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Bug 33173 - Tabbed UI (Writer): Division/section-per-tab (similar to Lotus WordPro)
Summary: Tabbed UI (Writer): Division/section-per-tab (similar to Lotus WordPro)
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
3.6.5.2 release
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
: 121809 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Enhancements
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2011-01-15 16:23 UTC by Todd
Modified: 2020-01-26 19:29 UTC (History)
11 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
example of "Divider Tabs" (29.42 KB, image/jpeg)
2011-01-15 16:23 UTC, Todd
Details
Example of WordPro tabbed Divisions (5.20 KB, image/png)
2012-07-04 17:17 UTC, bugzillafan
Details
screenshot of Libreoffice with several document opened as tabs (47.13 KB, image/png)
2014-11-05 14:59 UTC, sasha.libreoffice
Details
Better screen shot of single WordPro document with tabbed divisions and sections (110.77 KB, image/png)
2016-05-26 14:42 UTC, roland
Details

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Description Todd 2011-01-15 16:23:16 UTC
Created attachment 42090 [details]
example of "Divider Tabs"

This is a hold over enhancement request from OO:
http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=20701

I really love Lotus WordPro's tabbed divisions and tabbed sections ("Divider tabs"), which basically allow you to maneuver around long and complex documents very easily.  There is no similar feature in Writer, though the Navigator has some of that functionality.

Across the top of the document are a series of tabs each representing
a different section/subsection of the document.  The tabs are created
and named as you select Create>Division or Create>Section from the
menu.

Tab one might be called "Introduction" and have several nested
Subsections; the next main tab might be called BODY and contain
subdivisions each containing both a chapter and even subsections
themselves dividing the chapters up.  footnotes/endnotes can then be
created in a separate Bibliography division etc...

What is being asked for here is "Divider tabs".  The dividers are in
the SAME document, not separate documents as in Firefox.  It is a way
of quickly going to chapters, etc. in your document.

From Word Pro's help file:
    Divider tabs represent divisions and sections in a document. 
    They can be used to structure a document and reveal its 
    organization at a glance. Word Pro does not display divider
    tabs by default; you can display them by clicking the icon 
    on your workspace.

"Divider tabs" are an EXTREMELY powerful productivity tool.  They
are the main reason I have delayed switching from Word Pro to
Libre Office Writer.

Please consider creating this type of interface Feature.

Many thanks,
-T
Comment 1 Björn Michaelsen 2011-12-23 11:43:47 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 2 Todd 2011-12-30 21:08:45 UTC
Please consider this request under the new 3.5.  It will add a lot of productivity to LO.

Many thanks,
-T
Comment 3 sasha.libreoffice 2012-02-23 03:17:59 UTC
As I understand, we insert Bookmarks using Insert->Bookmark, and they appear in specific toolbar as tabs.
IMHO it can be implemented using Basic macro.

@ Todd
My be such functionality exist somewhere among OpenOffice extensions. Please, verify.
Comment 4 Todd 2012-02-24 22:09:14 UTC
(In reply to comment #3)
> As I understand, we insert Bookmarks using Insert->Bookmark, and they appear in
> specific toolbar as tabs.
> IMHO it can be implemented using Basic macro.
> 
> @ Todd
> My be such functionality exist somewhere among OpenOffice extensions. Please,
> verify.

Hi Sasha,

   Did not find an applicable extension.

   Would you please look at the attachment I added:
       https://bugs.freedesktop.org/attachment.cgi?id=42090

   The functionality trumps bookmarks by leaps and bounds.  So much so that I find myself in the dilapidated Word Pro instead of LO because I can not have my Division Tabs.  And you can not right click on misspelled words either -- a big pain in the neck -- in Word Pro, but the Divider Tabs so trumps anything LO has that I stay in Word Pro.  Oh Ya, I indeed want it all!  (Pesky users!)

   Please consider adding Divider Tabs to LO.

