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Thread: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

  1. #1
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    New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    Hello all!
    First of all, I am glad I finally got to have a Lubuntu partition on my pc. My intention is to primarly use it for university work and other important stuff.
    I am slowly learning new things (I installed it yesterday so I am a true beginner), but I have a pair of questions, the answer of which I struggle to find on the internet

    1 about LibreOffice: I updated a curriculum vitae, the original file was docx, and Libreoffice saved it as a ODS or something. Is there a way to save it as a docx? Problem is not for me, just for those times I will have to send something to my university teacher, and I want to avoid compatibility issues with his corrections or something similar. Also, I use mendeley, I noticed it has a "Export MS Word Compatible", but when I use it, I get an archive, not a wordfile.
    Finally about LibreOffice, I got stuck for a moment with the pdf export problem, I found a solution that, I think, downgraded Libreoffice (it was a sudo purge libreoffice thing), is it possible? The save windows for example was very different after the purge.

    2 things are a little too small. Nothing terrible but expecially when clicking small icons, or write in small spaces is sometimes difficult. For some reason, firefox address bar is a little bigger and just fine. There are lots of settings to tweak in, where do I find those about the display?

    3 I can't wait to learn how to personalize everything, where should I start?

    Thank you for the future help, sorry if my post is not in the right place or if it is redundant

  2. #2
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    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    Welcome.

    You can save in any format you want including the original docx, just pay attention to the saving dialog.
    Keep the original format which is supported by Libreoffice and you won't need any export feature.
    Export to PDF also works fine. What was the problem exactly?

    Additional note: Although Libreoffice has had support for DOCX for years and it mostly works, many have argued that WPS support for that Microsoft format is better. WPS is free software that you can install now from the software store or with the deb file they provide at http://linux.wps.com/#

  3. #3
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    Lubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    Yes, welcome.

    1: Concerning .docx: what CelticWarrior said. With exporting .pdfs there have been issues and a bug report exists. Mine works fine, though. With Mendeley I can't help.

    2: Desktop icon size can be changed in Preferences -> LXQt Settings -> Desktop. Icon size in the Panel (the bottom line on your screen) is done by right-click on the Panel, select Configure Panel.

    3: Perhaps build your desktop and panel? It's a simple drag 'n drop from the Applications Menu (click the bottom left corner icon). Then right-click on the desktop icon and tick "Trust this executable".
    I attach a shot of my own desktop (wallpaper is 18.10, but OS is 20.04 LTS. Another customization )
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ml9104; July 7th, 2020 at 08:45 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    Thanks for the answers
    The pdf problem, as I understood reading around, is a compatibility problem between Lubuntu 20.04 and the version of Libreoffice that is already installed.
    I found the docx, silly question, sorry...now I'm trying to find software store, and learn how to install programs
    For example: I have two programs at the moment, Mendeley and Starsector. Mendeley I just copy the executable (a python script) on the desktop and it works. Starsector has a .sh file, I understood how to use the terminal to start it (cd to folder, then sudo sh), but do I have every time to do that or there is a way to create a shortcut?
    Last edited by hrafnagudh; July 7th, 2020 at 11:11 PM.

  5. #5
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    Lubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    The "software store" is the Muon package manager. That's the place to start

  6. #6
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    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    Probably shouldn't run any end-user programs with sudo. There are often repercussions that are unintentional. sudo is for administrative needs and generally shouldn't be used for any gui programs.

    Unix systems have something called a symbolic link. This has been available for 40+ yrs.
    http://linuxcommand.org/tlcl.php covers most power-user needs.

  7. #7
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    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticWarrior View Post

    Additional note: Although Libreoffice has had support for DOCX for years and it mostly works, many have argued that WPS support for that Microsoft format is better. WPS is free software that you can install now from the software store or with the deb file they provide at http://linux.wps.com/#
    WPS is an adware I would recommend against it (I checked it out om Windows VM and deepin Linux). It is "free" as in a shareware, but certainly not open source. "free" can mean different things on different forums, on a Linux forum I would assume it means open source. I have never had problems with pretty standard .docx files using LO. Unless there are some unusual formatting I don't think there is a problem. Moreover I have sent around ods at work and at school, no one ever complained. MSO is supposed to be able to open them now, why perpetuate MS's locked down format if don't have to? WPS doesn't support ODS so it helps to spread MS formats even without being MSO, this is a deal breaker for me.
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; July 8th, 2020 at 02:14 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    Quote Originally Posted by hrafnagudh View Post
    Is there a way to save it as a docx? Problem is not for me, just for those times I will have to send something to my university teacher, and I want to avoid compatibility issues with his corrections or something similar. Also, I use mendeley, I noticed it has a "Export MS Word Compatible", but when I use it, I get an archive, not a wordfile.
    Finally about LibreOffice, I got stuck for a moment with the pdf export problem, I found a solution that, I think, downgraded Libreoffice (it was a sudo purge libreoffice thing), is it possible? The save windows for example was very different after the purge.
    Exporting to docx is supported, but it's recommended to save it for yourself in a native file format. I don't think I ever encountered any university teacher who wanted MS office format (or any other office format). It's all plain text (and pdf, if no further editing is required). Science journals want their submissions in LaTeX, so that's what everybody uses. But maybe that's only the case at science faculties.

    Quote Originally Posted by hrafnagudh View Post
    now I'm trying to find software store, and learn how to install programs
    For example: I have two programs at the moment, Mendeley and Starsector. Mendeley I just copy the executable (a python script) on the desktop and it works. Starsector has a .sh file, I understood how to use the terminal to start it (cd to folder, then sudo sh), but do I have every time to do that or there is a way to create a shortcut?
    The software store, or synaptic, or apt, can install software packaged for Ubuntu and all its flavours. This typically comes from the official Ubuntu repositories, but if you wish you can add third party repositories. Try to avoid that, as it may destabilise your system.

