The most likely explanation is the following:
- You have the proposed repository enabled.
- Upgrades for the open office packages were uploaded to the proposed repository.
- You upgraded the open office packages from the proposed repository.
- The proposed upgrades were rejected, and subsequently removed from the proposed repository.
- Synaptic can no longer find the open office packages with the corresponding version or newer in any repository, thus they are listed under "local or obsolete".
See this question for more detailed explanation about the meaning of "local or obsolete" in synaptic.
The proposed repository is a repository for, as the name says, proposed updates. If they are approved then the packages are transfered to another "stable" repository and all is good. If they are not approved then they are simply removed from the proposed repository. The transfer and the removal happens silently. There is no notification mechanism (that I know of) which notifies the user of these changes. That means, if you have the proposed repository enabled, you might get "local or obsolete" packages at any time without warning.
Note that is is not recommended to have the proposed repository enabled on a production system. The Proposed repository is meant for package testers only. I did not know this before and had the proposed repository enabled. I have now disabled the proposed repository after learning about it's purpose and the consequences.
There are two methods to "fix" the situation. With "fix" I mean doing something so the packages are no longer listed under "local or obsolete".
- Wait for the packages to be upgraded again. Hopefully, this time the proposed upgrade will stick. If the proposed upgrade gets rejected again then you are back to square one.
- Remove the proposed repository and force each package to downgrade to the latest version available in a "stable" repository.
The first method is easy. Just wait. There are two problems with this approach. While waiting, you are using packages which obviously have problems. After all, they were rejected from proposed for a reason. The second problem is: the packages might never get upgraded and you will be waiting forever. This is especially true if the ubuntu version you are using is near the end of its life.
The second method is not as easy and can be quite troublesome, especially if the package has other packages depending on it. Read this answer for an explanation how to downgrade from proposed.