Many thanks,
-T
Comment 5 sasha.libreoffice 2012-02-24 22:24:23 UTC
Thanks for additional search.
Comment 6 bugzillafan 2012-07-04 17:11:18 UTC
As a longtime Lotus WordPro user trying to migrate to LO Writer, I have to say that it is hugely frustrating not to have an equivalent to the tabbed Divisions function found in WordPro.  The WordPro Divisions can be easily created, copied, move, or deleted, and the user can name or color them for easy reference.  The tabs are always in view at the top of the screen, making it a snap for the user to quickly move around in the various divisions of a document.  Having absolutely depended on the WordPro Divisions functionality to when writing my book, I can only say with regret that there is no way on earth I'd choose LO for such a project if I had to do it all over again now.  

LO has many excellent features and I'm very much in favor of its continued growth and success, but I'm afraid the lack of this sort of tabbed Division function is a real deficiency in an otherwise great program.  Please make this a priority in your program improvements.

Thank you.
Comment 7 bugzillafan 2012-07-04 17:17:58 UTC
Created attachment 63836 [details]
Example of WordPro tabbed Divisions

This image shows the tabbed Divisions in WordPro.  They have been given custom colors and namees in order to make it easy and fast to move around in the document.  They would be a HUGE improvement in LO.  Please make this an urgent project.  Thanks.
Comment 8 Todd 2012-07-04 17:44:33 UTC
Hi All,

   I am the original poster.  Would you please consider adding this feature to the next release of Libre Office?  It would be a HUGE performance improvement.  It would also make a ton of converts from Word Pro and earn you their undying gratitude.  And, with you guys tremendous talent, it should be an easy and fun project.

Many thanks,
-T
Comment 9 Todd 2012-07-04 21:49:57 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 10 sasha.libreoffice 2012-07-06 06:21:18 UTC
Changing status to New
It is obvious that tabs are useful. May programs have them. For example Kate, Gimp 2.8, Firefox.
IMHO LibreOffice has internals for rendering tabs, because they are in Calc. 
But needed to create new pane for Writer where tabs will live.
Comment 11 alubrutaru 2013-03-04 00:03:12 UTC
Pleeeeaaaaseeee add tabs feature! It's very useful and because it's so common in a lot of programs, it became a habit, a "by default" way of working.

Thank you for LibreOffice
Comment 12 alubrutaru 2013-03-04 00:05:21 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 13 Todd 2013-03-05 03:51:09 UTC
(In reply to comment #12)
> Pleeeeaaaaseeee add tabs feature! It's very useful and because it's so
> common in a lot of programs, it became a habit, a "by default" way of
> working.
> 
> Thank you for LibreOffice

I second that request.  I still use Word Pro for no other reason other than the division tabs
Comment 14 Rodolfo 2013-03-12 05:09:56 UTC
So every section would automatically generate a tab?
Or you could select what section creates a tab?

And how these nested tabs would work? In different "rows"?
Comment 15 Todd 2013-03-12 18:38:21 UTC
(In reply to comment #14)
> So every section would automatically generate a tab?
> Or you could select what section creates a tab?

We want to place them manually where we want them
 
> And how these nested tabs would work? In different "rows"?

----> January                    February
    |                            |
    --> Week 1; week 2; week 3    week1; week 2

Just in a row underneath.

Nesting never worked very well in Word Pro.  Would be ecstatic if you only got the tabs working.   No need to get fancy with the nesting right away.
Comment 16 Björn Michaelsen 2014-01-17 00:43:55 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 17 Owen Genat (retired) 2014-07-26 10:37:07 UTC
*** Bug 37806 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 18 Owen Genat (retired) 2014-09-15 11:26:57 UTC
Summary amended for clarity.
Comment 19 Todd 2014-11-04 18:45:16 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 20 sasha.libreoffice 2014-11-05 14:59:57 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 21 roland 2014-11-05 15:08:54 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 22 roland 2016-05-26 14:42:02 UTC
Created attachment 125298 [details]
Better screen shot of single WordPro document with tabbed divisions and sections

Here is a better example of tabbed document in WordPro. I installed SmartSuite 98 under wine on 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04. I took the default wine config of XP. Notice how the tab I titled Main Document expands to include Section 1 as that section is part of the division. Research Notes and Another Division are not different document files. They are different divisions within the same WordPro document file.

