Issue 5091 - Text fields and UI missing for custom properties
Summary: Text fields and UI missing for custom properties
Alias: None
Product: General
Classification: Code
Component: code (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.0.0
Hardware: PC All
: P3 Trivial with 20 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: OOo 2.4
Assignee: michael.ruess
QA Contact: issues@sw
Keywords: ms_interoperability, oooqa
: 5103 10116 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2002-05-21 09:13 UTC by jdalcolmo
Modified: 2008-01-11 13:39 UTC (History)
6 users (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: TASK
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---

This MS Word file shows custom properties, not imported into OOo (57.50 KB, application/msword)
2002-05-21 09:27 UTC, jdalcolmo
no flags Details
MSWord document with custom properties that writer is unable to convert (47.50 KB, application/msword)
2007-09-28 15:00 UTC, simonegirlanda
no flags Details
untested potential patch to show the missing user fields in the 2nd doc (8.32 KB, patch)
2007-10-02 09:53 UTC, caolanm
no flags Details | Diff
Screenshot of patched OOo2.3 with support for custom fields (113.35 KB, image/png)
2007-10-13 16:57 UTC, Mathias_Bauer
no flags Details

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Description jdalcolmo 2002-05-21 09:13:45 UTC
The MS Word File Properties found under under the Custom tab,
which are accessible within MS Word using the menue "file->properties"
and then the custom tag, are not imported to ooowriter.

In our company we use these custom file properties as parameters for
fields in the document (document name, revision etc.). 
Importing such documents results in OOo documents, with missing field entries.

OOo has a similar feature called "user defined file properties". It would
be good if these are made compatible and being converted (import and export)

- Josef
Comment 1 jdalcolmo 2002-05-21 09:27:09 UTC
Created attachment 1715 [details]
This MS Word file shows custom properties, not imported into OOo
Comment 2 stefan.baltzer 2002-11-26 17:10:38 UTC
Reassigned to Michael.
Comment 3 michael.ruess 2002-11-28 08:55:50 UTC
General [Star|Open]Office problem. Only four user defined properties
are allowed. So somehow OpenOffice would have support for more
userdefined fields in the doc properties, an import could be possible.
MRU->FT: what about enhancing our doc properties?
Comment 4 michael.ruess 2002-11-28 09:59:06 UTC
*** Issue 5103 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 5 falko.tesch 2003-10-01 11:27:03 UTC
Enhance OO.o document properties to match those of MS Office.
Note: This is a generic MS Office filter issue.
Comment 6 falko.tesch 2003-10-01 11:27:19 UTC
Comment 7 lohmaier 2003-10-01 14:44:54 UTC
added keyword ms_interoperability
Comment 8 falko.tesch 2003-10-01 15:39:30 UTC
*** Issue 10116 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 9 bettina.haberer 2004-04-08 22:14:36 UTC
Hello Andreas, is your team working on enhancing the file properties? Please
give approval for this evaluated OO.o 2.0 flagged issue. 
If you confirm with the target OO.o 2.0, then please keep it on your owner (or
the owner of the concerning developer) for implementation. In case you want this
issue for 'OOo Later', then please reset the target milestone. If you decline
the issue finally, please set the resolution to 'Wontfix' (but do not close). In
case of 'OOo Later' or 'Wontfix' please reset it on Bettina's owner. Thank you.
Comment 10 michael.ruess 2004-05-06 14:29:52 UTC
Re-targeted to OO later.
Comment 11 diegoc 2005-03-25 19:19:00 UTC
Suspect duplicates are 17733, 25915 and maybe other ones.

I fully agree with a comment in 17733 by pschatz100: also in my organization the
Word file properties are used the same way and I suspect that there are many
other organizations that uses file properties this way. It's a comfortable way
to put metadata on documents: metadata are the only way, together a complex
folder structure, to organize a large number of documents and link them to
contextes, people, and tasks.

This issue must be solved because it could help position OO as a "professional"
suite like Microsoft Office is considered. This is not optional, I think.

I propose to break this issue in two parts: the first one, to be done in OO 2.0,
which let properties were they are without touching them but also without the
possibility to edit them (remember that actually it's a "data loss" issue type,
it's a bug from mt point of view); in the second part, optional, add a feature
to edit them.
Comment 12 andreas.martens 2005-03-29 13:25:22 UTC
I raised the priority. After reading this issue and the mentioned duplicates I'm
convinced that these properties are used by several potential customers (esp.
Comment 13 debyld 2006-07-28 03:41:22 UTC
Yes, using Words custom properties would be very useful and even if they are not
the fact that the data is lost is very bad for interoptability.

I would like to suggest that this issue is changed to be a defect and give it an
actual target milestone as it is still a problem in 2.x

Comment 14 bgoncalves 2006-08-17 10:46:41 UTC
OO Writer 2.0.3 is almost there.

