Issue 10865 - Moving/Copying -Single- Cell using click-n-drag
Summary: Moving/Copying -Single- Cell using click-n-drag
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: OOo 2.0.4
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 25 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
: 43059 54679 60286 72175 77054 78379 80242 88216 98547 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Blocks: 15522
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Reported: 2003-01-22 18:54 UTC by zridling
Modified: 2017-05-20 11:11 UTC (History)
14 users (show)

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


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Description zridling 2003-01-22 18:54:16 UTC
In Excel, I can simply click-n-drag a cell and its contents to move it. And I 
can copy it by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking and dragging. Can we do 
this (very simple/useful) feature in Calc?
Comment 1 daniel.rentz 2003-01-23 07:43:30 UTC
That's not exactly correct. In Excel, you have to drag the border of
the selection. In Calc, you just can drag everywhere in the selected
area (have you tried it?)
To copy the area, start to drag it, THEN press the CTRL key. There
should be added a "+" to the mouse pointer. First pressing CTRL does
not work, because this deselects the clicked cell.
Hmmm... Maybe this can be improved: Deselect the cell only, if
mouse-down + mouse-up is done in the same cell, otherwise start
drag+copy too.
Comment 2 oc 2003-05-20 12:06:22 UTC
Hi Bettina,
please have a look
Comment 3 micada 2003-09-27 22:27:12 UTC
IMHO This is the most urgent issue on OOo, 
dragging more than one cell works as aspected, but if you do the 
same on a *single* cell it extends the selection. 
Have to release the mousebutton and clickndrag again for moving a 
single cell. 
So if I work on a sheet concept, then many work is done by arranging 
cells (single cells) and for convience it should be done in one 
Comment 4 ptkho 2004-01-07 10:01:43 UTC
I agree with the problems here! I just tried for the first time the drag-drop
option, but it selects first. In order to drag-drop a single cell you first have
to select the cell together with shift-key. After that you have to try to move
around the cell until you see the move-symbol at the mouse-arrow. After many
tryings you can work on it, but still not as ideal as in Excel.
Comment 5 frank 2005-02-21 10:51:13 UTC
*** Issue 43059 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 6 atdsm 2006-02-23 13:27:01 UTC
Excel doesn't allow drag-n-drop moving at all from within the cell, only from an
edge. In Excel, whether you have a single cell selected or multiple cells
selected, you must move to the edge of the selection (at the black line) for the
cursor to change to a "move cells" icon. Then you can drag-n-drop the cell(s).

OOo is nice because you don't have to move to the edge, but the real problem
here is inconsistent behaviour. If clicking and dragging a cell causes multiple
cells to be highlighted, then that shouldn't change when multiple cells are
already highlighted. Also, I don't think you want the default behavior to be
moving a cell instead of highlighting multiple cells. People usually want to
highlight, not move, cells when clicking and dragging.

In my opinion, the behavior should be corrected to be consistent. So, in my
opinion, the default behavior should always be to select multiple cells when
clicking and dragging (whether you currently have no, one, or many cells
selected). Then, I think that either calc should emulate Excel behavior by
implementing a "move" handle on the selected cell(s), or, better yet, provide a
shortcut key to cause the cells to move. (For example, SHIFT+click-n-drag could
be the shortcut to move the cells instead of highlight a range. It doesn't have
to be shift, though. It could be ALT, or CTRL+SHIFT, whatever combination isn't
used already...)
Comment 7 rabauke 2006-02-23 14:00:26 UTC
It is not inconsistent at the moment! In every file-manager I know, you can 
drag items by first selecting them and then clicking on the selection to drag 

Why would somebody first highlight some cells and then revert that by clicking 
on a cell, holding the button and moving across the highlighted area, rather 
than just clicking somewhere next to the selected area. That does not make 
sense at all. If the user wants to de-select single cells from a while bunch, 
s/he can use CTRL+click to do so, same for adding cells to a selection.

The only issue there is, is the conflict of either selecting more cells when 
clicking on a selected cell or dragging a single-cell.

My proposal would be the following:

Drag, i.e. move/copy a cell, if it was selected before the "dragging click" - 
select other cells, if the cell, the "dragging click" was placed on was not 
selected. This would be consistent with what people are used to from their 

This would allow a consistent usage-pattern, i.e. (holding) the first click to 
select, (holding) the second click to drag. The user is already used to 
selecting first and then dragging, since this is the behaviour for multiple 
cells and most file-managers.

