Bug 117233 - Add "Continue Previous Numbering" and "Restart Numbering" in drop-down of Toggle Ordered List toolbar icon (see comment 12)
Summary: Add "Continue Previous Numbering" and "Restart Numbering" in drop-down of To...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: All All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
: 90832 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Bullet-Number-Outline-Lists
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Reported: 2018-04-25 17:09 UTC by muesliflyer
Modified: 2021-02-23 11:02 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

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Description muesliflyer 2018-04-25 17:09:25 UTC
How to produce the bug:

1. Create a set of paragraphs, e.g.:

Para
para
para
para
para
para

2. Select the first three paras and press Toggle Numbered List (F12) button:

    1. Para
    2. para
    3. para
para
para
para

3. Select the next three paras and press Toggle Numbered List (F12) button:

    1. Para
    2. para
    3. para
    1. para
    2. para
    3. para

Note how numbering restarts from 1 in the fourth para, which it should not (IMHO). It seems that the second set of paras forms a new numbered set. Expected behavior: numbering should continue: 4. 5. 6. or else the fourth para should have Restart numbering property set to true.

4. Position cursor in fourth para. Open Format Paragraph dialog - Outline and Numbering tab. Note how Numbering:Restart at this paragraph is not checked although numbering in fact restarts from 1. I.e., it is not evident for the user why numbering restarts from 1.

5. Open context menu (right mouse button). Note how Restart numbering is not highlighted.

6. Open context menu and select Continue previous numbering. Note how this para gets number 4 but the following paras start with number 1. Expected behavior: the following paras should get numbers 5 and 6.

    1. Para
    2. para
    3. para
    4. para
    1. para
    2. para

It seems that the fourth para has been added to the first numbered set and it has been removed from the second numbered set.

This doesn't seem to be a big issue, but if you've got a lot of unnumbered paragraphs in between the numbered ones, it is not easy to achieve a consecutive numbering of the numbered paras other than manually executing Continue previous numbering for all of them. It is not clear (to me) why there are two sets of numbered paras and what is the reason that numbering starts from 1 in the fourth para even though Restart Numbering is not set and all paras are at the same level. It might be reasonable that numbering restarts at 1 in my Step 3, but then the Restart numbering property should be set.

This issue seems to be related to bugs 36220 and 75497. It is not clear what starts a new set of numbered paras other than the Restart numbering property.
Comment 1 Dieter 2018-04-25 17:15:46 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 2 muesliflyer 2018-04-25 18:38:29 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 3 Dieter 2018-04-25 21:13:56 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 4 muesliflyer 2018-04-26 09:51:09 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 5 Dieter 2018-04-26 10:33:01 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 6 muesliflyer 2018-04-26 10:58:58 UTC
(In reply to Dieter Praas from comment #5)
> But you originally reproduced it with LO 6.0.2 (see bug report)?.

Yes. The bug occurs for me both on 6.0.2 on Windows 10 and 5.1.6 on my Ubuntu machine. It is interesting that it works fine for you and not for me. My installation at least on Ubuntu is pretty fresh; Are you sure you selected only paras 4-5 in Step 3 and not all six of them? 

I wonder what is causing the different behavior for you and me. I don't think I changed any LO settings in my Ubuntu installation.

The behavior that it restarts the numbers may in fact be intended (I would not necessarily be opposed to that). Imagine you've got a long text with a numbered list and then further down you want to make another numbered list. Most likely, you want it to start from 1. But I would claim that the Restart Numbering property then should be set for the second numbered list. That way, I could uncheck it if I want numbering to continue from the first list. Also the Continue numbering command on the context menu should be identical to unchecking Restart numbering, which it apparently isn't.
Comment 7 Dieter 2018-04-26 14:39:41 UTC
(In reply to muesliflyer from comment #6)
> Are you sure you selected only paras 4-5 in Step 3 and not all six of them?

Yes. I also tried with LO 5.4.6 and I couldn't reproduce it. 


> The behavior that it restarts the numbers may in fact be intended

No, I don't think so, because you can choose Format => Lists => Restart Numbering or you use the context menu for that.

Perhaps you should reset your Libreoffice profile ( https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/UserProfile ) and re-test.
Comment 8 Timur 2018-04-26 15:52:30 UTC
You say "Select the first three paras" but that's not precise enough. 
If we do it up-bottom then it starts a new list and looks like restart from 1. 
If we do it bottom-up then it continues previous list. 

So, I did reproduce but I don't consider this a bug. If you know what you're doing, LO has options. Problem is how to be aware of the options. 

I suggest this bug be confirmed as Documentation component to change Extended tip for numbering. Please comment.
Regular tip says "Toggle Numbered List (F12)" which is I guess the most you may get. But Extended tip, instead of being "extended" gives something else "Adds or removes numbering from the selected paragraphs". 
I think we better have "Toggle Numbered List (F12). Select up-bottom to start  new list and bottom-up to continue previous list."
And similar logic for bulleted list.

It'd be nice to have it explained somewhere in documentation. 
Because https://help.libreoffice.org/6.1/en-US/text/swriter/guide/using_numbered_lists2.html doesn't mention it now.
Comment 9 muesliflyer 2018-04-26 18:09:47 UTC
(In reply to Timur from comment #8)
> You say "Select the first three paras" but that's not precise enough. 
> If we do it up-bottom then it starts a new list and looks like restart from
> 1. 
> If we do it bottom-up then it continues previous list. 
What a surprise. I confirm I can reproduce.

> So, I did reproduce but I don't consider this a bug. If you know what you're
> doing, LO has options. Problem is how to be aware of the options. 