I do hate to promote anything on Amazon, but several people are selling it on there.

http://www.amazon.com/Lotus-SmartSuite-9-8-Millenium-Edition/dp/B0002Z9TGO

Other places:
https://www.buycheapsoftware.com/details~productID~1004.asp

Not certain about this download site:
http://lotus-smartsuite.joydownload.com/

Quite honestly, SmartSuite was the best office package ever created. IBM just chose to bungle it.
Comment 23 Alex Thurgood 2017-08-09 15:02:15 UTC
*** Bug 111431 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 24 Alex Thurgood 2017-08-09 15:04:59 UTC
As a former user of Lotus Smartsuite, I can only agree.
Another use case, as illustrated by the duplicate I just flagged, would be the ability to use the tabs to create tabbed forms for database work.

Currently, in a form, one can only use sections which one can hide or reveal, but the form designer is still constrained to single page and corresponding page width. Using tabs in forms to jump from one data entry section to another is a common UI-design tool in db form design, and is present in many corresponding database products.
Comment 25 Adolfo Jayme 2017-10-15 10:29:16 UTC
*** Bug 38401 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 26 V Stuart Foote 2018-11-29 22:40:53 UTC
*** Bug 121809 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 27 Stian 2018-11-29 22:57:00 UTC
Damn, people have been asking for this since 2003! :-O

I find it very strange this wouldn't be implemented. Especially when the functionality is implemented in Calc. It seems logical to me that the source code in Calc for that functionality could be easily implemented into Writer.

About the file format compliance. Since this hasn't been implemented or even made ready within the standard, I'd suggest making an extended ODT format (or not, it doesn't matter as long as it works in Libre Office). What matters is the feature implementation, really.
Comment 28 Roman Kuznetsov 2019-03-12 16:14:08 UTC

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 37134 ***
Comment 29 David 2019-07-14 11:33:07 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 30 roland 2019-07-14 12:29:43 UTC
David is correct. Under Lotus WordPro a document was its own little file system contained within a file. Each tab was a document section so you could keep research notes, outlines, to-do, and make each chapter of a book its own tab. A book could be re-arranged by dragging the tabs to change the order. When printing you were allowed to select a range of tabs for printing.

Another poster was correct in that it is much like the "sheets" concept of a spreadsheet.

What is important to understand is this wasn't just a navigation tool like the Navigator sidebar. It was a document organization tool. Instead of having to remember to copy an entire set of files when sending the document to a new machine there was one file conceptually consisting of many individual files. Custom styles were also contained within it. I believe it also had a "fat" document feature which could be turned on. The "fat" document feature, much like that of Word Perfect, would also store the fonts within the document. Not just the name and family, but the entire font so a document could be moved to a completely different machine without fear of pagination and appearance getting scrambled by the new machine not having the correct fonts.

This is a real problem today with LO. If you are creating a document on a Debian based machine which has the t1-cyrillic font set and send it to OpenSuSE or some other RPM based distro machine where that font package isn't in the repos one must jump through quite a few hoops to get the fonts installed on the machine.

Microsoft Word users rarely face this issue because they tend to be far less creative, using only the fonts bundled with Word and Windows.

According to this link,
https://www.file-extensions.org/lwp-file-extension
LO already supports the LWP file format. I'm actually okay with LO fleshing out the LWP support completely and only enabling these features when using the LWP file format.
Comment 31 V Stuart Foote 2019-07-14 13:40:58 UTC
Agree. => NEW

bug 37134 as see also, much of the framework needed to provide Tabbed UI (holding Page, Section, Division, MasterDoc elements) would first need to be fleshed out with a proper MDI

Both need extensive UX design and development effort.
Comment 32 roland 2019-07-14 14:49:23 UTC
Please focus on the Lotus SmartSuite 98 version. This was when the product ran on both Windows and OS/2 and was pretty much the hay day of the software.

Honestly, until I did this search I didn't know IBM didn't officially kill the product until 2014.

https://archive.org/details/LotusSmartSuite99

Don't know if I would trust the download link on that site though. It "looks" like an official IBM download. I would be surprised if IBM just dumped it onto the PC market for free, but IBM sold off the PC business quite some time ago so it is possible.

