Bug 147837 - When merging cells, it is not good that 'Keep the contents of the hidden cell' is the default
Summary: When merging cells, it is not good that 'Keep the contents of the hidden cell...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
7.3.1.3 release
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
Depends on:
Blocks: Calc-Merge-Split
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2022-03-08 01:14 UTC by Junichi Matsukawa
Modified: 2022-04-28 05:24 UTC (History)
6 users (show)

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


Attachments
Selection display when merging cells with Calc (46.63 KB, image/png)
2022-03-08 01:16 UTC, Junichi Matsukawa
Details
Total display after cell merge with default selected (27.36 KB, image/png)
2022-03-08 01:17 UTC, Junichi Matsukawa
Details
Excel 2019 cell merge display (44.06 KB, image/png)
2022-03-08 01:19 UTC, Junichi Matsukawa
Details
Total display after cell merging in Excel 2019 (27.27 KB, image/png)
2022-03-08 01:21 UTC, Junichi Matsukawa
Details

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Description Junichi Matsukawa 2022-03-08 01:14:56 UTC
Description:
When merging cells with Calc, it is not good that 'Keep the contents of the hidden cells' is the default. In Excel, 'Empty the contents of the hidden cells' is selected. I'm afraid this will cause compatibility issues, human error issues.

Steps to Reproduce:
1.Input 1, 2 and 3 to each cell. Sum with the SUM function. The total is 6.
2.Copy and paste the range.
3.Combine 1,2,3 of cells. Select the default. The joint is displayed as 1. The total is 6.

Actual Results:
Combining cells with the default selection will give different results than Excel.

Expected Results:
'Empty the contents of the hidden cells' should be the default selection.


Reproducible: Always


User Profile Reset: Yes


OpenGL enabled: Yes

Additional Info:
Upload the image compared with Excel.
Comment 1 Junichi Matsukawa 2022-03-08 01:16:53 UTC
Created attachment 178708 [details]
Selection display when merging cells with Calc

Selection display when merging cells with Calc
Comment 2 Junichi Matsukawa 2022-03-08 01:17:52 UTC
Created attachment 178709 [details]
Total display after cell merge with default selected

Total display after cell merge with default selected
Comment 3 Junichi Matsukawa 2022-03-08 01:19:52 UTC
Created attachment 178710 [details]
Excel 2019 cell merge display

Excel 2019 cell merge display
Comment 4 Junichi Matsukawa 2022-03-08 01:21:52 UTC
Created attachment 178711 [details]
Total display after cell merging in Excel 2019

Total display after cell merging in Excel 2019
Comment 5 JO3EMC 2022-03-10 01:42:16 UTC
Reproduce in 7.3.1.

Version: 7.3.1.3 (x64) / LibreOffice Community
Build ID: a69ca51ded25f3eefd52d7bf9a5fad8c90b87951
CPU threads: 8; OS: Windows 10.0 Build 19044; UI render: default; VCL: win
Locale: ja-JP (ja_JP); UI: ja-JP
Calc: CL


I don't think it's serious, but I agree with the idea that'Empty the contents of the hidden cells' should be the default.
I think we can reduce the risk of being inadvertently annoyed by invisible numbers.

The Bug 137780 proposal may also be a related approach.
Comment 6 Heiko Tietze 2022-04-07 07:17:28 UTC
Quite the opposite, keeping all data on merge is safer than cleaning up. Microsoft is not always doing the right things.

Ultimately it's a conscious decision and the dialog shows clearly what happens. 

Other opinions?
Comment 7 Roman Kuznetsov 2022-04-07 07:20:51 UTC
Current behaviour is the best solution for this case

I don't think it's the problem for anyone, because we have the excellent dialog with illustrations and nice labels
Comment 8 JO3EMC 2022-04-08 02:38:03 UTC
Dialogs are certainly one approach, and I think it's not a bad way at this point for picking up all the requests.
However, what is proposed here is the selection of the initial value there.
My opinion is that "Empty the contents of the hidden cells" is better.
Many of the people around me have similar ideas, and so far no one has any other ideas.
Opinions are also exchanged in the Japanese category of Ask, and it is such a situation.
https://ask.libreoffice.org/t/topic/74933

Although it deviates a little from the proposal of this issue.

From the perspective of not breaking existing data or formulas, "Keep the contents of the hidden cells" is certainly "safer".
But I think that kind of safety is not necessary.
Cell merging changes the appearance and structure of the "visible sheet".
If the structure of the sheet changes, I think it may be natural that the written content is damaged, in a sense.
Similar things usually happen with other cell operations.

Rather, it is more dangerous that information that is difficult for the user to know is left in the "invisible place".
It is difficult to follow the behavior of formulas, and also there is the risk of information leakage.
"Safe" depends on the point of view.
It seems more dangerous to me that it is harder to detect invisible data.
The introduction of the "Hidden Row / Column Indicator" feature in LibreOffice 7.4 may also be from a similar perspective.
I think the Bug 137780 introduced in Comment 5 is standing on this view.

Data loss is usually visible.
We can notice.
If the data is promised not to be hidden, the awareness is even more certain.

Microsoft doesn't always do the right thing, but it can be right.
To me, Microsoft's judgment seems to be better on this issue.
Comment 9 JO3EMC 2022-04-08 02:45:03 UTC
I missed talking.
Not all Microsoft behavior is better in this issue.
There are some bad points, and I think it has advantages and disadvantages compared to LibreOffice.
The best answer has not been determined.
Comment 10 Heiko Tietze 2022-04-22 08:32:09 UTC
The topic was on the agenda of the design meeting.

MSO can read hidden content from merged cells but when applied on MSO365 it offers only to remove the content. We provide all options and to keep the content is a convenient feature. On the other hand, the security/privacy argument is valid. 

While a warning/infobar on save is not possible and on load is probably too late, the recommendation is to show an indicator (optionally) for hidden content.
Comment 11 JO3EMC 2022-04-28 05:24:00 UTC
> While a warning/infobar on save is not possible and on load is probably too late, the recommendation is to show an indicator (optionally) for hidden content.

That would be better.

That being said, I think it's even better that the initial value of the dialog is "Empty the contents of the hidden cells".
Changing the default value is different from removing the function.
The topic is which one is kinder to beginners.