[Tutorial] Mac FAQ

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[Tutorial] Mac FAQ

Post by MrProgrammer »

Note that questions are not allowed in the Tutorials section of the forum. Ask them in the MacOS section.

This tutorial covers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for using OpenOffice on Apple Macintosh systems including iMac and MacBook. It assumes that you have some basic Mac skills like working with your keyboard/mouse and, in particular, know how to use Finder. Some steps reference your Mac's  → System Preferences dialog. To install OpenOffice, you'll need to know how to use Safari or another web browser. If you lack these basic Mac skills you are strongly encouraged to visit your local library and borrow one of the many Introduction/Switching to Mac books. Almost any of these books (titles vary), even one several years old, will be fine, since the basics haven't changed for many years. If you know nothing about Macs, spending a few hours reading the initial chapters will save you dozens of hours of time and frustration. A bit of basic knowledge may prevent you from losing data. My tutorial is written for OpenOffice. I do not use LibreOffice. However, most of the material should apply to LibreOffice as well.

I realize that this tutorial covers a lot of material. You aren't expected to read it all. Just find the question/answer which addresses the difficulty you're having.

Q00: Where is Tools → Options on a Mac?
A00: To access the OpenOffice options, use keyboard shortcut ⌘, (Command+Comma) or menu OpenOffice → Preferences. If you use another of the OpenOffice derivatives like LibreOffice or NeoOffice, look in the menu just to the right of the  menu in the upper left corner of your screen. Only Options is in a different location for Macs. All other Tools actions like Spelling, Protect Document, Cell Contents, Macros, etc. are still in that menu. If you like, you could put an Options item in the Tools menu using: Tools → Customize → Menus → Menu=Tools → MenuContentEntries=Customize → Add → Category=Options → Commands=Options → Add → OK.

Q01: How do I correct the following problem?:
The application "OpenOffice" was forced to quit while trying to restore its windows. Do you want to try to restore its windows again?
A01: This is a MacOS problem, typically created when your computer shuts down unexpectedly, such as battery failure in a laptop, or power failure in a desktop. Depending on your level of MacOS, the message may say "reopen" instead of "restore". Reinstalling OpenOffice will not fix the problem so downloading and reinstalling the application is a waste of your time. Creating a new profile (Q02/A02) for this message is also a waste of your time. Quit OpenOffice. If OpenOffice → Quit is does not terminate the program use  → Force Quit → OpenOffice → Force Quit.
In Finder use Go (menu) → Go to Folder → ~/Library/Saved Application State → OK. MacOS hides the ~/Library folder, so it is probably best to copy the path in red from this tutorial and paste it into the Go to Folder dialog. Locate org.openoffice.script.savedState in the list and drag it to the trash. Launch OpenOffice. That's a ~, not a -, before /Library. You must include the ~ in the 33-character folder name.

Q02: I've experienced strange behavior in OpenOffice and I'm told that this may be the result of a bad user profile. How do I create a new profile on a Mac?
A02: Reinstalling OpenOffice does not build a new profile so if your goal is a new one, downloading and reinstalling the application is a waste of your time. To test if a new profile would help, you could sign onto the Guest user (see Q28/A28) since you'll get a new one there. Or you can skip the test and continue here. You'll want to know what version of OpenOffice you're using. Look at menu OpenOffice → About. Then you must perform OpenOffice → Quit.
• For version 3.x.x: In Finder use Go (menu) → Go to Folder → ~/Library/Application Support/OpenOffice.org/3 → OK.
• For version 4.x.x: In Finder use Go (menu) → Go to Folder → ~/Library/Application Support/OpenOffice/4 → OK.
MacOS hides the ~/Library folder, so it is probably best to copy the path in red from this tutorial and paste it into the Go to Folder dialog. Drag the folder called user to the trash. Or rename it by selecting the user folder, pressing the Enter key, typing a new name like useryyyymmdd (today's date), and pressing Enter again. Launch OpenOffice. It should ask you to enter your initials so it can build a new profile. That's a ~, not a -, before /Library. You must include the ~ in the 46 or 42 character folder name.

Q03: How do I install OpenOffice on a Mac?
A03: Use your web browser (Safari) to open http://www.openoffice.org/download/. Do not download OpenOffice from a different site. The official instructions can be found in a link on that page: Documentation (right side of page) → Installation Guides. What follows is a summary:
• On the download page select the correct operating system, language, and version. The defaults on that page are probably what you want. On the line below Download Language Pack is a link to the Release Notes. You are expected to read them before installing. Click Download Full Installation.
• This will redirect the browser to a SourceForge page. Do not click anything on the SourceForge page. The SourceForge page may change while the download is running. Do not click anything. Just wait patiently while the download runs, watching the download progress icon in Safari's upper right corner. Read Q65/A65 if you have trouble with the download.
• If you are currently using OpenOffice, save all your files then perform OpenOffice → Quit. Go to your web browser's Downloads folder, probably Go (menu) → Downloads in Finder. Look for a file named something like Apache_OpenOffice_x.y.z_MacOS_x86-64_install_en-US.dmg. If it ends in .download, the download has not finished. Wait.
• Double-click the .dmg file. After verifying the file, Finder will display a window which shows OpenOffice.app, an arrow, and an Applications folder.
• Drag the OpenOffice.app icon in that window onto the Applications folder icon in that window. Macs don't need an "install" program for this application.
• Use File → Eject "OpenOffice". This will close the window.
• Either delete the downloaded file with the dmg extension or put it in a safe place in the rare case that you want to reinstall it later without re-downloading.
• If you're installed a new version of OpenOffice, it is a good idea to create a new profile for it before launching it. Read Q05/A05 and Q02/A02.

