Issue 24926 - Use tab to complete cell
Summary: Use tab to complete cell
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.1.1
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 3 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: oooqa
Depends on:
Reported: 2004-01-30 00:49 UTC by jondoe
Modified: 2013-08-07 15:12 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

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


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Description jondoe 2004-01-30 00:49:57 UTC
When typing information into a cell that starts the same as a cell above it, 
OOo will complete the information to match the previous cell.  If the return 
key is pressed at that time, the cell will be auto-completed with that 
information, and the cursor will move on to the cell below it.  An arrow 
button can be used in the same way as the return key, but the cursor will move 
in the direction of the arrow key pressed.

When the tab key is pressed, if there is more than one possible match it will 
move to the next match rather than simply completing the cell and moving to 
the cell to the right.  (If a cell contains the word dog, and the cell below 
it contains the work dragon, and the letter "d" is typed into the next cell 
down, the result will be d"og".  If the tab key is then pressed, it will show 
d"ragon" instead of moving to the cell to the right.)  I don't know if cycling 
through the possible auto-complete options is a feature or not, but I would 
much prefer to continue typing or simply copy the cell from one place to the 
other rather than use the tab key to cycle through if it means that I lose the 
use of the tab key for moving to the next cell.

Long story short...
The tab key should function the same way as the enter key except for the 
direction the cursor moves.  This issue directly effects my productivity when 
using this product, and I would very much appreciate the change.

Thank you
Comment 1 frank 2004-01-30 09:15:21 UTC
Hi Bettina,

if we do not use the TAB Key for cycling through the possibilities, what key
should we use ?

So I would sugest to close this as wontfix.

Comment 2 jondoe 2004-01-31 16:40:11 UTC
The arrow keys seem like a much better option for cycling through the 
possibilities than using the tab key in a spreadsheet.  When entering a large 
amount of data into a spreadsheet it is very cumbersome to have to move a hand 
from the "home row keys" just to be able to get to the next cell on the 
right.  If I really want to get the next possibility for auto-complete, I'll 
continue typing a letter or two and it will come up.  I have rarely if ever 
used any key to cycle through the different possibilities other than to 
continue typing as I just described.  However, I am constantly using the tab 
key to get to the next cell. 

I would be willing to wager that most people used to Microsoft Excel would 
wholeheartedly agree with me, and since that's what most spreadsheets are made 
with you're going to need to provide functionality on par with what Microsoft 
has.  People are willing to use Microsoft Office for more reasons than that 
they simply feel locked in.  The functionality of the tab key in Microsoft 
Excel is far superior to what I have seen in OOo.  I would very much like to 
see OOo match and even surpass Microsoft in all areas of office productivity. 

You may think that you have surpassed them in functionality with the way you 
have allowed people to cycle through auto complete possibilities.  I might 
even agree with your point, but not when it compromises the functionality I 
have come to expect with the tab key.  Have you really gotten that much 
positive response from using the tab key to cycle through different auto 
complete possibilities that you aren't even remotely willing to think of 
another possible key option? 

If you try to enter a matrix of data into an Excel spreadseet that is five 
columns across and ten rows deep by using the tab key across each row and 
using the enter key at the end of each row, you will see why I think that 
Microsoft has found a much better use of the tab key than you have. 

I truly hope that you consider my request seriously.  I have heard others 
voice similar complaints.  I am just trying to suggest a simple change that 
can have a big impact on user experience. 
Comment 3 jondoe 2004-02-03 00:12:12 UTC
I was searching through previous issues and I was able to find a few that were
similar to this one though the initial motivation may have been different. 
Another possible solution would be to do the following:

Add "Press Tab to move selection" to the list of
"TOOLS-OPTIONS-SPREADSHEET-GENERAL-Iput Settings" with a drop down list just
like the one for "Enter".  This setting would probably have to disable the tab
scrolling for autocomplete.

I don't want to disable the autocomplete feature.  I just want it to play nicely
with the way I want to work.
Comment 4 jondoe 2004-02-18 01:13:42 UTC
Are you simply ignoring this issue now? 
Comment 5 utomo99 2005-02-01 06:33:20 UTC
Hi BH, 

Your reminder. maybe you can consider for next version ? 

Comment 6 jondoe 2005-10-28 20:01:11 UTC
Everyone always talks about how one of the best things about open source is
"choice."  All I'm asking for is an option to change the behavior of the tab key
since what I (and many other Excel users) am used to and prefer isn't the
default and isn't actually available.  I'm not even asking you to change the
default (even though some people would probably prefer it).

Please consider making this enhancement.  I don't know how to make the coding
changes or I would try and submit them.
Comment 7 bettina.haberer 2010-05-21 15:09:16 UTC
To grep the issues easier via "requirements" I put the issues currently lying on
my owner to the owner "requirements".