Bug 69305 - TABLE: Proposal to improve Table border formatting toolbar controls
Summary: TABLE: Proposal to improve Table border formatting toolbar controls
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: All All
: lowest enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Whiteboard: BSA
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Tables-Enhancements Toolbar-Border-Controls
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2013-09-13 07:59 UTC by n.lederbauer
Modified: 2017-11-05 09:03 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

screenshot (9.67 KB, image/jpeg)
2013-09-17 15:40 UTC, n.lederbauer
screenshot2 (11.39 KB, image/jpeg)
2013-09-17 15:41 UTC, n.lederbauer
My ideal borders pane (2.86 KB, image/png)
2013-09-18 00:13 UTC, Mike Kaganski

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Description n.lederbauer 2013-09-13 07:59:36 UTC
Problem description: 

Steps to reproduce:
1. ....Create a table
2. ....choose a cell
3. ....try to change the border type and style of one side of the cell

Current behavior: the whole cell is formattet

Expected behavior: formatting of only one side of the cell.
BTW: You don't know which behavior  you've chosen, because there is no check, no higlighting or so. 

Operating System: Windows 7
Version: release
Comment 1 Mike Kaganski 2013-09-15 08:36:24 UTC
Cannot reproduce with LO and under Win7x64.

I create a new text document, add a table, select one cell, go to Table Properties -> Borders, there click all the borders that I want to stay as they were so that they are "greyed", then select the border I want to change and set the desired parameters -> OK. Everything works as expected.

I suppose that you missed the greying step. If so, please close this report, otherwise please try again with a clear LO profile to make sure this is not a corrupt profile issue. Also, try to disable any extension that you could have installed to LO. Please describe the problem in more detail to allow to reproduce it. When you add the requested information, set the status to UNCONFIRMED again.

Thank you.
Comment 2 n.lederbauer 2013-09-15 15:52:45 UTC
Thank you for your comment.
I forgot the steps you mentionned. I tryed to to this with the menu-bar "table"
There you cannot format the cell or table, only the whole cell and not only one side, but you should be able.
If you go allways the way with "properties", the menu-bar table is needless.

I tryed to do the same with LO on Kubuntu with the same result. 
So imho you should or retire the menu-bar or repair this. (please)

I opened a new document, inserted a table (5x9) and tryed to formatt the cell in the middle. I wanted to delete the borders (colored in black) I was able to do this only on 2 sides. Or I'm that stupid that I do not understand the proceeding or there is really a problem.
I'll retry:
Success: select a cell, open the dialogue:"table properties", make all sides grey (even if there are only two sides shown), select the side I want, change the style of the border. Hurray.
But for each cell I have to do the same procedure (if they are not contiguous)...

And the easier way with the menu-bar doesn't work ...

Comment 3 Mike Kaganski 2013-09-17 07:45:30 UTC
Well, I understand your point.

I find the table borders interface, that is present in LO now, very inefficient and counter-intuitive, too. It takes quite an effort to understand how it is to be used.

The toolbar isn't "needless", though; it is just too simple. Its logic is to create very basic borderings. I would be very glad, for instance, to see a kind of "border paintbrush" tool, that could be activated, then its parameters adjusted (like color, width and style), and then applied to specific borders that I click...

But anyway, your issue is an enhancement request, and not very clear one. Please be more specific regarding how do you see a better mode of operation: i.e., describe a specific actions that should produce different results, or propose some new commands that would do what you want. Without this, the request sounds like "I don't like the current way; make it better!"

If the proposition is attractive enough, the chances are higher that some developer will pick it and implement in a future version.

By the way, maybe the new sidebar (an experimental feature in LO 4.1) manages it better? (I haven't checked myself.)

Thank you.
Comment 4 n.lederbauer 2013-09-17 15:40:26 UTC
Created attachment 85999 [details]
Comment 5 n.lederbauer 2013-09-17 15:41:54 UTC
Created attachment 86000 [details]
Comment 6 n.lederbauer 2013-09-17 15:42:52 UTC
Dear mike,

It seems that the english language is very easy for you, but not for me, so I try to be short. That could offend you.
But if you use the menu-bar and it is offered to choose the sides to change and also the style of the border (not the thickness), it would be sufficient if it worked as it is shown. But it doesn't.
And so I do not say
 "I don't like the current way; make it better!"
But I mean that your offer should work as you offer it. (I try to attach two screenshots)
If it really works only with the "properties", why not make a button that opens the properties dialog and which leaves it open til you close it, not unlike the old lotus Smart-suite.
BTW, I found this button on the menu bar. And I didn't find the "new sidebar"

So conclusion: I like the current way, otherwise I wouldn't use Libreoffice instead of Microsoft Office. But imagine the comments of microsoft users when I will present the new Libreoffice and things which are shown do not work as they should. The common user works with the mouse and the menu bars.

