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warning/error when saving as .doc

asked 2015-09-21 12:18:14 +0200

richardk gravatar image

updated 2015-09-22 14:32:37 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

writer version. 4.4.5.2

When I try to save a file as a word .doc I get the following message :-

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

What am I supposed to do to fix this?
If it knows there's a problem section why doesn't it tell me what it is?
Also what does it mean by "may contain"? isn't it sure?

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First save as ODF, then as every M$ Office format and give the files, ODF included, to LO bug hunters so they can improve the support even further.

rautamiekka gravatar imagerautamiekka ( 2015-09-22 17:45:08 +0200 )edit

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answered 2015-09-22 16:02:32 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

This is the kind of dialog that you are talking about, yes?

image description

LO/OO is not a clone of M$ Office. There are some LO things that will not transfer to M$-Office. You are strongly urged to save in native LO format (eg ODT) & only save to M$-Office format immediately before transfer to use in that program.

LO does it's best to be compatible during save to M$-Office formats, but you most surely know that M$ are notorious for their history of deliberate, criminal acts of deception and/or obfuscation. You will need to keep checking that your document will open successfully in M$O. That will undoubtedly vary according to the precise M$ file-format chosen.

The following may help:-

Feature Comparison between LO-5.0.1 & MS-Office-2013
(EN; the link shows only differences)
Feature Comparison between LO-4.0 & MS-Office-2013
(EN (supposed to be SL); the link shows only differences)

Do not use any LO features that do not appear within M$O & that should help ensure that LO pages look the same under M$O.

"What am I supposed to do to fix this?":

Save in the native LO format (eg ODT) & the problem will go away. Otherwise, refer to the earlier section.

If you want a universal format, try Rich Text Format (RTF). RTF can be opened by every word-processor ever invented on every OS that exists, and should look exactly the same on all of them.

"If it knows there's a problem section why doesn't it tell me what it is?":

That's a damn good question. Why not put in a Feature Request?

Be prepared for disappointment. Coding takes a terrifyingly long time. My first experience of coding was Basic via punched cards on a Big Metal machine in 1973. It took 7 days to get the results ("Parse error"). Things are quicker now than then, but still slow.

"what does it mean by 'may contain'? isn't it sure?":

I suspect that the answer is "No" (though I haven't examined the code). That line in the dialog looks to me exactly like boiler-plate, rather than something triggered by code.

If this helps then please tick the answer (✔)
...and/or show you like it with an uptick ()

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answered 2017-04-19 23:08:52 +0200

Just a warning of incomplete support for the format, it's all hardcoded (haven't checked code).

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answered 2015-09-22 17:42:30 +0200

petermau gravatar image

I read Alex's clear explanation with interest. I think the wording "may contain" is a polite and legal way of saying "almost certainly does contain".

Open Document Format (ODF) is a documented open standard and documents are directly interchangeable with any programs, not just LibreOffice that support these standards. .doc comprise a set (about 6 "Word 97/2000/XP/2003” etc.) of slightly different proprietary standards publicly undocumented and themselves not completely interchangeable. Nor are .doc files actually designed to be interchangeable between systems. I believe LibO uses Word 97 as the most usable across the range. I have a user with two different versions of Word on two systems and can interchange documents only one way using .doc but luckily both ways with LibO and .odt.

Documents I create need .odt format and cannot be saved in any .doc format without losing the majority of formatting. My users either have LibO installed if they need to modify a document, or I use .pdf which is a standard designed for interchange of formatted documents.

Rich Text Format (.RTF) files can be interchanged but only support a subset of function used in Writer. If in doubt you can save the file in .rtf format and then read the file back into Writer to check the formatting... Peter

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I think the wording "may contain" is a polite and legal way of saying "almost certainly does contain".

That is wrong. Writer programmers do not have the time to keep monitoring .doc and .docx files to see what changes Microsoft keeps on making, so Writer literally does not know.

If the document is very simple - eg just text - then all will be saved in the .doc file.

If the file has more complex elements, some of these will not be saved.

Read the Tutorial for full information.

JohnHa gravatar imageJohnHa ( 2017-03-29 13:11:53 +0200 )edit
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answered 2017-03-24 16:15:34 +0200

JohnHa gravatar image

updated 2017-03-29 13:13:03 +0200

See [Tutorial] Differences between MS Word (eg .doc and .docx) and LO files (eg .odt) for a full explanation.

You will notice that Microsoft continuously changes the .doc format (the last change was in 2015) and that Microsoft continuously makes "not-part-of-the-OOXML-standard" additions to .docx files making it very difficult for any other program to maintain compatibility.

For example, Textboxes in .docx files and (partially?) supported by LO, are not part of the OOXML standard.

If this helps then please tick the answer (✔) and/or show you like it with an uptick (∧)

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Asked: 2015-09-21 12:18:14 +0200

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Last updated: Apr 19 '17