Bug 125736 - Writer: adding a column to a table should enlarge and not squeeze table unless page width is reached
Summary: Writer: adding a column to a table should enlarge and not squeeze table unles...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Cell-Add-Delete
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2019-06-06 11:05 UTC by Christian Lehmann
Modified: 2021-04-17 07:12 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:
Regression By:

screen video showing addition of a column (501.52 KB, video/mp4)
2019-06-06 11:06 UTC, Christian Lehmann

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Description Christian Lehmann 2019-06-06 11:05:30 UTC
Adding a column to a table squeezes existing columns.

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Have the cursor in a table.
2. Choose 'Table > insert > Columns after'
3. The column is added at the right of the table.

Actual Results:
The table width is conserved, so the width of all the existing columns shrinks, and their content is squeezed.

Expected Results:
The table width should increase by the width of the new column, leaving the existent columns intact.

Reproducible: Always

User Profile Reset: No

OpenGL enabled: Yes

Additional Info:
This behavior is independent of the option chosen in Options > Libre Office Writer > Table > Behavior of rows/columns. (As a result, it is unclear what these options are good for.)
If I remember correctly, this bug is not new in LO
This bug is related to my earlier bug report 113604: Optimize column width should be persistent.
Comment 1 Christian Lehmann 2019-06-06 11:06:59 UTC
Created attachment 151961 [details]
screen video showing addition of a column
Comment 2 Timur 2019-06-06 12:47:27 UTC
Adding a column to a table squeezes existing columns.
And this is enhancement request that adding a column to a table should enlarge table width for o new column. 
If page width is reached, only then columns should be squeezed. 
This is more UX but looks reasonable, so I'll confirm.
Comment 3 Christian Lehmann 2021-04-17 07:12:59 UTC
Since I reported this bug almost two years ago, and apart from the confirmation by Timur, it has been ignored and nothing has happened. Let me now expand on the report to demonstrate the scope of the problem:

There are (apparently) two places where the user can adjust changes of the table width:

1) Tools > Options > LibreOffice Writer > Table > Behavior of rows/columns
2) Table >  Size > Optimal column width

Option #1 offers a setting 'Variable: Changes affect the table size'. This would lead the user to expect that if he changes the width of a column or adds a column, the table width will be adjusted automatically. This does not happen; instead, the existent columns are disfigured. Nor is any other effect of this setting perceptible.

Option #2 is faulty in two respects:
a) Contrary to its name, it does not produce optimal column width, but only minimum column width. That is, it only expands the width of columns if necessary. It does not shrink the width of columns that are wider than necessary.
b) If the user wants optimal column width for a table, he has to trigger the adjustment manually after each and every editing of a column or addition of a column. Since the layout of a table is part of the editing process, this makes work on a table very laborious.

Balance: Dynamic adjustment of column and table width should be the default setting for all tables. The user can always override or deactivate it by setting a fixed width for the table and/or the columns.