Bug 96988 - The place to set the language for the document is ridiculously undiscoverable
Summary: The place to set the language for the document is ridiculously undiscoverable
Status: RESOLVED NOTABUG
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: LibreOffice (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
unspecified
Hardware: All All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsUXEval
: 96990 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Document-Options
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Reported: 2016-01-09 18:56 UTC by teo8976
Modified: 2020-10-30 11:13 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:
Regression By:


Attachments
Language menu at Writer (40.00 KB, image/png)
2016-01-10 10:10 UTC, Heiko Tietze
Details
Language menu at Impress (64.37 KB, image/png)
2016-01-10 10:11 UTC, Heiko Tietze
Details
No language menu at Calc (33.87 KB, image/png)
2016-01-10 10:11 UTC, Heiko Tietze
Details
clip of changing language for selection of cells in calc (67.50 KB, image/png)
2016-01-10 14:03 UTC, V Stuart Foote
Details

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Description teo8976 2016-01-09 18:56:31 UTC
Note: I noticed this on Calc but it's probably common to all LibreOffice applications.

When I want to set the language for the current document,
the most reasonable place where I'd expect to find the setting is under File/Properties. That's where all other properties of the document are (or if any other is missing, that's an issue), so why on earth shouldn't the language be there, given it's a property of the document.

That's probably the *only* sensible place.

When not find it there, I'd look for it under the Edit menu (expecting to find something like "document settings" or something) and my last desperate guess would be under Tools/Language. At that point, I give up and GOOGLE for it.

It turns out you need to go to Tools/Setting, where you usually set general settings that are global to the application, not specific to the current document, so it's unlikely one would even look there. 
There, you have to edit the "Default language for documents" settings and check the checkbox "apply only to current document". That's a cumbersome, conterintuitive, and totally undiscoverable place for such a setting.
Comment 1 m.a.riosv 2016-01-10 01:27:39 UTC
*** Bug 96990 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 2 Heiko Tietze 2016-01-10 10:10:12 UTC
In Writer there is: Tools > Language > For Selection | For Paragraph | For All Text > <Installed Languages> | None | Default
In Presentation we have: Tools > Language > For All Text > <Installed Languages> | None | Default
In Calc: Nothing

It makes sense to harmonize the functionality (easyhack I guess).
Comment 3 Heiko Tietze 2016-01-10 10:10:41 UTC
Created attachment 121829 [details]
Language menu at Writer
Comment 4 Heiko Tietze 2016-01-10 10:11:11 UTC
Created attachment 121830 [details]
Language menu at Impress
Comment 5 Heiko Tietze 2016-01-10 10:11:38 UTC
Created attachment 121831 [details]
No language menu at Calc
Comment 6 V Stuart Foote 2016-01-10 14:03:49 UTC
Created attachment 121832 [details]
clip of changing language for selection of cells in calc

Changing language in calc has rather more impact -- not only spell check, but also the data formatting defaults for that language.

However, if necessary, language can be trivially applied to selected cells. If the whole sheet must be changed--select all.

As it is an attribute assigned to each cell -- done simply with selection and context menu Format Cells.  Or if preferred from main menu Format -> Cells

Tools -> Options -> Language Settings -> Language: "Default Languages for Documents" panel check box "for the current document only" can be used to force all new sheets to use a different language. But believe selection and format cells will have to be applied to all existing sheets to complete the change.

Don't know that it really needs adjustment.
Comment 7 V Stuart Foote 2016-01-10 14:57:32 UTC
some additional UX comment by OP on duplicate bug 96990

but again, with granular attributes applied to at the cell level, don't believe this aspect of calc needs a "document" level handling beyond Tools -> Options -> Languages applied** when creating new document or changing an existing.

Existing sheets with cells otherwise formatted with language settings--must explicitly be reformatted.

** the "Locale setting" also has to be adjusted to have language attributes of new (or existing but not formatted from default) sheets of cells changed.
Comment 8 teo8976 2016-01-10 17:58:22 UTC
> Existing sheets with cells otherwise formatted with language settings
> --must explicitly be reformatted.

Yes, that's expected behavior. If a cell has been already applied a format with a language, it's expected that you have to explicitly reformat it to change that.

I'm talking about "virgin" cells, cells that haven't yet been touched.

> the "Locale setting" also has to be adjusted to have language 
> attributes of new (or existing but not formatted from default) 
> sheets of cells changed.