Until this compatibility is completely provided it is hard to switch from MS
Word do OO Writer.
1. My company use MS Word to produce documentation, as many companies do (view
issue 5091).
2. Every document has at least 6 Custom Fields.
3. If I edit a document in Writer I will lose all these Custom Fields.

Please check my simple test:

1. import Word document with Custom Fields to Writer 2.0.3
2. in Writer save document as Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP (.doc)

. After step 1: the Custom Fields are successfully imported to Writer as
Variables and are dynamic in text in page.

. After step 2: the Variables are successfully exported to Word as Custom Fields
BUT ARE NOT dynamic in text, i.e., the variable text is all static in the page!

I believe this issue is related or a duplicate of issues 64516 and 17733.
Comment 15 Mathias_Bauer 2006-08-28 09:22:32 UTC
It's related to them. Since OOo 2.0.3 we are able to import the Word document
variables but we still don't have text fields for them.
Comment 16 Mathias_Bauer 2007-04-12 08:06:13 UTC
I changed the summary according to my last comment
Comment 17 simonegirlanda 2007-09-28 09:13:35 UTC
Whe use "Custom Properties" of MSWOrd to store documents metadata, these info
are also show in the document (i.e. Project Number, Project Title, Document
revision, etc.).

An windows application create new documents and insert project & revision info.

We need "Custom Properties" or other similar function, in order to migrate to

Comment 18 cno 2007-09-28 09:20:08 UTC
I've gathered some info lately. CDP's are supported currently by OOo.
Anyway in code:

Function AddMyDocProp (sName$, sValue$) as Integer
	Dim vDocInfo, vDocSetInfo

	On Error GoTo ErrorHandler
	vDocInfo = ThisComponent.getDocumentInfo()
	vDocSetInfo = vDocInfo.getPropertySetInfo

	If Not vDocSetInfo.hasPropertyByName(sName) Then
		vDocInfo.addProperty (sName, 0, sValue)
		vDocInfo.setPropertyValue (sName, sValue)
	End If	

	AddMyDocProp = 1
	Exit Function
	AddMyDocProp = - 1
	MyErrMessenger ("AddMyDocProp")
End Function
Comment 19 simonegirlanda 2007-09-28 10:27:41 UTC
I'm confused...

I installed v2.3.0, when I open "custom-properties.doc" I get custom fields, but
when I open another mine document with custom properties, these are not
converted in open office custom fields.
Comment 20 Mathias_Bauer 2007-09-28 11:44:47 UTC
I already wrote it by I will do it another time, maybe this time with a little
bit more details.

OOo supports custom properties and it imports them from MSOffice documents. 
OOo does not have a dialog where these properties can be read or changed or
where properties could be added or removed. This will change in OOo2.4 or 3.0.
OOo does also not have text fields showing custom properties to embedthem into
text document like you can do with the "built in" properties. It's currently
unclear whether this will be available in OOo3.0 but it's also not improbable.
Comment 21 simonegirlanda 2007-09-28 15:00:06 UTC
Created attachment 48587 [details]
MSWord document with custom properties that writer is unable to convert
Comment 22 Mathias_Bauer 2007-09-28 15:03:06 UTC
simonegirlanda: how did you detect that the properties where not converted? The
only way to find that out is to write e.g. a macro. Can you tell me some
property names that you think are not converted?
Comment 23 simonegirlanda 2007-09-28 15:03:28 UTC
May be I'm not able to understand or I'm unable to explain me in English, if so,
please excuse me for spamming this issue.

If I open this document
using OO Writer custom properties ARE present as variables "User Fields" (look
to menu item "Insert | field command | other ... (CTRL-F2)" I'm using Writer
with Italian interface, so my translation of menu items could be incorrect). 

So Writer convert MSWord custom properties (open the same document with MSWord
and you find them in File|Properties|Custom) into Variables.

But if I try to open with Writer this document
custom properties are not converted by writer and are present as normal text.

I'm not interested to save from writer in .DOC format, because I would like to
convert all my documents in ODT format.

I just need to read custom properties of all my old documents.
Comment 24 Mathias_Bauer 2007-09-28 15:28:40 UTC
Thank you, that gives us some material to work with!
Comment 25 caolanm 2007-10-02 09:53:03 UTC
Created attachment 48644 [details]
untested potential patch to show the missing user fields in the 2nd doc
Comment 26 simonegirlanda 2007-10-04 22:23:11 UTC
what can I do (or should I do) with the patched code ?
Comment 27 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-05 08:43:52 UTC
If you're not a developer - nothing. 
The good news is that if cmc is right (and he mostly is ;-)) we have a good
chance to get this issue fixed in 2.4.
Comment 28 simonegirlanda 2007-10-05 09:01:10 UTC
My company is a software-house, but we have no experience in this kind of

May you give me some directions to download and compile source ?
Comment 29 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-05 09:29:14 UTC
If this is such an urgent problem for you we could make a deal. :-)
I can take the patch and build a new version based on OOo2.3. I will hand it
over to you and you do some testing with it.

