Bug 40200 (SYLK) - SYLK Ignores Character Limits and Encoding
Summary: SYLK Ignores Character Limits and Encoding
Status: NEW
Alias: SYLK
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) rc
Hardware: All Windows (All)
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL: https://bz.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cg...
Depends on:
Blocks: Save
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2011-08-18 08:05 UTC by Scott M. Sanders
Modified: 2022-09-09 03:53 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:
Regression By:


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Description Scott M. Sanders 2011-08-18 08:05:33 UTC
The SYLK / Symbolic Link / Multiplan format has a character limit per cell of 255 characters. It is also encoded in ANSI.

LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org seem to ignore these, which is OK when used with them but not when you try to open a LibreOffice or OpenOffice.org-exported SYLK file in Excel or another SYLK app.
Comment 1 Scott M. Sanders 2011-08-18 10:04:52 UTC
My exported SYLK files from LibO and OOo seem to be encoded in Windows-1252.

Related: http://openoffice.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=76602
Comment 2 Björn Michaelsen 2011-12-23 12:31:49 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 3 Scott M. Sanders 2011-12-30 07:46:56 UTC
This persists in 3.5.0beta2.
Comment 4 QA Administrators 2015-01-05 17:51:00 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 5 Buovjaga 2015-01-19 10:15:51 UTC
Confirmed this is still the case.

Win 7 Pro 64-bit Version:
Build ID: 5f6bdce0c0ac687f418821ce328f2987bf340cda
TinderBox: Win-x86@62-TDF, Branch:MASTER, Time: 2015-01-17_01:06:46
Comment 6 QA Administrators 2016-02-21 08:34:19 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 7 QA Administrators 2017-03-06 14:52:38 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 8 Thomas Lendo 2018-10-21 20:24:15 UTC
Still reproducible.

Build ID: 3846561f79cf9065abd9ca83c9fbfbe7e52e28e2
CPU threads: 4; OS: Linux 4.15; UI render: default; VCL: gtk3; 
Locale: de-DE (de_DE.UTF-8); Calc: threaded
from today
Comment 9 QA Administrators 2019-10-22 02:31:15 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 10 Julien Nabet 2020-09-08 16:57:45 UTC
ANSI seems to correspond to Windows-1252 (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANSI_character_set).
quotation from Wikipedia:
SYLK does not have support for Unicode. Even if a SYLK file is created by an application that supports Unicode (for example Microsoft Excel), the SYLK file will be encoded in the current system's ANSI code page, not in Unicode. If the application contained characters that were displayable in Unicode but have no code point in the current system's code page, they will be converted to question marks ('?') in the SYLK file.

Wikipedia also indicates 260 for max number of characters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SYmbolic_LinK_(SYLK)) but does it include the format record too or just the cell value? Also what about columns which must be doubled? Do we count the initial string or the string modified?

But the biggest problem is:
"Microsoft does not publish a SYLK specification"
Should we really support it?
Is this still really used?
Perhaps should we remove export part and keep import part?
Comment 11 QA Administrators 2022-09-09 03:53:48 UTC
Dear Scott M. Sanders,

To make sure we're focusing on the bugs that affect our users today, LibreOffice QA is asking bug reporters and confirmers to retest open, confirmed bugs which have not been touched for over a year.

There have been thousands of bug fixes and commits since anyone checked on this bug report. During that time, it's possible that the bug has been fixed, or the details of the problem have changed. We'd really appreciate your help in getting confirmation that the bug is still present.

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