doc files

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by kubeek, Jul 15, 2011.

Should the forum stop allowing .doc files?

  1. Yes

    10 vote(s)
    62.5%
  2. No

    6 vote(s)
    37.5%
  1. kubeek

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
    4,670
    804
    What do you guys think about removing the .doc format from the list of supported file types in attachements? I have never seen here a doc file with something else than pictures inside.
    If someone needs to send a text, pdf should be the right way.
     
  2. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    right, but you can't upload PDFs; which may be why people use .doc

    I have found myself before needing to put something into a .doc file because I couldn't upload it here. If I remember correctly, it was a .jpg file. Am I losing my marbles or was .jpg support just added recently?

    I agree, it is pretty annoying when people put a picture in a .doc. I am reluctant to open .doc files from people I don't know, because they can contain a virus.
     
  3. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    2,433
    469
    We can upload PDFs no problem. This is my preferred format for posting detailed text, graphics, formulas and pictures in one file, and PNG is great for pictures alone. Sometimes I use jpg too.

    I think .doc files shouldn't be used. Of all formats, I think it is the worst to use, despite the fact that Word is in such widespread use. One benefit of PDFs is that it (along with .zip) allows the largest file size of 5 MB, while .doc is limited to 2 MB. But, that's a minor issue, as far as disallowing them.

    The bigger issue is that some people won't read them, either because they don't have the software, or because they don't trust them. Personally, I rarely open DOC files unless I'm very familiar with the OP. I think there is too much risk of a virus or malicious script in a doc file, or at least that is my perception from the old days. All programs can print to PDF either by using freely available print drivers (PCs) or as part of the operating system (Mac).
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  4. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
    141
    I think the .doc format should be disallowed; my reasons are 1) not everyone has Word in its nefarious versions and 2) viruses have been known to be sheltered in Word files (10-15 years ago I had a friend have his computer trashed because his (clueless) boss sent him a virus-infected Word file).

    I think the standard should be PDF; not because I have any great love for Adobe (I don't), but because it is a format most widely supported. If you have a Windows, Linux, or Apple machine, there's no excuse for not being able to produce a PDF. Get the PDFCreator printer driver if you're on Windows. Or, just use Open Office on any of those platforms, as it can create PDF files directly.
     
  5. magnet18

    Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
    1,232
    124
    I think it should stay there, I've used it before, when I uploaded my writeup for my plasma speaker project, but I wouldn't really be sad if it was to disappear either.
     
  6. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    2,433
    469
    I wouldn't be sad if they stayed. It's somewhat of a minor issue from my point of view. If I see one posted by someone I'm not familiar with, I won't open it, but if I have a real desire to see it, I can always ask if the OP will convert to PDF.

    I'd be curious to know from the moderators/staff if .doc files are scanned for viruses and malicious scripts before they are posted. If they are scanned first, I'd be much more willing to open them.
     
  7. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    Doh! retraction time.

    How did I never see that? This whole time I've been snapping screenshots of pdf pages and saving as .bmp.

    I guess I need to get with the program.

    Yeah, now that I know that, Down With .DOC!
     
  8. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    737
    150
    And if you find someone on the forum you don't like maybe you should disallow them too.

    Every one can view a .doc file if they will simply avail themselves of the free Word viewer from Microsoft. So it is a lame excuse that everyone doesn't have Word. Maybe I don't have Adobe Reader and don't want to download the free pdf reader therefore want to disallow pdf files. That is about as strong of an argument as the one for disallowing doc files.

    Please tell me where this will end. And if you have up to date antivirus software you shouldn't worry about that problem.
     
  9. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    I have all my vaccinations but I don't go around licking hand rails drinking from abandoned cups. I've had virus issues before despite the fact my virus software was up to date.
     
  10. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    2,433
    469
    You have good points there. But, the bottom line is that some people are much more cautious about opening .doc files, based on past disasters. By allowing this file type, some people (particularly newbies) are not going to even realize that their information is not being viewed by a certain percentage of the members. I don't know what that is percentage is exactly, but this poll may help answer that.

    So, I think that there is a real value to this thread, that doesn't require going down a slippery slope. Perhaps we'll find that the fears are no longer rational and there is no extra risk with .doc, compared to other formats. Or, maybe we'll find that the fears are still rational and the format should be disallowed based on that. Or maybe we'll continue with the status quo, but with more members aware that some people don't like .doc, and they can make a more informed decision about whether it is wise for them to use that format.
     
  11. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
    15,648
    2,347
    Hello,

    I dislike the .doc format, as it needs an external program to open them.
    I also had problems opening .doc files, as they where created with a newer version of word, so I can not read them.
    (I use libre office on a linux PC).
    I would prefer to have the files in .PDF format.
    You can easely create them with programs like DORO-PDF.
    http://doro-pdf-writer.en.softonic.com/
    It acts as a printer driver and creates a PDF of the printed file (no matter what program is used).

