Friday, May 25, 2012

Border-less LibreOffice Menus in Kubuntu (Ubuntu with KDE) -- Workaround

I recently installed Kubuntu 12.04 LTS on my ThinkPad W520 and am loving the experience. When I first opened LibreOffice Calc, however, I noticed that the menus didn't have any borders. As you can imagine, that was confusing as hell as the menus would blend with the application background, making it difficult to work with them.



When I did some research, I found out there were other users having the same issue and a bug was filed at Ubuntu Launchpad. Unfortunately the bug is marked Won't Fix since it's found to be an upstream issue. This essentially means that it will most probably be fixed by the upstream developers but I got an impression that's not going to happen anytime soon.

What to do now? Well, I thought to myself, it couldn't be that difficult -- all I want is an Office suite. I would be equally happy with OpenOffice.org instead of LibreOffice. So that's exactly what I did and, guess what, it worked. Not only did it work but I also ended up with LibreOffice since the Ubuntu OpenOffice.org packages are transitional packages pointing to LibreOffice.

So, at the end of the day, by doing what I've described below, I ended up with a LibreOffice installation that works flawlessly. I've also posted this solution as a comment on the referenced bug.

So here's how you do it...

1. Uninstall LibreOffice (I did a purge as shown below)

$ sudo apt-get --purge remove mozilla-libreoffice libreoffice*

2. Install OpenOffice (relax, that's a transitional package so you'll end up with LibreOffice only)

$ sudo apt-get install openoffice.org

That's it! Now when you open Calc or other LibreOffice programs, their menus should have normal look and the no-border issue should be gone.

Optionally, if you want to have additional UI styles available in LibreOffice, you can install the style packages as shown below:

$ sudo apt-get install openoffice.org-style-*

This will add a bunch of styles that you can choose from for your office programs from Tools | Options... menu and then navigating to the LibreOffice | View section.

Finally, if you prefer enabling opening LibreOffice documents directly in Firefox, you can install the mozilla-openoffice.org package:

$ sudo apt-get install mozilla-openoffice.org

At the end, here's how my Writer looks on my machine:


Hope this helps.

UPDATE: 5/26/12

OK, unfortunately there's one problem that you'll encounter after following what I've outlined in this post. Now, while the menus are perfect in how they look, sub-menus render on top of the parent menu itself (overlapping it). This issue doesn't affect all menus. In addition, when not running the program maximized, top-level menus render right-aligned in relation to the mouse-click (the norm is left-aligned).

I think this is not as annoying a problem as the no-border bug but still (the bug) needs to be fixed. I hope this bug gets fixed soon as it has a very high visibility.

Here's how it looks when sub-menus render on top of menus:


Cheers!

3 comments:

Steven said...

Have you tried uninstalling/purging libreoffice-kde and installing libreoffice-gtk instead?

I did a series of manipulations so I don't know what really did the trick for me, but I now have libreoffice look good, its menus too.

Tell me if that works for you. I posted a reply to your message on launchpad.

Cheers.

Ehsanullah Jan said...

Actually the menu overlap issue is caused when I'm using multiple monitors. And it happens regardless of what desktop I'm using (Kubuntu or Ubuntu). However it works fine when I'm using just the laptop (no dual monitors).

Anonymous said...

Removing the package libreoffice-kde does the job for me. The bug must be in this package.

The only disadvantage is that the file selector is GTK-style then. But menus are looking good.