[Libreoffice] Calc usability improvements

Kohei Yoshida kyoshida at novell.com
Fri Nov 12 05:56:20 PST 2010

On Fri, 2010-11-12 at 10:32 +0000, Michael Meeks wrote:
> Hi Patrick,
> On Thu, 2010-11-11 at 23:30 -0800, Patrick Bakker wrote:
> 	Kohei (or was it Jody) fixed this many moons ago; I believe the default
> is set to improve usability here in LibreOffice;

Yup, I did this around 2.4 or 3.0, I don't remember which version.  The
default for the English locale is to use ',' unless the decimal
separator is ',', in which case it uses ';' by default.

> > >>
> > >> 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
> 	And this is deadly annoying too - it is already disabled by default in
> LibreOffice master, delete now just deletes: If you want the old
> behaviour (since you've learned it at length) - you can select the
> 'Compatibility' options for Calc, and the 'legacy' keybindings.

Or, the old behavior is mapped to the Backspace key.  The old behavior
was that 

* Delete - launches the delete content dialog
* Backspace - simply deletes without the dialog.

and what we did is to simply swap these two key bindings.

> 	So - hopefully this makes you happy too ;-)
> > > - Shift+Del permanently removes the file right then.

Heh, I didn't know about this one.  Actually, Shift+Del deletes the
content, select the cell, and move the content to the clipboard (as I
discovered just now).

In fact, it appears that Shift-Delete is mapped to 'Cut' (same as
Ctrl-X), while Shift-Insert is mapped to 'Paste' (same as Ctrl-V).

> 	Which makes me wonder; should shift-del give you this 'delete contents'
> option in that mode (or is the menu sufficient).
> > I didn't know about the Shift + Delete keystroke which helps. Having
> > two work around the easiest keystroke still feels wrong
> 	Agreed; cf. above.
> > >>
> > >> 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.
> 	Well, this winner is still in the code :-) and yes, it is pretty
> annoying.
> > > 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.
> 	Might be a good easy-hack; how we tell the user in an unobtrusive way
> that this has happened, I don't know - some good UI ideas there
> appreciated; the 'status bar' is not such a great plan I suspect for
> this. "alpha transparent, hovering notifications" are a nice idea too
> but ... ;-)

BTW, just to provide a reference point, Excel doesn't launch any
overwrite warning at all, which may be a better option since we always
have undo.

In in our own Writer doesn't launch overwrite warning when pasting
contents to overwrite the existing inside Writer table; it just
overwrites it.

> > Yeah, I don't see the value in this warning at all but if it is useful
> > at all to anybody I would think a less obtrusive, after the fact quiet
> > notification that existing date was overwritten would make more sense
> > to me.
> 	I wonder if switching the polarity of the check-box - so it is checked
> might help people 'see' it, and thus un-check it to get rid of it (some
> Mozilla dialogs do that I guess ?).

That's probably a huge improvement there alone.  But I personally
wouldn't mind the whole dialog be gone.  I've checked Calc, Excel,
Google Docs and Gnumeric, and Calc is the only spreadsheet app that
warns about overwriting existing cells.


Kohei Yoshida, LibreOffice hacker, Calc
<kyoshida at novell.com>

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