Ebay seems to have some legitimate copies.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/3768/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=lotus+smartsuite

I've not used it, but Scrivener has some of the same capabilities.
https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener/overview

I would be very careful where one installs it. Lots of people making claims like this ebay item.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-LOTUS-1-2-3-SMARTSUITE-9-7-Organizer-Approach-Word-Pro-Windows-XP-7-8-10/143282147342?hash=item215c48100e:g:qc0AAOSwnONZBBAC

I had a Windows 7 ultimate edition I did manage to install it on. Other version of Windows it would jack up. Maybe Windows 10 got a bit better about being backwardly compatible with software really written for 98 and barely updated to run on 2k? Best to set up a VM with an old copy of 98 or 2k.

There is a really long message thread here:
http://www.matnewman.com/webs/personal/matblog.nsf/dx/a-quiet-farewell-lotus-1-2-3-organizer-and-smartsuite?opendocument&comments

It's about all things Lotus Organizer and Lotus Smartsuite by professionals and journalists who still use it. It appears some are successfully installing it on Windows 10.

If you are "significantly reworking the UI" then you might want to take a good look at Lotus Organizer
https://www.revolvy.com/page/IBM-Lotus-Organizer?cr=1
as well as the Smart Center or Command Center (name depends on who you ask.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lotus_SmartCenter_9.8_with_open_drawers.png

The file cabinet drawers were a really nice touch. It made everything feel completely integrated, especially with Organizer and email. It was and is much nicer than opening the LibreOffice main application and getting a list of apps down the side and a screen full of document images.

Just my 0.002
Comment 33 Heiko Tietze 2019-07-15 07:14:59 UTC
(In reply to David from comment #29)
> This bug most definitely is not a duplicate of bug 37134.  Bug 37134
> concerns having each document as a tab within a single application window. 
> This bug is about sections of a document being displayed as tabs within the
> document.

The screenshots show a different situation. What I understand by " sections of a document being displayed" separately is what MSO has where you can split the scrollbar.
Comment 34 roland 2019-07-15 09:08:46 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #33)
> (In reply to David from comment #29)
> > This bug most definitely is not a duplicate of bug 37134.  Bug 37134
> > concerns having each document as a tab within a single application window. 
> > This bug is about sections of a document being displayed as tabs within the
> > document.
> 
> The screenshots show a different situation. What I understand by " sections
> of a document being displayed" separately is what MSO has where you can
> split the scrollbar.

That would be an incorrect understanding. The screenshot uploaded 2016-05-26 clearly shows a completely different situation.

I'm several weeks away from finishing my current contract and going home. When I get home I will actually write a multi-part document and take screen shots for you. I may even burn a few days attempting to install SmartSuite under Wine.
Comment 35 V Stuart Foote 2019-10-23 21:01:52 UTC
*** Bug 121809 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 36 Xisco Faulí 2019-11-29 13:27:07 UTC
Changing priority back to 'medium' since the number of duplicates is lower than 5
Comment 37 Todd 2019-11-29 13:32:51 UTC
(In reply to Xisco Faulí from comment #36)
> Changing priority back to 'medium' since the number of duplicates is lower
> than 5

Comments 17, 23, 25, 26, 28, 35 makes six duplicates.  Please place the priority back to high.
Comment 38 roland 2019-11-29 13:33:52 UTC
(In reply to Xisco Faulí from comment #36)
> Changing priority back to 'medium' since the number of duplicates is lower
> than 5

Please return to high priority. Allowing duplicates to rot into oblivion isn't reducing the importance of this bug or improving the product.
Comment 39 roland 2019-11-29 13:35:27 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 40 Heiko Tietze 2019-12-01 08:42:32 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 41 Heiko Tietze 2019-12-05 08:27:20 UTC
I don't see the advantage over the Navigator [1] or master documents [2]. Users who are familiar with one kind of interaction may prefer this but there is no requirement missing, AFAICS. So the suggestion is to not change what we have (and where other users are familiar with).
And while we have some interest in the topic, it's at the same time quite old and of less importance for the whole product. So setting back to medium.