Q04: How do I uninstall OpenOffice on a Mac?
A04: If you are running OpenOffice use OpenOffice → Quit. In Finder use Go (menu) → Applications. Drag OpenOffice.app to the trash. Macs don't need an "uninstall" program for this application. Emptying the Trash periodically on your Mac is a good idea, but you don't need to do that to finish the uninstall. OpenOffice is uninstalled when you put it in the Trash. You can reboot your Mac if you like, but that is not necessary to complete the uninstall. If you won't be using OpenOffice again you can delete your profile. See Q02/A02.

Q05: MacOS won't let me run OpenOffice. I get a message like those below. How do I proceed?
"Openoffice.org" can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer
"Openoffice.org" can't be opened because the developer cannot be verified
"Openoffice.org" can't be opened because it is not from the App Store
“OpenOffice.app” is damaged and can’t be opened. You should move it to the Trash.
MacOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware
MacOS cannot verify the developer of "Openoffice.org". Are you sure you want to open it?
"Openoffice.org" is an app downloaded from the internet. Are you sure you want to open it?
A05: This is a MacOS message, and a MacOS problem. MacOS uses a service called the Gatekeeper to discourage installing non-Apple software. Apple changes the Gatekeeper warnings and procedures often. You must ask Apple, or consult an Apple forum if you are having difficulty with using MacOS. You may need to check with Apple for the correct procedures for your version of MacOS. The following link was current as of November 2022: Open a Mac app from an unidentified developer. Follow Apple's instructions. For many versions of MacOS this procedure has worked: In Finder use Go (menu) → Applications. If you can't find OpenOffice.app in that folder see Q03/A03. Hold the Control key and click OpenOffice.app, then select Open. After you've opened it once, Gatekeeper should allow it to run in the future. MacOS 11 may require an additional step:  → System Preferences → Security and Privacy → General → OpenOffice was blocked → Open anyway. Check with Apple if you have difficulty with these steps. If you receive the error "OSStatus error 99999" see Q49/A49. Also, remember that you are expected to read the release notes for OpenOffice in Q03.

Q06: How do I install Java for OpenOffice on a Mac?
A06: Only a few parts of OpenOffice use Java. Depending on what you're doing you may not need it. Check OpenOffice → Preferences → OpenOffice → Java and see if OpenOffice can locate Java which you already have installed on your Mac. If so try to enable ✓ Use a Java runtime environment → {select a version, probably the highest one} → OK. For Java to function you must enable the Use Java setting and select one of the versions in the list below that. If OpenOffice doesn't accept them, do not uninstall any Java versions you currently have because other software on your Mac may need them. Quit and restart OpenOffice after enabling Java.
• For OS X 10.7 and later use Download Java for MacOS. Follow Oracle's installation instructions. Then set OpenOffice → Preferences → OpenOffice → Java → ✓ Use a Java runtime environment → ✓ Version 1.8.0 → OK. Oracle updates Java from time to time, so you might get 1.9.0 or even later. Java installs in /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Home. If OpenOffice prompts you to install Java SE 6 when you enable Java, click Install Now so you have 1.6.0 in addition to 1.8.0. This is the Java from Apple discussed in the following paragraph.
• For MacOS 10.6 and earlier, Java should be pre-installed at /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home. Set OpenOffice → Preferences → OpenOffice → Java → ✓ Use a Java runtime environment → ✓ Version 1.6.0 → OK. Recent versions of OpenOffice may not accept Java 1.6.0. In that case you will need to install an old version of OpenOffice, perhaps 3.4.1 or 3.2.1, for use on MacOS 10.6; the latter definitely worked on that OS.
• Some old versions of OpenOffice cannot use any Java level except 1.6.0. You'll know if you download Java from Oracle and OpenOffice won't accept it when you set the OpenOffice → Java option (see Q00/A00). If you have one of those use Download Java for OS X 2017-001. Follow Apple's installation instructions. Then set OpenOffice → Preferences → OpenOffice → Java → ✓ Use a Java runtime environment → ✓ Version 1.6.0 → OK.

Q07: How do I fix Calc so it doesn't crash when I use ⌘1 in (Format → Cells)?
A07: Many people have found that resetting the user profile corrects the problem. See Q02/A02.

Q08: Why can't I open my password protected document on a Mac?
A08: The may be due to Issue 125431 (now fixed in AOO 4.1.8). The (lengthy) discussion there suggests:
• This may be the result of a bad Firefox/Thunderbird profile.
• Running OpenOffice from a different (say new) account where the Firefox/Thunderbird software has not been used may bypass the difficulty.
Test that idea by running OpenOffice from the Guest account (see Q28/A28.) Or running LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice (they can be installed concurrently) should bypass the difficulty. In the future, consider using an encrypted disk image instead of a password-protected OpenOffice document (see Q44/A44.)

Q09: Why can't I use Tables/Queries/Mail Merge on MacOS?
A09: This problem occurred with OpenOffice version 4.1.2. Install a different version. You will presumably want to install the latest version. See Q04 and Q03.

Q10: How do I use function keys (F1, F2, …, F12) on a Mac?
A10: If your Mac has a Touch Bar, read Apple's Touch Bar guide. Otherwise, check the setting of  → System Preferences → Keyboard → Keyboard → Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys. If checked, press F1 to get F1, press F2 to get F2, etc. If unchecked, press fn+F1 to get F1, press fn+F2 to get F2, etc. Your fn key is probably in the lower left corner of your keyboard, but if not consult Apple's documentation to learn how to use your keyboard. This is considered a basic Mac skill. Read the top paragraph of the tutorial.

