Bug 74364 - EDITING: Selecting multiple draw objects should show (unselectable) handles for all objects
Summary: EDITING: Selecting multiple draw objects should show (unselectable) handles f...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Draw (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
4.1.4.2 release
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsUXEval
: 74365 95477 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Object-Selection-Alignment
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2014-02-02 11:24 UTC by dg1727
Modified: 2017-08-15 04:20 UTC (History)
6 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
Demonstration of the problem by comparison to PowerPoint (25.11 KB, image/png)
2017-06-28 08:59 UTC, Klaus
Details

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Description dg1727 2014-02-02 11:24:34 UTC
LibreOffice 4.1.4.2 on Ubuntu 13.04.  

1.  Create a new document in Writer.  
2.  Using the Drawing toolbar, draw 3 rectangles in a row, left to right, drawing the middle one a little smaller than the other 2.  Leave the right-hand one selected.  
3.  Shift-click the left-hand rectangle to make a multiple selection that contains the left & right rectangles.  
4.  The displayed selection-handles change from being on the edges of the right-hand rectangle to being on the edges of the bounding box of the 2-rectangle selection.  
5.  Issue:  There is nothing visible to indicate that the middle rectangle isn't selected but the left & right rectangles are selected.  

This is especially a problem if the user is Shift-clicking items like the middle rectangle to add them to, or subtract them from, the multiple selection - there is no visual cue that the Shift-click of the middle rectangle did anything.  (Since the middle rectangle is entirely within the bounding box of the left-&-right-rectangle selection.)  

Inkscape and Dia give much better visual feedback of multiple selections:  
 * Inkscape draws dashed lines around the individual objects.  
 * Dia continues to show the selection handles of the individual objects, but changes the handle colour & makes the handles unselectable.  

I prefer Dia's approach.  The dashed lines in Inkscape can be hard to see, and may require more coding work (than changing the handle colour) to add to LO.  I think LO should still have selection handles for the bounding box so the selected objects can be resized collectively.
Comment 1 sophie 2014-02-03 16:19:32 UTC
Confirmed - Set as Enhancement and New - Sophie
Comment 2 V Stuart Foote 2014-12-18 15:58:42 UTC
*** Bug 74365 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 3 V Stuart Foote 2014-12-18 16:18:47 UTC
reproducible
Version: 4.5.0.0.alpha0+
Build ID: 170616e9f2d30c1302bbb5a7a4b588bc05cd5cc9
TinderBox: Win-x86@39, Branch:master, Time: 2014-12-12_01:58:46
Locale: en_US

Still valid enhancement but affects the drawing UI in both writer and draw (bug 74365).

Q: UX impact of not doing it
Q: how difficult to adjust UI, assume in svtools/vcl
Q: priority

@dlg1727 -- could you attach clips from DIA and Inkscape, as well as mockup of what your ideal implementation on LibreOffice might look like?
Comment 4 Heiko Tietze 2016-05-24 09:39:39 UTC
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #3)
> @dlg1727 -- could you attach clips from DIA and Inkscape, as well as mockup
> of what your ideal implementation on LibreOffice might look like?

DIA (and Microsoft Word 2013): https://youtu.be/jXPhSCfK-GI
Inkscape: https://youtu.be/g5j00bAsvaQ

An alternative is to highlight the object.
Balsamiq Mockups 3: https://youtu.be/1e9tJZZBuhg

The Inkscape way is also known in other apps as ant trail with animation. This is often reported as annoying and counterproductive.

Personal favorite is the DIA solution. 

Moving the issue to Draw.
Comment 5 Heiko Tietze 2016-06-21 12:09:00 UTC
*** Bug 95477 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 6 Klaus 2017-06-28 08:59:33 UTC
Created attachment 134339 [details]
Demonstration of the problem by comparison to PowerPoint

As additional documentation I attach a screenshot-comparison I used in a superuser-question about this issue, where I tried to demonstrate the visual feedback when selecting four circles in a drawing, and how there is no feedback about whether the middle circle or any other elements within the selection rectangle in addition to the circles are selected. 

Note how in the Libreoffice-Screenshot the selection-reactangle actually indicates that I accidentially did *not* select the circle as intended, but the equation or line instead - which I didn't even notice before posting; This demonstrates that even when there is feedback about doing the selection wrong, it is still easily missed.
Comment 7 Regina Henschel 2017-06-28 09:23:09 UTC
Press F8 or the icon "Points" (which are toggles) to switch to point mode to get the same view as in Microsoft Office. I do not see, what should be enhanced beyond. Besides that, the count of selected objects is shown in the status bar in Draw/Impress.
Comment 8 Heiko Tietze 2017-06-28 10:02:10 UTC
(In reply to Regina Henschel from comment #7)
> Press F8 or the icon "Points" (which are toggles) to switch to point mode to
> get the same view as in Microsoft Office. I do not see, what should be
> enhanced beyond. Besides that, the count of selected objects is shown in the
> status bar in Draw/Impress.

Isn't this workaround mixing different functions?
Comment 9 Klaus 2017-06-28 11:53:15 UTC
(In reply to Regina Henschel from comment #7)
> Press F8 or the icon "Points" (which are toggles) to switch to point mode to
> get the same view as in Microsoft Office. I do not see, what should be
> enhanced beyond. Besides that, the count of selected objects is shown in the
> status bar in Draw/Impress.

The count doesn't really help the issue. The usability question usually isn't "how many elements are selected" but "which of the elements are selected?". Furthermore, by requiring looking away from the canvas, it affects the work-flow negatively, even for cases where it provides sufficient information.

Thank you for the F8 hint however; It mostly solves the issue for me. It is a rather non-obvious solution though. Had I merely read about it somewhere, I would probably forget about it after a while and other users won't think of it at all. The net effect is that the selection highlighting looks *by default* inferior to comparable software.

Such details create a feeling of "being less productive than one could be", so they shouldn't be taken lightly.
Comment 10 Regina Henschel 2017-06-28 12:43:36 UTC
(In reply to Klaus from comment #6)
> Created attachment 134339 [details]
> Demonstration of the problem by comparison to PowerPoint

Selecting multiple objects works as a temporary group in LibreOffice and for that the green handles of the bounding box is the correct visualization. MS Office works different. If you drag a handle of one selected object, the transformation is done the same way for all selected objects. Such behavior is not available in LibreOffice. The other way round, temporarily grouping is not available in MS Office (at least I don't know it). So MS Office is not suitable for a comparison.

Inkscape behaves the same as LibreOffice, but shows dotted lines or a little cross mark or nothing on selected objects, dependent on its application settings. CorelDraw behaves the same as LibreOffice too, but has a little square as indicator at the 'start' of the object.


(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #8) 
> Isn't this workaround mixing different functions?
Of cause point mode is a special mode. But if the decision will be to introduce such indicator, that does not mean, that it will be implemented in the foreseeable future. For my personal needs point mode is enough, but I notice that such indicator will help users. Still to be clarified: Which indicator? Make it configurable? 

The component "Draw" is too narrow, you need such feature in Writer, Impress and Calc too.
Comment 11 Mike B 2017-08-15 04:20:50 UTC
ACD Canvas behavior is perhaps a little more intuitive. Selecting multiple objects (with Shift-click adding them to the temporary group) simply activates those objects showing handles on them. If you then click and drag one, they all get dragged (i.e. members of the temporary group). If you resize one, they all are INDIVIDUALLY resized the same amount. Etc. Clicking outside of any of the multiple objects deselects them all. I kind of like that behavior, but then I grew up with it in Mac then Windows.