Re: Does OpenOffice 3.0 handle unicode?

From: Petr Tomasek (
Date: Sat Mar 21 2009 - 12:58:44 CST

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    On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 07:10:32PM +0100, Philippe Verdy wrote:
    > > [] De la part de Petr Tomasek
    > > Envoyé : samedi 21 mars 2009 17:42
    > > À :
    > > Objet : Does OpenOffice 3.0 handle unicode?
    > >
    > >
    > > Can someone, please, confirm whether the new version of
    > > OpenOffice can handle unicode? OpenOffice 2.0 unfortunatelly
    > > can handle only the BMP, while I need characters from the SMP.
    > That's quite a stupid question: if OpenOffice can "handle" the BMP
    > characters, it means that it "handles" Unicode.

    OK, it was a little bit provocation from me, but hey, supporting only
    BMP nowadays should be considered buggy behaviour.

    > Appanretly you seem to ignore that OpenOffice was designed using Unicode as
    > a goal, and using file formats that require the correct support of Unicode.
    > This support has always been part of the file format specifications (that
    > are based on XML files compressed within a zipped archive).
    > I can perfectly open Chinese documents containing characters from the SIP,
    > with OpenOffice (all versions, including those before 2.0).

    "My" OpenOffice 2.0.4 (on linux) cannot handle anything but BMP.

    If I copy text containign SMP characters onto OOo all I get are two "boxes".
    (Which makes me think OpenOffice handles UTF-16 as it was UCS-2 internally,
    or something like that...)

    > This is not a problem of OpenOffice version but of support of the display of
    > the characters and scripts (for complex scripts) in the system's or
    > application's renderer.

    AFAIK OpenOffice uses the ICU library on linux. Other programs build upon the ICU
    (such as xetex) work without any problem with SMP characters.

    > But if you don't have any font for those scripts you
    > want to render and that are part of the SMP, all you'll get is a set of
    > empty boxes.

    Of course I have fonts installed and other programs on my system
    (such as those based on Pango - show them as expected.

    > So, on the same system, if I can open a document containing non-BMP
    > characters with MS Office, I can as well open it with OpenOffice (or Sun
    > StarOffice).

    On the same system I can open a document (in gedit e.g.) containing non-BMP
    characters but cannot open it using OpenOffice.

    So the conclusion: the OpenOffice is broken and what You wrote is quite stupid :)

    Petr Tomasek <>

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