The only thing that would not work anymore with the above is to first click on 
a cell, then release the mouse-button, click on it again without releasing in 
order to select multiple cells.

Which user that wants to select multiple cells, would do two clicks instead of 
one? If the user wants to select multiple cells, s/he just clicks once on a 
cell without releasing the mouse-button and "draws a frame" to select other 

Clicking twice on the same cell clearly states that it is not intended to 
select multiple cells but to drag that cell on its own.
Comment 8 niklas.nebel 2006-04-03 18:51:50 UTC
*** Issue 54679 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 9 drichard 2006-05-30 17:39:48 UTC
We are working with a recently hired Excel 'power user'.  The issue is not
wanting to reach down to the keyboard to perform this task.  There is a way to
perform a move of one cell without the keyboard.  You select 2 cells and when
they are both highlighted immediately scroll back into the one cell and that one
cell is highlighted and can then be moved.  This is consistent with the way that
tables work in Writer.

I think that adding some edge/border functionality would be great, as long as it
done in all modules so it's consistent and not just an Excel-ism added.
Comment 10 kpalagin 2006-09-28 08:10:36 UTC
I am changing version to 2.0.4 because this behavior is still present - in 
order to select cell for drag-and-drop you either need to Shift-click it or 
select several cells and then shrink selection to just the one you want to 
move. Judging by the number of simmilar issues filed ( and others that I could 
not find) I guess current behavior is very inconvinient for users.
I also modified Summary to better describe the issue.
Comment 11 frank 2006-12-01 14:00:32 UTC
*** Issue 72175 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 12 superandrzej 2006-12-01 17:33:49 UTC
It is possible but apparently not very intuitive as most ex-excel users perceive
it as not possible.
Maybe clicking on the cell in which focus already is should result in selecting
the cell. (right now nothing happens)
On the other hand double clik should allow formula editing as it is right now.
Comment 13 frank 2007-05-07 20:56:27 UTC
*** Issue 77054 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 14 ace_dent 2007-06-13 17:05:08 UTC
*** Issue 78379 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 15 frank 2007-08-01 09:56:45 UTC
*** Issue 80242 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 16 bettina.haberer 2007-09-26 15:57:00 UTC
Hi Niklas, these RFEs are in your ownership.
Comment 17 frank.loehmann 2008-05-06 15:16:58 UTC
set target
Comment 18 frank 2008-08-27 10:57:40 UTC
*** Issue 88216 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 19 Stefan Weigel 2008-12-11 19:33:28 UTC
*** Issue 60286 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 20 swissmann 2008-12-30 05:38:59 UTC
I thought this was not possible at first and then read a few ways to make it happen.

I understand why you don't want to have to move to the edge of the selection like in Excel because that 
precise mouse movement is quite tedious.

I also understand that people don't want to drag out then back in or select then shift click the same cell 
to make it active.

If I select a cell then decide I want to use that cell and add a range to it I definitely don't want my click 
and drag to make a range move my first cell.

I don't have a good solution - maybe a time delay like clicking for 1 second before moving would act 
like drag and drop compared to clicking and moving to act like range selection.

It was unfamiliar enough at first though to make me think it wasn't possible.
Comment 21 frank.loehmann 2009-01-27 11:01:52 UTC
cc myself.
Comment 22 clement_pillias 2009-01-27 13:03:17 UTC
A simple improvement may be to simply change the mouse cursor, using the usual
pointing arrow [1] when drag-and-drop extends the selection, and the traditional
"move cursor" [2] when drag-and-drop copies the selection.

This would certainly help the user to differentiate the two states, and not to
initiate a drag-and-drop when it has not the desired effect.

Comment 23 frank 2009-01-28 10:26:42 UTC
*** Issue 98547 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 24 abner78 2010-02-09 10:35:33 UTC
I spent all my votes on this. I think this is really something ex excel users
will find intolerable (me included).
You can't have to do three action to do something other products do in one
click. Period.
This is perceived as a bug and issues duplicated speak for themselves. 

You don't want to be default behaviour? OK, at least make it optional...
Comment 25 Marcus 2017-05-20 11:11:40 UTC
Reset assigne to the default "".