Bug 35664 - LibreOffice hangs while pasting a formula to a column
Summary: LibreOffice hangs while pasting a formula to a column
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
3.3.1 release
Hardware: x86-64 (AMD64) Windows (All)
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2011-03-25 07:52 UTC by Michael Mol
Modified: 2013-07-04 13:38 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Michael Mol 2011-03-25 07:52:39 UTC
In column A1, enter the formula: =B1

Copy cell A1

Click header for column C.


Calc is now hung.
Comment 1 tester8 2011-03-25 15:38:27 UTC
Reproduced with
LibreOffice 3.3.2 RC2 (1:3.3.0-1lucid1) - Ubuntu 10.04 x86 Linux 2.6.32-28-generic Russian UI
Comment 2 Michael Mol 2011-07-31 19:55:47 UTC
Per conversation in #libreoffice:

01:48 < mikemol> My assumption about how spreadsheet apps work is that they don't uniquely track cell contents until they're needed.
01:51 < mikemol> So if one does an operation like "paste to column", it could be assumed that the column extends to infinity. The sane option, to me, would be treat the paste as a default cell value 
                 for any new cells created later in that column.
01:52 < mikemol> If a cell isn't viewed or printed, there's no need to precalculate anything about it. (Obviously, exporting or printing raise interesting questions.)
01:53 < mikemol> I ran across that while trying to apply some conditional formatting to a full column.
02:00 < szal> Excel 2007 will fill the column w/ the respective relative value (e.g., when pasting "=B1" from A1 to column C, it will show "=D1", "=D2", etc.)
02:01 < szal> mikemol: so perhaps you should modify your bug putting that in as "expected result"

So, expected result:

LO should defer calculating the contents for cells not otherwise made unique. As a result, a paste operation such as the one described would result in something like a template or default cell value for the column, for when cells are created. (Or for when cells are queried).
Comment 3 Michael Mol 2011-07-31 19:58:13 UTC
Additional information:

These analogous steps (testing for behavior of pasting to rows) do not hang LO:

In cell A1, enter the formula: =A2
Copy cell A1
Click the header for row 3

(Calc does not hang)
Comment 4 clem 2012-04-06 06:38:07 UTC
Reproduced with LibreOffice 
Build ID: 281b639-6baa1d3-ef66a77-d866f25-f36d45f

On MACOS 10.7 so NOT Windows only
No localization applied, from fresh install over LO 3.4.

Also : steps in Comment 3 from Michael Mol DOES hang LO in my case.

Generally my experience is that pasting a formula to a whole column or more results in very long treatment time or a hang.

Suggested fix : 
break the process of pasting to many cells (>1000) in these steps :
- time a sample of the process (100 cells)
- evaluate the full treatment time (of 1M cells)
- if estimated time is more than UI acceptable standards : ask confirmation before proceeding or cancel treatment.
Alternatively : Treat as a long process with a progress bar and a cancel button.
Comment 5 Winfried Donkers 2013-07-04 09:05:09 UTC
(In reply to comment #0)
> In column A1, enter the formula: =B1
> Copy cell A1
> Click header for column C.
> Paste.
> Calc is now hung.

I can not reproduce the problem with version 3.6build 304 (SUSE) on openSUSE12.3, nor on version 4.0.4 on Windows.
It takes some time (in my case 2 to 10 seconds, depending on the OS/machine), as can be expected, but LibreOffice does not hang.

Michael, I have taken the liberty to change the status to fixed in order to minimise the number of open bugreports that require no further action. Please reopen if the problem is not solved for you.
Comment 6 Michael Mol 2013-07-04 13:37:17 UTC
It still hangs, but not for an unbearable amount of time on this system (Intel B940 @ 2.00 GHz).

Could be better, but it's good enough for me...
Comment 7 Michael Mol 2013-07-04 13:38:46 UTC
Ah, I should note that my latest test is with on Gentoo amd64.

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