Q11: What happened to my menu bar (OpenOffice, File, Edit, etc.)?
A11: You may be in OpenOffice Full Screen mode which you can enter by accident if you press ⇧⌘J (Shift+Command+J). In that case there will be a small floating toolbar somewhere on the screen. Click the Full Screen button to exit. Or you may be in MacOS full screen mode, which you can enter by accident if you click the green dot just below the O of OpenOffice in the menu bar. To exit MacOS full screen mode move the mouse pointer to the very top of the screen until the menu bar appears again. Click the green dot.

Q12: What is the keyboard shortcut for "Next Window" on a Mac?
A12: It's the standard Mac Next Window shortcut. For a United States system use ⌘`(Command+`). The "`" is to the left of the "1".

Q13: How do I type accented characters (é, ö, ñ, ç etc.) on a Mac?
A13: See topic 82903 or question Q14.

Q14: How do I enter untypeable characters (Unicode) on a Mac?
A14: First, enable three settings in  → System Preferences → Keyboard:
• Keyboard → ✓ Show Keyboard and Character Viewers in menu bar
• Input Sources → ✓ Show input menu in menu bar
• Input Sources → + (in lower left) → Unicode Hex Input → Add
You only need to enable them once. Find the Input Sources icon in your menu bar at the top right of the screen. If you don't know which icon it is (probably the flag), click them in turn until you find one where you can select Unicode Hex Input. Your Input Source icon will change to U+. Hold the option key and type the Unicode number (0000 to FFFF) for the character. For example, hold option, press 0 0 B D, then release option to get U+00BD which is ½. The NewLine character is U+000A so hold option, press 0 0 0 A, then release option. When done entering Unicode, turn off Unicode Hex Input by selecting another keyboard from the Input Menu. Your default keyboard is probably the one at the top of the list. If you don't know the hexadecimal code for the character you want, select Show Character Viewer in the Input Sources, find the character there, and double click it to enter it into OpenOffice. You could also use the Insert → Special Character menu in OpenOffice, but it doesn't contain all the Unicode characters. The procedure described thus far can be used anywhere in OpenOffice. In Writer, for characters you use often, it is best to create an AutoText so you only need to enter the untypeable character once as explained in topic 80292.

Q15: Does OpenOffice run on MacOS 10.12 and later?
A15: Yes, first review OpenOffice for MacOS. On some of Apple's hardware you may need to set:
•  → System Preferences → Displays → Colors → Apple RGB (or Generic RGB) (you may have to uncheck Show profiles for this display only), or
•  → System Preferences → Energy Saver → uncheck Automatic graphics switching, or
•  → System Preferences → Accessibility → Display → uncheck Increase contrast → Move slider for Display Contrast all the way to the left if OpenOffice dialog buttons are hard to read on your Mac. Experiment with other settings in that dialog to discover what works best for you.
System Preferences are set individually for each user so if your Mac has more than one account, you will want to adjust these settings for every user. Preferences for the Guest User are set to defaults each time you log in, so you will need to adjust these settings each time. Also see Q39/A39. Read more details about button colors in Q47/A47.

Q16: I received the following message. I need to make changes so I can't use read-only. I don't want to make a copy. I want to edit the original document.
Document file '………' is locked for editing by: ………. Open document read-only or open a copy of the document for editing …
A16: This symptom suggests that a lock file needs to be deleted. OpenOffice creates them every time you edit a document, and normally OpenOffice deletes them when editing is finished. Turning the power off too soon after OpenOffice → Quit can also leave lock files. Wait a minute or so. And problems (power loss, MacOS crash, etc.) occasionally leave lock files. If files were improperly closed on one Mac, a transfer of data to a new Mac can bring along the lock file too. Click Cancel in the Document in Use dialog. In Finder, navigate to the folder which contains the OpenOffice document which is locked. Hold down the Shift and Command keys. Press the period key. Look for a file beginning .~lock. followed by the name of the locked document followed by #. For example, if the document is Foo.odt the lock file will be .~lock.Foo.odt. Drag the lock file into the Trash icon on your dock. Do not drag the document itself (Foo.odt) to the Trash, just the lock file. Return to OpenOffice and open the document. If you do not find a lock file to delete, another reason for the message is that you are not the owner of the file. This is common if you have are transferring files from an old computer to a new one. The account on your old computer is the owner of those files, so you do not have write permission. Fix this by using Finder to copy all of the old files to your hard drive. This will make you their owner and you'll have write permission.

Q17: I received the following message: What should I do?
Either another instance of OpenOffice is accessing your personal settings or your personal settings are locked. … Do you want to continue?
A17: If this is your computer/account and you're the only one who uses it this suggests that OpenOffice or MacOS crashed the last time you used it, or you are powering off the computer too soon after OpenOffice → Quit. In that case just click the Yes button. Always give OpenOffice a minute or so to finish before turning power off. If multiple people use your computer/account, perhaps remotely over the internet, check with them to see if they are currently using OpenOffice. If so, wait for them to finish before using OpenOffice. If you can't check with them and want to force them off, disconnect your computer from the internet (unplug your Ethernet cable or use  → System Preferences → Network → Wi-Fi → Turn Off), reboot, start OpenOffice, answer Yes if asked if you want to continue, then reconnect to the internet. If you have migrated files from an old Mac to a new one or continue to have trouble see Q27/A27.