THAT'S THE ISSUE which I reported in bug 96990 (I'm not sure it was a good idea to mark it as duplicate): you shouldn't have to. Let's say I have all my default in English, and now I start a document in Spanish. I have to be able to go to ONE place, set Spanish as the document language (and it should be cristal clear that I'm setting a language for the DOCUMENT), and starting from now, whenever I select one or more cell and go to "Format cells", the language that appears on the right in your screenshot should by default be Spanish (then you can change it to whatever you want for individual cells). I shouldn't be supposed to change the document language AND the locale settings. 


Also it is unclear whether the locale settings will then be remembered for future documents or not.
See point (2) in my comment 2 to issue 96990


The overall current situation is that managing the language is a mess, the UI and menus are ambiguous and it's difficult to figure out what you need to change and what will affect what. You shouldn't have to read a whole manual to figure out how to start out a new document where everything is by default in language X.
Comment 9 Francisco 2016-01-11 17:05:23 UTC
(In reply to teo8976 from comment #8)
> > Existing sheets with cells otherwise formatted with language settings
> > --must explicitly be reformatted.
> 
> Yes, that's expected behavior. If a cell has been already applied a format
> with a language, it's expected that you have to explicitly reformat it to
> change that.
> 
> I'm talking about "virgin" cells, cells that haven't yet been touched.
> 
> > the "Locale setting" also has to be adjusted to have language 
> > attributes of new (or existing but not formatted from default) 
> > sheets of cells changed.
> 
> THAT'S THE ISSUE which I reported in bug 96990 (I'm not sure it was a good
> idea to mark it as duplicate): you shouldn't have to. Let's say I have all
> my default in English, and now I start a document in Spanish. I have to be
> able to go to ONE place, set Spanish as the document language (and it should
> be cristal clear that I'm setting a language for the DOCUMENT), and starting
> from now, whenever I select one or more cell and go to "Format cells", the
> language that appears on the right in your screenshot should by default be
> Spanish (then you can change it to whatever you want for individual cells).
> I shouldn't be supposed to change the document language AND the locale
> settings. 
> 
> 
> Also it is unclear whether the locale settings will then be remembered for
> future documents or not.
> See point (2) in my comment 2 to issue 96990
> 
> 
> The overall current situation is that managing the language is a mess, the
> UI and menus are ambiguous and it's difficult to figure out what you need to
> change and what will affect what. You shouldn't have to read a whole manual
> to figure out how to start out a new document where everything is by default
> in language X.

I disagree, as a user I think it's OK as it is. Moreover, an approach of setting the language of the entirety document in one place wouldn't allow one to have paragraphs or words with different languages. Maybe it's not that common, but there're situations where it's useful. 
Maybe, there should be a global option which changes the language of the default style, but I'm not that sure.
Comment 10 teo8976 2016-01-11 22:21:41 UTC
> an approach of setting the language of the entirety document in one 
> place wouldn't allow one to have paragraphs or words with different 
> languages

For god's sake did you even read what I wrote??

I'm not talking about disallowing ANYTHING that is currently allowed. I'm only talking about setting DEFAULTS for a new document, for future documents, or for the parts of the current document that haven't yet been touched (e.g. cells that haven't been applied a format or even entered a content).

That is: you start creating a new document and you want all the defaults to be, let's say, in Italian. You should be able to set that in one place, not a dozen. You shouldn't go like "Ok, so now let's select a cell and format it as a number... wait a moment, why do all the options have a comma instead of a dot? Oh f**k, this is still in English, I have to set the locale too" and so on.

Then you still have all the options to change each thing individually for each cell, sheet, paragraph, or whatever.
Comment 11 Michael Meeks 2016-01-13 13:12:31 UTC
Hi Teo =) Easy Hacks are things for developers to create - they need code pointers so that a newbie can jump in and really quickly fix them =) just to get them used to the flow of contributing. Until this bug has that (and is non-controversial - we don't want a flame-fest for a first contribution) - I'm dropping the keyword. Thanks for filing though.
Comment 12 Robinson Tryon (qubit) 2016-08-25 05:38:54 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 13 Heiko Tietze 2020-10-29 08:41:53 UTC
Sorry for the long delay, some tickets sweep under the table sometimes. We discussed the topic in the design meeting and decided to resolve as notabug. There are many places to change the document language, statusbar, main menu, options etc. Users are familiar with the place in the main menu and moving it to File > Properties probably feels wrong for many other. Besides, the text language is not a property of the document but the paragraph or actually the character.