    Your two programs appear to be unpackaged software. It can be properly installed, but there are no hard rules for how to do that. You must put the executable file in a directory that's in your PATH (but I suggest you don't put it in /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin or /usr/sbin, which are reserved for packaged software), make it executable and put any other files belonging to that software in a place where the executable can find it. That allows you to run the software from terminal. If you wish, you can create a .desktop file, so you can make a nice launcher that works from a menu and has an icon.

    Software that's not for system admin shouldn't be run with sudo. If it doesn't work without, I guess running it once with sudo changed ownership of some files, making it necessary to run it with sudo always. Check for root-owned files in all directories used by that software and change ownership back to you. Everything in your home directory (/home/username) should be owned by you.

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RootSudo

  9. #9
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    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    Ok, I understood. sudo is an admin thing.
    I found the Muon package, there is a lot of stuff!
    Well, I will read the book TheFu linked, to lean new stuff.
    Meanwhile, thanks all for the answers and the patience. It looks a little...overwhelming at first, but in a very positive way

    edit, last thing that puzzles me, sorry. On some websites, under the linux installer section for a program, there are two ways, generic linux and ubuntu. Lubuntu is still Ubuntu, even if it is using another environment?
    Similarly, in the Muon package manager, categories are like desktop GNOME, desktop Gnustep, desktop Xfce. Is all of that Lubuntu compatible? Sorry if it is the dumbest question you ever read....
    Last edited by hrafnagudh; July 8th, 2020 at 10:15 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: New to Lubuntu, question about docx and increasing size of things

    None of your questions are dumb. And don't worry, you will ask some in the future. We all do both when we start out and 20 yrs later.

    iOS, OSX, Android are all Unix-like as well and follow the same file and directory permissions model, so learning that is not a waste of your time. The sooner you get that knowledge, the quicker you will end the frustration for not understanding when and how and why sudo is needed, when root is useful and when to swap to a different account - say to run a web server or email server or 50,000 other needs. File and directory permissions are the front-line of all Unix system security, including for Lubuntu. A slight mistake can trash your total system security, so be very careful using sudo with chown or chmod.

    Unix is overwhelming and there is a steep learning curve. It is like learning a new language. Some ideas are similar, but different. Other ideas are completely different, though they sound similar. If you are coming from Windows, about 80% of what you think is similar is not. Unix/Linux has a completely different philosophy around the OS and programs than Windows. Unix systems can't tell if the command you've entered is stupid or genius, so they are allowed. We all hope that our stupid commands are harmless, but that isn't always the situation. These forums have people looking to correct their stupid mistakes, usually where they've destroyed data, almost daily.

    So, please learn this next thing ASAP and follow though to solve it. There are "restore points" for Linux and Unix systems. They are not automatic and we just use a different name - we call them system backups. If you have anything on your system that cannot be lost, back it up. It is best to have daily, automatic, versioned, backups. The more critical an item is, the more likely you will lose it the night before you need it. We see this all the time. At a minimum, setup daily, automatic, versioned, backups for your HOME directory. This can be accomplished a few ways, depending on your desires. Over time, you can expand that to include other stuff to make restoring a complete system easier.

    Simple script for versioned backups of all HOME directories to $TARGET storage:

    Code:
    #!/bin/bash
    SOURCE="/home"    # What to be backed up
    TARGET=/mnt/Backups/$HOSTNAME  # Where to write the versioned backups
    HOWMANY="90D"   # Retain backup versions for 90 days. Change to less or more, as needed
    
    # May want to mount storage at this point in the script
    
    # Ensure the target location exists. Best if this has a different HDD mounted to /mnt/Backups/
    #   Do not use NTFS or FAT32 or vFAT or exFAT storage.  Use native, linux, storage like ext4, xfs, f2fs 
    #    which supports full Linux permissions.
    /bin/mkdir  -p "$TARGET"
    
    # Do the verioned backup
    /usr/bin/rdiff-backup     --exclude-special-files       "$SOURCE" "$TARGET"
    
    # Remove the old backups 
    /usr/bin/rdiff-backup    --force   --remove-older-than  "$HOWMANY" "$TARGET"
    
    # May want to umount storage here
    Pretty freakin' easy, right?

    1. I'd create this file as /root/bin/backup-home.sh, then
    2. chmod 700 /root/bin/backup-home.sh it and
    3. setup root's crontab to run it daily, perhaps a noon (when at lunch or midnight or 6am).


    The first run will take as much time to run as a copy/rsync. All runs after that should take 1-7 minutes, but depends on the changed data in the source. It is best NOT to keep media (video/music) in the HOME directory, since large files will stay around in the backups for $HOWMANY days.
    You might want to have specific directories in an --exclude list. Things like browser caches, temporary files, stuff like that. The script needs to run as root to maintain permissions, ACLs, for different userids.
    To keep the script simple, I didn't show multiple directories in the backup SOURCE. It would be smart to include /root/, /etc/, and /home/ is a slightly more basic backup list.

    I should mention, I didn't test this script, but think it should run fine to backup all normal user's stuff in /home/. rdiff-backup can have the source be a remote system or the target can be remote. Prefer to use "pull" over "push" backups whenever possible. This will mitigate hacked client systems with malware from causing corrupted backups.
    Last edited by TheFu; July 8th, 2020 at 01:16 PM.

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