Bug 52607 - Writer UI: Terrible usability of AutoText dialog when creating new AutoText
Summary: Writer UI: Terrible usability of AutoText dialog when creating new AutoText
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Keywords: needsUXEval
: 141430 152574 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: AutoText
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Reported: 2012-07-27 21:11 UTC by Gerry
Modified: 2022-12-19 16:38 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Gerry 2012-07-27 21:11:56 UTC
The AutoText dialog has quite some usability problems. 

Creating an autotext is particularly difficult and the AutoText dialog is absolutely not self-explaining in this regard.

How to reproduce:
* Write any text in a Writer document and mark some part of the text.
* Open the AutoText dialog. 
* Where is it possible to add the marked part of the text as AutoText? Behind the button "AutoText" there is only the option "Import", but no option to add AutoText. 
* The user then needs to figure out that after he/she adds something in the field "name", then there is suddendly a new option available behind the "AutoText" button which allows to "Add" the new AutoText. 

Solution: The usability of the AutoText dialog can be quite easily improved. It would be good, if there is simply always a button "add new AutoText". The name and shortcut could be added or changed by the user afterwards.

By the way, also renaming of existing AutoTexts is also implemented counter-intuitive. If the user changes the name of an existing AutoText, this simply does not have any effect. The user rather needs to click on the "AutoText" button, because now behind it there is the new entry to rename AutoTexts, for which a separate window pops up.

Sorry that my bug description sounds difficult, but that's actually the situation how the AutoText feature currently is implemented. 

LibreOffice 3.5.4 PPA, Ubuntu 11.10.
Comment 1 Gerry 2013-01-28 19:19:25 UTC
Sending a gentle ping with regards to this enhancement request. Please have a look at it and confirm it. 

It has been sitting around for already half a year (or 2003 if I take the OpenOffice.org bug entry) :-)
Comment 2 Jorendc 2013-06-28 17:53:04 UTC
@Gerry: sorry you had to wait this long. Especially for your activity in LibreOffice.

But, after this time I can confirm this is a horrible implementation. Still can confirm using W8 with LibreOffice RC.

I totally agree there is a (big) usability issue here. NEW, but as enhancement (high).

Kind regards and thanks for reporting,
Comment 3 Gerry 2013-06-28 19:52:44 UTC
Thanks a lot Joren for looking into this bug. 

Caolan mentioned once that the AutoText dialogue is already ported to the .ui format. However, without any usability changes yet (screenshots here: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Development/WidgetLayout#Screenshots). 
This porting of the .ui makes it much easier to make future changes in this dialog, though.

Caolan described it like this:
git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core and play around with glade and sw/swriter/ui/autotext.ui

I tried a bit myself, but I did not get very far, unfortunately.
Comment 4 retired 2013-07-03 12:59:14 UTC
Actually setting to NEW (joren already confirmed this in comment 2).
Comment 5 Justin L 2017-01-20 06:40:16 UTC
Still unusable in 5.3beta2. I'm glad you had the instructions written clearly or I wouldn't have been able to figure out how to add it, and a disabled "insert" button doesn't help...  Wouldn't insert mean add the autotext I just created into the existing list?
Comment 6 Xisco Faulí 2019-11-29 13:29:24 UTC
Changing priority back to 'medium' since the number of duplicates is lower than 5
Comment 7 Pierre C 2020-02-03 13:59:07 UTC
Confirming this "bug"
I'm using autotextes, but when I have to add one, I often need to search on the web to refresh my mind how to do it
Comment 8 Gerry 2020-06-08 18:30:39 UTC
I felt free to add Andreas Kainz to this bug, since he works on dialog layouts. The AutoText dialog (as described in this bug) has a terrible usability. Maybe Andreas has an idea for its improvement.
Comment 9 Eyal Rozenberg 2021-04-01 14:47:11 UTC
*** Bug 141430 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 10 Stéphane Guillou (stragu) 2022-12-19 12:38:35 UTC
*** Bug 152574 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***