Issue 28499 - Auto fill to be extended to allow for characters as well as numbers
Summary: Auto fill to be extended to allow for characters as well as numbers
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.1.1
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 1 vote (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2004-04-29 00:44 UTC by kelvine
Modified: 2013-02-07 22:43 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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


Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this issue.
Description kelvine 2004-04-29 00:44:56 UTC

In the past I have entered the lettes A, B, C into the first column and then 
went to perform an auto fill by dragging. To my surprise the auto fill simply 
repeated A, B, C down the cells.

Upon further reading, I now understand this is because it only applies to 
numbers or certain strings which end in numbers.

A similar issue was raised in the users mailing list recently and a couple of 
us suggested using a 'sort list' to get around the issue. 

I suggested the 'sort list' approach, but I am aware of one limitation. What 
if someone wants more than 26 entries (in this case the letters in the English 
alphabet). The normal approach is to go A to Z then AA to AZ etc.  The sort 
list can not easily handle this requirement.

If I enter the values a, b, c, d, etc into cells with the sort lists (A,B,C 
etc and a,b,c etc) set up and then perform the fill you do not get only upper 
case letters (This may or may not be another bug.)

I have no idea what other side effects may occur and in the past when I have 
added a sort list, I have later removed it due to some side effect I had not 

Having an additional option in Edit -> Fill -> Series to provide a Series Type 
of Alphabetic would provide a more flexible alternative. It may also be 
possible to provide other language alphabets and roman numerals as well.

IMHO this would provide greater flexibility for users than Excel, but not 
break compatibility between the two products.

Currently there is an issue for IP addresses to be added to auto fill. This 
issue could be considered in parallel, reducing the times the area is touched. 
Just an observation.

I hope this information is useful


Comment 1 frank 2004-04-29 09:02:16 UTC
Hi Bettina,

one for you.

Comment 2 caiot1 2004-04-30 04:21:25 UTC
OK Kelvine,

the your issue is best filled than the issue Immanuelcrc (issue 28473), but the
work is the same.

Why did you not put it as a comment in his issue, instead of creating a new?

You two working togheter is better than each one alone.

His issue has 3 votes at this momment. You can vote it.

Please, consider it.

Comment 3 kelvine 2004-04-30 05:41:06 UTC

A reasonable question.

I see the Sort lists for static lists. The Edit -> Fill -> Series is for the 
dynamic creation of a series. IMHO these two are different features within 

In certain situations they do overlap. 

Lists have a role in the product, as do Series.

Issue 28473 is about simply adding additional lists by default to the product, 
and only achives a subset of what I would like to achieve.

Static lists in my experience can result in unexpected side effects. A Fill -> 
Series always produces the result you request. (Eg. Enter the lower case 
letters in the Sort List and then perform an autofill.)

A Fill -> Series for example can as I said produce the series A to Z and then 
move on to AA to AZ then BA to BZ etc. A Sort List is static and would not 
achieve this result. A Sort List is limited to the values entered. I have had 
a need for this in the past. The more common need would however be the Sort 
List approach of 26 letters.

A Fill -> Series could if extended produce:
- A series of Roman Numerals (not available in Excel)
- A series such as A-1, A-2 to A-1000 etc (which is available in Excel) but 
would be difficult in a List
- A series such as the alphabetic which is calculated and could go above 26 
charactres, is more suited to a series. (Not available in Excel)
- A series for IP address ranges (which is another issue already raised and 
available in Excel) is not possible using a Sort List.

A Fill -> Series allows me to select a range of cells, enter a starting number 
and a finishing number (in the case of letters it may be from A to BZ) and 
only the cells in the range will be completed. The remaining cells are left 
untouched. In theory it may even be possible to use the increment for every 
second letter, although I can't think of any reason I would want to do this.

A Fill -> Series may be able to cover the situation such as Review-A, Review-B 
etc. This is however probably too difficult and not worth the effort. More 
important is to work out what people need. There is no point programming 
anything the majority of people don't need.

Even as I type this reply, one issue that just came to mind is the Sort List 
approach would introduce inconsistency between Excel and Calc. Currently text 
entries are simply duplicated in both packages if someone drags down on the 

That is, if person currently enters "A" into a cell and drags down, the "A" is 
duplicated in both packages. If we add the alphabet as a default Sort List in 
Calc, the packages behave differently which will confuse users.

The developers may then squash the idea based on this inconsistency alone. 
That means if I don't suggest the Fill -> Series approach, there is no longer 
an alternative for the developers to consider.

To me it is important both approaches be considered independently.

Fill -> Series may IMHO be able to achieve what I desire, with little or no 
side effects, but Sort Lists cannot.

I think providing two alternatives to the developers will provide them with 
the option of deciding whatever they feel appropriate.

I hope this helps explain why I would prefer to keep them as separate issues. 
Thanks also for including the issue number of the other issue so they can be 
more closely related.

Comment 4 bettina.haberer 2010-05-21 15:12:17 UTC
To grep the issues easier via "requirements" I put the issues currently lying on
my owner to the owner "requirements".