[Libreoffice] Calc usability improvements

Kevin Hunter hunteke at earlham.edu
Thu Nov 11 21:31:30 PST 2010

At 8:21pm -0500 Thu, 11 Nov 2010, Patrick Bakker wrote:
> Current Calc behaviour:
> =subtotal(9;a1:a5)
> Desired behaviour:
> =subtotal(9,a1:a5)

I believe OpenOffice has supported both semicolon and comma since at 
least 3.0.  Take a look at Tools->Options->Calc->Formula.

> The delete cell "helper" dialog box pops up anytime I try to delete
> a cell or cell selection. It gives me options to delete some
> combination of text / numbers / date& time / formulas / notes /
> formats / objects. Occassionally this is useful. For regular use,
> however, I just want the value of the cell deleted.

This is perhaps not the most intuitive, but the behavior parallels that 
of at least 2 operating systems user interface choices:

One one OS:
- If you select a file and hit Del key, it says "Hey!  Are you sure?!"
- If you select a file and hit Shift+Del, it doesn't ask.

Another OS:
- Del key moves it to the trash.
- Shift+Del permanently removes the file right then.

Same idea, but slightly different UI experience.

I've gotten into the habit of pressing Shift+Del myself, but I agree it 
was annoying until I figured that out.  Rather than change that default, 
what about putting some simple text in that dialog box, along the lines 
of "Tip: if you want the default action, press Shift+Del."

> The first time I copy and pasted a cell formula into another cell
> which already had something in it a dialog came up asking something
> like "This cell already has a value. Are you sure you want to do copy
> a new value in?" EXTREMELY annoying. So annoying that I skipped past
> it for the first few days without seeing the "Show this dialog"
> checkbox. Once I saw the option to hide the dialog I did so and I
> don't know how to get it back to quote exactly what it says. I can't
> really think of any reason for this dialog to exist at all but at
> least it can be dismissed so its not quite so bad as the delete
> dialog. Still would anybody object if I submitted a patch to kill it?

Heh.  With the power of Ctrl+Z at my fingertips, I agree that that 
dialog box could be seen as an annoyance.  However, I have witnessed 
many times, a less than power-user bless that dialog so they didn't 
overwrite their data.  In this light, I wouldn't be opposed to it's 
removal, provided LO informs the user when they have copied over data, 
and reminds them that they can undo the action.

A less obtrusive method of informing them would be nice.  Something akin 
to Firefox's dropdown bar, or IE's information bar would do nicely, I think.



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