Auto-completion: finding peculiarities in Calc (compared to Writer)

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Auto-completion: finding peculiarities in Calc (compared to Writer)

Graham Perrin
Administrator
1. In Writer, using an English language, type three letters:
Jan

2. observe autocompletion but do not touch the keyboard

3. observe the flashing insertion point at the tail of the suggestion (beyond the point reached by the user)

4. observe the highlighted text

5. Edit menu | Copy command is greyed out

6. press the tab key

7. the word Jan is followed by a tab mark

or

6. press the return key or enter key

7. the word January is entered without a (carriage) return

or

6. press the right arrow

7. the word Jan is completed.



1. In Calc, using an English language, in cell A1 type
January
then key return to move to cell A2 below.

 2. type three letters,
Jan

3. observe autocompletion but do not touch the keyboard

4. observe the flashing insertion point preceding the suggestion (the point reached by the user)

5. observe the selected text

6. Edit menu | Copy

7. press the right arrow (to cell B2)

8. the word January is completed

9. Edit menu | Paste

10. the string
uary

is pasted into cell B2

11. File menu | New | Text Document

12. Edit menu | Paste

13. the string
uary

plus a paragraph marker is pasted.



The difference in behaviours is remarkable. In particular, I find it very peculiar that

* in Calc, something not typed by the user is automatically selected (not simply highlighted)

* in Calc, something not typed by the user (a new line characer? end of line character?) is added to the pasteboard.

I wonder whether these debatably peculiar behaviours in Calc — premature selection, inexact results of copy and paste — are complicating nearby discussion, <http://n2.nabble.com/-tp2228335.html>.

Regards
Graham

— 
Postscript, four steps:
1. <http://tinyurl.com/ooo-18748-sel>
2. <http://n2.nabble.com/-tp2228335p2229005.html>
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Re: Auto-completion: finding peculiarities in Calc (compared to Writer)

Clément Pillias
Hi Graham,

Nice that you investigate the differences in interaction design  
between Writer and Calc concerning the AutoInput feature (the  
official name of 'auto-completion'.

I will mention this mail in the wiki page I am writing about the  
feature:

http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/AutoInput

Please note also that for Writer, there is an option (Tools >  
AutoCorrect… > AutoInput tab > display as tooltip) to display the  
completion suggestion into a tooltip rather than an highlighting.

Le 10 févr. 09 à 17:42, Graham Perrin a écrit :

> […]
> The difference in behaviours is remarkable. In particular, I find  
> it very peculiar that
>
> * in Calc, something not typed by the user is automatically  
> _selected_ (not simply highlighted)
>
> * in Calc, something not typed by the user (a new line characer?  
> end of line character?) is added to the pasteboard.
>
> I wonder whether these debatably peculiar behaviours in Calc —  
> premature selection, inexact results of copy and past — are  
> complicating nearby discussion, <http://n2.nabble.com/- 
> tp2228335.html>.

Yes it is, in my opinion. It is true that AutoInput in Calc serves  
another purpose than AutoInput in Writer: suggest a whole cell  
content rather than a single word. So the actual behavior is (rather)  
consistent with that.

But I believe (and many issues suggests it) that this distinction is  
too subtle for most users, who only think about 'auto-completion',  
and are confused by the unusual behavior and by the differences  
between Calc and Writer.

I wonder if we could have some qualitative or quantitative data about  
that?

Regards,

Clément.
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