Issue 1034 - Selecting the language for spell check should be more intuitive
Summary: Selecting the language for spell check should be more intuitive
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: configuration (show other issues)
Version: 627
Hardware: All All
: P4 Trivial with 9 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: stefan.baltzer
QA Contact: issues@sw
Keywords: rfe_eval_ok, usability
: 16536 20710 22600 75244 75351 82484 (view as issue list)
Depends on: 23518
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Reported: 2001-06-12 14:44 UTC by issues@www
Modified: 2013-08-07 14:42 UTC (History)
9 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description issues@www 2001-06-12 14:44:22 UTC
Currently to select the language used for spell checking (and hyphenation and 
thesaurus) in Writer there are three possibilities:
1) Changing the default language (tools/options...)
2) Use styles
3) Select the text and choose Format/Character/Font
Number 1 is not good if you want to be able to write in several languages but 
keep your own language as the default.
For the beginner that leaves number 3 (since a beginner wont have a clue what a 
style is).
It is my experience that beginners never find this; what they *do* find is the 
language list box in the spell check dialog, which does not help them since it 
only affects the current word.

What is needed is a more intuitive way to specify the language. I propose to 
solve it the same way as manual page breaks (In principle these are part of the 
paragraph formatting, but there is another way to insert them: Using 
Insert/Manual pagebreak).
Thus there should be a menuentry Tools/Language opening a dialog box containing:
  A language listbox
  A checkbox "Apply to selection only"
  An OK, Cancel and Help button

Choosing OK should change the language by applying hard character formatting to 
the entire document. If the checkbox is checked only the selection should 
This does not change any functionality, but gives another way to use already 
existing functionality.
Besides being intuitive it is also more similar to other wordprocessors (word, 
Comment 1 issues@www 2001-06-12 20:51:06 UTC
I would prefer the possibility to have the language selection as a drop down 
listbox in a toolbar like the font selection or the paragraph style selection.
This also would have the advantage that I always can see which language is 
assigned to the text where the curser is.
(In MS Word 2000, both is done; I can have the language as a drop down listbox 
in a toolbar, and it is always displayed in the status bar).
Comment 2 stefan.baltzer 2001-06-18 16:10:35 UTC
Reassigned to Falko.
Comment 3 falko.tesch 2001-07-02 07:59:45 UTC
Comment 4 Unknown 2001-11-08 23:11:53 UTC
changing QA contact from bugs@ to issues@
Comment 5 thomas.lange 2001-11-09 09:36:40 UTC
Maybe an entry for switching the language should be added to the 
context-menu that is available via right-mouse-button click within 
the writer.
Other character attributes likes font, size, etc. are already listed 
there too.

Comment 6 thomas.lange 2001-11-09 09:58:53 UTC
If we go with the context-menu (or any other) the languages listed in 
the sub-menu should only be those that are actually/currently 
supported by the linguistic (should be only about 4 to 6 instead of 
150+ possible languages).
Comment 7 henrikjust 2001-11-14 18:07:56 UTC
Adding language selection in the context menu is a very good idea - 
maybe it's even so simple, that it could be added already for 
StarOffice 6.0?

But if you implement it you shouldn't forget the two original 
proposals: My proposal to group language selection with the language 
tools (which is the most intuitive solution) and Christoph Singers 
proposal to add it to the text object bar and/or the status bar 
(which satisfies the needs of a multilingual document).
The context menu doesn't satisfy these goals completely.
Comment 8 oblomov 2002-07-20 12:41:21 UTC
Why does language go under the font selectin tab, anyway? IMO this is not very logical. 
A separate tab for language properties (language, whether to spell check or not, 
hyphenation settings etc) would be more logical. I also like the idea of having 
language selection in the context menu, in a dropdown box and on the status bar. It's 
really very useful when writing multiple language documents.
Comment 9 falko.tesch 2003-10-28 09:37:42 UTC
We need an additional entry that allows the user to easily change the
language setting of the current input.
A good place would be "Tools - Language - Set language"
This function would be the same as using the character setting.
Comment 10 falko.tesch 2003-10-28 09:37:54 UTC
Comment 11 khendricks 2003-12-16 19:53:03 UTC
Patches to add language pulldown to toolbar to fix this in Issue 23518 
Comment 12 2004-09-14 11:16:18 UTC
reassigning & adding keywords according to new RFE process - sophie
Comment 13 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-16 20:24:52 UTC
It's time to consolidate all the issues about language selection, guessing etc.
As this one seems to be the oldest one it deserves to be the one that we take as
the mother of all "language" issues. :-)

