Bug 67562 - EDITING: Implement acronym management
Summary: EDITING: Implement acronym management
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
4.0.3.3 release
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard: BSA
Keywords: needsUXEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Enhancements
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Reported: 2013-07-30 23:34 UTC by Florent Angly
Modified: 2019-06-02 16:25 UTC (History)
7 users (show)

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Description Florent Angly 2013-07-30 23:34:46 UTC
Hi,

When writing papers, it is usual to use acronyms. Generally, acronyms have to be expanded on first use, can be expanded as part of a list of acronyms, or both. It would be terrific if LibreOffice Writer would let users define acronyms and automagically deal with formatting them, either by expanded the first occurrence or creating a list of acronyms (much like a table of content can be automatically generated by LO). The reason this feature would be valuable is that when working on long documents, keeping track of the acronyms used and whether its the first time you used them is a tremendous pain. Apparently, others believe this feature would be useful: http://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/3878/automatic-list-of-acronyms/

Specifically, here is how I propose this could be implemented from an interface point of view:
1/ User types a word, e.g. "DNA"
2/ User right clicks on the word to access a contextual menu where the acronym can be defined, e.g. "deoxyribonucleic acid". Note that this contextual menu should be accessible even if the word is not all upper-case because not all acronyms are upper-case (e.g. see "amphetamine" acronym on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acronym). As a bonus, the acronym should probably be added to the dictionary or simply registered to avoid it being recognized as a spelling mistake.
3/ From now on, LO should recognize "AMA" as an acronym every time it is typed (internally, maybe this word should become a dynamic field?).
4/ User types more until document is finished.
5/ At the end, user goes to menu Insert > Indexes and Tables > Acronyms and decide how to format acronyms: "expand on first use" and/or "table of acronyms" (alphabetically sorted)
6/ If users decides to move text around in the document, LO should automatically update it to ensure that any acronym is expanded only the first time it is encountered.

Here is some sample text (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA/RNA_non-specific_endonuclease) without acronym expansion:
"In molecular biology, enzymes in the DNA/RNA non-specific endonuclease family of bacterial and eukaryotic endonucleases EC 3.1.30.- share the following characteristics: they act on both DNA and RNA, cleave double-stranded and single-stranded nucleic acids and require a divalent ion such as magnesium for their activity"

The same text with list of acronyms:
"List of acronyms:
DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid
RNA: ribonucleic acid
EC: enzyme commission

In molecular biology, enzymes in the DNA/RNA non-specific endonuclease family of bacterial and eukaryotic endonucleases EC 3.1.30.- share the following characteristics: they act on both DNA and RNA, cleave double-stranded and single-stranded nucleic acids and require a divalent ion such as magnesium for their activity"

With expansion on first occurrence:
"In molecular biology, enzymes in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)/riboxynucleic acid (RNA) non-specific endonuclease family of bacterial and eukaryotic endonucleases enzyme commission (EC) 3.1.30.- share the following characteristics: they act on both DNA and RNA, cleave double-stranded and single-stranded nucleic acids and require a divalent ion such as magnesium for their activity"

With expansion on first occurrence and list of acronyms:
"List of acronyms:
DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid
RNA: ribonucleic acid
EC: enzyme commission

In molecular biology, enzymes in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)/riboxynucleic acid (RNA) non-specific endonuclease family of bacterial and eukaryotic endonucleases enzyme commission (EC) 3.1.30.- share the following characteristics: they act on both DNA and RNA, cleave double-stranded and single-stranded nucleic acids and require a divalent ion such as magnesium for their activity"

Best,

Florent

PS/ Apparently, there is an acronym tool in MS Word 2010: http://blogs.office.com/b/office_blog/archive/2010/05/20/new-accessibility-tools-in-word-2010-day-7-of-10-mvps-on-office-2010.aspx. It seems capable of defining acronyms but not of automatically formatting them within a document.

Operating System: Debian
Version: 4.0.3.3 release
Comment 1 Joel Madero 2013-07-30 23:52:26 UTC
Is the replacement table not enough for this? While you do have to write out the full name the first time - after this you can auto replace instances easily. 

Just wondering how this would be different from the replacement table other than the first instance being fully written out.
Comment 2 Florent Angly 2013-07-31 03:35:14 UTC
Joel, thanks for your input. The replacement table (https://help.libreoffice.org/Common/Replace#Replacement_table) can help to some extent. Its major limitations for this use would be that:
1/ The acronym expansion is not systematic. In the "expand on first use" case, only the first instance of the acronym should be expanded.
2/ In the "table of acronyms" case, one would still have to gather and list all the acronyms manually, something tedious and error-prone.
Comment 3 Joel Madero 2013-07-31 03:52:34 UTC
I'm convinced. Valid request - although when it'll get done - with enhancements it's really a toss up.

New (confirmed)
Enhancement
Medium


Thanks!
Comment 4 Florent Angly 2013-08-01 23:06:36 UTC
Thank you Joel.

I just thought about an additional consideration. When an acronym has been defined but used only once in a document, it does not really make sense to even use an acronym. As a consequence:

* In the "expand on first use" scenario, only the expansion of the acronym should appear in the document, e.g. "deoxyribonucleic acid" and not "deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)" 

* In the "table of acronyms" scenario, the acronym should not even appear at all.
Comment 5 Florent Angly 2013-10-28 02:30:52 UTC
Typically, all the acronyms I use in a document are marked as a spelling mistake, which is annoying. Hopefully, with the implementation of acronym management, one would be able to tell the spelling tool to ignore acronyms.
Comment 6 cslee-libreoffice 2014-03-17 12:28:31 UTC
An additional feature of acronym management that would be useful is to have a mouse over expansion for defined Acronyms.
The two use cases are:
1. Reader forgets acronym meaning and hovers mose to find out.
2. When half way through a document you find an acronym that has no mouse over expansn you know it needs a definition so can right click, search (web/dictionary) for meaning and add result as acronym definition.
Comment 7 Christian Pietzsch 2015-09-28 07:19:48 UTC
This system would be very helpful. Another possible addition could be to automatically list possible acronyms that yet have to get inserted to the index. This could be based on capital writing (DNA) or short words that aren't recognized by the spell checker.
Comment 8 Thomas Lendo 2019-06-02 16:25:26 UTC
Adding needsUXEval to have input from UX team.

I'm in favor of an acronym table. It seems that's useful e.g. for scientists.