Issue 97237 - mailmerge: when browsing for DBF files, user should be allowed to select a character set
Summary: mailmerge: when browsing for DBF files, user should be allowed to select a ch...
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: code (show other issues)
Version: DEV300m38
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: usability
Depends on:
Reported: 2008-12-14 02:32 UTC by mhatheoo
Modified: 2017-05-20 11:15 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description mhatheoo 2008-12-14 02:32:54 UTC
Found when DBF-files used as datasource in writer:

Summary says it:
character-decoding is wrong
characters above 7-bit-Ascii will be treated as 8-bit-UNICODE
So display of field-labels and content is broken 
(example german Umlaut Ä will be displayed as Ž)

P2 - as OO.o can not deal with DBASE-files anymore

Comment 1 mhatheoo 2008-12-14 02:34:21 UTC
sorry forgotten
OO.o 3.0 m13

Comment 2 Frank Schönheit 2008-12-14 18:35:14 UTC
Care to attach sample files (.odb & .dbf)? Without knowing at least the settings
you made in the database document, this issue is hardly confirm, deny, or fix.
Comment 3 mhatheoo 2008-12-14 20:51:42 UTC
frank, there is no place to set anything in that.
System is DE on WIN2K.
DBF-files need to be decoded by CP 437 
(note ANSI and ASCII is a diffence in other languages only) 
UNICODE-8 is use wrong
Comment 4 Frank Schönheit 2008-12-14 23:48:16 UTC
> frank, there is no place to set anything in that.

Edit / Database / Properties / Additional Settings
Comment 5 mhatheoo 2008-12-15 19:19:59 UTC
ah - I see - and worked, but I am not safisified with that.

First, from writer-menues there is not such setting DATABASE or PROPERTIES available

Going directly to EXCHANGE DATABASE does not open a DBF-files directly but
starts the build of the ODB-files, which gives the opportunity to do the
appropriate settings. Okay, for a simple DBF-file quite a lot of overhead, first
to build the ODB-"container", do the settings, and after selecting that
"container" choosing the TABLE, allinall not very userfriendly.
And wasn't it, that dbf-files should be opened directly, with doing the
appropriate settings (Codepage) directly in the destination/writer-file? 

However, SYSTEM and UNICODE are nonsens for the defaults of DBF-files, so manual
setting is always needed,  and as there is no place to store the CP-settings in
advance, I treat this still as a defect.

And not to forget: The Help gives no information about that! 

But - ofcorse, having a workaround makes it P3 only, so I set that back.

As the content of the data-browser from "F4" and the "" may vary  -
while a refresh-feature for F4-windows is missing - something need to be done in
that anyhow.   

Comment 6 Frank Schönheit 2008-12-16 09:50:22 UTC
Okay, your last comment indicates you did something with mail merge, or database
fields in Writer, which wasn't clear to me at all.

Do you mind adding a step-by-step description of what you're doing to show the

I believe you that there is a problem, but I still didn't understand where
exactly it lies. I suppose that somewhere in the work flow, OOo should ask you
for an encoding, but I am not sure where. So please be as detailed and precise
as possible with your problem description.
Comment 7 mhatheoo 2008-12-17 01:35:10 UTC

yes, it is about fields in a writer-page like forms/serialletters, just reading.
the idea was to have multiple dbf-files with one record only, where the dbf is
build from a DOS-application

my standard-procedure is like this
-- have a central directory for all dbf-files
-- produce the one needed an copy it to that dir
-- open old writer-form with fields
-- save as new 
-- exchange database
---- browse to new DBF and choose it
---- select desired table in that
---- "define"
-- start F4 from writer
-- select the new "DBF" (which is ofcorse the ODB)
-- right-click and choose edit database
-- Base-Module opens - choose table
-- select properties/additional settings 
-- set code-page to CP 437/US (manual select out of 50 items)(default is SYSTEM)
-- click ok and close/save that odb
-- close with F4 (settings are not refreshed)
-- open f4 again
finish - working (a long way - isnt it)

at least two problems
-- the CP-settings needs to be done always as above
-- the browser-window will be overcrowed soon, as every as source choosen ODB is
in there.

the most prefered method would be to have to set the defaults in TOOLS/OPTIONS,
but there seems to be no place to do that. 

Byetheway: that dbf-directory is also accessable via ODBC as a single
datasource.That will show all dbf-files with the right codepage at once.
frankly, I treat that way as more comfortable, athough using the propriative
build-in DBase-driver has it's pros.

Comment 8 Frank Schönheit 2009-01-08 19:24:50 UTC
as for your last comment: That's a shortcoming of the integration of Base in
Writer. Base itself is fully capable of treating a folder as collection of
tables, represented by single .dbf files. For this, just go to
Edit/Database/Properties when you have the .odb open, and change the location to
a folder instead of a single file. Just writer doesn't seem to offer folder
browsing in this place ...

For the original problem: That's a shortcoming of Writer, too. I changed the
summary accordingly, changed the issue type to ENHANCEMENT (since this is what
we really have here: a request for enhancement), added the "usability" keyword
(since I agree that's a usability issue), confirmed the issue as valid problem,
and assigned it to the responsible developer.

fs->os: Your's to target, I'd say.
Comment 9 Oliver Specht 2009-01-12 16:06:04 UTC
Target set to 3.x
Comment 10 Marcus 2017-05-20 11:15:43 UTC
Reset assigne to the default "".