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Bug 113932 - Make Select text by clicking in Margins MSO compliant
Summary: Make Select text by clicking in Margins MSO compliant
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
unspecified
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
Depends on:
Blocks: Selection
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2017-11-19 13:39 UTC by Magalaan
Modified: 2020-07-30 14:30 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
example file for line and row selection (10.50 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2017-11-19 13:39 UTC, Magalaan
Details
IBeam vs. mirrored cursor in margins (60.78 KB, image/png)
2017-11-27 14:41 UTC, Heiko Tietze
Details

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Description Magalaan 2017-11-19 13:39:31 UTC
Created attachment 137852 [details]
example file for line and row selection

Make Select text by clicking in Margins MSO compliant

In MS Word you have following behavior when clicking in the left margin:

mouse cursor changes to an arrow in the margin, indicating selection tool 
1 click = select line
2 click = select paragraph
3 click = select all

in  LO (now using 5.4.2.2)

Mouse cursor remains a text entry symbol (I)
1 click = moves cursor to beginning of the line
2 click = unpredictable, selects a word, few words or a paragraph
3 click = unpredictable, mostly undo selection


When it comes to tables there is another annoying difference:
In Writer the mouse cursor changes to an arrow in front of a table row and you can then select the row by clicking, or several rows by dragging down. But you only have 1mm of room to do that, where in word you can use the whole margin. Outside of 1mm zone it moves cursor to left cell and dragging down selects cells in first column, which is strange behavior.  

Another difference is that in a MS Word table you can select a cell by clicking in the top-left-corner of the cell (mouse cursor shows arrow). LO does not have this. 

Suggested change:
Make writer MS Word compliant in selecting lines and table rows in the left margin. The MSO way is clearly superior and more visible. 

The most important part of this is the one-click-selection of lines. I use one-click selection a lot
Comment 1 Dieter 2017-11-19 14:38:02 UTC
What I can see in LO is the following:

1 click = moves cursor to beginning of the line
2 click = selects the first word of the line
3 click = selects the sentence, that includes the first word of the line or the whole paragraph, if there is only one sentence

Version: 5.4.3.2 (x64)
Build-ID: 92a7159f7e4af62137622921e809f8546db437e5
CPU-Threads: 4; Betriebssystem:Windows 6.19; UI-Render: Standard; 
Gebietsschema: de-DE (de_DE); Calc: group

Since it is easy to mark a line, the whole paragraph or all with the keyboard, I won't support your proposal. But perhaps there are also different opinions.

You made three proposals in your bug report. I think you should open a different bug report for each issue. Otherwise it could be very difficult to follow the discussion or to change the status of one of them.
Comment 2 V Stuart Foote 2017-11-19 18:57:41 UTC
No, the LO behavior is correct--mouse clicks will select word, select sentence, select paragraph and all function as they need, cross platform. 

Those, along with keyboard accelerators for selection (e.g. <Ctrl><Shift><Left|Right>) suffice.

While in tables, mouse click selection: at upper left corner for whole table, or at left margin for the row, functions correctly and consistently--although yes, the click target could stand to be expanded, but not sure it is possible with a table object.

Otherwise, we have no need to pursue MS Office features.
Comment 3 Magalaan 2017-11-25 07:06:03 UTC
Excuse me for reopening, but I beg to differ because: 

1 
it makes no sense to have the same meaning for clicking in the margin as in the text itself. One of the good things MS did is standardizing actions throughout Windows and MSO. Clicking to left of a row/line generally means to select that row. It works in Word text, it works in Excel, it works in Access, it works in tables, and other situations. It is both intuitive and efficient. 

2 
Many people have trouble with double clicks. 3 clicks to select a sentence is absurd, 4 clicks to select a paragraph is undoable. I fail most of the times, because the clicks have to be in the exact same pace to succeed. You can not expect people to train for this. Besides as one click in the margin does not select anything, they will never even discover that double, triple, quadrupple clicking in the margin selects even more. (Not that you would want to select more than a line). 

3 
It is not about being correct, but about what works better. MSO solution is clearly the superior one. 
When I suggest improvements here, I often met the counter argument that it is not MSO compatible. It is really funny that you use the same argument the other way (We do not care about being MSO compatible). So you rather prefer an inferior solution than the better one that is the industry standard?  

5
I work a lot with both Writer and Word. When you are editing documents a lot, the most basic operations become the most important for efficiency as you use them all the time. For instance when I want to format a word I do not select it by double clicking but click in the word and choose the style. This many times faster and much less straining as repeated double clicking puts a lot of strain on you hands (RSI). In the same way it may seem totally futile to you, but for heavy users like me it really makes a difference if I can select a header with only one click and format it. Try to format a text of a hundred pages and it will soon become clear to you what I mean. 

In practice I will very rarely use double click to select a word (only to delete  or replace it), I never use triple click to select a sentence, and quadruple click to select paragraphs? I would not even dare go there. I will select a longer text by dragging like all sane people. 

6
By the way, I found more strange behavior. I use writer for logging activities starting each entry with a creation date field (that I assigned to a key). But whenever you double-click in the margin before a line that starts with a field, it start to edit the field (it executes a double-click on the first word). 