"If the proposition is attractive enough, the chances are higher that some developer will pick it and implement in a future version."
Very nice. But I don't want to add new things, I only want to get work the existing things.


Comment 7 n.lederbauer 2013-09-17 18:31:41 UTC
Now, a few moments later, I'll try to explain step by step my problem.
I have to say that I do this only with the menu bar!

1. I insert a table, I select it, I chose "no line" and the whole table is grey.
2. I want to have a sort of bar up and on the left so I select first the row, then the button "only right" and the the line style "double line" and the first row of my table has only the right side with a double line.
3. I make the same with the first line, I chose "only bottom" and the first line has a double line only on bottom.
4. Then I select the whole table and I chose "only the outsides" and now I have a double-lined border around the table.

5. Now I want the rest to have a simple small line. Not possible. Or the whole table is double-lined or only with a small line.

You may say that is logic and I approve. What you should be able to do is first to set the fine lines and then to formatt the few thick ones. And that is not possible. Voilà le problème

Comment 8 Mike Kaganski 2013-09-17 22:23:04 UTC
(In reply to comment #7)
Thank you again for explaining your vision.

Let me try to explain the current state.
1. The Borders buttons have two modes: add a corresponding border to currently selected cells (simple click) and replacing all borders of current cell with specific borders (Shift+click). In both modes, the buttons apply only the built-in style: black solid thin line, no matter what was selected in Style and Color controls earlier.
2. The Line Style control works as selection list only, i.e. it does not remember its last used style. Its design does not promise this functionality: its arrow is not separated from the rest of the button. It changes the style of all non-empty borders. And it's normal in current mode, because there's no way to tell it which borders to change: maybe you want to change borders of a specific color, or specific width, or some style? It is possible that the selection includes many different kinds of borders, so it simply affects all non-empty. Its behaviour is consistent, but inconvenient.
3. The Line Color (of the border) control does offer the "memory" functionality. It is divided to main button and arrow at the right side. When you press the main button, it should apply the last-picked color to all non-empty borders of selected cells (again, no other way to tell which borders to affect). When you press the arrow, you select which color to apply (and it should be memorized for following use). But (at least in under Win7x64) it has an apparent bug: the main button always applies blue, regardless of previous choice. Arrow works, but does not memorize its choice.

The problem is that all three controls (Borders, Line Color and Line Style) operate independently.

What I would propose is the following: the Style and Color controls should not apply any formatting by themselves, only memorize selected values. Additionally, Width control should be added with the same logic. And Borders buttons should work as they do now, except they should apply the style, color and width that are selected in the corresponding controls. Somewhat similar to object style controls on the "Line and Filling" toolbar of Draw.

This would allow desired flexibility, and you could easily apply thin solid lines to double-bordered outside frame, or vice-versa, as you describe above.

I set it as NEW, as a valid enhancement request (the wrong Color control behaviour should be filed as a separate bug report).
Comment 9 Mike Kaganski 2013-09-17 23:45:26 UTC
And a couple of new Borders buttons required: vertical inner line and horisontal inner line; and the third - all inner lines - could be useful, too
Comment 10 Mike Kaganski 2013-09-18 00:13:39 UTC
Created attachment 86033 [details]
My ideal borders pane
Comment 11 n.lederbauer 2013-09-18 11:40:48 UTC
Hi Mike
First: You never sleep?
Second: I'm agree with your pane if the Icon #4 is also working with the whole table.
Third: I'm happy that I could explain my problem.
Fourth: If you want me to do some experiences, feel free to tell me. But I'm no programmer.

Comment 12 Mike Kaganski 2013-09-18 12:17:46 UTC
I'm not a LO developer. I'm sorry if I gave you that perception. I only help users to make clear reports, and help developers by filtering out invalid requests.

My palette is just a drawing; I just hope that there will be a developer who will find this idea attractive enough to implement.

(And yes, I sleep from time to time, but we live in very different time zones... :))
Comment 13 m.a.riosv 2014-01-22 21:20:19 UTC
*** Bug 73939 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***