Bug 48622 - Line thickness specification - too many choices, nonintuitive
Summary: Line thickness specification - too many choices, nonintuitive
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: UI (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: Other All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Cell-Border
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Reported: 2012-04-12 14:49 UTC by Milos Sramek
Modified: 2016-09-06 19:36 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

A mockup of eventual GUI changes related to line/frame thickness width (111.64 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.graphics)
2012-04-13 01:16 UTC, Milos Sramek

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Description Milos Sramek 2012-04-12 14:49:53 UTC
If a line/frame/cell border thickness is to be specified, a user has too many options: he/she should directly specify numerical value of the thickness.

From the usability point of view there are several issues:

- It is likely that most users just need only a couple of options (thin, medium, thick - or eventually 5 levels)
- If several thicknesses are used, one should remember the values 
- the value is expressed in the measurement unit, specified in Tools/Options... If one wants a thin (medium, thick) line, which value is appropriate? 0,5mm? 0.01 inch? I do not know
- if one opens such file in different LO with different unit settings, he/she gets different numbers
- stepping of the numerical field is not fine enough (1mm steps)
- we have two different widgets for that - one for graphical objects (lines...) and one for borders of frames and cells. They are not consistent:
    *If the same value is specified there, the actual thickness of lines and frames is different (try a 0.5pt line and cell border in calc - the daily LO3.6 was used)
    *Thin line has 0pt, thin border 0.05pt
    *Increment in line setting is 1(pt), in borders 0.25
So, a mess. I know about a company, which switched to LO - unintuitive setting of border thickness in Calc is the most hated feature among many users there.

Perhaps, just simple change in UI of both widgets would improve the situation significantly. 
1. Instead of the numeric field alone, give the user a possibility to choose from "thin", "medium", "thick" line and add a "more" button, which would open the numeric field for setting arbitrary dimensions. 
2. In Calc, extend the "Borders" options (which currently offers 3x4 combinations of thin borders) to 5x12 offers of thin, medium, thick, double... lines with all 12 combinations.

I believe this is not that much work. 
Comment 1 Markus Mohrhard 2012-04-12 15:19:12 UTC
There are nearly no trivial tasks in a code base as large as LibO. if you want to prove me wrong please start implementing it: I can give you some code pointers.
Comment 2 Milos Sramek 2012-04-13 01:16:12 UTC
Created attachment 59895 [details]
A mockup of eventual GUI changes related to line/frame thickness width

(In reply to comment #1)
> There are nearly no trivial tasks in a code base as large as LibO. if you want
> to prove me wrong please start implementing it: I can give you some code
> pointers.

I did not mean "trivial" in the programmers sense, just "simple" from the point of view of the GUI. I can give it a try, please send me the pointers.

Meanwhile, I played a little with the GUI, it looks like there is enough space for the changes. My mockups are attached.
Comment 3 bfoman (inactive) 2012-10-12 11:32:17 UTC
Did you try to post your usability enhancement proposals on libreoffice-ux-advise@lists.freedesktop.org list? More people thinking your way, more chances someone will pick this bug up and implement.
Comment 4 Stefan Knorr (astron) 2012-10-13 20:38:59 UTC
Setting as duplicate of the other borders UI bug...

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 47194 ***
Comment 5 Stefan Knorr (astron) 2012-10-13 20:42:31 UTC
Sorry... setting that as duplicate was probably unnecessary as this has quite a different scope.
Comment 6 Emir Sarı 2012-10-19 17:35:30 UTC
IMHO this should be a real priority about Calc development. All my LO using friends (including me) are frustrated about not being able to set cell border thickness and cell border options when multiple cells are selected in an easy way. 

Comment 7 Joel Madero 2014-11-06 21:06:19 UTC
Never independently confirmed by QA - moving to UNCONFIRMED.
Comment 8 Robinson Tryon (qubit) 2014-11-11 21:52:47 UTC
Sounds like a plausible enhancement, and there's some good conversation about implementing changes, so: Status -> NEW
Comment 9 Cor Nouws 2015-01-29 07:41:07 UTC
from what I remember developers that worked on border lines in the past, had great concerns about backwards compatibility. Just saying..