Android app: Editing a copy always required for every file


I’m using the Collabora Office app on Android to edit ods spreadsheets (version on my phone, and version on my tablet).

Every time I open a spreadsheet, it opens in read-only, and I am forced to create a copy every single time.
Tapping the blue button with the pen triggers a popup stating that the document is read-only (it’s not read-only at system level), and I’m given the choice to make a copy (or cancel the editing).
I make a copy to edit the document. I edit, save, close the file, reopen the file, and it’s read-only again after tapping the blue button with the pen. So if I want to edit, I have to make a new copy of the document.

It doesn’t matter what app created the ods file. And it does not seem to matter where the file is located on my Android device.

How do I open a file and edit it without having to create a copy each time?

Best wishes,

Hey @Aline, welcome to the forum + thanks for the questions. :slight_smile:

Definitely update your phone to the latest version.

21.11 was ancient, and a ton of things have been fixed since then.

Hmmm, well, that’s definitely not normal.

Q1. And same thing happens in both your devices?

Q2. Can you give a little more info on:

  • What exact devices are they?
    • What OS versions?
  • The 3-line menu > About info from Collabora app.

Q3. And is this a problem with ALL your documents? Or only old ODS files you’ve carried over from other versions?

Q4. Where are you saving this copy file to? Do you know which folder?


Thanks for the follow-up.

I updated to the newest version on both my phone and tablet (removing the app, rebooting, reinstalling the app). Some things changed in the interface, but the read-only file problem is still there.
I’m now running Collabora Office for Android.

My phone has Android 13, and my tablet Android 10, and both are Samsung devices using One UI.
For both, the issue happens with every single file (I only tested calc, in the rest of this post “file” refers to an ods spreadsheet), and it doesn’t matter if I created the file on my desktop (with LibreOffice) or directly on the Android device with Collabora Office. It also doesn’t matter if the file is stored in the internal file system (Documents, Downloads, etc.) or on the Micro SD card. And it does not matter where I put the copy of the file either when I’m forced to edit a copy: The next time I open the file, I have to make a new copy.

However, I managed to find a reproduction recipe.

The problem happens when I open a file directly from the Android file system. The problem doesn’t happen when I open a file from within Collabora Office.

For my devices, the recipe is as follows:

  1. With the Android file explorer, navigate to a file and open it with Collabora Office
  2. The file opens, it’s shown as read-only (orange tag on the interface)
  3. Tap the pen in the blue button to edit. A popup comes up stating that the file is read-only. Create a copy as requested. (Expected: The file is not read-only, and I can edit the file without making a copy)
  4. The copy opens. Edit the copy with the pen in the blue button and add some text. Save the file.
  5. Close the file & Collabora Office. Start over at step 1 using the edited file from step 4. The exact same steps will need to be executed, and a new copy is created.
  6. Close Collabora Office. Open Collabora Office. From the Collabora Office interface, open the file from step 1 or step 4. Edit the file. Save the file. (Observed result: The file is edited directly and is not read-only. I do not have to make copies.)

I’m curious to hear if you can observe the same bahavior.

For my devices, the workaround is to open the file from the Collabora Office interface, but to me, it looks like there could be a bug or a not totally handy interaction with the file system (such as: the file system not releasing the file to give Collabora Office edit rights, or Collabora Office not claiming those. Just guessing here, though…).

Please let me know if you need more information (and if I need to report a bug somewhere).

Best wishes,

1 Like