Pictures Appear, then disappear after about 15 seconds. Saving to .doc doesn't work.

Asked by Hail Holy Ghost on 2010-06-05

I keep a diary in open office, and I like to include pictures. I have been keeping this on open office for years, but today the pictures started to disappear, from months ago the pictures are just GONE.
I have not made any changes to my computer. The last picture, from yesterday, appears for the first few seconds and then disappears.
This is a serious problem with open office, and it is enough to make me pay to run MS Office through WINE. This is an critically disabling bug and I cannot continue with O.O. if this persists.

Please help! Any assistance is greatly appreciated!

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Tom (tom6) said :

Hi :)

Please could you "Fix broken packages". On the top taskbar click on

System - Adminstration - "Synaptic Package Manager"

and on Synaptic's "Edit" menu choose "Fix broken packages" and then click the "Apply" button. This should sort out most problems usually. While you are there please could you find and install "Abiword" which is a very much lighter-weight word-processor.

Please let us know how this goes!

Also i was wondering if the diary is all one great long document or have you broken it down to separate documents for each week/month/year? Are the pictures also saved in your "Pictures" folder? From the top taskbar/panel click on

Places - Pictures

Can you estimate the average "size" of the pictures in Kb or Mb? Do you know which format do you usually use; jpeg, gif, tiff?

Don't worry if there are some questions you don't know answers to, please just let us know what you can or let us know if none of this makes any sense in which case we can try another approach.
Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

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Hail Holy Ghost (dec86) said :

Hi Tom!

Unfortunately the synaptic fix with "Fix Broken Packages" didn't change anything, the green check apply button stayed gray.

The file is roughly 36 MB, and Abiword wasn't able to handle that large of a file, it was 7 months worth of writing. Abiword doesn't seem to be able to handle files that large. Open office has issues with large files too. The first volume went from July 2005-February 2009 and I had to stop after roughly 400 pages since Open office kept crashing.

Although I'm loathe to admit that Microsoft did a better job than open source, I must concede that MS Office 2007 performs much better than open office 2 and 3. I was running O.O. 3.2.

The file I had been writing since December 2009 was 36 MB, now the same file has been reduced to ~2.9 MB, roughly 92 % data loss.

There was a wide variety of picture sizes, from kb to MB, but I put a 1 MB picture of Niagara Falls there yesterday. That may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.

I'm afraid that this bug is deep down inside open office and really isn't fixable, especially since so much data was lost.

However, I have found hope in KWord. It is able to open large files and show the pictures in backup files I had made. I think KWord should replace Open Office as the standard Ubuntu office suite. However, Kword isn't perfect since it doesn't appear to be able to save in proprietary formats like .doc.

I really appreciate the time you put in Tom! I'll stick with Kword, and will probably run MS Office 2007 in WINE.

Thanks so much!

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Hail Holy Ghost (dec86) said :

I don't think this is fixable except by a developer. The bug is deep within the program.

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Tom (tom6) said :


KOffice is standard with Kubuntu but requires KDE packages as dependencies. On most Gnome desktop environments KOffice would be simply too large.

It sounds as though you possibly need to switch to using Kubuntu at some stage (perhaps try it as a dual-boot alongside Ubuntu) or else cut your diaries down into perhaps 1 or 2 years per document. If i was doing that cutting i would either copy&paste a few months worth at a time or else use "Save As ..." and then delete out anything that didn't fall within that year or 2. Also i would either avoid being constrained by the calendar year; the academic year or financial year are more appropriate to many people. Alternatively i might extend each year by a month and perhaps copy the last 2 months into the new year so that each document would cover a 14month or 26 month period to help with flow.

I think standard Office packages are quite limited in projects of this sort of magnitude. They are great for bashing out letters to people or for short projects, essays and that sort of thing but it sounds as though a format such as pdf, latex, html or something might be more robust and easier to manage. Most other formats such as those would allow you to create links between one part of the document and another or even between different documents. Possibly the easiest way to start using such formats is simply to use "Save As..." from the "File" menu or perhaps export into those types of formats so that you can have a look. Html is probably a lot easier than you think and would keep the document very fast for scrolling through while holding your pictures easily accessible outside of the document. You could edit the pictures with Gimp or something without having to open the document.

Anyway, good luck and regards from
Tom :)

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