Q18: How do I verify the checksum for an installation file on a Mac?
A18: Using Safari, go to page https://openoffice.org/download and click on the Download Full Installation link. This will create a file in your Downloads folder, which will have a name like Apache_OpenOffice_x.y.z_MacOS_x86-64_install_en-US.dmg where x.y.z represents the version number. Then on that same https://openoffice.org/download page, on the line which begins Full installation:, right-click the SHA256 link and choose Download Linked File. That will put a small file to your Downloads folder which which will have a name like Apache_OpenOffice_x.y.z_MacOS_x86-64_install_en-US.dmg.sha256.txt. In Finder, use Go (menu) → Utilities and double-click Terminal.app. A new window will open. You'll be entering three commands next. You can type them, but it is best to use copy/paste three times. The commands must be entered exactly as shown using lower case and upper case letters. Press the Enter key after entering each command. In the second command the first character is the lower case letter l and the character after the dash is the number 1. The commands are shown in bold.
cd Downloads
ls -1 Apache_OpenOffice*
shasum -c Apache_OpenOffice*.sha256.txt
The second command should show two files, the ones you just downloaded. If you have more than two files, use Finder to remove all of them, then begin again at A18. The third command is the one which verifies the installation file. You should get the message Apache_OpenOffice_x.y.z_MacOS_x86-64_install_en-US.dmg: OK. If the download is bad the message will instead say Apache_OpenOffice_x.y.z_MacOS_x86-64_install_en-US.dmg: FAILED. In that case using Finder drag all the Apache_OpenOffice files from Downloads to the Trash and try the download again. When you're done with Terminal, close the window with Terminal → Quit Terminal.

Q19: What version of OpenOffice can I use with a PowerPC (1997-2006) Mac?
A19: It depends on which language you want. Consult the Legacy OpenOffice.org list.

Q20: How do I import the Address Book (Contacts) into OpenOffice?
A20: You need OpenOffice 3.4.1 or higher. If your MacOS supports  → System Preferences → Security and Privacy → Privacy → Contacts, you must allow access by OpenOffice.app.
• File → Wizards → Address Data Source → Mac OS X Address Book → Next → (be patient and you will eventually see) Table selection → {Select your group} → Next → {Select location} → ✓ Make address book available → Finish
In the wizard, you're creating a Base document which connects OpenOffice to the Mac's address book. At the {Select location} step, you're specifying where you want this Base document stored. You can use the default that is offered for the name and folder location. Put it somewhere in your Documents folder, not in /Users/{YourAccountName}/Library. You won't need to do anything further with this Base document, but it must exist if you want to access the Mac's address book (Contacts). The OpenOffice documentation says that the Base view of the contacts in your address book is read-only. It is not possible to change the data from Base. Change the data using your Mac's Contacts application.

Q21: How do I terminate the program when it doesn't respond and I can't use Quit
A21: Use  → Force Quit → OpenOffice → Force Quit. When you restart OpenOffice, you may encounter the problem described in Q01.

Q22: How do I tell what version of MacOS I have? How do I tell what version of OpenOffice I have?
A22: For MacOS: See →  → About this Mac. For OpenOffice: Launch OpenOffice. See menu OpenOffice → About. Put your OpenOffice version and your MacOS version in the forum's User Control Panel (upper left) → Profile → Edit Signature screen and Submit that so that volunteers here can give you the appropriate assistance.

Q23: How do I backup OpenOffice files on my Mac?
A23: This is considered a basic Mac skill. Read the top paragraph of the tutorial. To avoid losing work, you have several methods:
• Enable Time Machine, part of MacOS for a decade or more.
• Enable OpenOffice → Preferences → Load/Save → General → Always create backup copy.
• If you're working on an important document, use Finder → File → Duplicate to make copies of it. The copy will contain the document that you last saved. It may be risky to duplicate files which you have open. If the document is open and you have unsaved changes, those will not appear in the copy! Make duplicates as often as you need so that if disaster strikes and something terrible happens to the current file you can open a copy and not lose much work.
• If you don't create any backups with the steps above and you lose data, plan on redoing all of your work from the beginning. It's your choice.

Q24: How do I restore OpenOffice files from the backups in A23?
A24: Reminder: You're expected to have basic Mac skills.
• For Apple's Time Machine backup software, consult Apple's documentation.
• For backups made with Always create backup copy, in Finder use Go (menu) → Go to Folder →
~/Library/Application Support/OpenOffice.org/4/user/backup → OK (old versions of OpenOffice will use …3/user/backup). Copy the BAK file to your Desktop. In Finder use Go (menu) → Desktop. Single-click the BAK file and press Enter. Change the extension from BAK to the original one (ODT, ODS, ODP, etc.) Double click the file to open it.
• For backups made with File → Duplicate, simply open them, though you should probably first duplicate the file again to preserve that backup.
• If you didn't create any backups and you want to recover a file which you deleted, get it from the Trash. Ask Apple if you need assistance with using the Trash on your Mac.

Q25: I know MacOS names (like Tiger and Yosemite) but not the numbers shown in this tutorial. What's the translation?
A25: See Max OS X Release History.

Q26: My bullet characters do not look right. How do I fix them?
A26: Specify a replacement font using OpenOffice.org → Preferences → OpenOffice.org → Fonts
• Click Apply replacement table
• For Font specify Symbol and for Replace With specify OpenSymbol
• Click the green checkmark to the left, your mapping should show up in the replacement table
• Click Always next to the symbol mapping, then click OK at the bottom

Q27: What are the detailed instructions to delete a profile lock file?
A27: Normally you'll never have to do this. In most cases it's sufficient to restart your Mac and click Yes when asked about personal settings being locked. However if you continue to have trouble, click No and Quit OpenOffice. In Finder use Go (menu) → Go To Folder.
• For OpenOffice version 3.x.x: Specify ~/Library/Application Support/OpenOffice.org/3 → Go.
• For OpenOffice version 4.x.x: Specify ~/Library/Application Support/OpenOffice/4 → Go.
It is probably best to copy the path in red from this tutorial and paste it into the Go to Folder dialog. Hold down the Shift and Command keys, then press the period key. This will show hidden system files. Look for a file called .lock. Using Finder, drag the lock file into the Trash icon on your dock. Hold down the Shift and Command keys, then press the period key. This will re-hide the system files. Start OpenOffice.

