[Libreoffice-ux-advise] conditional format dialog

Stefan Knorr (Astron) heinzlesspam at googlemail.com
Sun Feb 19 12:10:12 PST 2012

Hi Markus,

before you go on implementing something like my proposal, there's a
quite frank question from my side: How much time do you plan on
spending on conditional formatting?

Read on only if you intend to work on this for a bit longer.

So... I've finally taken a look at how Excel's UI for conditional
formatting looks/works, see [1] for a quite good overview of the UI
available (I fully expect beatings for looking this up only now). So
where do MS stand:
#1 lots of ribbon menu items (to make sure most people don't see their
MSO 2000-style dialogues)
#2 a conditional formatting manager that only shows the conditions
(and can be used to add/remove/reorder) – very importantly, this also
shows the range you have applied conditional formatting rules on
#3 rules editor windows for every single rule (that seems needlessly
complex to me)

I've kinda come to the conclusion that while my proposal improves the
situation it is really somewhat over-simplistic. Here are the problems
I see that aren't solved by it:
* A conditional formatting rule always applies to a specific range,
but currently there's no way to determine what range is covered by a
rule without lots of trial and error. (This is a huge problem.)
* Pierre-Yves is right: sequence does matter, so ordering is actually
a really good idea, even if I don't like those up/down buttons very

So, tentative plan:
* add a dialogue similar to the Manage Names dialogue, but for
conditionally formatted ranges – maybe even integrate conditionally
formatted ranges into Manage Names?
* figure out a way to merge most of the functionality of the rules
editor windows and the conditional formatting manager of Excel without
this becoming a UI disaster – maybe a list with elements
collapsing/being fully shown depending on whether they're selected
like in the extension manager of LibreOffice would be a good idea.
* integrate drag and drop ordering as well as an accessible form of
ordering (so, probably up/down buttons)
* at some later stage add a toolbar icon with functionality similar to
Excel's ribbon menus – but that's mostly fluff, I think (maybe could
be made an Easy Hack, dunno)

> The vertical resizable should be no problem in this context because it
> can be solved in the code and does not need anything from Caolan's
> work. We implement already something in this direction in the range
> name dialogs with the more button which resizes the dialog vertically.

Sure, but additionally it would at least be nice if users could decide
how large they'd like it.

Sorry for being so late with all this. Best regards,


[1] http://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/excel2007/excel2007s6p2.html
[2] As much as people like numbers, names should be easier to remember

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