Bug Hunting Session
Bug 111809 - New Calc split buttons to add/remove columns/rows should remember last used option/feature
Summary: New Calc split buttons to add/remove columns/rows should remember last used o...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
5.4.0.3 release
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
Depends on:
Blocks: Split-Group-Buttons Calc-Toolbars
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Reported: 2017-08-14 18:06 UTC by Gerry
Modified: 2017-10-22 20:24 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

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Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Gerry 2017-08-14 18:06:49 UTC
Description:
In the recent version of LibreOffice Calc, two new split buttons were added to the toolbar which aggregate the features: an icon to add row above/below, delete row etc. and and icon to add column before/after and delete columns etc.

Issue:
Although these new split buttons are nice, they do not remember the last used feature. The user always needs two mouse clicks, also if he/she wants to use the last used feature again. In this regard usability has deteriorated compared to previous versions. 

Solution:
These split buttons should remember the last used feature so that it is possible to access it with just one click. For example, if I last used "add row below" I would like to get this feature with one click on the split icon. 
Hence, the behavior should be similar to the font color split button. It remembers the last color used (which is accessible with just one click on the icon).


System:
Version: 5.4.0.3
Build-ID: 1:5.4.0~rc3-0ubuntu0.16.04.1~lo1
CPU-Threads: 4; Betriebssystem:Linux 4.4; UI-Render: Standard; VCL: gtk2; 
Gebietsschema: en-GB (de_DE.UTF-8); Calc: group

Steps to Reproduce:
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Actual Results:  
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Expected Results:
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Reproducible: Always

User Profile Reset: No

Additional Info:


User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:54.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/54.0
Comment 1 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-08-15 03:07:46 UTC
With the number of options available within the group buttons, having similar split buttons where the last used function is set as the main button isnt a useful button to create.
Comment 2 Gerry 2017-08-25 18:24:09 UTC
Thank you jay for your response. I understand your point that there are too many options for group buttons. However, there are IMHO still usability problems with these two buttons.

I see three main issues with the current implementation:
(1) It mixes (very) frequently used features with substantially less frequently used features.
(2) In order to access a feature, it always requires two mouseclicks. This is a usability problem for the frequently used features. Frequent features should require a minimum number of mouse clicks.
(3) The current two buttons duplicate the features "Up", "Down", "Left", "Right", "Random Number". This doesn't really make sense and confuses people.

-> Compared to the previous implementation, the frequently used features are less well accessible.

Hence, I suggest:
Make three out of the two current buttons
(1) ROW button (that remembers the last used feature) with the features: "insert row below", "insert row above", "delete row" | "hide row", "show row" | "row height", "optimal height"
(2) COLUMN button (that remembers the last used feature): "insert column right", "insert column left", "delete column" | "hide column", "show column" | "column width", "optimal width"
(3) Cell operations button: making accessible the other features: "up", "down", "left", "right", "random number"

There is already another split button for the features "freeze first row",  "freeze first column". One could add the feature "row break" and "column break" there.
Comment 3 V Stuart Foote 2017-08-25 19:08:29 UTC
Adding the third "Cell operations" button is reasonable. Then splitting the Row and Column buttons to provide drop list selection but also retain last last action for a single-click repeat, and decorating button with icon for the current state (like we did for the color and save buttons) would restore UX.
Comment 4 Heiko Tietze 2017-08-27 17:04:56 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 5 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-08-31 14:46:12 UTC
(In reply to Gerry from comment #2)
> I see three main issues with the current implementation:
> (1) It mixes (very) frequently used features with substantially less
> frequently used features.

All of the frequently used functions are available in the context menu of the column and row headers, so these buttons provide an extra means of accessing these functions, but definitely arent the fastest means to do so.

> (2) In order to access a feature, it always requires two mouseclicks. This
> is a usability problem for the frequently used features. Frequent features
> should require a minimum number of mouse clicks.

We used to have 4 buttons instead of the current 2 group buttons that had functions for insert row, insert column, delete row and delete column, but we now have separate insert before and after functions for both rows and columns and that would have required 2 additional buttons to be added to the toolbar, so it is more useful to have fewer buttons with many sub functions.

> (3) The current two buttons duplicate the features "Up", "Down", "Left",
> "Right", "Random Number". This doesn't really make sense and confuses people.

These are less used functions and would only be confusing to people who dont already use the feature.

> Hence, I suggest:
> Make three out of the two current buttons
> (1) ROW button (that remembers the last used feature) with the features:
> "insert row below", "insert row above", "delete row" | "hide row", "show
> row" | "row height", "optimal height"
> (2) COLUMN button (that remembers the last used feature): "insert column
> right", "insert column left", "delete column" | "hide column", "show column"
> | "column width", "optimal width"

Sounds reasonable as new split buttons to be created.

> (3) Cell operations button: making accessible the other features: "up",
> "down", "left", "right", "random number"

These are just fill operations and there are more useful cell operations, so not so sure its useful for them to have their own group button.

> There is already another split button for the features "freeze first row", 
> "freeze first column". One could add the feature "row break" and "column
> break" there.

Didnt quite get where you wanted row and colum break to go.
Comment 6 Chris Mayfield 2017-09-19 12:12:15 UTC
> All of the frequently used functions are available in the context menu of
> the column and row headers, so these buttons provide an extra means of
> accessing these functions, but definitely arent the fastest means to do so.

The context menus are just as slow as the new buttons -- both ways require two mouse clicks to delete a row/column.

> We used to have 4 buttons instead of the current 2 group buttons that had
> functions for insert row, insert column, delete row and delete column, but

Those four buttons were incredibly useful. I would rather be able to "insert before" only (in one click) than have all options buried under another button.

> we now have separate insert before and after functions for both rows and
> columns and that would have required 2 additional buttons to be added to the
> toolbar, so it is more useful to have fewer buttons with many sub functions.

I agree fewer buttons is better by default. However, wouldn't another option be to add the old buttons back to the "Visible Buttons" menu, so that people could add/remove them depending on their preference?

I also think Gerry's idea of having three buttons that remember the most recently used feature is a good solution.
Comment 7 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-09-23 07:29:41 UTC
(In reply to Chris Mayfield from comment #6)
> The context menus are just as slow as the new buttons -- both ways require
> two mouse clicks to delete a row/column.

Yes for deleting a single row or column without first selecting them through the row and column headers would require two mouse clicks, but if a user wants to delete more than a single row or column, then would selecting them first and it is a shorter mouse distance to open the context menu than the click a button on the toolbar.

> Those four buttons were incredibly useful. I would rather be able to "insert
> before" only (in one click) than have all options buried under another
> button.

You can customize your toolbar to have add those four buttons back.

> I agree fewer buttons is better by default. However, wouldn't another option
> be to add the old buttons back to the "Visible Buttons" menu, so that people
> could add/remove them depending on their preference?

Yes it would have been better to have left those there as hidden buttons that the user could easily unhide, especially those who got used to them being there since 4.4, so i'll re-add them.

@Gulsah: You interested in doing split button versions of the row and column buttons?