LibreOffice shows squares when the UI font does not support certain characters. It does not fallback to other fonts like the rest of apps.

Bug #1344996 reported by Petar Velkovski on 2014-07-19
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
libreoffice (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

1. Description: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Release: 14.04

2. libreoffice-gtk:
  Installed: 1:4.2.4-0ubuntu2
  Candidate: 1:4.2.4-0ubuntu2
  Version table:
 *** 1:4.2.4-0ubuntu2 0
        500 trusty-updates/main amd64 Packages
        500 trusty-security/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     1:4.2.3~rc3-0ubuntu2 0
        500 trusty/main amd64 Packages

3. I'v been hit with the strange bug for some time in LibreOffice under Ubuntu 14.04
Namely whenever I try to enter some string in LibreOffice Calc using non-latin characters, cyrillic in my case, the entry renders just fine in the cell, but it renders with a series of squares at the formula entry widget. The same happens with the search entry widget (ctrl+f).

I'm hit by this bug when using both the default packages from the official Ubuntu repository, the packages from the LibreOffice PPAs but also packages that I've downloaded from the Libreoffice website.

The first strange thing I've notied is that those same deb packages downloaded from the LibreOffice website work just fine under Ubuntu 12.04.

Today I've done some testing (after removing the PPA packages so that ubuntu-bug would allow me to report this bug), and noticed that if I remove the libreoffice-gtk package, then I don't have this problem any more, except for the non exsistent theming and really ugly looking of LO.

I conclude that the problem is not in the LibreoOffice itself but in some gtk library.

I'm sending screenshots of the bug. One is taken under Ubuntu 12.04 where everything works fine, the other under Ubuntu 14.04 where this bug appears.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: libreoffice-gtk 1:4.2.4-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-32.57-generic
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-32-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.2
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Sat Jul 19 18:51:50 2014
InstallationDate: Installed on 2014-04-19 (91 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS "Trusty Tahr" - Release amd64 (20140417)
SourcePackage: libreoffice
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Petar Velkovski (pvelkovski) wrote :
Petar Velkovski (pvelkovski) wrote :

Picture of how the same version of LibreOffice works as expected under Ubuntu 12.04. I know that this is somehow obvious but still.

Adolfo Jayme (fitojb) wrote :

As a workaround, try updating your copy of the Cantarell font. From what I can tell by seeing your 14.04 screenshot, you have an old version installed, with no Cyrillic characters. In 12.04 it works because you have Calibri set as your UI font there, and Calibri does support Cyrillic.

summary: - Cyrillic entries render like squares in some LO widgets when
- libreoffice-gtk installed
+ LibreOffice shows squares when the UI font does not support certain
+ characters. It does not fallback to other fonts like the rest of apps.
Changed in libreoffice (Ubuntu):
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Medium
Petar Velkovski (pvelkovski) wrote :

Adolfo Jayme, You're right! I transfered my locally installed fonts from 12.04 when I installed 14.04 on my laptop, and an old version of Cantarell that I don't even remember where I got from. I think that the problem was fixed by just doing that, as LO started using the system wide installed Cantarell that comes from the Ubuntu 14.04 repository, but I also switched to Calibri just in case. Thank you for your assistance, as I would have never figured this out on my own (I didn't even know that I was using this two fonts specificaly as default system fonts).

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