I will follow up here pretty soon.
Comment 14 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-17 20:27:29 UTC
*** Issue 16536 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 15 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-17 20:41:03 UTC
*** Issue 20710 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 16 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-17 20:42:11 UTC
Comment from Eike taken from issue 20710:

I want to support fl's comment from OCT 16 2003. There should be a reliable 
way to choose the language of a paragraph, no dependency on OOO's guessing of 
the correct language.  
More ideas about the language setting:
- A paragraph's language setting should be visible in the GUI like e.g. the 
- The language setting should be carried over to the next paragraph after 
pressing the return key. 
- The language setting should not go away when changing something else like 
the background colour. (I think it currently does.) But the language setting 
should revert to the document's standard value when selecting the "standard" 
entry in the RMB menu.
Comment 17 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-17 20:43:01 UTC
*** Issue 22600 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 18 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-17 20:52:07 UTC
I will try to create a concept from the RFEs around language settings. issue
39992 that is about language detection will also add to it.
Comment 19 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-18 09:20:50 UTC
So this is the first result of my research. Besides the things discussed in
issue 1035 that I still consider to be open I suggest to do the following:

(1) Integrate our new "language guessing" component (issue 73173) to improve the
treatment of misspelled words; details have to be defined. 

(2) Add a status bar control that shows the language of the current selection.
Doubleclicking this control will open a dialog whose content has to be defined.
It should contain at least a listbox to select what the user sees as the
"document language" (technically this is the language of the default paragraph
style). Other content is open for discussion.

(3) The context menu on the status bar control will contain entries that are
comparable to what we have in the context menu of misspelled words. In a way
that has to be described in closer detail you can change the language of the
current word (that's the word where the cursor is in), the current selection (if
an expanded selection exists), perhaps also the language of the current sentence
or paragraph.

I'm still checking other issues for some nice ideas that are worth mentioning so
that they will not be forgotten when we create the spec.

Does that make sense? I would like to implement this for OOo2.3.
Comment 20 stefos 2007-01-18 09:57:07 UTC
Please consider also the MS Office feature that changes automatically the
language when you switch the keyboard language. For example someone writes an
english text with an english keyboard, and then switches keyboard to greek. The
following text is automatically handled as greek.

Comment 21 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-18 10:05:11 UTC
This is covered by issue 1035.
Comment 22 kpalagin 2007-01-18 11:50:50 UTC
(Asking here because this one is named "mother of all language issues")
what are the plans in respect to functionality described in 1035? Am I correct 
in hoping that it is planned for 2.3 too? THANK YOU very much, if so.

Thanks a lot for taking care of all this language functionality!

With very best regards,
Kirill Palagin.

P.S. Hopefully this would apply to all OO components, not just word processor.
Comment 23 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-18 12:37:54 UTC
I still see issue 1035 as a separate issue as this one here is about changing
language settings after the fact while issue 1035 is something about changing it
before/while typing.

I didn't make up my mind about issue 1035. Anyway, *if* we decided to implement
the proposed enhancement we would do it for 2.3 if possible (until now I don't
know how easy it will be to implement a keyboard switch nofification on the
different platforms). Anything else just doesn't make sense.
Comment 24 Mathias_Bauer 2007-01-18 14:10:51 UTC
I meanwhile found issue 20123 and I think it also can be overcome by slightly
extending my proposal. We also should have a "language of document is..." entry
in the spell checking dialog. 

