Bug 104185 - Better Autoinput for functions (or different default than ENTER)
Summary: Better Autoinput for functions (or different default than ENTER)
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) release
Hardware: x86-64 (AMD64) Linux (All)
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
Keywords: needsDevEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Calc-Function
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2016-11-26 13:46 UTC by Mieszko
Modified: 2021-08-22 20:09 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Mieszko 2016-11-26 13:46:40 UTC
I think ENTER it shouldn't be default for Autoinput. It is frustrating when you want '=O' (what is e.g. defined as custom name of my cell), hit ENTER and sth else is given. More resonable is SHIFT + ENTER, or SHIFT-TAB, or CTRL + SPACE (last like in many programming IDE). Or even Tab is better (although user could want go to next cell) - just type TAB once to complete and SHIFT-TAB to back, or many TABs for scroll through list of possibilities.

I'm don't know many things. It's just an opinion of a one end user.

Steps to Reproduce:
1. press SHIFT-CTRL-F2
2. type =P
3. hit ENTER

Actual Results:  
=PEARSON() applied and go one cell down.

Expected Results:
=P applied [and go one cell down].
[] - or not

Reproducible: Always

User Profile Reset: No

Additional Info:
[Information automatically included from LibreOffice]
Locale: en-US
Module: SpreadsheetDocument
[Information guessed from browser]
OS: Linux (All)
OS is 64bit: yes
Builds ID: LibreOffice

User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/54.0.2840.100 Safari/537.36
Comment 1 Buovjaga 2016-11-29 19:35:38 UTC
So what do we do after we change the default and millions of angry users attack?
Comment 2 Mieszko 2016-11-30 11:21:01 UTC
So just add possibility to change it in settings. You know better what is good as default, I've only mention what would be better for me (and I consider it as more logical), just as a feedback.

BTW* this would not be so big change as when you break compatibility in macros for ver.4 vs ver.5. People can learn minor changes in gui/behavior, but cannot keep running their scripts.
*Its 'btw'. I doesn't mean I want force my point of view.
Comment 3 Mieszko 2016-11-30 11:47:12 UTC
for people who don't want this feature

-> uncheck tools/autoinput
but this doesn't switch it off at all. If you type more letters and than delete them by backspace, autoinput still works.

If don't want switch autoinput off or be sure that this will never happen accidentialy, teach your muscle memory to use TAB, ENTER instead of ENTER.
Comment 4 Heiko Tietze 2016-12-05 09:52:07 UTC
Typically the dropdown for autocomplete shows up and after selecting one the items it is inserted with enter. Having another option like (o) Enter, () Shift+Enter, () Ctrl+Enter sounds like an overkill.

However, we could change the autocomplete behavior. As reported by Mieszko the functions is not shown when text is added and AutoInput (bad camel case) is disabled but pops up on backspace. And when this bug is solved we could introduce a manual autocomplete like the user enters =p and presses <F2> (use a good shortcut here) the function list is shown. But the selection of an entry would be done per Enter.

unconfirmed -> new
enhancement -> normal since autocomplete is buggy for backspace. 
-needsUXEval +needsDevEval
Comment 5 QA Administrators 2018-07-23 02:32:12 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 6 Mieszko 2018-07-23 08:26:55 UTC

The looks of auto-input has been changed but disabling tools->auto-input still doesn't work on backspace press.

Build ID: 00m0(Build:1)
CPU threads: 4; OS: Linux 4.16; UI render: default; VCL: gtk3; 
Locale: en-US (en_US.UTF-8); Calc: group
Comment 7 QA Administrators 2019-07-30 03:16:42 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 8 Xisco Faulí 2020-03-09 13:27:47 UTC
Please add keyword 'needsUXEval' and CC 'libreoffice-ux-advise@lists.freedesktop.org' if input from UX is needed.
Comment 9 Joshua Coppersmith 2021-08-22 20:09:28 UTC
Some alternatives:

1) Change auto entry to use tab, the default in almost every other system out there from Eclipse clear down to MS Hotmail. Obviously, my choice and Mieszko's but another idea is...

2) Don't kick in auto entry after backspace...per other suggestions already given.

3) Don't kick in auto entry until at least two (even three) letters have been typed. That would at least avoid the mess for simple column reference situations in the vast majority of cases.

4) Put "Tab to ignore" in bold at the end of the auto entry popup text tip while not changing the behavior at all.

I think this is more than a preference question. If you, for example, have 
=($A:$A) in column C then go to change that to 
=($B:$B) you get into a morass of =($B:$B()), etc., when doing the obvious and pressing Enter.

Here is the thing: Anyone wanting auto entry will be able to see clearly if that function has popped up, and will probably have to keep typing awhile before the drill down matches what they want, anyway. Meanwhile, the person expecting enter to do as it says and enter the edited value into the cell is left trapped, having to re-edit, and having to click into the end of the line or having to figure out to use tab to do what enter says right on the key, "Enter".

The popup tip for the auto entry feature could have a bold "then Tab" at the end of it if switched to tab. MS Hotmail does something like this. Or...if the behavior isn't changed, what about putting "Tab to ingore" at the end of the tip?

In any case, most intense users of LibreOffice Calc probably have the basic familiarity with tab for autocomplete, not enter. Tab for autocomplete is very mainstream.