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Bug 133820 - Difficult to set/override footnote separator line direction
Summary: Difficult to set/override footnote separator line direction
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
3.3.0 release
Hardware: All All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
Depends on:
Blocks: Footnote-Endnote RTL-UI
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Reported: 2020-06-09 11:43 UTC by Eyal Rozenberg
Modified: 2020-06-20 08:30 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

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Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Eyal Rozenberg 2020-06-09 11:43:01 UTC
Description:
If your footnote separator line is placed in a certain direction and you want to override/set its direction explicitly  (not talking about changing the super-ordinate object direction here) - that's difficult to do. In fact, I cant find the UI for doing this!

* On the menus, select Tools | Footnote & Endnotes... - nothing in the dialog lets you set the separator's style or direction.
* Right-click the separator, select Paragraph, set the direction - it's not effected, only the footnote below it.
* Right-click the separator, select Footnotes & Endnotes... - it's the same dialog as through the menu.
* On the menus, choose Format | Page Style... - nothing in the dialog lets you change the footnote separator direction.



Steps to Reproduce:
N/A

Actual Results:
N/A

Expected Results:
N/A


Reproducible: Always


User Profile Reset: No


OpenGL enabled: Yes

Additional Info:
I believe LO has always had this bug.
Comment 1 eladhen2 2020-06-09 12:07:28 UTC
You can change footnote separator direction in: format>page>Footnote>separator line>position
Comment 2 Eyal Rozenberg 2020-06-09 12:17:23 UTC
Re Elad's comment:

Yes, you're right. But the bug still stands:

* Only 1 of 4 somewhat-intuitive options can get you where you need.
* "Page Style" is itself a barely intuitive place to search.
* Easy (?) to expect the Footnote settings to be in the Footer tab. Why? 1. Both start with the same sub-word; 2. Tabs are grayed-out (at least on Linux), so they don't stand out; 3. Footnotes are where the footer is, even though they're separate.
* Empirically, I failed to find this myself. Now, I'm one person, but I believe others have this problem too.

So, I still believe something should be done about this.
Comment 3 Dieter 2020-06-12 07:30:18 UTC
(In reply to Eyal Rozenberg from comment #2)
> So, I still believe something should be done about this.


So I think, it's an enhancement request and not a bug.

cc: Design-Team

IMHO if there is a footnote tab within page style dialog it's correct to have settings of separator line there also. If you change it (additionally) to footnote / endnote settings users might ask why you don't find the other settings from footnote tab of page style dialog there also.
Comment 4 Eyal Rozenberg 2020-06-12 08:34:17 UTC
(In reply to Dieter from comment #3)

Given your comments - please consider confirming. Also,

> So I think, it's an enhancement request and not a bug.

You can classify it like that, if you prefer. I think of it as a "usability bug", but sure.

> IMHO if there is a footnote tab within page style dialog it's correct to
> have settings of separator line there also. If you change it (additionally)
> to footnote / endnote settings users might ask why you don't find the other
> settings from footnote tab of page style dialog there also.

What is "it" in "if you change it additionally"?

Right now, in Page Style, there are "Header", "Footer" and "Footnote" tabs.

For the UI people:

1. I would like for all four places where I intuitively searched to _either_:
1.1 have the Page-Footnote-Style available directly (e.g. an extra tab in Footnote & Endnote settings), or
1.2 have a button which opens up the Page-Footnote-Style settings in a (modal?) dialog
1.3 Indicate, with a text label, where one can change the Page-Footnote-Style settings.
2. Please consider having a right-click on the separator be a different thing than a right-click on the area of an actual footnote.
Comment 5 Heiko Tietze 2020-06-14 11:30:13 UTC
(In reply to Eyal Rozenberg from comment #4)
> 1.1 have the Page-Footnote-Style available directly (e.g. an extra tab in
> Footnote & Endnote settings), or

Footnote properties are part of the page style (use the Styles & Formatting sidebar > page styles to add/modify, eg. with right aligned lines on right sides- or vice versa for RTL).

> 1.2 have a button which opens up the Page-Footnote-Style settings in a
> (modal?) dialog

We actually show the PS in the dialog, disabled for "End of page" position and with the wrong selection in this case. But even when we allow to change the PS of the current page or add a button to modify it, wouldn't it be a bit "surprising" if you can switch to landscape in the footnote properties?

> 1.3 Indicate, with a text label, where one can change the
> Page-Footnote-Style settings.

Showing the current PS in the drop down makes definitely sense. Not sure that this is an ultimate solution for your problem, though.

> 2. Please consider having a right-click on the separator be a different
> thing than a right-click on the area of an actual footnote.

As a direct formatting not possible, I guess. And again, changing the page style not via dedicated dialog is weird.
Comment 6 Eyal Rozenberg 2020-06-14 15:18:45 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #5)
I gave a list of possible ways to achieve a certain result. Assuming we agree that it is difficult to figure out how and where to change the Page Style - it doesn't make sense to argue against all individual suggestions without positing an alternative suggestion.

So, how do you propose to make changing the page-footnote-style more accessible?


Now, to the individual points.

