Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Importing OpenOffice files into Google Documents: Don't.

OR: what to do when Google Docs screws up your formatting (see end)
Seriously, don't do it.

First of all, the file upload size is much too small -- there's some ridiculously small cap, like 500kb. I got a document here, 1.1MB -- all text -- that just can't be imported. So now I got some documents in Google Docs, some documents out.

Secondly, and most importantly, Google Docs totally fucks up imported styles. Witness:

Now dude, I love me some Google Docs, but that just isn't fun. The only way to fix it, as far as I can tell, is to just "rewrite" those particular lines all over again. But I've got an entire document full of them and it ain't pretty business.

If I could do it all over again I'd just do a massive C/P job, which seems to preserve the formatting.

Still, it's not enough to make me give up Google Documents, which is excellent. I just hope they keep better backups than I do.


I've cleverly deduced that for some parts of the document, Google Docs doesn't have a font set -- eg, you click into a paragraph and the 'font' drop-down is empty. If you select all of the document contents and set the font to something like Veranda for the whole document, it seems to correct the graphical glitches. Of course now the document doesn't look quite right, and it's still missing the linebreaks that the original document had, but at least now it's readable -- and, editable.

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