Impossible to select words using the keyboard in OOo 3 for Mac OS X

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Impossible to select words using the keyboard in OOo 3 for Mac OS X

Graham Perrin
Administrator
Issue 93749 was opened in September 2008, issue 96184 was opened in November 2008.

In OOo for Mac OS X: it is impossible to use the keyboard to
extend (or contract) a selection of text word-wise (one word at a time).

From the perspective of a keyboard-oriented typist:

* this conflict with Apple HIG makes OOo word processing a very poor experience.

(Workarounds are to remove the typist's hand from the keyboard, or to select characters one-by-one. Neither workaround is a pleasing UX.)

Specific issues 93749 and 96184 were closed in November as duplicates of far broader issue 4756.

Issue 4756 has been open since 2002 and remains without milestone. The most recent comment suggests that the deadline for 3.1 was missed.

In an effort to enable proper selection of text, I did follow a suggestion to edit a configuration file. The edition seemed to have no effect, the bug persists in my copy of OOo.

1) I suggest that 93749 and 96184 are priorities: the typist should not be forced to leave the keyboard for basic selection of words. Might these be re-opened and fast-tracked?

2) What might be done to expedite 4756?

3) In any case: please, please, can someone steer me through edition of relevant configuration file(s)?

The prospect of waiting until September 2009 or beyond is not great ;)

TIA
Graham

References:
<http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=4756>
<http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=93749>
<http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=96184>
Planned Feature for 3.2 Release (September 2009)
Apple Human Interface Guidelines: The Keyboard 

Postscript: correction to include issue 93749.
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Impossible to select words using the proper keys in OOo 3 for Mac OS X

Graham Perrin
Administrator
Graham Perrin wrote
In OOo for Mac OS X: it is impossible to use the keyboard to extend (or contract) a selection of text word-wise (one word at a time).
Correction: it *is* possible to extend and contract word-wise,
but in OOo the *wrong* keys are assigned:

    Command–Shift–Right Arrow
    Command–Shift–Left Arrow

According to HIG those should be for "To the next semantic unit, typically the end of the current line" and "To the previous semantic unit, typically the beginning of the current line" respectively.

The issue remains. Proper keyboard-based selections of text

    Shift–Option–Right Arrow
    Shift–Option–Left Arrow
    Shift–Option–Up Arrow
    Shift–Option–Down Arrow

all fail in OOo 3 for Mac OS X.

In terms of accessibility (keyboard): two of these actions are as common as double-clicking, so the failures are extremely frequent, unbearably annoying.

(In all honesty: this causes me to _not_ use OOo for word processing. Instead I word process in an editor that recognises proper key combinations, then copy and paste to wherever the text is needed.)

Please, can someone steer me through edition of relevant configuration file(s)?

Thanks again
Graham

Postscript: added to the list of proper key combinations that fail in OOo.
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Re: Impossible to select words using the proper keys in OOo 3 for Mac OS X

Regina Henschel
Hi Graham,

Graham Perrin schrieb:

>
> Graham Perrin wrote:
>> In OOo for Mac OS X: it is impossible to use the keyboard to extend (or
>> contract) a selection of text word-wise (one word at a time).
>>
>
> Correction: it *is* possible to extend and contract word-wise,
> but in OOo the *wrong* keys are assigned:
>
>     Command–Shift–Right Arrow
>     Command–Shift–Left Arrow
>
> According to HIG those should be for "To the next semantic unit, typically
> the end of the current line" and "To the previous semantic unit, typically
> the beginning of the current line" respectively.
>
> The issue remains. Proper keyboard-based selections of text
>
>     Shift–Option–Right Arrow
>     Shift–Option–Left Arrow
>
> fail in OOo 3 for Mac OS X.
>
> In terms of accessibility (keyboard): these actions are as common as
> double-clicking on words, so the failures are extremely frequent, unbearably
> annoying.
>
> (In all honesty: this causes me to _not_ use OOo for word processing.
> Instead I word process in an editor that recognises proper key combinations,
> then copy and paste to wherever the text is needed.)
>
> Please, can someone steer me through edition of relevant configuration
> file(s)?

Some time ago I have written
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/How_Tos/Edit_Keyboard_Configuration_File
I haven't got a Mac, therefore I cannot test it for Mac.

Perhaps you can sent me your configuration file so that I can see
whether it is very different from the WinXP one or it is similar.

In addition, Please tell me which other operation is already using a
"Shift-Option"-combination.

Better way would be of cause, if someone who owns a Mac could help you.

kind regards
Regina

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Re: Impossible to select words using the proper keys in OOo 3 for Mac OS X

Graham Perrin
Administrator
Regina Henschel wrote
Perhaps you can sent me your configuration file so that I can see whether it is very different from the WinXP one or it is similar.
Attached to <http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=4756>.

