How to Report Bugs in LibreOffice

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Glad you made it here. You are about to make an important contribution to LibreOffice. A good bug report is very helpful for our developers. Below, you'll find some guidance to make this process easier.

Not all bugs go to Bugzilla

All dogs may go to heaven Wikipedia logo v3.svg , but some bug reports should be filed outside of Bugzilla. These include:

Class of Bugs Where to file the bug
LibreOffice Extensions With the extension author
TDF/LibreOffice Infrastructure (websites, mailing lists, etc.) Redmine
Building LibreOffice Development/Mailing List
LibreOffice Unit Tests Development/Mailing List

Before you submit a bug

Confirm that it really is a bug. Most of the time, a bug is something that makes the software behave in a way that a reasonable user would not want it to behave. This includes the software not doing what you want it to do, doing what you never asked it to do, or just plain crashing under normal use. Going behind the scenes, a bug may be something that causes the software to take a lot longer and use a lot more resources doing stuff than it should.

At a certain point what look like bugs are actually more like feature requests, where we know how the software should work in an ideal world, even though the feature we want hasn't been built yet. Fortunately, you don't have to worry that much about separating bugs from feature requests. If it's something that interferes with normal, valid use of the application, report it as a bug.

It helps a lot if you know your way around LibreOffice, though, so you have a good sense of what "normal, valid use" is. You don't want to spend a lot of time reporting what you think are bugs when the issue is that you don't know how to use a certain feature yet. Consider reading the user documentation, and use the apps a lot so you become familiar with what they normally do.

If you know LibreOffice fairly well and run into something that may be a bug, but may be just something you don't understand, you can post a question at LibreOffice Users Mailing List or Ask LibreOffice.

But let's say what you found really does look like a bug. Here's what to do next:

1. Take notes so you don't forget something that was going on around the time the bug appeared. What were you doing, what did you expect to happen, and what actually happened? How did you know something was wrong? Can you reproduce the bad behavior?

2. Check for similar, existing bug reports

  1. Go to Components, and select the appropriate component (or subcomponent).
  2. If you selected a component: Select the appropriate subcomponent, or Extended Help if you don't see the subcomponent on that page.
  3. If you selected Extended Help: Select the appropriate subcomponent, or the [1] at the bottom of the list if you did not find or do not know the appropriate subcomponent.
  4. You will see a list of bugs with that subcomponent. At the bottom of the page, select "Edit Search". There, you can modify the search according to your needs.
  5. If you find a bug report that concerns your problem, you can contribute to it. If you don't find a bug report that concerns your problem, file a new bug report.

3. If the bug only occurs on Ubuntu or is related to printing, go to #More Information.

4. After all that, if it does not look like there is a bug report about this issue, follow the instructions at #Submitting a bug.

Submitting a bug

File a separate bug report for each bug you run into, even if the symptoms from a user's point of view seem identical. Different problems with different roots that appeared in different LibO versions might have to be fixed by different people, for different versions, and at different times. It is impossible to track that in a single bug report.

Go to Bugzilla.

1 Sign in

If you are prompted to sign in, log in with your Bugzilla account.

2 Component

In "Component", choose the component.

If you are not sure what component your problem is about, choose the LibreOffice component. Someone will review the bug report later and will choose a more precise component. (For more information about triage, which is reviewing bugs to get the important onces to the top of the list, have a look at "BugTriage".)

If it is an urgent issue (broken parts, regression, etc.), and you are an experienced user who knows the development team, you can assign the bug report to one of the developers listed on the FindTheExpert page.

3 Details

If there is a "Sub component" section, select the subcomponent.

If you don't know the appropriate subcomponent, go to Components. On that page, click on the appropriate component. Read the descriptions of the all the subcomponents on the page of that component. If you don't see a suitable subcomponent, click on Extended Help, and read the descriptions of the subcomponents on that page.

Choose the version of the application in which the bug appeared. To check what version of LibreOffice you are using, select Help ▸ About LibreOffice

In "Operating system" or "OS", choose the operating system of the computer you were using when you met the bug.

If there is a "Hardware" section, fill it in.

If there is a "Severity" section, ignore it unless you are experienced. Selecting "Blocker" will not get the bug fixed faster. If you want to know the definitions of the items in the Severity section, see this chart.

You can ignore the section "latest known-working version".

4 Subject

Check in "possibly related Bugs" table on the bug-reporting page and additionally in the Duplicates Table to see whether the problem really has not been reported yet.

In the "Subject" section (also known as the Summary):

  • Do not include information already known from the fields.
  • Include the names of subcomponents from Components.
    • Make the subcomponents uppercase.
    • If the subcomponent can be confused with parts of a word (for example, UI is part of the word quit), surround the subcomponent with square brackets.
    • Use at most two subcomponents.
    • Use subcomponents exactly as they appear in the list, but you may integrate them into the subject line sentence like "WIKIHELP [UI] not available in all languages".
  • Summarize the problem fairly precisely.
    • Bad example: "File is broken"
    • Better example: "Menu File > Save as not available (greyed out)".
  • Avoid short forms like "doesn't" or "isn't" to ease queries for strings in the Summary; instead, use the full form, such as "does not" or "is not".
  • If the problem written in the report is that LibreOffice crashes or stops responding ("hangs"), add the word CRASH to the Summary, so that these bugs can be located and tracked easily.

