Ask/Getting Started

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Due to a system change at the beginning of August 2021, this description is no longer valid in functional terms.
To learn about using the new Ask site, go to "This is the guide - How do I use the Ask site?".

This page provides information on Getting Started using the Ask LibreOffice site.

What is the purpose of the site?

The site serves as a collaborative platform on which LibreOffice users, volunteers, developers, and other community members can come together to ask and answer questions about LibreOffice, TDF, and related matters.

Please remember that this is not a customer support. Most of the helpers are users like you, trying to provide help on their free time.

The site has already plenty of answers. Your question may have alredy been answered. Don't hesitate to search the site first.

The dedicated field of the Ask site is not that efficient, better use your search engine with the following syntax:

your keywords site:ask.libreoffice.org

How do I ask a question?

Give an appropriate title

For the Please enter your question field, make it simple and concise!

Avoid lengthy title, you don't want to get the readers bored from the start. You'll have plenty of room in the message area.

Examples:

  • How can I print pages 4-up, folio-style, so the page numbers come out properly?
  • How can I convert all of my Word documents to ODT format?

Tip: Please search the site before asking a Question. It's possible that someone else has already asked the same Question! See above

Anyway, it's hard to provide a perfect rule, you can also have a look at: Guidelines for asking.

Give key details

Use the Add details area to explain what is your problem.

  • The Operating System (Ubuntu 14.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0, Windows 10, MacOS 10.9, etc.)
  • The version of LibreOffice being used (v4.2.6.3, v4.3.1.2, etc.)
  • The file format being used (ODT, DOC, DOCX, etc.)

These three aspects are often key in determining an effective answer.

Questions without these items will likely lead to comments requesting them.

For questions containing network or printing aspects it can be necessary to indicate further detail such as storage/printing device make and model, network protocol, method of access, device driver provider and version, etc.

Give some tags

Use the Tags field to allow keywords sorting. Up to 10 tags can be used.

Tags are short keywords, with no spaces within. Some users like to see only writer-related questions for example and thus select the keywords displayed right of the questions list.

Suggestions are made when you type words, use the most appropriate ('common' for a question related to the whole application for example).

Private Information

Please make sure that you do NOT provide any sensitive information. If you attach a file, please be careful that it does not contain confidential data (address, telephone, ID#s, etc.). Please remember this is a public website, searchable through any web search engines, most of which will also search inside the documents you attach here.

To investigate your issue, we don't need the full document, only an excerpt showing the issue is enough:

  • Work with a new copy of your document.
  • Delete any superfluous content, leaving the minimum (make sure the issue is still there).
  • Remove personal information by deleting the meta-data: go to menu File ▸ Properties, in the General tab, uncheck the Apply user data option and click the Reset Properties button, then save.
  • Remove saved change information (if any), using Edit ▸ Track Changes ▸ Accept All (or Reject All), then save the document.
  • Anonymize your data if needed. You can often remove confidential data while preserving the structure of a document by using the Find and Replace feature:
    • Go to the menu Edit ▸ Find & Replace
    • In the Find field, type [a-z]
    • Check Match case
    • Replace: x
    • In Other Options, check Regular expressions
    • Click Replace All
    • Repeat the above using [A-Z] and X to scramble the upper case letters, and [0-9] and 0 to scramble numeric data.

If you have private legal or security questions regarding LibreOffice or the LibreOffice project, please email legal@documentfoundation.org or officesecurity@lists.freedesktop.org, respectively.

Feature Requests

The Ask site is not the proper place to ask for enhancements. It provides user support only.

Thus, feature requests should go directly to Bugzilla as Enhancements. The bugzilla site is the best place to make your voice heard by the developers. It requires an account (OK, one more to be created), but small price to pay to have your say in the improvement of the suite.

Bugs

The Ask site is not the proper place to report bugs. It provides user support only.

Bugs should directly go to Bugzilla.

However, if you are not sure you're facing a bug, you can ask a question in the Ask site to check with other users if it is a reproducible bug and in what conditions. If you don't want to create a new account in the bugzilla system, another enthusiast may propose to file the bug if confirmed.

