Bug 147858 - CSV import: "String delimiter" drop-down needs indication that it's editable
Summary: CSV import: "String delimiter" drop-down needs indication that it's editable
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
unspecified
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
Depends on:
Blocks: CSV-Dialog
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Reported: 2022-03-09 06:39 UTC by Mike Kaganski
Modified: 2022-03-17 07:09 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

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Description Mike Kaganski 2022-03-09 06:39:31 UTC
In CSV import dialog, the "Text delimiter" field is a drop-down with some pre-defined often-used values; but it is editable, allowing to define own delimiter, or to remove it completely. This is not obvious, especially for newbies - see e.g. [1].

The proposal is to amend the "Text delimiter" label with "(clear to disable)" comment. While I realize it will become very long, it still is UX improvement IMO. It may be moved to an own line to accommodate for the translatable string.

An option to introduce a checkbox to disable the delimiter was considered, but I suppose it's bad: (a) it would be inconsistent second way to do the same (remove the character); and (b) it would not draw attention to editability (my suggestion allows one to realize other ways to customize the delimiter).

Of course, maybe there are better ways to improve the situation; whichever way is decided, this needs an UX improvement.

[1] https://ask.libreoffice.org/t/import-csv-file-ignore-string-delimiter-while-importing/55999
Comment 1 V Stuart Foote 2022-03-09 17:40:06 UTC
@Mike, other than the labeling as an editable field, could we tighten up the field validation? Currently you can edit it to be any string--but just the first character is used as the delimiter.  Had scratched my head over bug 124899

Alternatively, could we achieve a "multi-character" delimiter string for working with CSV (import & export)?
Comment 2 Mike Kaganski 2022-03-09 19:48:31 UTC
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #1)
> @Mike, other than the labeling as an editable field, could we tighten up the
> field validation? Currently you can edit it to be any string--but just the
> first character is used as the delimiter.  Had scratched my head over bug
> 124899

Limiting the field to 1 character is a good idea - please file it separately. Should be a simple .ui change.

> Alternatively, could we achieve a "multi-character" delimiter string for
> working with CSV (import & export)?

I suppose it's something Eike could answer *in a separate issue*.
Comment 3 Heiko Tietze 2022-03-14 12:46:18 UTC
It depends on the OS/DE how controls are drawn. Readonly dropdown have usually an elevated appearance and a slightly lighter color while editable combo boxes look like input fields with an expander at right.

In this particular case it might help to find a better place for the string delimiter, not attached to the right border. And we have to give immediate feedback.
Comment 4 Cor Nouws 2022-03-15 18:44:08 UTC
valid request IMO.
Comment 5 Heiko Tietze 2022-03-17 07:09:07 UTC
The topic was on the agenda of the design meeting.

Out of the ideas
a) separate positioning and a bit larger size, 
b) remove the dropdown in favor of text input (with default to double quote), 
c) tooltip / documentation

we believe a) is the best to implement.