Bug 154098 - Add a third option to the ruler
Summary: Add a third option to the ruler
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) release
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Rulers
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Reported: 2023-03-09 16:54 UTC by nj
Modified: 2023-11-10 21:10 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

The items that I have in mind (1.73 KB, image/png)
2023-03-09 16:54 UTC, nj
The sought formatting (17.58 KB, image/png)
2023-03-09 16:55 UTC, nj
Screencast (462.42 KB, image/gif)
2023-04-11 08:25 UTC, Heiko Tietze

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Description nj 2023-03-09 16:54:42 UTC
Created attachment 185866 [details]
The items that I have in mind

I hope that following severe problem is hardware- or Linux-distribution specific. (I use Linux Mint Cinnamon 21.1 on system with DPI scaling set to x2.)

The problem concerns dragging the indent stops - if that is the correct term; please see attached file #1. That which I call 'the indent stops' are those things that determine the general indentation of a paragraph and also - via a different vertical part of the 'stop' - the indentation of a paragraph's first line.

The problem is as follows. It is nigh impossible to drag such indents in the way that I want. When I try to drag the indent that controls the 'hanging' indentation, nearly always I end up either dragging the 'general' indent as well, or else I insert a tab stop. To see the sort of (fairly elementary) formatting that I sought - and that I had to resort to Microsoft Word to create - please see attached file #2.

At root the problem may be that (1) it is hard to know where one should click-and-drag to set some particular indent. I suspect though that instead or additionally the problem is that it is very hard (on some systems?) to click in such a place as to select only some _one_ of the stop's two parts.
Comment 1 nj 2023-03-09 16:55:05 UTC
Created attachment 185867 [details]
The sought formatting
Comment 2 Dieter 2023-03-23 20:07:05 UTC
It sounds to me not like a bug, but a question to get some advice. Perhaps help page [1] can help you. If you nedd further advice, you please use ask.libreoffice.org. Tio change indentation, you can also use settings in sidebar (properties tab).

I close this report as NOTABUG. If you disagree, please change it back to UNCONFIRMED with a short reasoning.

[1] https://help.libreoffice.org/7.5/en-GB/text/swriter/guide/ruler.html?&DbPAR=Writer&System=WIN
Comment 3 nj 2023-03-31 13:37:43 UTC
> It sounds to me not like a bug, but a question to get some advice. Perhaps help page [1] can help you. If you nedd further advice, you please use ask.libreoffice.org. Tio change indentation, you can also use settings in sidebar (properties tab).

It seems to me that: (1) the dragging that I describe is meant to be easily accomplished; (2) in truth it is very hard to accomplish.

The page that Dieter cites seems to confirm _1_. Still, when that page comes to give an example, the sudden introduction of the CTRL key is throwing.

'You can also': that is a workaround, not a fix.
Comment 4 Dieter 2023-04-10 13:33:35 UTC
So let's treat it as enhancement request and let's ask design-team. Personally I still woud say it's NOTABUG or a WONTFIX
Comment 5 Heiko Tietze 2023-04-11 08:25:57 UTC
Created attachment 186575 [details]

The lower thumb (calling the "stop" like this having the scrollbar rulers in mind) changes the indentation before the text, the upper the first line indentation. And it's coupled for convenience. The workflow is to first change the lower and then the upper thumb as shown in the screencast.

Use the paragraph properties dialog or the sidebar to more precisely control the attributes. The recommended workflow is to use styles, which offer the same attributes and interactions but would be applied to all paragraphs )which have not been overwritten with direct formatting).

Ultimately the question is, if I got you right, if we follow Microsoft Office where the two options are decoupled and changing the lower thumb adjusts both values to +1 indent and -1 for the first line, for example, at once.
Comment 6 csongor 2023-04-11 15:13:48 UTC
MSWord uses three symbols on the ruler: 
- a triangle at the top, pointing downwards 
- a triangle at the bottom, pointing upwards
- a square attached to the lower triangle. 

They work differently:
- the upper triangle moves the first line of the paragraph
- the lower triangle moves the remaining lines only
- the square moves all lines together.  

I think the MS-way is more intuitive than Writer's (you don't need to remember the Ctrl modifier). Therefore, I would vote for this change. 

Modifier keys could be kept for toggling snap-to-point feature. For example, dragging without keys would snap to whole millimeters only while keeping Shift pressed would allow precise positioning.

If it is too hard to feel where to drag the three symbols, we could change the color of the symbols when the mouse is hovering over them:
- hovering over the upper triangle highlights that triangle
- hovering over the lower triangle highlights that triangle
- hovering over the square highlights all the three symbols.
Comment 7 Eyal Rozenberg 2023-04-19 18:50:30 UTC
(In reply to nicholasjoll from comment #0)

Is the hard part in the fact that you need to make two click-and-drags? Other than, I can't really say that I share your experience.

The two click-and-drag's is not that hard IMHO, and I'm not sure adding an extra widget would not be trading some ease for more confusion due to complexity.

But - I don't have a strong opinion.
Comment 8 nj 2023-04-19 18:56:36 UTC
@  Eyal Rozenberg: no, the problem is not that one needs to make two click-and-drags. The problem is as my first post described it. Possibly that problem was caused or at least exacerbated by my ignorance - but even if that is so, other users seem likely to get into the same frustrating mess that I did.
Comment 9 Heiko Tietze 2023-04-21 09:14:20 UTC
The topic was on the agenda of the design meeting but did not receive further input. 

So let's implement this triple ruler by adding a rectangular footer to the up/down triangles. This ruler should change the "Before Text Indent", which is currently the down triangle (moving it affects the up/down triangles consequently).

This down triangle should change the "Before Text Indent" _and_ at the same time the "First Line Indent" to the negative value. Moving it right/left does not change the position of the up triangle. The rectangle is always positioned at the down arrow.

The up-triangle should keep it's behavior and change the "First Line Indent" only. Moving the rectangle if the up-triangle has a different position than the down triangle moves it too and keeps the relation first line/before text indent.
Comment 10 nj 2023-11-10 21:10:19 UTC
This debilitating problem, whereby - in short - adjusting indentation is no fun at all - seem to be present, unchanged, in _Impress_ too (not just Writer), at least when one edits slide notes.

Given that Impress does strange things to the formatting of notes in files imported from PowerPoint - strange things that include adjusting the indentation seemingly randomly - the 'no fun at all' becomes 'really not fun in any way whatsoever'.