    Bertus
     
  12. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    While I don't like .docx files I do use .doc. I don't think they are appropriate for illustrations or graphics, but we get a lot of users here that do use them. When I see it I convert them into a .png file. Personally I don't have a problem with it overall. For graphics I like .gif and .png files, for text I like .doc (not .docx files, which I can not read), and for general purpose I like .pdf. For every thing else I .zip them up, that way they are universal for this site.
     
  13. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
    5,142
    1,266
    See? People usually have compatibility issues with word files, them having either Windows or Linux.
    Besides, a PDF viewer will load much faster than a Word viewer and most of the times its embedded in the browser.
    PDF will also protect the integrity of the original document if the author locks it, so that people can't maim his work and present it altered.

    I vote for PDF.
     
  14. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    So we would dictate what people would use? If they are not familiar with PDF or how to convert their format into PDF they will not be able to participate on this site? Not good.

    I do know .pdf, but you will note I still do not use it. If I am working in a medium that requires text word is my preferred format, and Open Office is available for everyone. Personally I use a version of M/S Office 97 I own.

    All software, including PDF, requires a special package to open them. PDF is easier because it is written that way, but it isn't that special. If the standard were forced on me I still wouldn't use it.

    Think well about what you would insist on here.
     
  15. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    2,433
    469
    Are you saying you don't use PDF at all? How do you read component data sheets? Do you tell the manufacturer to email you a version of the file in .doc format because you don't like having the format dictated to you?

    If there is any format members here should be able to read, or should immediately learn, if they can't read it, it's PDF. The basic need to read component data sheets sets that standard for us.
     
  16. Georacer

    Moderator

    Nov 25, 2009
    5,142
    1,266
    The main concern I have about .doc files is that there are so many standards about them out there that it's difficult to be sure that what you wrote on your computer will be displayed exactly the same in any other.

    For example .docx files can't be read by Office versions prior to 2007. Moreover, .doc files created by MS Office have serious compatibility issues when opened with OpenOffice or LibreOffice. The text just gets !@#$%^ up! Let alone inserting custom equation objects with Mathtype.

    Pdf will clean up your document and make it readable universally. The only problem I sometimes face is the conversion to Pdf of subscripts.

    I know none of us likes change, but sometimes it's for the best of the AAC. Besides, in the end, it will be the Mod's call, not ours.
     
  17. kubeek

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
    4,670
    804
    No, they still have the zip option if they really need to post a DOC or anything else for that matter. And please dont tell me that this way we discriminate those who can´t zip files ;)

    Im just saying we should take it off the "standard files" list, so that people spend a little more time thinking about what they are actually doing before they post a single image contained inside a document.

    I hate DOC files here beacuse word takes much longer to load and parse the file than a pdf reader does. Also AFAIK all new systems with the exception of windows have a PDF reader pre-installed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  18. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    I don't normally say this, but you are twisting my words. I do not print or create PDF files. My ratio is around 1:1000. I use them, but we are talking about what should be allowed to be posted here. In other words, if you can't create PDF and are a new user you are SOL. Go somewhere else, we don't accept your file types here.

    All help is volunteer. If you don't like their post don't participate. They will come around eventually, Word is not an easy system to post graphics in. I have converted more that 10 (100's?) of word files to a more friendly graphic for a new user.

    I do write in Word for some of my articles, and I'm not the only one. Keep in mind it has legitimate uses. To my mind even good uses. Because some people don't like it doesn't mean it should be banned. Like it or not, it is a legitimate file format that can be accessed in Windows or Linux (open office).

    BTW, I learned how to print .pdf at this site, and it was long after I joined. I have learned a lot here, as with electronics people don't come here knowing everything. We teach them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  19. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    2,433
    469
    Yes, and I've never heard of a technical person not installing a free PDF viewer on their Windows system. Mac operating systems also have the "print to PDF" option as a standard part of the system, and print drivers for Windows are freely available. So, it's not unreasonable to expect any computer user that comes here (who is, or wants to be, working in this area) to have the ability to install a print driver and/or use one.

    This is a technical site, so we are expected to be able to do certain things and buy or get certain things. We need meters and scopes and software etc. But, the only good reason (IMO) to completely ban the .doc format is if there is significantly more risk from threats (which I don't know the answer to). Otherwise, banning is not a good idea, but informing people about issues with .doc is still a good idea. As long as the format is safe, we can inform each other and make specific requests for file conversions within threads.

    Either way there will always be those marginal cases where a person who might have tried to helped will skip the thread because of the choice of file format. For example, there is currently a thread about PID control issues where the OP is using .doc file. I didn't participate because smart and informed people already responded, and it didn't seem worth my time (or the OP's time) to make a request for file conversion. However, if the thread went unanswered, I'd probably post a quick answer saying "please convert to PDF and I'll take a look". Still, the OP is not aware that I (and maybe others) skipped reading the details. Who knows if other useful information might have come forth?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  20. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    2,433
    469
    I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to twist them. I was trying to understand them, hence my question, "Are you saying .... ?".
     
Loading...