Mobile Libre Office

I am on my Librem 5 and I am trying to locally open a .doc file from a personal backup from 2007.

My tech habits were different in 2007 so I’m not here to talk about the (bad) decision to store this file in .doc format back then.

What I wanted to do was to open this file on my Librem 5 and copy some plaintext contents out for use in other apps.

I installed LibreOffice writer and then tapped the .doc file sitting in ~/Documents and it opened so if I zoom out a little and switch to landscape instead of portrait I can pretty easily read this doc on my L5. But if I drag and select all, hotkeys like CTRL+C do not appear to be working, and menus like “Edit > Copy” or the toolbar icon for cut/copy do not appear to be working.

Is there an easier way for me to actually copy out the plaintext contents of this file?

Later, when I am not on my Librem 5, I’m fairly certain a laptop running the same software would not have this problem. So this a mobile/libhandy specific issue.

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Use the Terminal keyboard layout, then use Ctrl + A and Ctrl + C, or use an external keyboard or a lapdock like the Nexdock 360.

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I just checked if selecting, copying and pasting works. All seems to be working as expected.
All actions where done on the L5.
I’m using Libre Office 7.


If for some reason the above don’t resolve the issue, you may be able to use the command line interface (libreoffice) to convert the .doc file to a .txt file, which may open up other options for copying text out.

e.g. libreoffice --convert-to txt foo.odt

will create foo.txt with a best effort of extracting the text. (Can also be used for doing conversion to PDF for export.)


  1. Not tested on the Librem 5.
  2. Not testing with .doc because I don’t have a file in such an ancient format :wink: handy.

The above command will take a wildcard too, if you have lots of such .doc files.


Thanks guys! Per your suggestions, it works as expected after I restarted Writer.

The problem I was having was a bug, possibly due to the “Tip of the Day” function or whatever. After a popup tip was shown, even when I closed it Writer was not responsive other than selecting text.

After exiting Writer and starting it again, copy functions worked as expected.


For information, there are also 2 command line utilities in linux : antiword (convert .doc files to txt) and docx2txt (you guess it)
Installable on L5 via sudo apt install antiword docx2txt