There are two things for us to consider:
1. When you select top-down, is it correct that numbering restarts at 1 *without* the Restart numbering property of the fourth paragraph being set? Apparently, there is another, hidden property of the fourth paragraph that makes the numbering restart. IMHO, such hidden properties should be avoided and should be considered a (user interface) bug. And the behavior in my Step 6 is also not right in my opinion.

2. I wasn't aware that selections are directional, i.e., that the direction of a selection makes a difference in LO. I don't know of other editors that make that same difference, maybe I'm missing something here. Is this the only place in LO where selection direction makes a difference?
Should we make this difference? At least for me it led to unexpected behavior. I agree, it is kind of neat when you know the difference, when you are a heavy user. But I would venture to say that most users won't and even a tool tip won't change that significantly. I am not entirely sure what I would recommend. Definitely, the Restart numbering property should be heeded. Maybe someone has an idea how we could make the behavior simpler and more obvious, maybe some nice visual cue. For example, there could be a handle at the end of the previous numbered set that could be pulled down across the following paras to create consecutive numbers.
Comment 10 Timur 2018-04-27 17:02:25 UTC
OK, let's clear this out here and open a documentation bug separately. 

> There are two things for us to consider:
> 1. When you select top-down, is it correct that numbering restarts at 1
> *without* the Restart numbering property of the fourth paragraph being set?
> Apparently, there is another, hidden property of the fourth paragraph that
> makes the numbering restart.
To get a better overview, after step 2. change Numbering type. It's not just restart at 1, it's another, different list. So that may explain Step 4.

>And the behavior in my Step 6 is also not right in my opinion.
Makes sense. Looks it's again the same problem of different lists. 

> Is this the only place in LO where selection direction makes a difference?
Can't give a list. But yes, like for deleting a text and writing new with track changes. 

> Should we make this difference? At least for me it led to unexpected
> behavior. I agree, it is kind of neat when you know the difference, when you
> are a heavy user. But I would venture to say that most users won't and even
> a tool tip won't change that significantly. 
Let's hear others.

> Maybe someone has an idea how we could make the behavior simpler and
> more obvious, maybe some nice visual cue. For example, there could be a
> handle at the end of the previous numbered set that could be pulled down
> across the following paras to create consecutive numbers.
Adding needsUXEval here. 

What's reported here looks intuitive without additional options and it's MS style. LO had current behavior all the way from OO and it gives more options. Like, continue previous numbering just for selected paras and keep others as they were. This change would be substantial, even if accepted.
Comment 11 Heiko Tietze 2018-04-30 10:20:09 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 12 Regina Henschel 2018-05-08 12:10:13 UTC
The "correct" way to make the further paragraphs belong to the already existing default list is to mark them and then use the command "Continue Previous Numbering". That works too for lists generated with a list style, although for the style-named list, you can simple apply the style name to continue the list.

A problem is, that the command  "Continue Previous Numbering" is only available in the context menu. So one solution can be to make it more prominent. E.g. add it in in the section Bullet List / Numbered List /... in the Styles menu. And add it to the drop-downs in the toolbar in addition to the item "More Numbering" or give it an icon and add it to the toolbar directly (command is ".uno:ContinueNumbering").

I consider it a bug, that LibreOffice behaves different whether you mark the paragraphs top-bottom or bottom-top. And marking bottom-top to continue the list works only if the marked paragraph follow immediately the existing list.

A further problem is, that the user cannot easily distinguish, whether he has created a new list or has continued a list but restarted the numbering, see remark on "Restart numbering" in the initial report. You can see the difference, when you click in front of the numbering, so that all numbers, which belong to the same list are shaded. That distinction is relevant, if you change the styling of the list, e.g. change "1." to "(1)".
Internally each list has an ID, but in case of the default lists, there is no name in the field in the status bar. It might help to use "Anonym1", "Anonym2",... in the status bar for the default lists.
Comment 13 Heiko Tietze 2018-05-15 15:32:58 UTC
(In reply to Regina Henschel from comment #12)
> The "correct" way to make the further paragraphs belong to the already
> existing default list is to mark them and then use the command "Continue
> Previous Numbering"....

Sounds like a plan. Additionally we could go with radio buttons "( ) Continue numbering, (o) Restart numbering here" to make it perfectly clear.

> I consider it a bug, that LibreOffice behaves different whether you mark the
> paragraphs top-bottom or bottom-top...

Okay, let's drop it (not sure if this easter egg is implemented intentionally).

> A further problem is, that the user cannot easily distinguish, whether he
> has created a new list or has continued a list but restarted the numbering...

What users expect is something like

#1 First
Lorem ipsum
#2 Second

Today, #2 is not connected to the list above. If we go with radio buttons the option "( ) Continue numbering" would be disabled if it's the first list in the document but otherwise checking it changes the list id regardless any text.
Comment 14 Timur 2018-10-31 13:53:33 UTC
*** Bug 90832 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 15 Dieter 2021-02-22 15:38:25 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #13)
> Sounds like a plan.
Regina made different suggestions. Which one do you prefer?

> Okay, let's drop it (not sure if this easter egg is implemented
> intentionally).
It seems to me like a different topic and we should open a different report to avoid confusion in this discussion.
Comment 16 Heiko Tietze 2021-02-23 08:30:35 UTC
(In reply to Dieter from comment #15)
> (In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #13)
> > Sounds like a plan.
> Regina made different suggestions. Which one do you prefer?

"Make it more prominent", meaning alternative access is always good. And the icon of course as well, see bug 126689.

I would always use the previous list and not fiddle around with any selection. Using the statusbar to show the list id (or some name) seems not a good solution to me because there is not enough space, it's out of sight, and wouldn't help Benjamin. Plus, we have the Styles Inspector for this purpose now.

Besides these UI changes I believe bug 36220 comment 10 (changing the whole list on continuation not just one item) is an improvement.