[Libreoffice-ux-advise] Discussion about highlighting (MS compatibility issue)

Zolnai Tamás zolnaitamas2000 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 10 06:12:15 PST 2015

Hi Stuart, all

So I went over again all of these character backgrounds.

First of all it does not really matter whether ODF supports this
feature or not, because we can extend it
anytime when we have a good reason to do that. The question here: it's
worth to have a highlighting
feature on the top of our existing character background or not.

Second thing, I compared these three kind of character backgrounds and
found that LO's character
background is closer to MS shading attribute then to MS highlighting, because:
- LO's background color is a general attribute for different objects
like text range, paragraph, frame, page, cell and so on, and character
background is a specialization of it (like shading).
- LO's background color and MS shading both has more color to choose
from, while MS highlighting allows only 16 colors.
- LO's background color and MS shading has a meaning like "fill the
selected object's background with a color", while highlight has the
meaning like "highlight a text range with a highlighter pen".
So IMHO LO background color should be exported as shading to MS file
formats and not as highlighting.

Only similarity between LO's background color and MS highlighting is
the "Highlighting" toolbar button and this is the
problem here. Why LO uses an other name for character background on
the toolbar and why not use exactly the same
name (e.g. as in the menu)? This causes the misconceptions we have here.

So my new plan is:
- Remove "Highlighting" toolbar button
- Replace it with the existing "Background color" toolbar button (set
it as default)
- Extend the functionality of this "Background color" button to be
able to set character background too (By now it is used for setting
paragraph, frame and cell background)

With that the toolbar icon of LO's character background will be
similar to that which is used in Word for setting MS shading attribute
(a paintbucket). This also means we don't need to support highlighting
in LO to solve this interoperability problem.

With respect to RES_CHRATR_HIGHLIGHT attribute it's still useful to
store MS highlighting on a separate attribute so an MS file won't
loose shading/highlighting information during a round trip. We can
solve that on a transparent way, so the users won't know that we have
two kind of character backgrounds behind the scenes.

UX guys, your opinions also would be appreciated here.

Best Regards,

2015-02-10 1:28 GMT+01:00 V Stuart Foote <VStuart.Foote at utsa.edu>:
> Zolnai, *
> Did not realize there were actually two OOXML/MSO attributes that had to be
> manipulated to handle highlighting in MS Office formats.  And that we'd been
> fudging it with just one--your patch with just one
> attribute--RES_CHRATR_HIGHLIGHT manipulated as background fill in LO.
> This recently came up in a new twist, over how we've been handled it--since
> your work 2013-09--needing to turn highlighting on or off by selection and
> removing direct formatting background fill.  (tdf#88990).  That has been a
> bit cumbersome but works to clear the direct formatting in an imported
> docx/doc document that either shading or highlighting receives as an ODF
> document.
> Should we care about this from an ODF 1.2  standards  perspective?  Since we
> apply direct formatting to give background fill "highlighting" to ODF
> documents--is there any way in ODF to differentiate  formatting that is
> "highlighting" vs. what is "background fill"?    I don't know...  anyone?
> If there is a specification for it in ODF ,  then certainly creating an .uno
> action and GUI button to apply a "highlighting" style, or direct formatting
> of text, would be correct.  But if we are just pursuing this for
> "interoperability" seems like we are chasing our tails over it.
> If  there is not, then why should we care that OOXML/MSO and ODF diverge on
> this handling?  Seems like in that case, we should continue to make do with
> only background fill mapping of DOCX/MSO highlighting on import. And on
> export we don't differentiate--it  all remains background fill in the
> DOCX/MSO formats.
> Key is what ODF 1.2 supports, or maybe what is proposed in 1.3 that might
> also be implemented.
> =-refs-=
> https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=64490#c14
> http://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/commit/?id=8b949134441056a1455d67ddfdd7e0bc5f2ee682
> http://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/commit/?id=b5e60724ac73bb0e62b249145a8931fd6166bb69
> https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=88990
> --
> View this message in context: http://nabble.documentfoundation.org/Discussion-about-highlighting-MS-compatibility-issue-tp4139399p4139552.html
> Sent from the Dev mailing list archive at Nabble.com.
> _______________________________________________
> LibreOffice mailing list
> LibreOffice at lists.freedesktop.org
> http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/libreoffice

More information about the Libreoffice-ux-advise mailing list