Documents open in read only mode

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Documents open in read only mode

Postby gm-it » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:52 pm

Hi there...

Firstly let me apologise if this has been asked before. I have done a good search in the forum and I struggled to find anything that answered my question sufficiently.

Version I'm using: 3.1
O/S : Windows XP (all users on network)

I have a few users on my company network that run office 2007. We only have a few licenses as these are for the power users. As a work around with regard to pricing we are starting to test the viability of rolling out Open Office to our simple users, but thus far it's been a bit difficult. Open Office 3.1 doesn't seem to gel with Microsoft office very well, or maybe it's just me.

I had a colleague send me file types from the office 2007 suite. So I got an email with docx, docm, pptm, pptx, xlsx and xlsm files attached. This was to do a test to see how OO handles office 2007 files. So far it seems ok EXCEPT that all the files open in read only mode. It's counter productive to first save a copy of a document to then have it lose it's read only attribute. If I open a non read only file then why does it open as read only?

If you look at the windows properties of the files (right click, properties) they aren't read only or hidden or any other undesirable attribute. They're just normal office 2007 file types.

Can someone please attempt to shed some light on why these files choose to open as read only when they're not read only to begin with ?

Many thanks...

Regards,

gm-it
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:16 pm

Yes, this is by designed. See here why: [Solved] Email attachment or Avoid read-only opening of csv files.

Note that there several topics here about users having edited an attachment directly and then having lost the file after closing their mail client: the modified file had been cleaned from the temporary files!

Thanks to add '[Solved]' at beginning of your first post title (edit button) if your issue has been fixed.
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby gm-it » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:19 am

Hey...

Thanks for your reply.

Ok so I understand that I need to save a document from email to the desktop to get it so it doesn't run in read only mode. The problem is that even if I copy it to the desktop it still opens as read only. If I open calc and click on "open" and import the data into calc then obviously it works but when using Microsoft office I can open a document straight from email and it doesn't open in read only mode.

So why does OO do this? It is counter productive for me to have to change the way my simple users work when opening documents from email. If this can't be changed then we won't be able to use OO.

Is there no way to change a setting within OO to make it so that the software never opens a file read only UNLESS the file has read only attributes?

Thank you...
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby gm-it » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:00 am

Hi guys...

I'm not getting any answers from any of you. Does this that none of you know why this is happening? Or is it a case of no one has read my post? I desperately need an answer and nowhere I go do I find an answer.

It's got nothing to do with admin right as I am the IT administrator for the company and I rule the roost so to say so please don't suggest admin rights fixes. Also, please don't suggest to import the data by running the OO software first as this is completely counter productive OR suggest to change file attributes as this is also not the problem.

I have read forums a plenty byt the thousands and no one anywhere knows how to fix this problem. I don't want to have to import data into the software for it to work I want seamless operation just like Microsoft Office.

With MS Office, when I open a document from ANY location it doesn't open read only.

I would like OO to work like MS office, if this cannot be done then we can't use it in our company. Please can someone help?

Many thanks in advance guys for any help you can offer...

:-)
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:54 pm

gm-it wrote:Ok so I understand that I need to save a document from email to the desktop to get it so it doesn't run in read only mode. The problem is that even if I copy it to the desktop it still opens as read only.

How do you save the file on the desktop? From your mail client or do you open it first from OOo? Could it be the latter? If so, OOo may save also the read-only attribute. Whereas saving from the mail client should not do it.
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby gm-it » Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:10 pm

Hi there....

I tried first by opening any office document from email as attachment. Any document opens read only

I tried saving any office document from email OR network location to the desktop and running it like that and it still opens read only

I tried opening OO software then clicking on "open" and selecting each file that way and then it opens normally without read only BUT can you imagine how frustrated my users are going to be when they have to, just to get full access to a document, go through a three step process as opposed to a one step process? No good or productive...

