Terribly sorry about the delay in following up on your suggestions.
I didn't mean to just disappear like that. It's been a bit hectic
here, and I haven't had time to try with LibreOffice 4.1 beta yet,
but I've tried a couple of other things.
Firstly, I tried formatting the cell as a plain number, with
' " / hour"' after the default format, so the complete format is
#,###.00 " / hour"
This got changed over the save to
#,###.00" / hour"
Again, the space was removed in front of the quotes, and added
behind. Other than that, the "hour" wasn't mangled, I'm assuming
that the mangling is only because of interpreting it as currency
When I removed the extra space behind the quotes, but left it
without a space in front, it preserved that over saves, i.e. the
following worked fine over saves
#,###.00" / hour"
This is still rejected when I change to currency format.
Next, I looked at my locale settings. Under Tools|Options|Language
Settings|Languages I have the following:
User interface: Default - English (USA)
Locale setting: Default - English (South Africa)
Decimal separator key: checked : Same as locale setting (.)
Default currency: Default - ZAR
Date acceptance patterns: Y/M/D;M/D
Default languages for documents
Western: English (South Africa)
Asian: greyed out : Default - Chinese (simplified)
CTL: greyed out : Default - Hindi
For the current document only: not checked
Enhanced language support
Show UI elements for East Asian writings: not checked
Show UI elements for Bi-Directional writing: not checked
Ignore system input language: not checked
I tried changing the default locale setting to "English (USA)",
which also changed the currency and date settings. When I added '
" / hour"' it again moved the space from in front of the quotes to
inside the quotes over saves. But now this doesn't mangle anything,
I'm guessing because it's using a dollar sign instead of an "R" as
the currency symbol. Changing the symbol to "R" by changing the
format code from "[$$-409]" to "[$R-409]" works if the locale is
"English (USA)". When the locale is "Default - English (South
Africa)", changing the currency symbol by changing "[$R-1C09]" to
"[$$-1C09]" doesn't help matters.
I also noticed that with a space either in front of the quotes or
moved inside the quotes to give a double space before the slash, two
spaces are shown before the slash in the actual cell. So the only
way to get only one space between the number and the slash in the
cell is to have only one space, either in front of the qoutes or
inside the quotes, but not both.
It feels like there are two bugs, the first is that over saves LO
doesn't preserve the space before the quotes, and moves it inside
the quotes, irrespective of locale, and the second is that when
there is no space before the quotes, the letters inside the quotes
get interpreted as control codes instead of as literal text, and
this interpretation depends on locale.
There was also some strange behavior when entering just a plain
number format, not currency. If I tried to enter a new number
format by adding spaces inside the quotes, without a space in front
of the quotes, say by setting the format to '#,###.00" / hour"' and
then adding spaces to make it '#,###.00" / hour"', the moment it
became a new format (one I hadn't used before), the preview changed
to just displaying the number, without any formatting, and if I
clicked OK, this carried over to the cell and reset the format to
'#,##0 ;(#,##0)'. If, however, I didn't click OK when the preview
reset, and instead added a space before the quotes, the preview
suddenly became correct, and I could then remove the space in front
of the quotes and it would stay correct. Once I pressed OK this
format would get saved, and I could use it again without it getting
messed up. Likewise if I added a format with, say, 5 spaces in the
quotes and no space before the quotes, in this way, then went to
cell formatting again and removed a space to four spaces, this
didn't get messed up. But if I removed another space, to 3 spaces,
which is a format I had previously used, then added a space, the
format would get messed up again. It seems that there is some format
interpretation going on behind the scenes when a space is added that
is not going on when a space is removed.
I think someone needs to have a careful look at how this section of
the code is operating, there are subtle bugs in it.
I will try to install the beta as soon as I can, and will test again
and report back.
Thanks again for the help