Q28: I've logged onto the Guest User account to run a test or to determine if strange behavior I've encountered affects a different account. I want to open one of the files in my normal account, but the Guest User can't access it. What can I do?
A28: The easiest way is to use an external USB flash drive. Log on to your normal account. Using Finder, copy (not move) the file to the USB drive. Sign on to the Guest User account and access the USB drive. If it isn't convenient to use a USB drive see Q29/A29. When you sign on as the Guest User you will have a new OpenOffice profile, so you will need to enter your name and initials when you start OpenOffice.

Q29: How can I access a file from the Guest User account without a USB drive?
A29: The easiest way is to enable  → System Preferences → Users and Groups → Guest User → Allow guests to connect to shared folders. Then put your file in a shared folder. If you're having trouble with the steps in this answer it suggests that you lack basic Mac skills. Read the top paragraph of the tutorial. Or buy an inexpensive USB drive. You can probably find one for the cost of a loaf of bread.

Q30: Can I run Apache OpenOffice on an iPad or an iPhone?
A30: Use your web browser to open http://www.openoffice.org/download/. Do not download OpenOffice from a different site. On the download page underneath "Download Apache OpenOffice" select the correct operating system, language, and version. You'll need an iPadOS version of the software for iPad, or you'll need an iOS version of the software for iPhone. As of autumn 2020 there is no OpenOffice version for iPadOS or iOS, only for OS X (iMac, MacBook, etc.), Linux and Windows. Until a version is available for iPadOS/iOS you cannot run Apache OpenOffice on iPad or iPhone. If you need an office suite for an iPad or iPhone, one from Apple is already installed (or free in the App Store): Pages, Numbers and Keynote. These products run on Macs, iPads, and iPhones.

Q31: Do I need administrator privileges for OpenOffice on a Mac?
A31: To install OpenOffice you'll want to use an account configured with  → System Preferences → Users and Groups → Allow user to administer this computer. (If you have only one account on your Mac, it was created that way.) After installing, launch OpenOffice once from that account to clear the Gatekeeper's flag (see Q05/A05). But you can use OpenOffice from any account, administrator or user, including the Guest User which never has administrator privileges.

Questions and answers continue in the next post.
Mr. Programmer
AOO 4.1.7 Build 9800, MacOS 13.6.3, iMac Intel.   The locale for any menus or Calc formulas in my posts is English (USA).
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Tutorial] Mac FAQ

Post by MrProgrammer »

Q32: I think I have a problem with fonts. What can I do?
A32: Problems with fonts may occur when you've tried to install, change, or remove them. My personal opinion is that it's not a good idea to tinker with fonts on the Mac. But if you did and are now having trouble, the simplest solution may be to clear the font cache with a restart in "safe mode", as explained in your Mac's help system. Then immediately do a normal restart and see if the problem is fixed. (Do not leave your Mac running in safe mode.) Otherwise, see if the problem disappears with the Guest User account (Q28/A28). If so that suggests that your OpenOffice user profile may be the problem (in which case see Q02/A02). If a profile reset doesn't help, review these topics and also Q61/A61:
Help panel font too small
[Solved] Text invisible or too small in Help panels
Regular Arial Font in Italics on Mac
Calc cells display as empty
Open Office does not find fonts which are in my library
How to update the fonts list?
Italic fonts missing from Open Office font list
[Solved] No text in OpenOffice dialogs on OS X 10.10
OpenOffice Dialog Boxes Text Missing
[Solved] Can't see text on welcome screen like font missing
Other MacOS font topics
Finally, ask Apple about fixing your Mac's font problem.

Q33: When I open an OpenOffice document in Finder it opens in TextEdit (or Excel or some other undesired program). How do I get the document to open with OpenOffice when I use Finder?
A33: In Finder, single click the document to select it. Use File → Get Info. In the Info window look for the "Open with" section. If the triangle to the left of those words points to the right, click it so the triangle points downward. Click the button below "Open with" and locate OpenOffice in the list. If you don't see OpenOffice in the list, choose Other, choose OpenOffice from the list of installed programs, then click Add. Once you've selected OpenOffice as the application, click the Change All button, then Continue. Close the Info window. The document should now open with OpenOffice.

Q34: When should I use Safe Mode with OpenOffice?
A34: Macs can run many programs concurrently. Some of these programs start automatically when you sign onto an account and may be running even though you didn't start them from the Dock or Launch Pad. Occasionally these programs interfere with one another. The interference may cause one of the programs to stop functioning, to operate in a strange way, or to fail and terminate. For example, another program may be preventing copy/paste from working as you expect, or it may be causing OpenOffice to crash. Safe Mode allows you to run OpenOffice without any other programs starting so you can see if the difficulty you're having may be the result of interference. Safe Mode also clears some of the cache areas in MacOS which might be causing trouble for you. Read the link in the question above to learn more about Safe Mode.

Q35: Why doesn't my print dialog look like examples in posts on the forum?
A35: OpenOffice provides two print dialogs. The choice is controlled by option OpenOffice → General → Print dialogs → Use OpenOffice dialogs (see Q00/A00). Try the other setting. If the setting is unchecked, check it and try to print. If the setting is checked, uncheck it and try to print. See Q00/A00. You can expect a print dialog for Mac to look different than a dialog for other operating systems.

