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Tab Auto-Complete in OoO 3 Calc not the same as in MSOffice
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QuickerJG
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as a newbie I've made my first mistake... I wrote a brief comment on this issue in reply to a post on a slightly different issue, sorry. I didn't see this thread. (I must learn patience.)

I think Villeroy and David have slightly missed the point of Capot's post and have successfully side-tracked the discussion away from the original question about the user interface.

The fact that Capot's suggestion was made in reference to MS Excel seems to have ticked off Villeroy, whose reponse was on the lines of if you like it so much go back & use it and anyway we've got more important stuff to worry about. And David's suggestion that we should simply be happy with what we've already got and leave the developpers in peace doesn't seem helpful.

Villeroy, I agree that this is a minor issue. David, I'm happy as could be for the enormous work which has gone into the OO project. But I nonetheless echo Capot's suggestion and I hasten to add that I am not a MS Excel user and my reasons for it (Villeroy asked for some) are detailed in my reply to the post "Auto Complete" of 19/5.

I wonder... are all the threads I read in this forum going to be drawn up along OO vs. MS battlelines? I hope not. That would cheapen the OO work.

Best regards,

Q (OOCalc version 2.41)
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WebWeaver64
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

have found a simple fix for this. Edit the keyboard to allow you to set Ctrl-A to do the same thing as Ctrl-Backspace.

Ctrl-Backspace navigates to the current cell and allows you to continue to use your Tab key for right movement, and leaving the Enter key to take you down a row and back to where you started using the Tab key.

Ctrl-Backspace however isn't an easy Keyboard short-cut or at least it isn't for my hands, so I added Ctrl-A to do the same thing. A is right next to the Tab key so it's a fairly fast keyboard click.

Tools>Customize>Keyboard>
Under Functions
In Category, select Navigation
Function, select To Current Cell

Under Shortcut keys find Ctrl-A click Modify, click OK Cool
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TL
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another workaround can be found in the following YouTube post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqVT6UQmom0

Regards,
TL
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McNetic
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second the feature request.

This is absolutely not about reproducing excel - the current behavior is just inconvenient: When typing in lists of items starting in column x (usually 1) with y columns each, the typical procedure is as follows:

  • start in column x, enter some value
  • confirm and step forward with one keystroke: <tab>
  • repeat until column y
  • in column y, confirm and go to column x of the next row with one keystroke: <enter>

This is just the quickest way to enter a lot of data rows, with the fewest and least complicated keystrokes. The problem with the way the AutoInput feature is implemented currently is that this workflow is broken. In any way, also with the workarounds mentioned above, you have to press more keys; usually keys farther away from the 'normal' keyboard or a combination of keys.
As almost all key commands of OpenOffice seem to be configurable, I suggest making the AutoInput keys also configurable.

This sure is a minor problem, but as you can see from the previous posts it can be a major annoyance to calc users, and it should be relatively simple to fix.
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TL
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't agree more with McNetic's post.

The overloading of a key's functionality is acceptable if each feature associated with the key is active when the program is in a different mode. In this case both the "move to next cell" and the "auto-complete" functions use the same key while in the same "input data into cells" mode.

Although McNetic was generous in considering this a minor problem. I consider it major. The usability of basic functionality, especially one used daily such as entering data into cells, must be easy to use. Requiring users, who are entering data from another source into a spread sheet, to divert their eyes from the source document to find the Insert key or any other key that requires the user to move their hands from the home key position is significantly hampering their work flow.

Yes, the problem could be solved by mapping the auto-complete functions to different keys but that is not supported. Isn't there a requirement for functions shipped as part of the core Calc functionality to support the remapping of their key assignments?

TL
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Ed
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TL wrote:
The overloading of a key's functionality is acceptable if each feature associated with the key is active when the program is in a different mode. In this case both the "move to next cell" and the "auto-complete" functions use the same key while in the same "input data into cells" mode.
...
Requiring users, who are entering data from another source into a spread sheet, to divert their eyes from the source document to find the Insert key or any other key that requires the user to move their hands from the home key position is significantly hampering their work flow.


Which key do you propose should be used for auto complete?

I can't find a single key on a standard keyboard that can be reached without moving your hands away from the home keys, and which is not already used for something while in "input data into cells" mode. The nearest I could find would be one of the "F number" keys, but these are pretty difficult to reach without leaving the home keys, and are not in any way intuitive.
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Ed
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

McNetic wrote:
I second the feature request.

This is absolutely not about reproducing excel - the current behavior is just inconvenient: When typing in lists of items starting in column x (usually 1) with y columns each, the typical procedure is as follows:

  • start in column x, enter some value
  • confirm and step forward with one keystroke: <tab>
  • repeat until column y
  • in column y, confirm and go to column x of the next row with one keystroke: <enter>

This is just the quickest way to enter a lot of data rows, with the fewest and least complicated keystrokes. The problem with the way the AutoInput feature is implemented currently is that this workflow is broken. In any way, also with the workarounds mentioned above, you have to press more keys; usually keys farther away from the 'normal' keyboard or a combination of keys.
As almost all key commands of OpenOffice seem to be configurable, I suggest making the AutoInput keys also configurable.

This sure is a minor problem, but as you can see from the previous posts it can be a major annoyance to calc users, and it should be relatively simple to fix.


There is one fatal flaw in your proposed design: you have made the unwarranted assumption that the first auto-input suggestion will always be exactly what the user needs to enter.

What happens if the user has to enter only the first so many characters of the suggestion and not the rest? Or if there is more than one suggestion and the first one is not the right one for that particular cell?
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McNetic
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed wrote:
There is one fatal flaw in your proposed design: you have made the unwarranted assumption that the first auto-input suggestion will always be exactly what the user needs to enter.

What happens if the user has to enter only the first so many characters of the suggestion and not the rest?

I don't see why this case is any different in the current implementation then in the one proposed here: You simply have to hit backspace once and can than proceed with the tab (or return) key.

Ed wrote:
Or if there is more than one suggestion and the first one is not the right one for that particular cell?

As I have already proposed, the selection by <tab> could and should be (configurable) redefined to a selection by another key.

There can of course not be a solution that implements AutoInput without requiring additional keystrokes in some cases, but the current implementation breaks the input procedure outlined in my previous post, and being able to redefine the AutoInput selection to other keys than <tab> solves this problem.
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Ed
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

McNetic wrote:
I don't see why this case is any different in the current implementation then in the one proposed here
The current implementation does have the same fatal flaw, but that does not make it any less of a problem. A new implementation should be an improvement in some way, not just as fatally flawed as what it replaces.

McNetic wrote:
You simply have to hit backspace once and can than proceed with the tab (or return) key.
First of all, when you described your proposal you did not make any mention of this function.

Secondly, isn't having to press an additional key to prevent the program adding unwanted text a "break in the workflow"?

Thirdly, when you're inputting text you will be looking at the source you are inputting from, not constantly looking at the screen. Having to look away from your work and check the screen every time you are about to move onto a new cell to see whether you have to take evasive action to prevent it inserting unwanted text is a serious break in the workflow.

Inserting text really needs to be an "opt-in" process, not the "opt-out" process your design would make it. Inserting text without the user's permission and expecting the user to constantly check what the program is doing and take evasive action every time it tried to insert unwanted text would cause serious usability issues.

McNetic wrote:
the current implementation breaks the input procedure outlined in my previous post
So does your proposal in all but the one specific case where the first suggestion is exactly what needs to be entered.

McNetic wrote:
being able to redefine the AutoInput selection to other keys than <tab> solves this problem.
Pressing a different key to accept the auto-input before pressing tab or enter to move onto the next cell would solve these problems, but this is not what your design described or what the implementation in Excel that some users seem determined to copy does.

You stated "confirm and step forward with one keystroke: <tab>", in other words pressing the tab key to move onto the next cell would confirm the auto-input whether the user wants it or not. This would be a fatally flawed design for the reasons I described.
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McNetic
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed wrote:
The current implementation does have the same fatal flaw, but that does not make it any less of a problem. A new implementation should be an improvement in some way, not just as fatally flawed as what it replaces.

First of all, to make that short: most of the problems you describe are inherent problems of the AutoInput functionality as such and have nothing to do with the feature request in this thread. At this point, I do not suggest any changes to this functionality, although there is room for improvement in various ways, as you pointed out.

Ed wrote:
McNetic wrote:
You simply have to hit backspace once and can than proceed with the tab (or return) key.
First of all, when you described your proposal you did not make any mention of this function.

I have expressed unclearly; what I described here is the current behaviour (that would not be changed with my proposal).

To get to the point: Currently, the meaning of the <tab> key is always the same during input, with the single exception of the AutoInput feature. This is not consistent. But even if that argument wouldn't matter (and that it 'breaks workflow' for some, if not many people), it's still simply that most key commands are freely configurable, but selecting up and down in the AutoInput suggestion list is not, and that should be changed in my opinion.
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s_mack
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want to say... I found this because I was becoming furious that tab wasn't doing what it "should do"... move the cursor to the right.

Now I'm not expert using Calc so I may get my terminology wrong, but I'm ALSO not an expert in Excell because other than years ago in highschool... I've never really used it. So I have the same complaint but without the same reference that some of you are attacking (copy MS).

I've been using Calc (VERY lightly) for over a year and I never noticed that TAB didn't just move to the right until today when i'm working in a (slightly) more complicated spreadsheet. When there is no autocomplete to take place, it moves to the right when you tab.

The first thing I said when I saw the autocomplete was, "cool... nice touch". But it wasn't long before I was scouring the options looking for a way to change the TAB behavior. Thank you to the person that described how to turn auto complete off... that is FAR preferable to not having TAB work how I expect.

I believe configuring it so you can choose what TAB does (or specifically, how autocomplete behaves with specific key presses) would make the most people happy and seems like a good suggestion for a future version.

Another option (perhaps?) would be that when auto complete is in play, that enter moves to the right but otherwise moves as per the users preference (default: down). So then when there's the odd time you have auto complete in the last column, you double-enter.

Steve
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s_mack
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Villeroy wrote:
Quote:
... when you hit the tab key it will scroll through the words (excel does not do this) when the word you want come to view, hit the insert button then tab again.

So you can simply turn off menu:Tools>CellContents>AutoInput in order to get "the same as in Excel"?


Nope, now tab does NOTHING!

help! Smile

All I did was do exactly as mentioned, and now TAB does not auto complete (thank you!) but it ALSO doesn't move to the next row now in situations where it would have otherwise autocompleted.

THAT seems like a bug to me.
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surrealmind
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject: This may be the solution you've been waiting for Reply with quote

Check out a simple Autohotkey solution here:: http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=114630
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percy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:26 am    Post subject: Autohotkey Reply with quote

This works for my uses - might help somebody else... I did as above, but changed the AHK to:
SetTitleMatchMode, 2
#IfWinActive OpenOffice.org Calc
{
Tab:: Send {Insert}{Tab}

;Tab after shift-tab had been demonstrating strange behavior; hence the following:
+Tab:: Send {Left}
}
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RobJ
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Villeroy wrote:
Please remove OOo from your disk and install Excel. Excel is the one and only application which behaves like Excel.
This office suite's developers have far more serious problems to solve with a tiny amount of resources.


This is a ridiculous and insulting "solution". I imagine a huge portion of OOo's userbase has migrated from MS Office, I can't see how shunning them will help your cause.

I was trying to avoid attempting to install Office 2k on Windows 7 x64, but this is a deal breaker for me, and considering this is over 2 years old and doesn't look like this will be fixed, I will be installing Excel, so thank you very much.

Having tab sometimes move to the next cell (and sometimes not) doesn't work for data entry. In fact, having spent the last several days trying to adapt to it, it is truly a nightmare, and the loss in productivity overshadows the $300 a new version of Office will cost me.
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