Issue 24048 - Selection of overlapping objects is confusing
Summary: Selection of overlapping objects is confusing
Alias: None
Product: Draw
Classification: Application
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.1
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 6 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: AOO Later
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: usability
Depends on:
Reported: 2004-01-02 21:37 UTC by wayfarer3130
Modified: 2013-02-07 22:17 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: DEFECT
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---

Sample demonstating the bug (11.53 KB, application/
2012-10-01 17:22 UTC, Rainer Bielefeld
no flags Details

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Description wayfarer3130 2004-01-02 21:37:30 UTC
When drawn objects overlap, and one selects the background object, then click on
the overlapping region, the background one is still selected and can be moved,
even if the other object is in front.  This seems like incorrect behaviour. 
Instead, it should select the forground object.
Additional desired behaviour is that when you select the forground object in an
overlapped area, and then select again (eg click a second time), the "next"
object down is selected, so that there is an easy way to select any particular
object.  Visio supports this type of selection.
Comment 1 rblackeagle 2004-01-03 19:33:04 UTC
This is a very irritating feature in OOo.  There is a workaround, which is to
click on the overlapping windows, move the (automatically selected) background
image out of the way and then click on the top-most image to edit it.  It is a
clumsy workaround because then the moved image needs to be moved back.
Comment 2 wolframgarten 2004-01-05 08:41:14 UTC
Comment 3 wolframgarten 2004-01-05 08:41:36 UTC
Reassigned to Christian.
Comment 4 clippka 2004-01-13 09:32:37 UTC
a much easier workaround would be to just click escape to unselect the
background object and then click on the overlapping foreground shape.

Christian, I would be willing to change our current selection behaviour, as long
as you can provide me with a consistent specification that deals with all
possible issues. I will not fix this issue with a "make this one probleme act
like visio and don't care if we get inconsistend elsewhere" comment.

Only thing valid would be to make our selection behaviour more like our direct
competition, which in this case is not visio
Comment 5 wayfarer3130 2004-01-15 22:21:54 UTC
The issue is NOT to make it more like Visio, but to have a consistent method of
selection, even in the case of overlapping objects.  The visio model seems
reasonably easy to understand by users, but is not the only one I've seen.

Basically, the way it works is that all objects are at a distinct depth.  When
no object is selected, then a selection click at any location selects the object
closest to the front.  When an object is selected already, additional selection
clicks at any location do the following:
1) Collection a list L in order of all objects that overlap the selection point.
2) If the currently selected object is contained in L, at position i, then the
newly selected item is  L[(i + 1) % length L]  (where L[0] is frontmost)
3) If the currently selected object is not contained in L, then the new
selection becomes L[0]
4) If L is empty, then no object is selected.

For overlapping selections (shift-select typically) then just select everything
in the bounding rectangle.  Two choices exist for this, either choose
any-overlap, or completely contained objects.

For add-select (control-select often), perform the above algorithm, except that
perform the algorithm on the most recently selected item, and if one chooses
step 2, replace the object, whereas if it is step 3, then add the object to the
selection, and step 4 is null.  It will be possible to setup designs where you
can't multi-select particular sub-sets of objects, exactly in the case where you
want to select exactly n objects that precisely overlap.  Any other combination
can be selected as a sub-set  (proof left as an exercise to the reader  :-)

Alternatives  include having a popup menu to select specific items.  I'm not
quite sure what else you would do that is a good alternative.  Try playing
around in other drawing packages.
Comment 6 ace_dent 2008-05-16 02:56:30 UTC Issue Tracker - Feedback Request.

The Issue you raised has the status 'New' pending further action, but has not
been updated within the last 4 years. Please consider re-testing with one of the
latest versions of OOo, as the problem(s) may have already been addressed.
Either use the recent stable version:
or consider trying the new OOo 3 BETA (still in testing):
Please report back the outcome so this Issue may be Closed or Progressed as
necessary - otherwise it may be Resolved as Invalid in the future. You may also
wish to search for (and note) any duplicates of this Issue that may have
advanced further by checking the Issue Tracker:
Many thanks,
Cleaning-up and Closing old Issues as part of:
~ The Grand Bug Squash, pre v3 ~
Comment 7 stephan66 2008-05-20 21:36:23 UTC
Problem is still not solved in version 2.4 (tried Novell build There
really should be a simple way to select the foreground object.
Comment 8 frank.loehmann 2009-11-11 13:33:55 UTC
Set keyword.
Comment 9 clippka 2010-06-10 15:55:13 UTC
Comment 10 Rainer Bielefeld 2012-10-01 17:22:08 UTC
Created attachment 79703 [details]
Sample demonstating the bug

With selected background rectangle, a double click will be required on a smiley inside the the borders of the rectangle, but outside the rectangle on the red smiley a single click will be enough to select the smiley
Comment 11 Armin Le Grand 2012-10-02 13:30:06 UTC
ALG: Looking at the code shows that this seems to be purpose; it's there to allow dragging hard to be reached objects. Imagine the following scenario:

You have objectA covered by object B. You select object A by using TAB key (no other chance). You can now start to move it, even when the mouse button down will hit object B first.

I'ts not very nice, but to change this we will need an alternative to the given scenario.

Comment 12 Armin Le Grand 2012-10-02 13:39:46 UTC
ALG: Checked with PPT; there indeed you cannot drag an object A in the given scenario with the mouse; each try - independent from pressing any qualifiers - selects object B first (with SHIFT even additionally).

For my taste this is not bad at all (you still have the alternative to bring the selected object to front or move it with the cursor keys), but we somehow have to 'guess' if that's what we want.

Adding Kevin to CC. Kevin, what do You think...?