personally move them to a directory I use for downloads, so I would habitually know where to find it later.)

    Deleting makes it much harder to get them back if you want them later. If by "customisations" you would include AutoText and such that the user set up, see the reply marked (X) below.

    huw wrote:
  • Can they be transferred to a new user login? or a new computer? or a different OS?

  • I don't think there's any problem with just copying that folder. It doesn't contain dictionaries, though, or the autocorrect file, so those would be copied separately (see (X)).

    huw wrote:
  • Are there any "gotchas" when restoring a backup copy? Are partial restores possible?

  • The only way I know to partially restore is to open the old "user" folder and manually move files to the new one, one by one. This can be tedious because if the issue is that a configuration setting was causing problems, you'd want to restart OOo after each move to make sure the file you just moved in wasn't the corrupted one.
  • Which settings are document specific, and not actually part of the user configuration at all?
  • (X) If you want to preserve dictionaries, autocorrect, autotext, etc., which are things you set but that aren't stored in your user profile, save the Share folder and copy its contents into the new version. (Previous OOo versions leave behind a Share and a Program folder, but for some reason these only contain one folder each: in Share, only uno_packages is preserved and in Program, only python-core x.x... tho' I don't think everyone would have the python one. I can see the sense of preserving these, as they may contain scripts, but I don't see the sense in not preserving autotext etc., that require time to set up and can disrupt the user's work quite a bit if they're missing.)

    In Windows XP, that's found in C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org x.x.
    In OOo Portable, the path is ...\OpenOfficePortable\App\openoffice\share.

    huw wrote:have always set up a new install to my liking from scratch rather than risk corrupting it copying the wrong files over.

    The "user" settings are automatically copied over. If they weren't corrupted before the installation, they're unlikely to be corrupted after. It's safe to let OOo preserve them for you. I've never had a problem, anyway, even copying them into dev releases.
    Cheers!
    ---Fox

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    Re: [Tutorial] User configurations

    Postby archarank » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:13 pm

    Where exactly are they on the various supported platforms?
    OpenOffice 3.1 on Windows Vista
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