Bug 38994 - EDITING: improve single cell selection for Drag and Drop (by click on cell border?)
Summary: EDITING: improve single cell selection for Drag and Drop (by click on cell bo...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Calc (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
: 54824 67985 74394 115114 122831 160480 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Calc-Enhancements Cell-Selection
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Reported: 2011-07-06 00:41 UTC by gawkla
Modified: 2024-04-03 07:54 UTC (History)
11 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


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Description gawkla 2011-07-06 00:41:48 UTC
I have problem identically like described here: (LO 3.4.1)

LO behavior and solution is exactly the same as described in link.

This is a strange problem. I just started to use Calc (v2.0, EN language). When I click on a cell to select it, the border becomes darker to show where the focus is. So far, so good.
But if I want to move that cell, I try to click and drag on the cell border and nothing happen. It seems like I can not move a single cell. I can move a group of cell tough.

So is it a normal (sic!) feature or my computer has a bug?


It's strange. Hold the mouse key down, drag it over another cell, then drag back to the single cell and it becomes draggable (if that's a word). Help mentions this and some other method but I cannot find it now. Ok, found it now under, believe it or not, "Selecting Multiple Cells":
Comment 1 Jeffrey 2011-07-07 19:58:57 UTC
Reproduced on LibreOffice 3.4  340m1(Build:12) on OpenSuse Linux. 

I managed the work-around the same way you described:
1) Clicking on the cell to give it a black border.
2) Clicking on the cell again and dragging the blue background to another cell.
3) Hold the click and drag back to the single cell.

Maybe this workaround was the original intention LO's cell dragging design. But it would be a nice minor enhancement if included.
Comment 2 Arno Teigseth 2011-08-15 04:31:06 UTC
This is a very counter-intuitive behaviour.

My cow-orker, who's my Libreoffice test subject, complains very much on this lack of logic:

1) I select multiple cells, and can grab the border to move them around

2) I select one cell, and cannot grab the border to move it around.

I too think it would be more logical if the cell could be moved around when it's got focus (by dragging the border)

our 4 cents.
Comment 3 Rainer Bielefeld Retired 2011-12-21 22:35:19 UTC
EXCEL offers the possibility requested in original report:

Moving mouse pointer to the border of a cell with cell cursor, the mouse pointer view changes to "move" mode (arrow cross up-right-down-left), and drag + drop for that cell will become possible.
Please feel free to reassign (or reset Assignee to default) if it’s not your area or if provided information is not sufficient. Please set Status to ASSIGNED if you accept this Bug.
Comment 4 ndw 2012-02-02 19:51:19 UTC
Interestingly on my mac if I select multiple cells or use Jeffreys workaround to select a single cell, I don't need to select the border to drag it - anywhere in the selected cells works. This is different in excel but I think is less counter-intuitive: I don't need to click on some small handle or the border around an icon to drag it around on my desktop, for example.
Comment 5 Kohei Yoshida 2012-02-02 19:57:09 UTC
Known issue, dating back to 2000 in OOo time.
Comment 6 gawkla 2013-01-26 21:38:51 UTC
Known? maybe, I am not sure but very probably this "feature" works different some time ago. Maybe you have right.

Any chance to fix this?
Comment 7 Jens 2013-11-13 12:58:04 UTC
I just found out that I have to mark the cell and then:
1. with mouse button still pressed move cursor to a neighbor cell and then move back again
2. this unlocks the cell and now it is possible to move or copy the cell just like in Excel
It is very time consuming for moving many individual cells.

Why not use the same method as in Excel?
Comment 8 dg1727 2014-12-01 12:38:39 UTC
*** Bug 74394 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 9 Roeland 2016-08-28 19:10:34 UTC
*** Bug 67985 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 10 Thomas Lendo 2016-11-11 10:47:56 UTC
Jens, as far as I know from an old OOo bug, there are (or were?) patent issues that prevent other products to implement this like Excel does.
Comment 11 Thomas Lendo 2017-09-02 21:38:41 UTC
*** Bug 54824 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 12 Thomas Lendo 2018-01-22 19:22:18 UTC
*** Bug 115114 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 13 m_a_riosv 2019-01-20 23:24:09 UTC
*** Bug 122831 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 14 Xisco Faulí 2019-11-29 13:29:23 UTC
Changing priority back to 'medium' since the number of duplicates is lower than 5
Comment 15 gnomek 2020-01-14 12:21:17 UTC
The solution in Comment 7 works but it is not the most convenient way to do it to say the least. It is time consuming and intuitive. People who switch from excel must look for a way to do this on internet. I am not saying that everything should be similar to Excel but this is such a basic functionality that should really deserve attention of LO developers. 

OnlyOffice, MS Office, WPS Office have it much better. When mouse is near the cell edge an icon of something like cross appears and user knows he can just click and drug. Just like this:

Please, do it in LibreOffice the same way. 

I do a lot of drug and drop and this made me install WPS just for this task. 

I can't wait to have it in LO. 

Please put it on your priority list for Calc.
Comment 16 Benny Andersen 2021-02-08 13:59:19 UTC
I would very much like to get this feature implemented.
It is always very annoying to select a single cell in this weird manner. 
So please, could you add it to the priority list.

I am new user at Bugzilla, but have been using OpenOffice/LibreOffice for years now, and still can't get used to this little peculiarity.

So I hope it gets fixed some day, preferably soon.

Best regards
Comment 17 m_a_riosv 2024-04-02 15:58:06 UTC
*** Bug 160480 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 18 J22Gim 2024-04-03 07:54:05 UTC
Since my report was marked as duplicate but the contents of my report are not shown (and it is not the same proposal), I write it here again:

I propose an improved way of moving cells (individually or a selection of multiple cells).

Steps to Reproduce:
Start: you have the cursor in a given cell.
Objective: move the selected cell to a different place in the spreadsheet.

From [1]:
1. click the cell (keep mouse key pressed)
2. move cursor one cell down (or up, right, left - doesn’t matter)
3. and move cursor back (still mouse key pressed - and you’ll see the cell highlighted with some background color).
4. Release mouse key and click mouse once more
5. Now drag the cell content to the new location

[1] https://ask.libreoffice.org/t/how-can-i-click-and-drag-a-cell-in-calc/48121

Actual Results:
You moved the cell, but first, you were forced to do a previous procedure that makes little sense (i.e. select a neighbor cell for a moment). We are all used to this and it is not a big deal now, but it is still awkward and I am sure most of use felt that the first time we had to move a cell in Calc.

Expected Results:
It would make more sense if the UX was a bit simpler and, perhaps, more intuitive (or, at very least, less strange). 
I propose to enable an input method that is exclusively used from now on to move cells. I would argue in favor of middle-click with the mouse (it is not being used now, at least in my setup, and it is a waste of a input possibility). Specifically, you would middle-click on the selection, and drag-and-drop to its new location, always using only middle-click.

Other options could be to press the ALT key while using left-click mouse (this combination is also unused right now).

In sum, any combination that makes sense. But I would advice avoiding the awkwardness of selecting something (neighbor cell) only to get back to your original target (the cell you want ultimately to move). 

Note: this proposal should also work for selections (ie multiple cells) as well.