Why is confluence cloud's export to Word feature creating an email?

StewartMcs
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April 8, 2023

As of today, 8th April 2023, when I try to export a Confluence cloud page to a Word document it fails.

Instead of producing a Word document, the .doc file actually contains what looks like an email definition with the Confluence page embedded as the email body.

Just for reference, exporting to Word from Jira is working correctly.

The following shows the start of the generated content. (I've manually put in line breaks for the first few lines.)

Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2023 09:59:42 +0000 (UTC) 
Message-ID: <178712332.99.1680947982767@d9cbff8fc8da>
Subject: Exported From Confluence MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/related;
boundary="----=_Part_98_804253206.1680947982767" ------=_Part_98_804253206.1680947982767
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Location: file:///C:/exported.html
<html xmlns:o=3D'urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office' xmlns:w=3D'urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word' xmlns:v=3D'urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml' xmlns=3D'urn:w3-org-ns:HTML'> <head> <meta http-equiv=3D"Content-Type" content=3D"text/html; charset=3Dutf-8= ">
<title>My Title</title> <!--[if gte mso 9]> <xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:TargetScreenSize>1024x640</o:TargetScreenSize> <o:PixelsPerInch>72</o:PixelsPerInch> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Print</w:View> <w:Zoom>90</w:Zoom> <w:DoNotOptimizeForBrowser/> </w:WordDocument> </xml>

 

2 answers

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Paul Courtney
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May 22, 2023

Hi @StewartMcs I was actually surprised to see this pop up so quickly in my Google Search just now. I downloaded doc files from Confluence and then attempted to open them with Google Docs but that request was refused; I figured that the reason was the old Word Doc binary format. It was only when I opened the file with BBEdit that I saw that in fact the file was text and, as you point out, appeared to be more related to emails. This is a screenshot of the top of an export of the Meeting Notes Template.

@Alex Koxaras _Relational_ I don't really understand your response above. The format of the file exported has nothing to to with either the Doc or the Docx format and this is not being rendered "faithfully" by any application I've tried thus far. And when I get rid of text before the html tag and open it as an html file, the file does open as an html file, but very poorly formatted. This is a bug, it is not a feature!

Screenshot 2023-05-22 at 11.40.22 AM.png

Alex Koxaras _Relational_
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May 22, 2023

@Paul Courtney I've never search that deep for information regarding export to a doc file. For my purposes and job, this export feature works as intended. It could do a bit more with some extra feature, but overall I'm happy with it. I'm using word and it opens without any problem.

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Alex Koxaras _Relational_
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April 8, 2023

Hi @StewartMcs 

I've tested it and was able to reproduce it. I'm not familiar of how confluence renders an html page to a word file, but I would expect to have certain metadata on it. I changed the extension of a normal word file, and inside it I saw various things about "style", "xlm" etc. So it's not just a txt file, but a "rich" txt file which contains additional info. I would assume the same thing confluence does.

Paul Courtney
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May 22, 2023

BTW, @Alex Koxaras _Relational_ this is a well known bug in Confluence that has been around since 2015. 

Basically, unless the use has MS Office of some type, they are unable to actually open the "doc" file. No other application has the faintest idea what to do with this format other than MS Word. Silly and ridiculous.

Alex Koxaras _Relational_
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May 22, 2023

@Paul Courtney I understand your frustration, but besides that bug you found and me suggesting you to vote and watch it for updates, there's nothing else I could do. One user in the thread has a workaround that could be of interest to you:

  1. Export page as Word Doc
  2. Rename extension .doc -> .eml
  3. Google search eml -> docx
  4. Convert document

But I wouldn't see this bug getting fixed anytime soon, not unless it gathers more attention from other people as well.

Carl Stewart June 10, 2024

This is still happening over a year later.

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