Bug 73398 - PRINT DIALOG: Clarify syntax for "Pages to print" field
Summary: PRINT DIALOG: Clarify syntax for "Pages to print" field
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Documentation (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) release
Hardware: All All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL: https://help.libreoffice.org/6.2/en-U...
Whiteboard: target:7.1.0
Depends on:
Blocks: Print-Dialog
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2014-01-08 14:20 UTC by Ulf Zibis
Modified: 2020-12-02 07:40 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Ulf Zibis 2014-01-08 14:20:37 UTC
There is some confusion, what LibO should do when "1 3" is typed for the pages to print. For comparison, the behaviour of MS Word 2000:
"1-3" prints pages 1, 2, 3
"1;3" prints pages 1, 3
"1,3" prints pages 1, 3
"1 3" prints nothing
"1-2 3" prints pages 1, 2, 3

1.) I think, LibO should interpret the syntax "compatible" to MS Word.

2.) So "1 3" would be reasonable to interpret as "1,3"; otherwise in extreme cases, plenty of unwanted pages are printed.

3.) If LibO doesn't want to accept the "1 3" syntax, it should throw an error message instead wasting potentially huge amount of paper or doing nonsense as described in bug 44424.

4.) Some applications also deal with "item1 item2" as list of distinct multiple items, e.g. multiple email addresses in To field of email clients. So this seems common expected behaviour.

5.) Like in MS Word 2000, there should be a little hint in the print dialogue about correct/accepted syntax, e.g.:
"Single pages should be separated by Komma Semicola or Blank and ranges by hyphen, e.g: 1,3 5-12"
Comment 1 sophie 2014-01-08 14:55:46 UTC
Hi, the number of printed pages is shown at the bottom of the preview on the left and if you want to have a hint about the syntax, please activate the extended tips in Tools > Options > LibreOffice > General, that will give you all the indication of the separators to use. Currently the 1 3 syntax is considered the same as 1-3 syntax. Closing as not a bug, all the information is present in the dialog - Sophie
Comment 2 Ulf Zibis 2014-01-08 23:45:19 UTC
Hi Sophie,
according 5.) I agree with you - thanks for your hint - but not according 1.) - 4.)

Imagine, someone types "1,3 5,6". From the number of printed pages "1/5" it is not clear, if pages 1,3,4,5,6 or 1,2,3,5,6 are printed.
From 4.) I would expect that 1,3,5,6 are printed.
BTW: In MS Word 2000:
     "1,3 5,6" prints pages 1, 6
     "1-2 4"   prints pages 1, 2, 3, 4
     "1 2 4"   prints nothing
     This is inconsistent either ;-)

The extended tips do not define ' ' and ',' as valid syntax, so IMHO LibO should throw an error message or mention the treatment of those separators in the extended tips.

I still think, ' ' should better treated as ';' instead '-', because of 4.). Only '-' or '..' is unambiguously to interpret as syntax for a range of pages.
Comment 3 Ulf Zibis 2014-01-09 01:19:59 UTC
All commentators of bug 44424 referred to "1,3" syntax, but according the extended tips, "1;3" is the correct syntax, so I feel this as another argument for clarification.
Comment 4 Joel Madero 2014-11-06 03:16:35 UTC
Moving back to UNCONFIRMED as there is no confirmation on the bug. If a 2nd QA member also agrees with Sophie we'll close this and not move it forward but let's wait to see what a second person says. Thanks
Comment 5 A (Andy) 2014-11-06 13:54:41 UTC
Could you please help me, how this extended tips function helps here?  To display an extended tip you need to press Shift + F1 and then you need to point to a button or command.  But nothing happens in the Print dialogue (clicking on "Pages" or the input field next to it), so that it does for me currently not help.  If you get there an extended tip, could you please inform whether you had done something different, that I can test it once more if this works also on my LO, Win 8.1.  Thank you very much in advance. 

I would propose to add this syntax information to the help page, because currently you can find there no information about this.  For me the help page would be the first place to look for more information, because I suppose most users do not know this extended tips function and would not look for it in the TOOLS menu.

Due to the situation explained above, I unfortunately can currently not fully assess the problem itself.  But nevertheless I think the extended tips is not enough.