Here's an additional comment from TL and FL from this issue:

FL/TL: Just some remarks from us:
 - No spelling if language is "None" seems to be a problem and is set
after some document imports
 - Loading CJK document should activate CJK support for current document
 - No Warning if current used language is not installed/activated
Comment 25 snix 2007-01-28 21:37:34 UTC
I feel very happy this issue is finally taken care of.
Thanks to everybody that implement that much needed functionality !
Comment 26 mhenriday 2007-02-10 19:46:47 UTC
What is needed is note merely a simple and intuitive option for changing the
language the orthography of which is to be checked, but also a an option for
modifying the keyboard settings used. In Word, this can be done by means of
drop-down menus from tool bar boxes which allow one to choose the language whose
spelling is to be checked and the language to which the keyboard input is to be
set, respectively. It would be nice to have these simple options in OO.o Writer....
Comment 27 Mathias_Bauer 2007-02-10 20:33:14 UTC
I think switching the keyboard is a job of the operating system, isn't it? IMHO
this doesn't belong into an application.

As you could already read here I agree with you wrt. the easy control of
language settings. But my preference is a status bar control - the toolbars are
overcrowded already while the status bar has some space left.
Comment 28 owendelong 2007-02-10 20:38:06 UTC
I can see situations where you might want to have the operating system
in your native language, but, be writing a document in a different language,
so, I can see reasons for wanting the ability to switch the keyboard only
within the application, separate from the OS keyboard layout in this case.

Generally, I would agree that the OS should handle it in most cases.
However, with this application, I can see reasons an application override
could be useful.
Comment 29 mhenriday 2007-02-11 11:22:38 UTC
What is needed is not merely a simple and intuitive option for changing the
language the orthography of which is to be checked, but also a an option for
modifying the keyboard settings used. In Word, this can be done by means of
drop-down menus from tool bar boxes which allow one to choose the language whose
spelling is to be checked and the language to which the keyboard input is to be
set, respectively. It would be nice to have these simple options in OO.o Writer....

Comment 30 toucheguy 2007-02-11 21:53:36 UTC
I regularly use different languages and keyboards. More easy/intuitive use and
switching would be welcome.
I support Eike's comments under issue 20710 (see above)
Not sure what would be the best overall solution...
Comment 31 kpalagin 2007-03-11 20:54:02 UTC
*** Issue 75244 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 32 michael.ruess 2007-03-13 11:23:10 UTC
*** Issue 75351 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 33 discoleo 2007-04-03 21:50:03 UTC
There is another important fact to consider when dealing with languages.

Although I speak fluently 4 languages (and some others less fluently), when I
write a document, I use at most 3 different languages. I believe, that users
that will use more than 4 languages simultaneously are the absolute exception.

Therefore, I propose to add an option to define "Used Languages" in a document.
This will facilitate:
 - automatic language detection (see also my comments for issue 1035)
 - possibility to easily and rapidly switch between a very limited number of
languages, instead of having to choose between a list of hundred languages
 ( - also, less crowded menu/status bar, IF only 2-3 languages will be
Comment 34 matthias.mueller-prove 2007-07-23 16:32:15 UTC
add spec link
owner to Thomas Lange
CWS is langstatusbar
Comment 35 matthias.mueller-prove 2007-07-23 16:35:47 UTC
same owner as 77208
Comment 36 mhenriday 2007-07-23 16:38:46 UTC
Most important for multi-lingual users who are familiar with Windows. Making it
possible to change from one language to another in the toolbar or, eg, as is
done in SCIM, would save them a lot of frustration, surely a desireable outcome ?...

Comment 37 carsten.driesner 2007-07-24 09:25:04 UTC
cd: Accepted.
Comment 38 Mathias_Bauer 2007-10-11 13:21:40 UTC
*** Issue 82484 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 39 carsten.driesner 2007-11-05 10:40:25 UTC
cd->fl: What do you think? From my point of view the language status bar feature
also solves this problem.
Comment 40 frank.loehmann 2007-11-06 09:29:49 UTC
fl->CD,TL: Yes, I also think that the new lang status bar feature solves most of
what has been stated in this issue. So please add this issue to the CWS. Thank you!
Comment 41 thomas.lange 2007-11-06 10:11:50 UTC
Fixed in CWS langstatusbar according to spec.
For the spec see issue 77208.
Comment 42 thomas.lange 2007-11-06 10:12:27 UTC
Comment 43 stefan.baltzer 2007-11-21 16:56:06 UTC
SBA: Verified in CWS langstatusbar.
Comment 44 stefan.baltzer 2008-02-13 17:14:06 UTC
SBA: OK in OOH_m7. Closed.