Issue 118149 - multiple sheet selection editing invisibly clobbers data without warning
Summary: multiple sheet selection editing invisibly clobbers data without warning
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: editing (show other issues)
Version: OOo 3.1.1
Hardware: PC Windows 7
: P3 Normal with 1 vote (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2011-06-08 21:54 UTC by davea0511
Modified: 2013-10-06 09:16 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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


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Description davea0511 2011-06-08 21:54:08 UTC
When multiple sheets are selected then any edit made to a given cell (for example Sheet1 cell B13) will also silently be made on the other selected sheets to that same cell (for example Sheet2 cell B13, and Sheet3 cell B13) without any notification to the user that those changes are being propagated throughout all the selected sheets - they may in fact be unaware that multiple sheets are selected.

They may be unaware because it's hard to tell the difference between a selected sheet (white tab), and unselected sheet (nearly-white tab).  One must simultaneously select all sheets that they want printed as a single job, and it's easy to forget that they're selected afterwards.

The ability to do this may be by design, but if so then at a minimum the user should be notified that multiple sheets are selected and edits on any cell will be made to all selected sheets.  In short, whenever something is done invisibly in the background that is potentially destructive to invaluable data the user should be always notified of the fact.  I also recommend making the tabs of selected sheets more visibly different than unselected tabs, say perhaps making the tab dark gray or something like green4.
Comment 1 davea0511 2011-06-09 13:07:10 UTC
The Issue Type has been changed from "Defect" to "Enhancement".  Note also that this "Enhancement" report is also related to "Defect" report here (cell protection broken):

There are 3 possible enhancements I can think of to the edit-propagation feature (by "edit-propagation" I'm referring to the feature wherein the edits of any cell of the active sheet are automatically propagated to the same cell address of all other simultaneously selected sheets).  Ideally they'd all be implemented.

1) An event-triggered warning.  Whenever the user selects multiple sheets they are notified that changes to any cell made on the active sheet will automatically be made to the same cell address on the other selected sheets.
2) Toggle the feature on/off. Ideally this feature could be a selectable option in the "Options" dialog window.  It would be nice, for example, to be able to select multiple sheets for printing purposes without exposing their data to edit-propagation vulnerability.
3) Better visibility of sheet-selection status (by perhaps increasing the color difference of selected vs. unselected worksheet tabs).  Although this doesn't resolve the original concern, it would make the edit-propagation feature more likely beneficial instead of potentially destructive.
Comment 2 Oliver-Rainer Wittmann 2012-06-13 12:19:25 UTC
getting rid of value "enhancement" for field "severity".
For enhancement the field "issue type" shall be used.
Comment 3 Edwin Sharp 2013-10-06 09:16:19 UTC
Performing changes that are not visible to the user is bad practice.
When multiple sheets are selected an attempt to input data into visible sheet should break the selection of sheets and be applied to the visible sheet only.