Furthermore, the help page needs to be corrected.  The English online LO help page says "Press Shift+F1 or choose Help - What's This? and point to any control element in the Print dialog to see an extended help text."  If you have opened the Print dialogue box then you cannot open the help page at the same time.
In addition, the German translation of the "Tips and Extended Tips" does not say that the extended tips can be shown with Shift + F1.
Comment 6 sophie 2014-11-06 14:12:17 UTC
Hi Andy, I've an extended tooltip if I put the cursor in the field in front of Page. Do you have the help installed on your computer? I just checked and I agree that the help page could be more descriptive about the accepted syntax. Sophie
Comment 7 tommy27 2015-01-28 06:23:05 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 8 QA Administrators 2016-02-21 08:36:36 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 9 QA Administrators 2017-03-06 15:34:23 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 10 Dieter 2018-01-06 15:58:09 UTC
Still reproducible in LO 5.4

Actual behavior
1,3 only page 1 is printed
1;3 page 1 and 3 are printed (as expected)
1-3 page 1,2 and three are printed (as expected)
1 3 preview in the printing dialog shows three pages but only page 1 is printed

Expected behaviour
1,3 page 1 and 3 are printed or an error message pops up
1 3 syntax is not clear => an error message pops up

Version: (x64)
Build-ID: 92a7159f7e4af62137622921e809f8546db437e5
CPU-Threads: 4; Betriebssystem:Windows 6.19; UI-Render: Standard; 
Gebietsschema: de-DE (de_DE); Calc: group
Comment 11 QA Administrators 2019-01-07 03:41:59 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 12 Dieter 2019-01-07 08:10:23 UTC
Behaviour in 

Version: (x64)
Build-ID: 9d0f32d1f0b509096fd65e0d4bec26ddd1938fd3
CPU-Threads: 4; BS: Windows 10.0; UI-Render: Standard; 
Gebietsschema: de-DE (de_DE); Calc: group threaded

1,3 page 1 and 3 are printed (as expected)
1;3 page 1 and 3 are printed (as expected)
1-3 page 1,2 and 3 are printed (as expected)
1 3 page 1,2 and 3 are printed


Ulf, if you don't agree, üplease feel free to reopen the bug with a short reasoning.
Comment 13 Ulf Zibis 2019-01-07 08:32:51 UTC
(In reply to Dieter Praas from comment #12)
> 1,3 page 1 and 3 are printed (as expected)
> 1;3 page 1 and 3 are printed (as expected)
> 1-3 page 1,2 and 3 are printed (as expected)
> 1 3 page 1,2 and 3 are printed

Case 2 and 3 are OK for me.
Case 1 and 4 are not descripted in the tooltip help.
Case 1 is intuitive, so not a big problem.
Case 4 is not intuitive as with space I would expect that only pages 1 and 3 were printed.
Comment 14 Dieter 2019-01-07 09:04:03 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 15 Ulf Zibis 2019-01-07 09:13:23 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 16 Xisco Faulí 2019-01-14 10:06:25 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 17 Dieter 2019-01-14 12:35:53 UTC
Still same result as described in comment 12 in

Version: (x64)
Build ID: 411f3a050ac2be598019d512f8ccfe041080c28f
CPU threads: 4; OS: Windows 10.0; UI render: default; VCL: win; 
TinderBox: Win-x86_64@42, Branch:master, Time: 2019-01-14_03:17:11
Locale: en-US (de_DE); UI-Language: en-US
Calc: threaded

Still no tooltips.
Comment 18 Timur 2019-01-14 14:50:23 UTC
(In reply to Dieter Praas from comment #14)
> I don't get those tooltips, although I have activated extended tooltips in
> Tools > Options > LibreOffice > General. What version you are using?
Tooltips are "Extended tips" and it should come from Offline help. 
- help doesn't explain that: https://help.libreoffice.org/6.2/en-US/text/shared/optionen/01010600.html?
- they don't work per Bug 120538.

If I understand this bug well, all works except it's not documented. 
If so, I'll convert to Documentation. 
Current help from 6.2 is https://help.libreoffice.org/6.2/en-US/text/shared/01/01130000.html
But it doesn't explain syntax. 
In "Printing text documents:" there should be a subtitle '"Pages to print"  syntax'.

As for "1 3" I personally agree it could be "1,3" but someone will expect "1-3". I guess no solution for all here. Anyway, let's start with documenting. 

Note: to complicate somewhat, new dialog in 6.3+ doesn't open correct Help: I'll report.
Comment 19 Timur 2019-01-14 14:53:30 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 20 Ulf Zibis 2019-01-14 16:45:02 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 21 Timur 2019-01-14 17:04:52 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 22 Commit Notification 2020-11-20 07:49:49 UTC
Seth Chaiklin committed a patch related to this issue.
It has been pushed to "master":


Resolves: tdf#73398 and tdf#107192  help for printing range of pages
Comment 23 sdc.blanco 2020-11-20 08:09:10 UTC
It takes a few days before the online help is updated from the patch to "master", but soon it should be possible to see the help at: 


Closing as FIXED.
Comment 24 Dieter 2020-12-02 07:40:01 UTC
VERIFIED. Thanks for fixing it.