> > 1.1 have the Page-Footnote-Style available directly (e.g. an extra tab in
> > Footnote & Endnote settings), or
> 
> Footnote properties are part of the page style

So? they're also part of the Footnote & Endnote settings. You have an intersection of two sets of properties/settings here.

> (use the Styles & Formatting sidebar > page styles 

Uh, this whole bug is about how people don't and won't go there to change the placement of the footnote separator.

> to add/modify, eg. with right aligned lines on right sides- or vice versa for RTL).

This brings up another, significant, issue: Most people don't know that there even is such a thing as an "Right page" and "Left page". In fact, I find it bothersome to even have to think about that. It's also confusing, because you ask yourself "what happens when content gets pushed forward from a Right page into a Left page? Or "Is that like verso vs recto? Odd vs Even?" etc.

> > 1.2 have a button which opens up the Page-Footnote-Style settings in a
> > (modal?) dialog
> 
> We actually show the PS in the dialog,

I was talking about a new dialog, with a new button. What do you mean by "the dialog"?

> wouldn't it be a
> bit "surprising" if you can switch to landscape in the footnote properties?

... this is why my suggestion here is for there be a separate dialog for _just_ toe Page-Footnote-Style; where you can't change the page style to landscape.

> > 1.3 Indicate, with a text label, where one can change the
> > Page-Footnote-Style settings.
> 
> Showing the current PS in the drop down makes definitely sense. Not sure
> that this is an ultimate solution for your problem, though.

That's not what I suggested. I mean, for example, having the Footer pane of the Page Style dialog have a sentence saying something like "For Footnote Settings, switch to the Footnotes pane" or something like that.

> > 2. Please consider having a right-click on the separator be a different
> > thing than a right-click on the area of an actual footnote.
> 
> As a direct formatting not possible, I guess. 

This suggestion is not about direct formatting.

> And again, changing the page
> style not via dedicated dialog is weird.

Not sure why you mention that here. When I right-click the footnote separator, I don't need to say "Paste", "Paste Special", "Clone Formatting" etc - it doesn't belog
Comment 7 Dieter 2020-06-16 12:15:45 UTC
(In reply to Eyal Rozenberg from comment #4)
> What is "it" in "if you change it additionally"?

it = The footnote tab of page style dialog
Comment 8 Eyal Rozenberg 2020-06-16 15:20:03 UTC
(In reply to Dieter from comment #7)
> it = The footnote tab of page style dialog

Ah, now I understand what you meant.

Well, it doesn't have to be _moved_ - the same setting can be made accessible from more than one place.


As for having the three tabs - this is acceptable to me ONLY if the Footer tab links somehow to the Footnotes tab, so that one doesn't miss the existence of the latter.

Also, at least on my system, the tab names are grayed-out:

https://i.imgur.com/hHAyYoJ.png

it would help if the tab names weren't like that, and if the Footnote tab was moved next to the Footer tab.

Also, will someone please confirm the issue? Even if the solution is not yet clear, the problem definitely exists.
Comment 9 Heiko Tietze 2020-06-19 15:24:17 UTC
We discussed this topic in the design meeting. Basically all options are available and after figuring the page style relation it shouldn't be too difficult. Admittedly the first step is hard and we discussed the proposed solutions. Mixing up the clear separation of page styles with other attributes of the footnotes is not recommended and the easy access to the page style actually not a solution. So we suggest to improve the documentation [mostly 1, haven't checked the books], ideally with examples. Forwarding the ticket...

The same is true for bug 133816 and bug 133818.

[1] file:///usr/lib/libreoffice/help/en-US/text/swriter/01/06080100.html?System=UNIX&DbPAR=WRITER&HID=modules/swriter/ui/footnotepage/FootnotePage#bm_id3154656
Comment 10 Eyal Rozenberg 2020-06-19 16:18:58 UTC
1. No, I'm sorry, this is not a documentation bug. That should be opened separately. This bug is about the UI itself.

2. We are again in the situation where it is agreed there's a problem with the UI, but no solution is offered. Better documentation doesn't count as a solution to UI issues - IMO.

3. A decision that the current UI is sufficient should be discussed and decided together with the RTL QA group, not merely on your own.

4. I don't understand this sentence?

> Basically all options are available and after figuring the page style relation it shouldn't be too difficult. 

How are they available when you've rejected them? "after figuring out" - figuring by whom? Also, what is "it" in that sentence?

5.

> Mixing up the clear separation of page styles with other attributes of the footnotes is not recommended

Well, footnote attributed and page style overlap, semantically; so it's either a "mixup" or an artificial separation. Also, this principle is invalid: Think of, say, fonts or font sizes. Nobody has any problem with font controls being available in lots of places around the UI - complete independently, as part of the character style, as part of the paragraph style... the font is the font. Same thing for the footnote separator direction.

Finally, at least some of my suggestions do not involve such mixup: 

* Allowing direct access, e.g. with a toolbar button, to the Page-Footnote-Style settings, as a separate dialog.
* Text, text-link or other mechanism in the Footer tab of the Page Style dialog directing the user to the Footnote tab.
* Having some appropriate entry in the right-click menu of the separator line. To be more specific: A menu entry which opens the page style dialog to the Footnote tab.

I don't know that these are the only possibilities, I'm sure UI wizards can come up with more ideas.

About the other bugs - will comment there separately.