Bug 102515 - Save As dialog missing "All Formats" entry in file format drop down list [Windows]
Summary: Save As dialog missing "All Formats" entry in file format drop down list [Win...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
5.2.0.4 release
Hardware: All Windows (All)
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsDevEval, topicUI
Depends on:
Blocks: File-Dialog
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Reported: 2016-09-26 02:57 UTC by Joel Madero
Modified: 2016-09-28 10:00 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

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Description Joel Madero 2016-09-26 02:57:11 UTC
In Linux by default when you save as you'll see that the format drop down on the bottom right says "All Formats". This is not available in Windows so the default is open document format (odf).

This can cause some confusion because in Linux if you save something as "test.doc" then it automatically saves it as a Windows 97/03 document format. In Windows on the other hand, when you save as "test.doc" it actually saves the file as an odf, not as a Windows 97/03 document format. This gets further confusing when you look at that odf file (saved as "test.doc") in Windows Explorer because the extension is actually "doc" which makes Windows Explorer show the file as a Microsoft Office file, not a LibreOffice file. 

To make things even more confusing, if you open that file in Microsoft Office 2013, no warnings come up that it's an odf file - but Microsoft's support of ODF is nonsense and causes some headaches with maintaining formatting and what not. User opens a file that he/she believes is a Microsoft Office file format, opens with all the formatting screwed up in Office 2013, thinks that LibreOffice broke something, never is the wiser that the file is actually an odf file. Open the same file in Office 2010 and you of course get the error that MS Office provides showing that the file is ODF file format and not fully supported.
Comment 1 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2016-09-26 21:29:46 UTC
This definitely is a UX problem for users who simply type in the file format extension they want to save to and LO places an odf format file within a different file extension.

Similar to having the 'Confirm File Format' dialog that appears when you save to any format other than odf, there should be a similar dialog that appears if the user uses a file extension that isnt equivalent to the file extension selected in the file format drop down list.

@steve, @alex: Does the save as dialog have an 'All Formats' entry at the top?
Comment 2 Heiko Tietze 2016-09-27 06:47:23 UTC
In bug 95309 a similar issue is being discussed: Insert>Image has an entry "all files" but doesn't list them. So the question is how we handle the file access in general, meaning do we list file types separately or rather start with a summarizing entry (e.g. all documents, all images etc.).

Typically the file extension is added to the filename under Windows. That means the file called "test.doc" is saved as "test.doc.odt" when the first entry ODT is active. This behavior would be accordant with the checkbox "automatic file name extension" (we could remove it from the UI). In case of "test.odt" no tweaking of the filename is necessary since the extension fits the selection.

Jay's suggestion, and the ODF confirmation too, slows down the workflow and is annoying for people that intentionally save files in a certain format. It works but is IMHO the second best solution.

And last but not least the type could be chosen automatically from the extension. So when the user wants to save "test.doc" the file is saved in W97 format. It's also well known, esp. in image processors where various file types are usual. The drawback is that the user a) does not get feedback, and b) may not be aware of the various extension-type combinations. And since documents are not container like images the extension is more relevant.
(Side note: Double-checking this with Mspaint the result of filename test.bmp saved with the active type png results in a bmp containing a png. Not a big deal for images though.)

My recommendation is to go with door #1 and to automatically add the right extension. Behind all others doors are Zonks.
Comment 3 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2016-09-28 09:54:46 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #2)
> In bug 95309 a similar issue is being discussed: Insert>Image has an entry
> "all files" but doesn't list them. So the question is how we handle the file
> access in general, meaning do we list file types separately or rather start
> with a summarizing entry (e.g. all documents, all images etc.).

Well the behaviour of open and save dialogs would be different, as with open dialogs you are selecting a file that already exists and with the save dialog you are creating a new filename. I've given my comments around the open dialog issue in bug 95309 and bug 79803.

> Typically the file extension is added to the filename under Windows. That
> means the file called "test.doc" is saved as "test.doc.odt" when the first
> entry ODT is active. This behavior would be accordant with the checkbox
> "automatic file name extension" (we could remove it from the UI). In case of
> "test.odt" no tweaking of the filename is necessary since the extension fits
> the selection.

This doesnt happen, test.doc.odt, which is why the issue has arisen. Automatic file name extension auto inserts the correct file extension on the filename when a users uses selects a format in the 'save as type' listbox.

> Jay's suggestion, and the ODF confirmation too, slows down the workflow and
> is annoying for people that intentionally save files in a certain format. It
> works but is IMHO the second best solution.

Thankfully the ODF confirmation dialog has a checkbox to cancel it showing up again. My suggest is to have the same behaviour as we have in linux and a fallback for novice users who unintentionally save a particular format in the wrong file extension file, like what Joel was doing.