In case you agree I need to know which operating system you are using.
Comment 30 simonegirlanda 2007-10-05 10:00:11 UTC
The migration from MS-Office to OO is blocked by this problem (seems to be the
only one), so your patch will help me to continue testing.

Our clients PC are now WindowsXP (we will gradually migrate them to linux in the
next year).

Many thanks for your support.
Comment 31 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-11 14:10:39 UTC
The patch works, names are parsed correctly.
Of course we still insert user fields that are not dynamically bound to the
custom properties. This will need another fix in the filter.
I propose to extend SwDocInfoField to support custom properties (by adding a
DI_CUSTOM and a string member for the custom property name). This should be easy
to do in the filter. Of course we also have to think about the field dialog.
Comment 32 cno 2007-10-11 22:05:09 UTC
quote "Of course we also have to think about the field dialog."
@ mba:  You know where to find the cdp's in MsWord? Not in the fields-dialogs.
In the document properties dialog.
Comment 33 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-11 22:36:03 UTC
This is not what I meant. The new tab page for document properties is on the
way. I think we also need a way to insert the field that points to the
properties. And in Writer this is the "Insert Field" dialog.

BTW: I finished Word import, ODF import/export for the new "real" custom fields
and everything looks fine. :-)

Now, as I sad, we need the UI and the Word export, perhaps even HTML im/export.
Comment 34 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-11 23:03:07 UTC
Currently it looks good for 2.4 in case I get the rest fixed. But I'm cautious -
target 2.x for now.
Comment 35 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-13 16:57:36 UTC
Created attachment 48874 [details]
Screenshot of patched OOo2.3 with support for custom fields
Comment 36 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-13 16:59:08 UTC
Just to show something about what I have achieved so far: I attached a
screenshot showing "real" custom fields in the "meeting report.doc" document.
Comment 37 cno 2007-10-13 18:48:08 UTC
Looks good. Indeed also a place where the cdp's must be.
The location makes sence, not something to bother the UX-list with, IMO.
Comment 38 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-25 12:11:02 UTC
In case someone is interested to test the build - I can provide a Windows as
well as a Linux version. Please let me know about that by sending a mail to me
(use my OOo account).
Comment 39 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-25 12:50:26 UTC
Target 2.4
Comment 40 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-28 18:16:09 UTC
Please find archives of a Windows and Linux build at

These are no installation sets, just unpack the content and run the application
from the unpacked folder.

This build should import custom fields from Word documents, save them to ODT
format and reload them again. Word export is not implemented (and it wasn't before).
Comment 41 Mathias_Bauer 2007-11-12 09:33:26 UTC
Thanks to Simone Girlanda and Fredrik Sjöstedt for testing. The feature works as

While testing we discovered that Word treats the property names in a case
insensitive way, e.g. a field named "subject" fits to a property named "Subject".
I'm currently not sure whether we should support that sloppy treatment but
anyway we can add that later. For the moment I think I'm done so we can meet the
feature deadline for 2.4 this week.
Comment 42 Mathias_Bauer 2007-11-12 09:34:31 UTC
Michael, we already have a good testing coverage. So we mainly need the usual
integration testing.
Comment 43 Mathias_Bauer 2007-11-12 17:00:34 UTC
Hint to QA: custom fields are DocumentInfoFields and should appear on the
corresponding tab page.
Comment 44 cno 2007-11-12 17:14:37 UTC
Had in mind to help testing - sorry, didn't make it.

About ".. Word treats the property names in a case insensitive way, e.g. a field
named "subject" fits to a property named "Subject". I'm currently not sure
whether we should support that sloppy treatment but..." :

The same is true for bookmark names. So I'm used Thinking caSe sensiTive :-)
Comment 45 michael.ruess 2007-11-21 13:19:48 UTC
Verified this in CWS customfields. 
Comment 46 michael.ruess 2007-11-21 13:43:33 UTC
Changing issue type to "Task", as long as Writer has been enabled to import this
field properly.
Comment 47 fredriks 2008-01-08 15:32:03 UTC

The solution made by mba was not implemented in the latest release of openoffice.
When can we expect to have a version with this solution implemented?

Also, the related problem with not beeing able to save the now recognized fields
into word document again. When can we have attention on that.

Fredrik Sjöstedt 
Comment 48 Mathias_Bauer 2008-01-08 16:34:39 UTC
The target of this issue is 2.4. So please expect to find the enhancement in
that release.

The word export may be fixed in 3.0, but if time doesn't permit that it's
possible that it will be fixed later. 

Sorry, but predictions are hard, especially about the future. ;-)
Comment 49 michael.ruess 2008-01-11 13:39:38 UTC
Checked in OO 2.4 dev build 680m241.