Recently I had an issue where a client was getting weird results for formula calculations.
It turned out their user profile was corrupted.
After some serious digging, I pulled out the following instructions, with thanks to the OOo Community.
Locate the User Profile
OOo stores all the data user-related in a dedicated folder, often called the profile. You can check its location on your HD in the OOo menu Tools>Options>OpenOffice.org>Paths (or if you are a Mac user, OpenOffice.org Menu>Preferences>OpenOffice.org>Paths. Most of the folders mentioned in that dialog are in the OOo user profile.
The folders are hidden by default, make sure your file explorer is configured to display the hidden files and folders.
For Windows users:
- Before Vista: C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\OpenOffice.org\3\user\
- From Vista: C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\OpenOffice.org\3\user
For GNU/Linux users:
- /home//.ooo3/ for OOo 3.x.x or /home//.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.
For Mac users:
- /Users//Library/Application Support/OpenOffice.org/3/user
This is assuming that you have OpenOffice 3.X… upgrade if you don’t – it’s a cool piece of software. But check the location shown in the screenshot above.
Resetting the User Profile
A corruption of your profile can sometimes occur (an OS crash when using OOo for example). If you notice some strange behavior of OOo or if it just crashes or doesn’t start, the first thing to try is to reset the user profile.
- First close OOo, including the Quickstarter (OOo icon in system tray) if activated.
- Open your file browser, make sure that it shows the hidden files and folders.
- Rename the profile: change the \user folder (see here for its location) to \user.old for example. This way, you still keep a backup of your configuration.
- Restart OOo, it will create a new profile. You should go through the welcome process again (if not, you may have not reset the profile properly). Note that if you had a version 2.x installed before, version 3 asks if you want to transfer your personal data, that is import your former 2.x profile. Don’t check that option! It can wreck the new profile because of deprecated configuration files.
- 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 have been damaged. But it doesn’t mean that the whole profile is dead. If you’ve heavily customized OOo, 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 OOo to see if the issue is back or not. You can therefore spot from where the issue comes.
You can actually copy the user profile from computer to computer, and even to crossover OS. I have recently upgraded to a Mac, and to my delight, everything ported over nicely. No issues with compatibility.
I would only suggest that both copies of OpenOffice be upgraded to the latest version (or be identical builds), before you copy user profiles from one computer to another and ensure that you keep a backup of old profiles so that if anything does go wrong, you can restore it. (Refer to the previous section, step 3 – rename instead of delete is always a good policy until you are sure you have everything working the way you want.)