What qualifies as a bug?

  • Program crashes
  • Loss of functionality from a previous version of LibreOffice
  • Performance issues (slow loading/processing; jitter; operations that take longer than in a previous version of LibreOffice)
    • During submission, the Keyword "perf" should be added.
  • Unexpected behavior (note: This one can be subjective)

How do I attach a file?

In a question or answer

In the toolbar above the text editing area, there is a paperclip icon: click on it to initiate the upload dialog.

ask.libreoffice.org Uploads

Note that the only allowed file types are:

  • .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .bmp, .png, .tiff
  • .odt, .ods, .odp, .odg, .odc, .odf, .odi, .odm, .ott, .ots, .otp, .otg, .odb
  • .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx.

At present, to upload other file type document (.pdf, .zip, etc.), add an allowed extension to the filename and add this information in the question/answer/comment text.

Make sure that there is no sensitive data. Please check the section about private information above.

In a comment

The dialog is not available in the comment interface. However, it is still possible:

  • Open a new page of the Ask site
  • Start creating a new question
  • Upload the file and create the code associated (you even have the preview area to check how it looks)
  • Copy the code and paste it in your comment
  • Dismiss the creation of the fake question (simply close that page).


About pictures

It is more comfortable to see the picture directly in the post.

Usually, the code provided by the Ask system is like: [C:\fakepath\filename.png](/upfiles/[long series of digits].png).

To make the pic displayed in the post, just add '!' before the string above: ![C:\fakepath\filename.png](/upfiles/[long series of digits].png).


How do I add to/clarify my question?

Edit the original question or add comments to add any information that could further help.

If you need to add an attachment, it can be done either in the question or in the comment, see above.

Do not use Answers for that. The Ask site works very differently from a forum.

Answers are expected to provide help in resolving the original questions.

If you have already posted an answer to add information, you can change it to a comment with the button bottom right of the answer:

Repost as comment.png

How do I mark an Answer as correct?

On the left of each answer, there is gray button. Click on it to make it green:

Answered question.png

Among the 2 answers in the screenshot, the top one has been chosen as the most appropriate. The button is green and the answer background is light yellow to better identify it.

Please note that there may be answers that do not solve your question nonetheless.

For example, if you face a bug, your problem will not be fixed without code change. However, confirming the answer that provides a link to the bug report or a workaround or the explanation of why it cannot be solved still deserves being tagged as the acceptable answer. It will acknowledge that no more is to be said. Even if you are disappointed with the outcome, the solution lies elsewhere and volunteers of this Q&A system have still done the job.

Accepting an answer is also a way to thank the poster by increasing his karma. Helpers do that on their free time to help other users, such little thank you is always appreciated.

In addition, accepting an answer will add that same green check mark in the question list.

It will tell other users that for example for the question below, among the 3 answers provided, at least one did answer the problem.

Answered question list.png

How do I vote?

The vote is a very important tool as it helps to identify popular questions and answers.

Use the up / down arrows left of the questions and answers to cast your vote.

  • Left of questions:
Vote on a question
  • Left of answers:
Vote on an answer

Voting is only available once the required amount of karma is reached (5 to "upvote"). Each registered user is allocated 30 votes per day to use at their discretion so please make use of this feature.

Only one vote (up or down) is allowed per question or answer. For example, if a question has three answers you are allowed to vote once for the question, and once for each answer. If at a later point in time a new answer is provided, that too can be voted on. Questions and answers that you have already voted on are marked with a green up arrow (upvote) or red down arrow (downvote). A vote can be revoked within a certain (relatively short) period of time, mainly to allow erroneous voting to be corrected. After this period of time an older vote can no longer be revoked.

What is the notification icon?

You will see the notification icon when one of the participants is involved in a question or answer.

Also it appears when someone uses your user name (writing @User Name) in some answer/comment.

Beware that the system sends quite few mail notification. Thus, don't hesitate to check at certain intervals, whether an important comment on your question has been entered.

202005 LOENHB Notification icon EN.png
 Attention! The entry or change of comments (in threads that you haven't participated in) is not reported (no notification icon).