So to answer more directly your question, saving directly from mail client opens as read only. So either way I'm not getting the software to act as I need it. I don't want OO to ever open a file in read only mode UNLESS the file has read only windows properties...
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:01 pm

Strange, I've never experienced that with Thunderbird on xubuntu, Lotus Notes on W2k or Outlook on XP (but with 2.x versions only for XP). Sorry, no idea.
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby gm-it » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:03 pm

cool, no worries...I have most forums stumped. Thanks for trying anyway :)
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby acknak » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:30 pm

I don't want OO to ever open a file in read only mode UNLESS the file has read only windows properties...

As far as I know, this is exactly the situation you have now.

If you're reading an email that has an attachment, and you save the attachment as a file in (e.g.) "My Documents", and OOo opens that document in read-only mode, then there are only two possibilities: either the email client has saved the file without write permissions, or the document itself was marked by its author as "read-only". Since the second option seems unlikely, I strongly suspect that your email client is responsible for the "read-only" status.

An attachment to an email message has no permission settings at all, so the only way the attachment can have any properties (other than the system defaults) is if the email software sets them.

Try saving an attachment to a file, in a folder that you normally use for documents, and check the file's properties. I think you'll find that the mail client has made the file read-only.

BTW, if you open a document directly from the email client, and OOo opens it as "read-only", then you are safe to simply do that--you don't have to save the attachment first. The danger occurs when the email client doesn't mark the temporary file as "read-only" and the user goes ahead and edits the temporary file, which is then deleted by the email client.

So, when you double-click on the attachment, and OOo opens a file as "read-only", you can simply click on the "Edit File" button on the toolbar. OOo will remind you that the document can't be changed, and allow you to edit a copy instead. Then, when you save the document, OOo will prompt for a location and you can save it in a safe place.

I'm not saying that's the best approach--it's better to understand the problem and deal with it directly by saving the attachment. I'm only saying that it's a simpler alternative that should be just as safe.

This all works so poorly because email was never designed as a file-transfer, or file-sharing, tool. It works better in MS Office because MS controls the entire stack (OS, email client, word processor), so they can make it work any way they like. Everything's rosy.
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby gm-it » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:20 pm

Hi there...

Thank you very much for your reply. Your answer closed this chapter for me. So we're not going to roll out OO after all. MS Office then it is. Thanks for your help :-)

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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby mitava » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:35 pm

Open this message's attachment in Outlook not from preview panel, but open directly from message, then no problems edit it ans save!
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby jason412 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:58 pm

gm-it -
I agree, having files open from the e-mail client (I use Outlook 2003) as read-only is just plain annoying - most of the time I just want to open the attachment and sort it or play with a formula and never save the document. That being said there is a way to easily edit the document without saving it; simply click the "Edit" button (directly to the right of the "Document As Email" button) and OO will ask if you want to open a copy. You will not have to save the copy, you can simply close without saving once you're done. I found this to be a big help - mitava's suggestion of opening the email and then opening the attachment also works nicely.

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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby acknak » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:59 pm

Thanks for mentioning the "Edit" toolbar button again--it is definitely the easiest and best way to handle this situation.

... having files open from the e-mail client (I use Outlook 2003) as read-only is just plain annoying...

The problem is that, if the document isn't read-only, the door is wide open for people to lose their work. They edit the document, possibly making extensive changes, saving their work, and everything looks perfectly normal. But when the attachment returns to the control of the mail client, it promptly deletes the modified document--gone; adios; no warning--goodbye.

None of that is controlled by OOo; it's all handled by the email client. It's not a good solution, but at least when the email client makes the temporary file read-only, it prevents people from losing their work outright.
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby jason412 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:40 pm

acknak - You have a valid point and I understand why it is designed this way but I think the problem is with Microsoft Office users. There are millions of MS Office users that simply open their documents from Outlook and are able to edit them in Excel / Word. I understand from other posts that this is possible because of the tight integration between the OS, the e-mail client, and the office software (all produced by MS) and not possible with OpenOffice because it is designed to run on so many platforms and has no control over the e-mail client.

I'm not suggesting that OpenOffice should be able to handled this but it seems that many OOo-people can't seem to understand that for an MS Office user this IS annoying - it just is - And until I found the Unlock button on the toolbar this was something preventing me from rolling this out in my company. Just constructive criticism, trying to help you see it from the view of an MS Office user.

