[Libreoffice-ux-advise] [Libreoffice] Suggestion and patch for "Confirmation of save format" dialog

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Tue Aug 9 12:23:37 PDT 2011

Hi Noel, Josh, all!

@ Noel: Thanks for forwarding!

@ Josh: UI designers at work being LibO users? We should definitively
meet on the Design Team list ;-)

Am Dienstag, den 09.08.2011, 10:31 +0100 schrieb Noel Power:
> Forwarding this to the ux-advise list, a better forum I think for 
> discussion about such changes
> Noel
> On 09/08/11 00:45, Josh Heidenreich wrote:
> > For a long time I have been annoyed at the "Are you sure you want to
> > save as a .DOC" message, as I find the buttons confusing.

True, true - I think this issue came up each year twice during the OOo
times. As far as I know, there have been numerous attempts to fix the
understandability of the buttons ...

First, thanks a lot for taking care about that. Although I think the
dialog needs a bit more tweaking, it is a step towards the (very) right

> > I have made some changes, with the button to show the format name.
> >
> > Screenshots:
> > http://thejosh.info/libreoffice/export_format1.png
> > http://thejosh.info/libreoffice/export_format2.png
> >
> > I have coded a patch, although it's against the old repos.

As far as I can see, nothing changed but the button layout and their
caption. Right? Unfortunately, I think that:
      * the (possible) length of the button text, and ...
      * the stacked button layout (which is never used in LibO that way)
will "eat up" the improved understandability of your change.

So, what do we have to fill the buttons when exporting (if we want to
get back the usual layout)? I assume there are:
      * the file format description "Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP/2003"
      * the file format extension ".doc"

Is there something else available within the code/data, e.g. only
"Microsoft Word" format? Is there something we can do to limit the
length of the buttons? Given the file formats we have, I think 20
characters containing whole words should be sufficient (e.g. for
"Microsoft PowerPoint") to cover all major use cases (in English, needs
some refinement).

Some other things being strange:
      * I assume that the message "Do you want to save the document in
        this format anyway?" refers to some older Yes/No buttons. We may
        update that as well.
      * People might not know what ODF refers to. Usually they see odt
        or odc ... if they see that. --> trying to make it the
        LibreOffice default file format
      * The "latest" ODF file format is nice, but something for experts
        - especially since the user may wonder where to set the "latest
        ODF" file format in this dialog.
      * The position of the file format description makes the text hard
        to read - moving it to the end.

This leads to ... (non-native English speaker brainstorming) ...


The document may contain formatting or content that cannot be saved in
the currently selected file format "Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP/2003".

Use the default ODF file format and be sure that the document is saved

       [Use Microsoft Word Format] [Use Default ODF Format]

[x] Ask when not saving in ODF format

Is this something which could be turned into reality (=code)? What do
you think?

Interestingly, the dialog does not provide any further help ... strange.
Wondering whether we should ping the documentation team.

That said, the most helpful thing (but most difficult) ist to tell
people what will be missing exactly in terms of content, features or
formatting when exporting documents.


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