7
As to tables. I was talking about selecting a single cell by clicking in the top  left corner. That is easy to empty cells. (But I agree  with Dieter this should be a in different report)


I do not want to make things more difficult, just easier for users. I agree we should rather want to improve on MSO. Let me make different suggestion, that may make the code easier as well:

SUGGESTION:
- one click in the margin selects a whole paragraph. 
- double click in margin selects a whole paragraph + empty lines

JUSTIFICATION:
- A header is always one paragraph anyway, so this works for headers as well. You never really want to select a line as part of a sentence. (Look at this browser, triple click select a paragraph, not a line). 
- By selecting the following empty lines as well it becomes easy to move or delete a paragraph. 

Frankly that is all a user needs in practice. I never select lines unless it is a whole paragraph. I rarely select sentences (and even then by dragging). I do select paragraphs. And on editing documents I often move paragraphs to change the logical order. All we need can simply be done with one click. 

The Word Processor is a work horse for many people like me. If you can bring the number of clicks down, that is a huge thing. One click in stead of two or three clicks, that is a lot of clicks over a day. It is these details that can make a lot of difference.  

If you do not appreciate me making suggestions, please say so, and I will stop bothering.
Comment 4 V Stuart Foote 2017-11-25 13:57:59 UTC
(In reply to Magalaan from comment #3)
> If you do not appreciate me making suggestions, please say so, and I will
> stop bothering.

If you find it a bother, then don't. But suggestions of UX improvements are welcome and appreciated if presented in context mindful of development efforts.

As I indicated in comment 2, we already provide a functional implementation that meets user needs. We are not "obliged" to provide the same UI that MS implements for their products.

The implementation issue is that there is no linkage between the paragraph object, table object or frame and the page "margin" on which it sits.  Presently, one does not click in the margin--but rather clicks in the border of the object (the "arrow" that appears when over the "target") to have some effect on the object. Positionally clicking in the page margin would require new development to link to the attributes of the target object. 

It has some merit, but would equally result in complaints of spurious selection. I am not convinced it would provide improved UX sufficient to justify the dev effort. But I'll defer to fellow UX team members.
Comment 5 Heiko Tietze 2017-11-27 14:41:49 UTC
Created attachment 138017 [details]
IBeam vs. mirrored cursor in margins

I agree with the idea to show a mirrored cursor in the margins and to select the line on click and the paragraph on double-click. The IBeam cursor is misleading as no editing is possible.
Comment 6 Magalaan 2017-11-30 20:42:45 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #5)
> Created attachment 138017 [details]
> IBeam vs. mirrored cursor in margins
> 
> I agree with the idea to show a mirrored cursor in the margins and to select
> the line on click and the paragraph on double-click. The IBeam cursor is
> misleading as no editing is possible.

Make that select paragraph one click. I only use select line for Headers, but headers are always a one-line-paragraph, so selecting paragraph would do the same. 

Maybe an extra idea would be that the number of clicks in the margin is the number of paragraphs selected. 
1 click > select 1 paragraph
2 click > select 2 paragraph
3 click > select 3 paragraph
etc. 

That would come in very handy and is intuitive and easy to remember
Comment 7 Magalaan 2017-11-30 20:43:34 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 8 Magalaan 2017-11-30 21:00:17 UTC
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #4)
> (In reply to Magalaan from comment #3)
> > If you do not appreciate me making suggestions, please say so, and I will
> > stop bothering.
> 
> If you find it a bother, then don't. But suggestions of UX improvements are
> welcome and appreciated if presented in context mindful of development
> efforts.
> 
> As I indicated in comment 2, we already provide a functional implementation
> that meets user needs. We are not "obliged" to provide the same UI that MS
> implements for their products.
> 
> The implementation issue is that there is no linkage between the paragraph
> object, table object or frame and the page "margin" on which it sits. 
> Presently, one does not click in the margin--but rather clicks in the border
> of the object (the "arrow" that appears when over the "target") to have some
> effect on the object. Positionally clicking in the page margin would require
> new development to link to the attributes of the target object. 
> 
> It has some merit, but would equally result in complaints of spurious
> selection. I am not convinced it would provide improved UX sufficient to
> justify the dev effort. But I'll defer to fellow UX team members.

I see your point. I guess we should not go there. 
Though it would be nice if we had a little more width to click on to select a row in a table than 1mm. could it be 5-10mm?

I am only glad you feel not obliged to provide the same UI as MSO, I like the LO UI better than MSO UI. I think the devil is in the detail and it pays to do these minor improvements, especially with often reoccurring actions like selecting.
Comment 9 Thomas Lendo 2020-07-28 19:03:13 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #5)
> I agree with the idea to show a mirrored cursor in the margins and to select
> the line on click and the paragraph on double-click. The IBeam cursor is
> misleading as no editing is possible.
+1
Comment 10 Heiko Tietze 2020-07-30 14:30:00 UTC
We discussed the topic in the design meeting and recommend to extend the selection area up to the document margin. But unlike MSO it shouldn't go beyond the document (not at the grey canvas) to a) distinguish between page and (desk) background and b) to allow in the future to draw a selection rectangle as known from Draw.