Q36: PDF creation does not work the way I want. What alternative do I have?
A36: The standard way to create a PDF is with File → Export to PDF. After unchecking option OpenOffice → General → Print dialogs → Use OpenOffice dialogs (see Q00/A00), Mac users have another method: File → Print → PDF → Save as PDF. With the standard way, OpenOffice creates the PDF. With the other way, MacOS creates the PDF.

Q37: Why doesn't my file open/save dialog look like examples on the forum?
A37: OpenOffice provides two open/save dialogs. The choice is controlled by option OpenOffice → General → Open/save dialogs → Use OpenOffice dialogs (see Q00/A00). Try the other setting. If the setting is unchecked, check it. If the setting is checked, uncheck it. See Q00/A00. You can expect an open/save dialog for Mac to look different than a dialog for other operating systems.

Q38: How do I enlarge the font used for the sheet tabs and row/column headings?
A38: Change option OpenOffice → View → User Interface → Scaling (see Q00/A00) to 130% and/or set ✓ Use system font for user interface. You could also change  → System Preferences → Displays → Display → Scaled and pick a lower screen resolution, say 1344 × 840 instead of 1680 × 1050. This will increase the size of every element in every application on your Mac, making the display easier to read at the expense of more scrolling.

Q39: Does OpenOffice work with a Retina display?
A39: It seems to, though OpenOffice was not designed for that type of display. Disabling the option OpenOffice Writer → Formatting Aids → Direct Cursor (see Q00/A00) may help. Depending on your hardware, you may need to enable Low Resolution mode to avoid problems with blurry screens. OpenOffice → Quit. Finder → Go (menu) → Applications → select OpenOffice.app → File → Get Info → General → ✓ Open in Low Resolution. Close the Info window and launch OpenOffice. Also see Q15/A15.

Q40: What might cause Fatal Error - index out of bounds?
A40: Topics on the forum suggest that this is due to an application conflict. Others have resolved this problem by uninstalling the Magnet or other software which they downloaded from the App Store. When uninstalling, also review the application's installation instructions and undo any changes it told you to make, especially to Accessibility settings in  → System Preference. Improvements to MacOS 10.12 or later duplicate many of the features that these non-Apple applications provided. Any of the following might be incompatible with OpenOffice.
AquaSnap     BetterSnapTool  BetterTouchTool  Breeze
Cinch        Deskovery3      Divvy            DoublePane
Flexiglass   HyperDock       iSnap            LazyMouse
Magnet       Moom            Rectangle        RightZoom
ShiftIt      SizeUp          SizeWell         SmartScroll
Spectacle    Stay            TileWindows      WindowTidy

Q41: I run MacOS 10.4, 10.5, or 10.6. What versions of OpenOffice can I use?
A41: According to the release notes, versions for your operating system include 3.4.1 and 4.0.1. OpenOffice 4.1 and above say they run on MacOS 10.7 or later. Download old versions using https://www.openoffice.org/download/archive.html.

Q42: How can I get OpenOffice to save an image of the screen?
A42: You can't; that facility is not included in OpenOffice. However you can use MacOS. Knowing how to create a screen image is considered a basic Mac skill. See Finder → Help → Search → Screenshot → Topic → Take pictures of the screen.

Q43: Why do i get the spinning beach ball when pasting?
A43: If you've installed a "clipboard manager" application on your Mac, these have been known to cause difficulty when using copy/cut/paste in OpenOffice. Uninstalling that application (consult their documentation) may solve the problem for you. Also, the applications in Q40/A40 may cause this difficulty.

Q44: How do I create a password-protected folder on MacOS?
A44: You can't. Folders are protected with permissions, not with passwords. However you can create a password-protected disk image which can contain Open Office (and other) files. Finder → Go (menu) → Applications → Utilities → Disk image.app → File → New image → Blank image. Choose the desired size and specify encryption. Give the disk image a name and save it. Using Finder, open the disk image and supply the password. Copy or move files into the image with Finder then use File → Eject to prevent anyone from accessing the files without the password. Using an encrypted disk image instead of OpenOffice password protection (File → Save As → ✓ Save with password) will avoid the problem discussed in Q08/A08. If you forget the password for the disk image your data is gone forever.

Q45: Is OpenOffice for MacOS a 32-bit or 64-bit application?
A45: The last 32-bit version for MacOS was AOO 4.0.1. AOO 4.1.0 for MacOS (2014) and later are 64-bit applications. MacOS 10.15 (2019) and above require 64-bit applications. Also read Q06/A06.

Q46: How can I correct display problems when zooming or scrolling?
A46: You may be experiencing Issue 125096. Try enabling OpenOffice → Preferences → OpenOffice → View → Selection → Transparency. 75% is a good choice initially, but you can experiment to see what transparency level you prefer. Turning transparency off (unchecking the box) works for some people and causes trouble for others, so this problem may depend on exactly what Apple hardware you have.

Q47: How I make the button color (black letters on dark blue) easier to read?
A47: Adjust the Accessibility preferences as explained in Q15/A15. The current appearance of your dialog elements is due to Apple's changes to MacOS 10.12, probably the Quartz Compositor component (display server in MacOS). Thus, if you want to change the appearance of the buttons you must adjust the MacOS slider setting as described in Q15. That is the solution that everyone else uses. There is no OpenOffice setting which controls the button color.

Q48: How I control whether OpenOffice starts automatically when I log into my Mac?
A48: Click and hold the OpenOffice icon in the dock until a panel appears. Under Options, check or uncheck Open at Login.

