[Libreoffice] Remove old Word 6.0/95 "save as" support

Kevin Hunter hunteke at earlham.edu
Wed Feb 2 06:14:04 PST 2011

At 12:06am -0500 Wed, 02 Feb 2011, Bryan Quigley wrote:
> [ Should we remove export capabilities to old file formats? ]

> The usability problem I've seen is that users:
>   * want to save in MS Word format, but don't know what version to use
>   * the pick 6.0 or 95 thinking many different things (lower number
>     means it will work with more computers?)
>   * since this is there only copy of the file, they lose all tables
>     and more

I think you've made a good point.  However, I don't think removing the 
Save As support should be decided from a usability perspective, as I can 
envision certain workflows that require interaction between older 
versions of MS Word.  I think the longer-term and better solution is to 
rework the logic such that it's not a binary decision of "Lose info? or 
save in ODF format?"  See below ...

> We currently have the same "This document may contain formatting or
> content that can not be saved in..." message for if you are saving
> to Word 97/2000/XP (very good at saving) or Word 6.0 (very bad at
> saving).

This message and associated logic needs updating.  Specifically, my 
user's understanding is that if the file is not to be saved as an ODF 
file (odt, ods, od, etc.), then LO shows that warning.  This binary 
thinking is indicative of a younger project, and I submit that this is 
one area in which LO could show more prudence and maturity.

Instead -- and I don't know how possible this currently is -- I think we 
should introspect the document and compare against the chosen file 
format's capabilities to list specific features that will be lost.

"You are attempting to save this document to a Word 6.0 format.  Word 
6.0 does not support this feature that this document uses:

* Tables

If you save in this file format, the parts of this document using this 
feature will be lost.

  [ Lose document pieces ]  [ Choose alternate format ]

Showing specifically what would be lost would be much more helpful, only 
bugs the user when appropriate, and does not wrongly presume in the 
button text that ODF format is the only format capable.

> I also do not think customizing this text to make it more
> specific will help. Users have become trained by the interface to
> ignore this message (this is a different usability issue, NOT a user
> issue).

I do not agree unless updating the text is all that is on the table. 
Specifically, if all the features in use that are supported by the file 
format, then we should not display that dialog.


More information about the LibreOffice mailing list