Bug 127954 - Please rename "Show formatting marks" to something correct!
Summary: Please rename "Show formatting marks" to something correct!
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: All All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
Keywords: needsUXEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Formatting-Mark
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Reported: 2019-10-03 17:03 UTC by Mike Kaganski
Modified: 2021-12-31 08:36 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

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Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Mike Kaganski 2019-10-03 17:03:03 UTC
"Show formatting marks" toggle has an awful name. For two reasons:

1. Its name suggests that what is shows/hides *is* a formatting tool: paragraph marks, tabs, spaces... These *should not* be used for formatting! Such "formatting" (inherited from typewriter era) is evil in electronic documents that makes working with documents a nightmare.
2. Its name confuses people who think that turning on the marks, they would see the details of applied real formatting. A quote from IRC question: 

> hk239: hi
> hk239: are there some 'hidden' formatting marks that are not displayed even
>        after you select 'show formatting marks'?
> hk239: I'm wondering because the document behavior is inconsistent, although
>        I suspect it's not because of openoffice per ce, but because of the
>        underlying logic
> hk239: for an example, sometimes when using the 'new line' or 'endline'
>        formatting mark, the next line begins immediately below the first one
> hk239: and sometimes it leaves a space
> hk239: At least there seems to be a distinction between a 'return' and a
>        'newline' symbol, which can be made by pressing 'enter' or 'alt+enter'
>        but I think that's not the complete picture

Something like "Show non-printing characters" would be much better (even though the option also shows text margins).
Comment 1 Mike Kaganski 2019-10-03 17:20:02 UTC
The change from "Non-printing Characters" (inherited from OOo) to "Formatting Marks" was done (for unclear reason, not described in the commit) in https://git.libreoffice.org/core/+/37ad8daabf596e039b4ca62e06e91d5a83128b7c
Comment 2 V Stuart Foote 2019-10-03 20:21:38 UTC
But there are formatting marks--just not the old WP style codes. Exposing them currently requires both the <Ctrl>+F10 show NPC and <Ctrl>+F8 show Field Shading.

IIRC the rename to 'Toggle Formatting Marks' and 'Formatting marks' arose while we were looking at legacy globbing of some NPC into the F8 field shading (.uno:ViewValueHighlighting)  compared to <Ctrl>+F10 (.uno:ControlCodes) for showing Non-printing and META characters where they seemed to belong.

bug 58434 remains open essentially to split out all but Field related controls from <Ctrl>+F8, and add them all to the <Ctrl>+F10 NPC toggle.

Result would include the current NPC behavior, but also including more of the "formatting marks"--some shaded as Field data (e.g. NWNB (U+FEEF), ZWS (U+200B)--and some that have no indication on canvas RTL mark (U+200F), LTR (U+200E), Word join mark (U+2060).

See attachment 112798 [details] attachment 112753 [details] from bug 58434 for additional descriptions.
Comment 3 Heiko Tietze 2019-10-05 07:25:17 UTC
Besides Stuart's arguments, I doubt the Benjamin users would stop using paragraph break to format the layout when it's renamed. So a lot of fuss for not much benefit.
Comment 4 V Stuart Foote 2019-10-05 12:25:36 UTC
I have no real objection to reverting the labeling to 'Non-printing Characters', but don't see much benefit either. Was commenting on why it was done when Jay was reworking menu/GUI items.

My real hope is that suggestions of bug 58434 get picked up to make the .uno:ControlCodes command more meaningful.
Comment 5 Heiko Tietze 2019-10-10 07:20:24 UTC
No further opinion, so let's keep the status quo with "formatting marks".