I have some .pdf generated by a scanner, that I want to import in LibreOffice and do some small editing. The PDF has only one object per page, a page-size image.
If I open it in LibreOffice under Ubuntu 12.10, it imports "successfully" but all pages are blank. I have the libreoffice-pdfimport package installed.
That is true with both LibreOffice 3.6 (part of Ubuntu 12.10) and with 4.0.2, from libreoffice ppa.

The same .pdf files open perfectly fine on both LibreOffice for Windows and LibreOffice for Mac (yes, I have three computers with all three OSes), but on Ubuntu 12.10, all pages are blank, so I can only conclude this is an issue with Ubuntu packaging, or something really weird prevents it from working under linux.

How can I import these kinds of .pdf into LibreOffice for editing?

  • You can compare MasterPDFEditor with Adobe Acrobat. – Curious Apprentice May 4 '13 at 13:09
  • Inkscape can also import PDFs and you can edit them. Inkscape is GPL. – blujay May 5 '13 at 5:23

If you make sure the scan is 1 page per pdf, you can open en edit it with Gimp.

As long there is no text-recognition done by the scanning software, libre-office or open-office will never be able to do editing.

A simple scan gives you a image (build up by pixels) => editable by gimp

Afterwards it's possible to do text-recognition => editable by libre-office or open-office

It's also possible to make a vector drawing from the image => editable by inkscape


In LibreOffice Writer windows go to: Insert -> Object -> OLE Object

A popup window will appear. Ensure that the "Create new" radio button is selected. In the listbox below select "Other objects". Unfortunately this entry isn't available in the Linux edition of LibreOffice.

A new popup window will appear; "Insert object". Select the "Create from file" radio button, select the object type (Adobe Acrobat Document, etc) in the near listbox. If you don't want to see a small preview of the document mark the "Show as an icon" checkbox.


I just tried with Ubuntu 13.04, LibreOffice LibreOffice Draw fails to display the image in the event of a one-page one-image pdf, although it displays other pdf files normally.

Probably there's a bug in Linux/Ubuntu setup files, and this should be reported if it hasn't been done already.

PS: As an alternative, you might also want to try Master PDF Editor.

  • Thanks for trying Sadi, I had the idea to upgrade to 13.04 to see if this was fixed there, but it seems no luck there either... I guess I'm stuck with Win/Mac for these kinds of tasks, where do I file a bug report (or search for one)? – Daniele May 4 '13 at 16:26
  • LibreOffice bugs are reported here: bugs.freedesktop.org – Sadi May 4 '13 at 21:25

To import a PDF file in LibreOffice, just open a terminal and type this:

sudo apt-get install libreoffice-pdfimport

Type you password and Voilá!

The file will open in the LibreOffice Draw.

  • 4
    As I said in the description, I already had libreoffice-pdfimport installed, so no Voila! for anybody :P – Daniele Nov 14 '13 at 21:19

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