Q49: When I validate OpenOffice for Gatekeeper I receive the following error. What should I do?
OSStatus error 99999
A49: MacOS hint Fix OS X wrongly reporting an application is corrupted (OSStatus error 99999) says this indicates a problem with MacOS. Review that information. You may want to perform a web search for OSStatus error 99999 which shows that the problem affects other applications in addition to OpenOffice. If you need additional assistance contact Apple or open a topic in a forum dedicated to MacOS. This forum is for OpenOffice.

Q50: I have enabled OpenOffice → Preferences → OpenOffice → Online Update → Download updates automatically, but OpenOffice is unable to download them. How do I correct this?
A50: The automatic download feature does not work for some people. Version 4.1.8 of AOO made improvements to this process. However if you're still having trouble, you should disable this feature. Compare your current version (Q22/A22) with the latest version (http://www.openoffice.org/download/). To update, follow the instructions in Q04/A04 to uninstall your current version and in Q03/A03 to install a new one.

Q51: How do I create a ZIP file so I an upload it to the forum?
A51: In Finder, locate the folder containing the file, say File.ext. Select it (single click). Use File → Compress "File.ext". This will create File.ext.zip in the folder.

Q52: How do I display file extensions on MacOS so I see MyDoc.odt instead of MyDoc?
A52: In Finder, use: Finder → Preferences → Advanced → ✓ Show all filename extensions

Q53: How do I display hidden files (like OpenOffice lock files) on MacOS?
A53: In Finder, press ⇧⌘. (Shift+Command+Period). Press it again to hide them.

Q54: How do I fix MacOS 10.15 so OpenOffice starts?
A54: Usually all you need is the Gatekeeper change in Q05/A05. A few people have found they need to add OpenOffice to the Full Disk Access list:  → System Preferences → Security & Privacy → Privacy → Full Disk Access → Click the lock to make changes → + → OpenOffice.app → Open. Updating the list may also help with problems opening or saving files with OpenOffice. Also read Q15/A15, Q39/A39, and A47/A47.

Q55: Why can't I open the "new" Microsoft formats, DOCX/XLSX/PPTX?
A55: The primary goal of OpenOffice was to create high-quality office components (word processor, spreadsheet, etc.) as an open-source (and free) product. OpenOffice is not intended to be a clone of the Microsnot Office suite. The fundamental problem is that OpenOffice suite and the Microsnot office suite were developed independently. They share many features, but some have no corresponding feature in the other suite. During translation those features are either lost or mangled. In some cases the translator may become confused and be unable to open the file. Sometimes OpenOffice can open DOCX/XLSX/PPTX if you give it enough time, like an hour. The internal structure of their files is completely different. On top of that, the horrid DOCX/XLSX/PPTX formats are undocumented, because Microsnot wants to make it hard for you to work with them unless you buy their software. Yes, there is a thousand-page technical specification, but Microsnot doesn't actually follow it. OpenOffice is a small project with very few developers. The safest options are to let a big corporation with thousands of developers handle the task. Read Q33/A33 above.
••• Buy or rent Office 365 for Mac. This is the product that is designed to handle these formats. It is the safest choice.
••• Open DOCX/DOC formats with Apple's Pages product, open XLSX/XLS formats with their Numbers product, and open PPTX/PPT documents with their Keynote product. These products are included with MacOS so you don't need to install any new software. Apple is a big company and can afford to research how to work with these formats. Start Apple's application, then use the File → Open dialog to load your document. Learn more how to use these products by reading Apple's documentation (launch the product then use Help → Pages/Numbers/Keynote Help).
••• Open these formats with Google Docs/Sheets/Slides. Google is a big company and can afford to research how to work with these formats. The products are free, though you are giving your data to Google, who will add it to all the other personal information it collects about you. Marketing of your personal information is how Google makes money.
••• Alternatives which don't involve big companies are Abiword for DOCX, GNumeric for XLSX, and LibreOffice for DOCX/XLSX/PPTX. LibreOffice is a derivative of OpenOffice and quite similar. For those familiar with OpenOffice, LibreOffice may be the easiest choice.

Q56: How I keep OpenOffice in the dock so I can launch it from there?
A56: Click and hold the OpenOffice icon in the dock until a panel appears. Under Options, check Keep in Dock.

Q57: How I view a PDF with OpenOffice?
A57: OpenOffice is not a PDF viewer. Select (single-click) the PDF in Finder then use File → Open. This will open the PDF with the viewer which is part of MacOS: Preview.app.

Q58: How I edit a PDF with OpenOffice?
A58: You can't because a PDF is a "final format" document, not designed for editing. The content is designed to be transferred to a screen for display or to a printer for printing, but to nothing else including Writer documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. In many cases PDF viewers are unable to copy text to the clipboard the way you would want/expect because the PDF's content is designed for display only, so pasting into OpenOffice produces unusable results. The PDF was created from a source document, and rather than "edit" the PDF, one should edit the source document instead, then create a new PDF. Likewise, one should copy data from the source document, not from the PDF, for transfer to another document. But some developers have tried to create PDF editors for situations where the source document is not available. Unfortunately, none of them can duplicate the features one would have in the application which created the PDF. At best, one can sometimes make minor, cosmetic alterations. If the PDF author created the PDF as a form, you can use your Mac's Preview application to complete the fields of the form; just click the form's fields and type. Preview can also make simple changes to a PDF using the Tools → Annotate menu. This is the easiest way to make changes, since Preview is already installed on your Mac. Extensions for OpenOffice, 3.x and 4.x, also claim to perform edits of this type, but they are not part of OpenOffice; you have to install them. A search for "PDF editor" in the App Store will find dozens tools like this. Whether any of these will help you depends on the specific changes you need to make and also on the specific formatting of the PDF which you have.