Thanks -
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby acknak » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:29 am

Just constructive criticism, trying to help you see it from the view of an MS Office user.

Of course.

You do realize that no one here can do anything beyond sympathize with you, right? We're just users helping other users use the software. We don't make any decisions or implement any changes.

If you want to make an official suggestion, please do: [Tutorial] Reporting bugs or suggestions

I am curious about one thing: when a MS Office user "just edits" an attachment from the inbox, and saves changes, where do the changes go? Is the attachment sitting in the user's inbox modified? Is the original version kept somewhere?
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby Buggrit » Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:00 pm

When a Microsoft user edits an attachment. the original attachment is just edited. This means that when they close the document / spreadsheet etc. it saves to the original attachment location, overwriting the attached file. this behaviour is the same as if file had been opened by double clicking it from explorer in the normal way. Why it should be any different for OOo, is a mystery to me. Does anyone have any ideas as to how we could fiddle under the bonnet to emulate this intuitive functionality which just comes as standard in MS Office.

The posts above are correct, it really is annoying for my ex MS Office users.

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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby acknak » Thu Oct 01, 2009 4:43 pm

When a Microsoft user edits an attachment. the original attachment is just edited. ...Why it should be any different for OOo, is a mystery to me.

It's different because MS is in control of your system software (Windows), your email software (Outlook), your browser (IE), and your office suite (MS Office). They can literally do anything to make those make those software components cooperate to support some feature, without being constrained by how it affects anyone else, and regardless of whether the solution actually makes sense. In fact, MS' goal is to make useful features like this that are only available when you buy everything from them.

I can't edit the messages in my inbox--I can only edit copies of them. Why would I expect to be able to edit the attachment without making a copy of it?
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby eltimbalino » Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:54 am

It seems to me that the obvious solution is to make it default that any attached document that is not read only by nature, is opened as an editable copy. That way the only difference for MS users would be that when they closed or saved their attachment after editing they would be prompted for a location to save it in. It would be good if it defaulted to the file path of the attached document if available.

[Have not sent this to bug reports/suggestions, am at work with limited time. If you read this and have time, please do suggest this and also note it as a reply so we don't duplicate.]
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby acknak » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:20 am

There is an open issue for this: Issue 73155: Reconsideration of read-only mode
You can register there and add your vote (up to two) or comment.

It really is a tough decision because the user is trying to do something reasonable, yet is against the rules: they expect to edit a document coming from a location that is completely read-only. Still, it seems clear that OOo's current behavior does not lead to a good experience for the users.
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby RxScram » Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:32 pm

If anybody in this discussion still needs the answer, here it is:

1. Open from the "Tools" menu the "Options" item.
2. Go to the "Advanced" pane and select the "General" tab.
3. Click "Config editor" and confirm the security warning.
4. Search for "browser.helperApps.deleteTempFileOnExit" and if you find it, double click it and set the value to False.
4. If you don't find it, right click into the main area, choose "New" > "Boolean", add "browser.helperApps.deleteTempFileOnExit" as name and choose "False" as value.

This will allow documents to open and be editable. You still have to save them someplace if you want to keep the changes, but that is expected.
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby Villeroy » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:03 am

When a Microsoft user edits an attachment. the original attachment is just edited.

This is ridiculous. Can you edit the mail as well? I don't want to edit anything that has been sent to me. I detach the file and edit a copy of it. Furthermore, OOo does not extract the file from the mail. It is the mail program which extracts the mail to a temporary directory and then passes the file to OOo.
This is exactly why MS software has such a bad reputation.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby doug0909 » Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:17 am

I'm using OpenOffice 3.3 and there is no "Advanced" option after I go to Tools/Options. What do I do? Thanks...
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Re: Documents open in read only mode

Postby acknak » Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:11 pm

doug0909 wrote:I'm using OpenOffice 3.3 and there is no "Advanced" option after I go to Tools/Options. What do I do? Thanks...

The steps given above are for the Mozilla Thunderbird email client application; they don't apply to OOo.

Note that those steps do not solve the larger problem, they only prevent the email client from deleting temporary files that the user has edited.
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