[Tutorial] The OpenOffice User Profile

Home made tutorials, by users, for users
Forum rules
No question in this forum please
For any question related to a topic, create a new thread in the relevant section.

[Tutorial] The OpenOffice User Profile

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:06 am

Most of the information below also applies to LibreOffice and all the OpenOffice.org derivatives, you may have to adapt slightly the paths of this tutorial to the Libre/Neo/.../Office profile structure.

All the data user-related are stored in a dedicated folder, often called the user profile. You can check its location on your hard drive in the menu Tools>Options>OpenOffice.org>Paths. Most of the folders mentioned in that dialog are in the OpenOffice user profile.
NB: don't search for a folder called "Profile", this is only a name we give to the directory structure where are stored the configuration files linked to a single user.

Those folders are hidden by default, make sure your file explorer is configured to display the hidden files and folders (for Windows users, see this post).
In the instructions below, <user name> is your operating system login name (your identification when you start a session on your computer). Don't look for a 'user name' folder.

For Windows users:
  • Before Vista: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\OpenOffice\4\user or C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\OpenOffice.org\3\user
  • From Vista: C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\OpenOffice\4\useror C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\OpenOffice.org\3\user
For GNU/Linux users:
  • /home/<user name>/.openoffice/4/user or /home/<user name>/.openoffice.org/3/user
  • /home/<user name>/.ooo3/ for OOo 3.x.x or /home/<user name>/.ooo-2.0/ for 2.x.x for OpenSUSE
    NB: allows the installation of OOo Sun version in parallel with openSUSE version. More about openSUSE version of OOo.
  • /home/<user name>/.config/libreoffice/3/user for LibreOffice from 3.5 (note the parent folder ~/.config also used by other applications)
For Mac users:
  • /Users/<user name>/Library/Application Support/OpenOffice/4/user or /Users/<user name>/Library/Application Support/OpenOffice.org/3/user
    NB: on OS X version 10.7.xx (Lion) the user/library can be accessed in finder by holding down the option key an clicking on Go on the menubar. Then select the user library.
    This is one of nineteen ways to see the user library. See 18 ways to view the ~/Library folder in Lion

NB: version 3 profile has slightly changed from the 2.x branch, a directory level has been added, former profile was ...\OpenOffice.org2\user\.

If you have comments, please post in the following topic: Comments about the user profile tutorial, the tutorial will be updated accordingly if needed.
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 25088
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Moving the user settings

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:07 am

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.

Note that early versions of the 3.x branch ask during the install if you want to transfer your personal data, that is import your former 2.# 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 (see below).
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 25088
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Resetting the user profile

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:08 am

A corruption of your profile can sometimes occur (an OS crash when using OpenOffice for example) or an incompatibility with a former version in case of upgrade.
If you notice some strange behavior of OpenOffice or if it just crashes or doesn't start, the first thing to try is to reset the user profile.

Note that reinstalling the software will be of no use at all. The uninstallation process does not remove the personal settings (like many other applications). This is to avoid losing your customization when you upgrade.

  • First close OpenOffice, including the Quickstarter (blue seagulls icon in system tray) if activated.
    NB: make sure that there is no soffice.bin process in the task manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc under Windows). Kill them if needed.
  • Open your file browser and display the hidden files and folders.
    • GNU/Linux: Ctrl+H (Nautilus, Thunar, PCMan FM, ...)
    • Windows: open Windows Explorer. Click Organize>Folder and Search Options or Tools>Folder Options (depending on Windows version). Click the View Tab and check the radio button Show hidden files, folders and drive. Click OK (screenshot in this post).
    • Windows Seven: click Start and type %appdata% in the Search box. Click "Roaming".
  • Rename the \user folder (see here for its location) to \user.old for example. This way, you still keep a backup of your configuration.
  • Restart OpenOffice, it will create a new profile (a new \user folder is created).
  • See if the issue has been fixed or not.
    • Not fixed. Then 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).
    • Fixed. It means that one or few configuration files were damaged. But it doesn't mean that the whole profile is dead. If you've heavily customized OpenOffice, you can still try to retrieve some parts of your configuration: as you have kept a backup, copy the subfolders (one at a time), and restart OpenOffice to see if the issue is back or not. You can therefore spot from where the issue comes.
  • Still not fixed: a dev seems to have recently found the root cause: close OpenOffice (including the Quickstarter) and in the user profile, go to the folder /user/extensions/bundled/. Rename the files extensions.pmap and extensions.db (if they do exist). Restart OpenOffice and see if there is any improvement.
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 25088
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Profile content

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:25 am

The user profile has several sub-folders realated to dedicated items:
  • autocorr: table of replacement for Tools>AutoCorrect Options> Replace tab
  • autotext: your AutoText entries
  • backup: backup files if you've 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've installed
  • config: some configuration files, especially toolbars for each module and the color palette (see Palettes and Smooth colors in OpenOffice)
  • crashdata [OOo 3.x]: self explanatory I guess
  • database: registered databases
  • extensions [OOo 3.x]: registered extensions
  • gallery: customized gallery (Tools>Gallery)
  • psprint: no longer used in 3.x
  • registry [OOo 2.x]: contains most of the configuration files that could be damaged, especially in /data/org/openoffice/Office subfolder (like recovery.xcu). Does not apply to 3.x, see below
  • Scripts: no idea
  • store: no idea
  • temp: no idea
  • template: where are stored your custom templates (File>Templates>Organize>My Templates).
  • uno_packages: where are stored the extensions installed for the user only (including the spell checking dictionaries)
  • wordbook: contains the standard.dic dictionary (delivered by default) and the custom dictionaries (see also the [Tutorial] Spell check and Language configuration)
With 3.x version, a new file has been introduced: registrymodifications.xcu. This file is the compilation of most of the content that was in the registry sub-folder, including the recovery information. In case you need to modify it, use a text editor that can parse XML.

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:
  • /opt/openoffice4/share under GNU/Linux
  • \Program files\OpenOffice4\share under Windows
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 25088
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France

Changing the user profile location

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:08 pm

If you want to change the profile location, you have to bootstrap OOo, see here : Bootstrapping the Configuration.

NB: following hints have not been tested yet for OOo 3.#.

Once OOo has been installed, close both OOo and the Quickstarter:
  • Open the bootstrap.ini file with a text editor. It's located in \Program Files\OpenOffice.org #.#\program.
  • Change the line
      UserInstallation=$SYSUSERCONFIG/OpenOffice.org2
      into
      UserInstallation=file:///d:/OOo2 (for example).
You can also use the argument -env:UserInstallation in the command line/shortcut.
For GNU/Linux (soffice -env:UserInstallation):
  • -env:UserInstallation=\$SYSUSERCONFIG/.Custom_folder (user sensitive)
  • -env:UserInstallation=file://home/A_place/.A_folder (for all users)

Or for Windows (soffice.exe -env:UserInstallation):
  • -env:UserInstallation=$USERNAME => A /<user> (Windows user login name) profile in the OOo installation folder/program folder.
  • -env:UserInstallation=file:///c:/OOo/$USERNAME => A single shortcut for everyone and all the profiles will be in C:\OOo\<user>, so each user has his own profile in a common parent folder !
User avatar
Hagar Delest
Moderator
 
Posts: 25088
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:07 pm
Location: France


Return to Tutorials

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests