Bug 101835 - UI request for 'Merge Cells' control in 'Format - Cells' window
Summary: UI request for 'Merge Cells' control in 'Format - Cells' window
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
unspecified
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsUXEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Dialog Calc-Merge-Split
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2016-09-01 01:13 UTC by brucehohl
Modified: 2018-11-07 11:37 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
Screen shots of Format Cells (LO & MSO) and Side bar. (124.57 KB, application/zip)
2016-09-01 01:13 UTC, brucehohl
Details

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Description brucehohl 2016-09-01 01:13:56 UTC
Created attachment 127107 [details]
Screen shots of Format Cells (LO & MSO) and Side bar.

This is an enhancement request to add a 'Merge Cells' control within the Alignment tab of the 'Format Cells' window (Format > Cells).

The addition would make LO Format Cell/Alignment equivalent to (1) another popular spreadsheet tool, and (2) the LO Sidebar/Properties. 

Screen shots attached.
Comment 1 Heiko Tietze 2016-10-12 07:55:43 UTC
You are likely aware of the Format > Merge Cells functions, also available per context menu and customizable for the toolbar. So the request is to have the same functionality in the cell formatting dialog. And I wouldn't do so because merging/splitting cells is a feature of the table and not the cell itself. The Excel solution is not necessarily the best.

So I would close as WONTFIX.
Comment 2 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2016-10-12 15:53:29 UTC
I would be infavour of this, as all features should be available at last resort in the dialog.

@Stuart, @Cor: Whats your take?
Comment 3 V Stuart Foote 2016-10-12 16:26:15 UTC
Agree with Heiko, the Merge Cells command is present as a top level Format menu action, and is also activated on the context menu when cells are selected. 

The Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog deals with rendering of Text contained within the individual Cell(s). No existing panel in the Format Cells dialog is appropriate for the Merge Cell actions, and not clear there would be benefit to implementing such a tab.
Comment 4 brucehohl 2016-10-13 00:26:41 UTC
If I may "argue" my case .... :)

> I wouldn't do so because merging/splitting cells is a feature of the table 
> and not the cell itself. The Excel solution is not necessarily the best.
I offer the examples of 'Merge cells' being included in the LO Sidebar and the Excel Format Cells as an indication that others thought 'Merge cells' should be available with other cell formatting tools as opposed to elsewhere.  In my use of LO I primarily use Format Cells (Ctrl+1) as it provides a single place for nearly all "Cell" formatting needs ... except Merge Cells.


> the Merge Cells command is present as a top level Format menu action
If 'Merge Cells' is added to Format Cells than I suggest it be removed from the top level menu. While I hope the Text drop down menus will always be available to explore features I find them to be an inefficient way to access features in day to day use compared to Icon tool bars or Tool palettes like 'Format Cells' or the Sidebar.  The usefulness of tool palettes is higher if everything needed is at hand, hence, the enhancement request. 


> No existing panel in the Format Cells dialog is appropriate for the Merge 
> Cell actions, and not clear there would be benefit to implementing such a tab.
The request is not for a new tab but to follow Excel's lead and place 'Merge Cells' in the Alignment Tab.  Anyone who has used Excel in the last few decades won't be surprised by its placement in the Alignment tab.
Comment 5 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2016-10-13 01:25:12 UTC
@Cor @Eike, @Bubli, @Samuel: Any thoughts on this?
Comment 6 V Stuart Foote 2016-10-13 02:39:29 UTC
I could see some utility to adding a tab panel to the Format Cells dialog, but see no need to follow MS example of adding the check-box the the alignment panel as it does not belong there.  

Also, one could argue that it does *not* belong on the Sidebar -> Properties deck -> Alignment content panel and should be in a content panel of its own with the rest of the Merge and Split actions.

Beyond either of these, adding the check-box to the Format Cells -> Alignment Panel would be trivial. It is already that way in the Sidebar deck so would introduce consistency--I simply don't see that as the correct place to implement the Merge/Split actions.
Comment 7 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2016-10-13 02:51:35 UTC
So decide to do some app diving and here are the results.

Calligra Sheets: Position tab
WPS/Kingsoft Spreadsheet: Alignment tab
Quattro Pro: Alignment tab
Gnumeric: Not in dialog
Google Sheet: No dialog
Comment 8 brucehohl 2016-10-13 12:01:54 UTC
With respect to other spreadsheets I suspect the reasoning for placing the 'Merge Cells' check box within the Alignment/Position tab is that the user would also have available the Horizontal and Vertical positioning tools which are often used in conjunction with Merged Cells. I.E. Merge Cell then Center (or other positioning) then Wrap, etc.
Comment 9 Cor Nouws 2016-10-21 11:49:49 UTC
I've been chewing on this and no strong opinion.
But if we have it - and I can see why people do like it - I would follow bruce's suggestion: at the alignment tab. 
Hard to imagine what a tab Panel should hold, in any case.

Ciao - Cor
Comment 10 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2016-10-28 13:05:47 UTC
We discussed this in last week's design meeting and decided to reopen it for the time being and that we would discuss it again at another design meeting.