[1] https://help.libreoffice.org/6.3/en-US/text/swriter/guide/arrange_chapters.html?&DbPAR=WRITER&System=UNIX
[2] https://help.libreoffice.org/6.3/en-US/text/swriter/guide/globaldoc_howtos.html?DbPAR=WRITER#bm_id3145246
Comment 42 Todd 2019-12-06 06:03:31 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #41)
> I don't see the advantage over the Navigator [1] or master documents [2].
> Users who are familiar with one kind of interaction may prefer this but
> there is no requirement missing, AFAICS. So the suggestion is to not change
> what we have (and where other users are familiar with).
> And while we have some interest in the topic, it's at the same time quite
> old and of less importance for the whole product. So setting back to medium.

Heiko,

I am the original porter (OP) of this request.

I do constantly used both.  In my technical opinion, although your are absolutely correct, both do work, your method is a good 10 times more difficult to use and is not as intuitive to the user.  Please do not look at this a "we already have a way, don't fix what is not broken", but as "how can we make this more user friendly". If you like doing thing the obscure, difficult way, leave the current method in place as an alternative.

You already support tabs in Calc, so add the feature to Writer should be a piece of cake.

It would be wonderful if you would institute this request and would EVER fix the envelope printing, then I and others could FINALLY get off the DEFUNCT Word Pro, which works better than Writer and has been dead and unsupported for about 20 years or so.

This is what tabs looks like in Calc.  Here are two tabs.  One is "January" and its 1:1 text is "Month 1"; the second its "February" and its 1:1 text is "Month 02":

   <table:table table:name="January" table:style-name="ta1">
    <table:table-column table:style-name="co1" table:default-cell-style-name="Default"/>
    <table:table-row table:style-name="ro1">
     <table:table-cell office:value-type="string" calcext:value-type="string">
      <text:p>Month 01</text:p>
     </table:table-cell>
    </table:table-row>
   </table:table>

   <table:table table:name="Feburary" table:style-name="ta1">
    <table:table-column table:style-name="co1" table:default-cell-style-name="Default"/>
    <table:table-row table:style-name="ro1">
     <table:table-cell office:value-type="string" calcext:value-type="string">
      <text:p>Month 02</text:p>
     </table:table-cell>
    </table:table-row>
   </table:table>


You now have an army of folks also requesting this, so it is time it got implemented.

Many thanks,
-T
Comment 43 Heiko Tietze 2019-12-06 07:38:51 UTC
No question that we have to improve the Navigator, a proposal is here [1]. But despite all the shortcommings the basic way of dealing with content is working well. From the WYSIWYG point of view I doubt that putting content in tabbed sections is working well for the majority of users. And there are also many requests to have tabs for multiple documents in one app that would clash with your proposal.

[1] https://design.blog.documentfoundation.org/2016/07/31/how-the-navigator-may-support-object-handling-in-libreoffice-draw/
Comment 44 Todd 2019-12-06 11:18:05 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #43)
> No question that we have to improve the Navigator, a proposal is here [1].
> But despite all the shortcommings the basic way of dealing with content is
> working well. From the WYSIWYG point of view I doubt that putting content in
> tabbed sections is working well for the majority of users. And there are
> also many requests to have tabs for multiple documents in one app that would
> clash with your proposal.
> 

Hi Heiko,

I use both.  There is no comparison between the annoyance of the Navigator and effectiveness division tabs.  This is why you now have an army of folks requestion them.  I am not suggesting that you drop the navigator, but add the extra usability feature of Division Tabs.  And of course, add the tabs into the Navigator as well.

I am a consultant to small business.  I have installed installed LibreOffice on probably a hundred client's computers.  I only have one company that uses LibreOffice and another that half uses it.  Everyone else has removed it in favour of you-know-who, which I also sell.  Part of the reason is that they don't want to learn anything new, which you can do nothing about.  The other part is of the reason is that so many of the features are difficult and obscure to use.  Please take your users input and try to make LibreOffice better.

If you keep digging your feet in, your will continue to loose users.  I don't loose them, I just sell the you-know-who from the evil empire.

Thank you for your consideration,
-T
Comment 45 roland 2019-12-06 12:21:42 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 46 roland 2019-12-06 12:28:59 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 47 roland 2019-12-06 12:39:01 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 48 Todd 2019-12-06 23:23:18 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 49 roland 2020-01-26 19:29:53 UTC Comment hidden (spam)