5 Description

In the "Long Description" or "Description" section, give a lengthier, factual description of the problem:

List the steps to reproduce the bug.

  • Use a numbered list.
  • State the exact method to make something happen. For example, instead of writing "Open document", write instead "In new empty LibO Spreadsheet document, use menu File > Open (LibO dialog) > file type "Text documents" > select attached sample document > double click".

If you're using a pre-built LibreOffice on Linux, list the exact versions of LibreOffice packages in your package management system. If you're using Windows, list the exact filename of the installer, and from where downloaded.

  • Including information about installed and used localization (UI language, document language) might be useful.
  • Include whether a 32-bit LibreOffice is used on a 64-bit (Linux) system.
  • Include the package source if it's not the official LibreOffice build.

Write the expected behavior and the actual behavior.

You can include an attachment, such as a screenshot or a sample document.

  • If you create screenshots, switch the language to English before making the screenshot. You can do so in Tools ▸ Options ▸ Language Settings ▸ Languages.
  • You can make screenshots more useful by adding comments and marking relevant areas with LibreOffice Draw.
  • If you want to attach more than one screenshot, you should collect them all in one document (copy / paste to a LibreOffice Draw document) and attach as a PDF. Please add a short comment to each screenshot to tell what you want to demonstrate with it.
  • If you attach a sample document that exhibits the bug you are reporting, please make the document as minimal as possible. For example, for Writer bugs, the document should ideally have just a single paragraph. To make it easy to find the text from your document in debug tracing, use some very easily recognizable text, like AAAAAAAAAA ₂ ZZZZZZZZZZ for a bug that is triggered by that character.
  • If you want to attach more than half a dozen documents, create a .zip file containing all documents and attach that .zip.
  • If your attachment is too big to be attached in Bugzilla (bigger than 1 MB) you can use the Experimental upload page.

6 Submit

Click "Submit", and your report will be added to the Bugzilla database.

If Bugzilla seems daunting

If the Bugzilla bug tracking system seems daunting or too hard to understand, you should post your problem here:

Even if you post your problem on those channels, your goal should be to get a good bug report on bugzilla -- these channels might help you with that. Note, that reporting problems on social media (Facebook, Twitter, G+ etc.) is not productive in general as it will rarely lead to a good bug report ending up in bugzilla (see also: 99 ways to ruin an open source project, top 5).

After you submit a bug

If nobody has reviewed your report within an appropriate time (24 hours for a critical bug, 14 days for an enhancement request), consider asking someone else to reproduce your bug report on the users@global.libreoffice.org mailing list or IRC channel #libreoffice connect via webchat.

Adding comments to bugs

  • Avoid posting "me too" comments which contain no additionally useful information.
    The exception to this is when you comment on a bug that has been UNCONFIRMED so far. In that case, please provide reproduction steps (or confirm the ones given by the original reporter) and move the issue to status NEW. Note that if there are no clear reproduction steps, the issue might quickly move back to NEEDINFO, so finding a good and simple reproduction scenario is essential.
  • Refrain from adding comments along the line of "we have 1000 seats here and only this bug prevents us from migrating", as it contains no additional information relevant to QA or to the priority of the issue.

LibreOffice is OpenSource and your help in fixing issues that are relevant to your particular situation is most welcome. You can:

  • Employ and/or teach your own developers to work on LibreOffice. We are most happy to mentor them: see the developer's pages.
  • Fund individuals or companies to work on specific issues - see the list of certified developers.
  • Contact The Document Foundation to help you if you have only a small amount of funding, and want to collaborate, coordinate or pool your resources with others in the same situation to fund specific fixes or enhancements.

Good Reports

Minimum requirements

  1. OS/LibreOffice version;
  2. Enumerated reproducible steps;
  3. Simple attachments where appropriate;
  4. Observed/Expected results

Good Examples

  • tdf#85004 - Writer: Crash when clicking the Reminder icon on the Navigation toolbar
  • tdf#87907 - DIALOG: Page preview in print dialog refreshes when opening print details
  • tdf#74839 - EDITING: Position of connectors connected to a group aren't updated when editing group content

Examples of Less Good Reports

Reports can be less than ideal for a number of reasons. Below are some of the common problems:

Paragraphs of Text

Describing a bug report in paragraphs of text is one of the most common problems. Developers do not have the time to read paragraphs of text. Clear, succinct, enumerated steps are always better.

One Report, Five Bugs

One report should only have a single bug in it. Grouping bugs, or listing a whole list of issues with a single document, is utterly unhelpful. In order to find developers to tackle issues, it's best to give them a single issue to focus on. They are unlikely to take on a bug that has multiple issues listed

Missing Details/Steps

All bug reports should have at minimum: (1) your Operating System and version of LibreOffice; (2) clear reproducible steps; (3) expected results; (4) observed results; (5) a simple attachment where appropriate.

Adding Superfluous Information

Adding a lot of extra details that aren't relevant is another common problem. Examples include:

  1. "This is a blocker"
  2. A long list of reasons why it's a blocker
  3. "I can't use LibreOffice because of this bug"
  4. "LibreOffice sucks" (or any variation of that)
  5. I'm going to start using your competitor unless you fix it

Complex Attachments

Attachments should be as simple as possible. take the time to prune your examples to the bare minimum. This helps tremendously in diagnosing problems.

Assuming Contributors Know Everything

Do not assume contributors know what you're talking about. Describe your steps clearly, each step of the way.

More Information