Q59: Can I exchange documents between OpenOffice and iWork, Apple's office suite?
A59: OpenOffice Writer and Apple's Pages are both text-processing applications. OpenOffice Calc and Apple's Numbers are both spreadsheet applications. OpenOffice Impress and Apple's Keynote are both presentation applications. But the OpenOffice applications were developed independently from the Apple applications and are not interchangeable. Each has features not found in the other. These are some options:
• You can open a document in the suite which created it and use copy/paste to transfer content to the other suite.
• You can export content from one suite and import it in the other by using the file-formats which they share, File.doc or File.docx for text documents, File.xls or File.xlsx for spreadsheets, and File.ppt or File.pptx for presentations. However then you are working with a third format, not native to either suite, which introduces even more sources for errors in translation. Features and formatting may be lost.
• You can export content from one suite in a "simple" format and import it into the other suite. These are File.txt or File.rtf for text documents, File.csv or File.tsv for spreadsheets, File.jpeg, File.png, or File.tiff for presentations. These will transfer mainly the content, not the formatting.
• If you use LibreOffice, you can open, but not save/export to, iWork documents (File.pages, File.numbers. and File.key).
• An online, free translation service may be able to convert your documents. These include zamzar.com and Google Docs/Sheets/Slides. A web search may find others. However you are providing your information to other companies who are likely to use it for marketing purposes. "If you're not paying for it, you're not a customer; you're the product being sold."

Q60: Why can't I paste the file name into the Open/Save dialog?
A60: First read Q37/A37. If you are using the MacOS dialog, Apple changed the dialog in MacOS 10.15. Instead of using the paste keyboard shortcut (⌘V) you now need to right-click the file name field and use Paste from the context menu.

Q61: Why can't I see the text in the Welcome (or other) dialog?
A61: You probably have a font which is interfering with the dialog manager. If you have recently installed a font which was not delivered with your Mac, disable it in Font Book. If it's still a problem, delete it in Font Book. Or try toggling option OpenOffice → View → Use system font for user interface (see Q00/A00). You may need to restart OpenOffice after these changes. Also see Q32/A32.
[Solved] No text in OpenOffice dialogs on OS X 10.10
[Solved] Can't see text on welcome screen like font missing
[Solved] Can't see text on screens after font install

Q62: What does "Application is not open anymore" mean?
A62: The message means that the application is running, but not responding, and is therefore not able to open any new documents. Read Q21/A21 above. Or, finish any work that you have and terminate the application by restarting your Mac ( → Restart).

Q63: Can I use OpenOffice with iCloud?
A63: OpenOffice was designed long before any type of "cloud storage" existed. It does not understand iCloud. Using OpenOffice with iCloud documents seems like a recipe for disaster, especially if you have enabled  → System Preferences → ICloud → iCloud Drive → Options → Desktop and Documents folders. If you have done that, it will be safer to use Finder → Go (menu) → Home and create an OpenOffice folder there so that your documents will not be in iCloud. You can copy them to iCloud with Finder so you can have a backup in the cloud, but don't attempt to edit the iCloud document. You can go to OpenOffice → Preferences → OpenOffice → Paths → My Documents → Edit and set it to the OpenOffice folder you created. If you want to work directly with documents in iCloud, it would be safer use Apple's iWork suite instead of OpenOffice. See Q59/A59.

Q64: How do I open a context menu (shortcut menu, right-click) on a Mac?
A64: Read Apple's "Right-click on Mac" article if you need assistance with using MacOS. Knowing how to "right-click" to produce a context menu is considered a basic Mac skill. Read the first paragraph of this tutorial. In OpenOffice you can also press ⇧F10 (hold the Shift key then press the F10 key) to get the context menu. If you don't know how to press F10, see Q10/A10 above.

Q65: How can I tell Safari to allow a download of OpenOffice from SourceForge?
A65: In Safari, open the web page https://sourceforge.net. Use Safari → Preferences → Websites → Downloads. Locate sourceforge.net in the list of Currently Open Websites and change the setting on the right to Allow. Click the red dot in the upper left to close the Preferences window. Use File → Close Window to close the sourceforge.net page. Proceed with the download of OpenOffice as described in Q03/A03. Safari is an Apple product so ask Apple if you need additional assistance with it.

Q66: Is there a simple way to insert a No-Break Space (U+00A0) in my document?
A66: Many MacOS keyboards will allow you to type the No-Break Space character by holding the Option Key (perhaps marked ⌥) and pressing the space bar. This technique can be useful in the forum as well since it works in Safari too. In Writer you have Insert → Formatting mark → Non-breaking space, and in other components you have Insert → Special Character, but ⌥Space is easier to use.

Q67: I received the following message. What should I do?
The file has been changed since it was open for editing. Saving your version will overwrite changes made by others. Do you want to save anyway?
A67: If no one else uses the computer, answer Save anyway. Even if you are the only person using the computer, you might receive this message if you have a file open at a Daylight Saving Time change, so just answer Save anyway. If others do use the computer and you want to preserve their changes, close the document, contact them and ask them to finish their changes then notify you when they're done. If others do use the computer and you want to overwrite their changes, answer Save anyway and contact them to tell them that their changes have been lost due to your overwrite.

Questions are not allowed in the Tutorials section of the forum. Ask them in the MacOS section. Also, discussion about corrections or improvements should take place in the MacOS forum where more people will see it and participate.
Mr. Programmer
AOO 4.1.7 Build 9800, MacOS 13.6.3, iMac Intel.   The locale for any menus or Calc formulas in my posts is English (USA).