In addition, Please tell me which other operation is already using a
"Shift-Option"-combination.
<http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=96184> prior to de-duplication stated that the four key combinations:

> alt-shift-left alt-shift-right alt-shift-up alt-shift-down (arrow keys) on Mac OS X
> MUST NOT manipulate tables

Some time ago I have written
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/How_Tos/Edit_Keyboard_Configuration_File
I haven't got a Mac, therefore I cannot test it for Mac.
This is useful, thank you!

==============================
Removing the four conflicts to
allow the proper assigments
==============================

The problem most recently noted in issue 4756 is that a search of the user directory

grep -R "accel:mod2" ~/Library/Application\ Support/OpenOffice.org/3/user

reveals no acceleration relating to tables.

If not in the user area, then I guess that the conflicts are within the OpenOffice.org.app application bundle.

OpenOffice.org Help - OpenOffice.org Writer - Index
tables;editing with the keyboard
---------------------------------------------------

> To increase the left indent of the table, hold down
> Alt+Shift, and then press the right arrow.

> To move the table downwards on the page, hold down
> Alt+Shift, and then press the down arrow. †

Not within Help but evident from experimenting within a table:

> To decrease the left indent of the table, hold down
> Alt+Shift, and then press the left arrow.

Not within Help, assumed:

> To move the table downwards on the page, hold down
> Alt+Shift, and then press the down arrow.

Where, in OOo code, might those conflicts be found?

Result of  
sudo grep -R "accel:mod2" /Applications/OpenOffice.org.app
is attached to <http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=4756> but I found nothing of relevance. At this point I will greatly appreciate advice from someone with knowledge of where to find such things in OOo code.

================================================
UX: for my OOo for Mac OS X to respect Apple HIG
================================================

1)  I must first remove those conflicts from my OOo
    (blocking issue 4756)

2)  then OOo communities may consider what alternative accelerator,
    if any, is appropriate. ††

Thanks again
Graham

---

Notes

†   When I try this my table does not move down. May be a separate bug.

††  I should discourage rushed application of an alternative accelerator.
    Assess properly the risk of conflict before doing so.
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Re: Impossible to select words using the proper keys in OOo 3 for Mac OS X

Regina Henschel
Hi Graham,

Graham Perrin schrieb:
>
> Regina Henschel wrote:
>> Perhaps you can sent me your configuration file so that I can see whether
>> it is very different from the WinXP one or it is similar.
>>
>
> Attached to <http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=4756>.

It is useless for that issue. I wrote "sent *me*". But no need any more
to sent it, see below.

>
>
>> In addition, Please tell me which other operation is already using a
>> "Shift-Option"-combination.
>>
>
> <http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=96184> prior to
> de-duplication stated that the four key combinations:
>
>> alt-shift-left alt-shift-right alt-shift-up alt-shift-down (arrow keys) on
>> Mac OS X
>> MUST NOT manipulate tables

Issue 96184 has been marked as duplicate to issue 92224. Therefore you
have to look into issue 92224 to see the progress. And there you find,
that it is verified in cws vcl97. Looking in EIS [1] you notice that it
is integrated in OOoDEVm39. Therefore you should download [2] and test
that version.
[1]http://eis.services.openoffice.org/EIS2/cws.ShowCWS?Path=DEV300%2Fvcl97
[2]http://download.openoffice.org/300/index.html


>
>
>
>> Some time ago I have written
>> http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/How_Tos/Edit_Keyboard_Configuration_File
>> I haven't got a Mac, therefore I cannot test it for Mac.
>>
>
> This is useful, thank you!

Not really as I noticed. The way to configure the keyboard has changed.
The new files are (for WinXP) in
OOo.../Basis/share/registry/data/org/openoffice/Office/Accelerators.xcu
and the corresponding one in the user-directory.
Notice, that not only the name, but the format has changed too.

First you should test now, which of the Apple-specific keyboard problems
is solved in OOoDev300m39.

kind regards
Regina

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Re: Impossible to select words using the proper keys in OOo 3 for Mac OS X

Graham Perrin
Administrator
All: sorry for the false alarm! I have spent more time recently in a Bugzilla elsewhere, in which references to duplicates are presented differently. But that's no real excuse for the confusion. I should have paid greater attention.

Regina Henschel wrote
… Issue 96184 has been marked as duplicate to issue 92224. Therefore you have to look into issue 92224 to see the progress. And there you find, that it is verified in cws vcl97. … First you should test now, which of the Apple-specific keyboard problems is solved in OOoDev300m39.
Immensely better :) but not perfect. <http://www.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=92224> is updated and I'll await advice there on whether 92224 is to be re-opened, or a new bug created.

A few weeks ago I did look in EIS, I then had in mind a mid-January revisit for something or other (UX aside: I have my eye on WebDAV bugs etc.), now it makes sense. cws vcl97.

Testing OOoDEVm39 also allowed me to (re)verify issues 86519, 86520, 86522, 94601, 94393, 94397 and 93631.

Regina, many thanks for un-muddling me!

I'm happy to close this thread unless anyone else would like to add.

Regards
Graham