Issue 3907 - Gridlines should disappear (like in Excel) when the background color is changed or text exceeds the border of a cell. This makes for example the creation of nice looking forms easier.
Summary: Gridlines should disappear (like in Excel) when the background color is chang...
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: formatting (show other issues)
Version: 642
Hardware: PC Linux, all
: P3 Trivial with 4 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: ms_interoperability, rfe_eval_ok, usability
: 5721 68749 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Blocks: 15522
  Show dependency tree
Reported: 2002-04-07 13:23 UTC by skiani
Modified: 2015-01-11 10:19 UTC (History)
10 users (show)

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

proposed patch (3.50 KB, patch)
2008-02-19 18:26 UTC, kyoshida
no flags Details | Diff
revised patch (3.11 KB, patch)
2008-03-08 17:42 UTC, kyoshida
no flags Details | Diff
slightly improved patch (3.74 KB, patch)
2008-03-15 00:36 UTC, kyoshida
no flags Details | Diff

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Description skiani 2002-04-07 13:23:07 UTC
This is a question I posed to the OOo discuss list:


One of the differences between Excel and Calc is the way cell colors work. In
Excel if I color a set of cells the gridlines between them disappear (also lines
disappear when you overwrite a cell). Where as in Calc they are still present.
On the surface the OOo approach may seem more logical. However, I'm finding that
my company uses Excel a great deal for filling out forms. We often get an email
with a SS attached and a form to fill out and return, or all our expense reports
are done on spreadsheet forms. The disappearing gridlines makes the forms very
clear and easy to use. When I import them into OOo they are very confusing
because all the visiable gridlines.

I think of this not as a bug but a philsophical issue. I would recommend giving
on this issue, i.e. duplicating the competition.

Niklas Nebel replyed:

I don't think we should change this. If you "design" a spreadsheet in a way that
gridlines bother you, you usually turn off the gridlines altogether and use cell
borders instead. But if you use the background color to highlight individual
cells, I'd guess you normally don't want the gridlines to disappear. 

Antonio Argentieri replyed:

I would agree with the original poster. I feel the gridlines are unnecessary
once you have modified the background cell colours. Certainly the
speadsheets I use it on are more difficult to read in certain situations...
Large sheets zoomed out etc. Perhaps both points of view could be
accommodated with an additional menu option?

I replyed:

How about a compromise (have it both ways) that allows you set the gridline off
around a colored cell? That would be the default for any Excel import so it
looks right. The default behavior of the application would be set by a switch in
the tools/options dialog.

On the surface the way Excel does is not logical, but if you use the application
as I and many others use it really works well. Personally I would set the option
this way.

Gnumeric, BTW, also does it the Excel way. (Anyone have 123, KSpread, and the
Corel thing to compare as well?)
Comment 1 Joost Andrae 2002-04-07 15:03:56 UTC
Joost->Falco: reassigned as RFE to you.
Comment 2 falko.tesch 2003-09-30 15:16:45 UTC
Grid lines in Calc should be "painted over" when assigning a backgroud
to cells.
Comment 3 falko.tesch 2003-09-30 15:17:10 UTC
Comment 4 erwin.tenhumberg 2004-09-30 15:08:12 UTC
enhanced summary, set keywords and reassigned issue according to RFE process
Comment 5 frank 2006-09-05 11:18:45 UTC
*** Issue 5721 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 6 frank 2006-09-05 11:19:24 UTC
*** Issue 68749 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 7 kyoshida 2008-02-19 18:26:24 UTC
Created attachment 51594 [details]
proposed patch
Comment 8 kyoshida 2008-02-19 18:26:56 UTC
set the issue type to PATCH.
Comment 9 kyoshida 2008-02-19 18:30:38 UTC
So, I should assign this to fl (since this is a usability issue) ?

CC'ing Niklas as well.
Comment 10 frank.loehmann 2008-02-19 19:57:27 UTC
cc me
Comment 11 rail_ooo 2008-03-08 09:43:17 UTC
Seems like this enhancement breaks cell value highlighting.

How to reproduce:
1. set the cell background to any color
2. enable Value highlighting in Tools - Options - Calc - View
Result: The cell background color is gone.
Comment 12 kyoshida 2008-03-08 17:42:56 UTC
Created attachment 51976 [details]
revised patch
Comment 13 kyoshida 2008-03-08 17:44:04 UTC
@rail: good finding!  Hopefully the revised patch will fix that one.
Comment 14 rail_ooo 2008-03-08 18:26:09 UTC
Kohei: seems OK now. Thanks for prompt action. 
Comment 15 frank.loehmann 2008-03-10 10:47:15 UTC
set target to 3.x
Comment 16 kyoshida 2008-03-15 00:36:24 UTC
Created attachment 52108 [details]
slightly improved patch
Comment 17 kyoshida 2008-03-15 00:37:53 UTC
Slightly improved to also overlap the grid lines on the top and left side of
each colored area.  This improves the overall appearance.  Also remove an unused
Comment 18 kyoshida 2008-03-15 00:41:08 UTC
nn: Please review this patch.  If the patch is considered in good shape, then
I'll commit it to a CWS.
Comment 19 ooo 2008-03-17 14:01:16 UTC
Niklas is on vacation for the next two weeks.
Comment 20 frank.loehmann 2008-06-10 16:01:37 UTC
New target.
Comment 21 ivarc 2008-10-24 05:19:13 UTC
To say that I'm upset by this issue is an understatement. I've been using Calc
for years, but when I upgraded my Ubuntu distribution, I discovered that the
grid line behaviour that I've designed all my spreadsheets around has changed,
apparently to suit a bunch of Excel users. I agree that there should be a
compatibility option for Excel-created spreadsheets, but I am dumbfounded that
you would make it the default behaviour, without, apparently, giving any option
to restore the old behaviour. You have, quite simply, broken the design of
year's worth of spreadsheets.

I strongly request that you amend this patch/change to enable the user to
select/de-select this behaviour.
Comment 22 marcomanno 2008-11-12 20:09:04 UTC
I have many reports generated by a program, that are designed for MS Office.
They look horrible in OOo...  please fix asap!
Comment 23 thorsten.ziehm 2009-09-10 11:44:19 UTC
Branch-date (feature- and code-freeze) for OOo 3.2 is nearly done. Therefore I
change the target of this issue to OOo 3.x. If you think it is a stopper for OOo
3.2 please change the target back.
Comment 24 jolatt 2010-07-28 16:26:10 UTC
My 1000 cents for the Additional comments from ivarc Fri Oct 24 04:19:13 +0000
Comment 25 Rob Weir 2013-03-11 15:03:49 UTC
I'm adding this comment to all open issues with Issue Type == PATCH.  We have 220 such issues, many of them quite old.  I apologize for that.  

We need your help in prioritizing which patches should be integrated into our next release, Apache OpenOffice 4.0.

If you have submitted a patch and think it is applicable for AOO 4.0, please respond with a comment to let us know.

On the other hand, if the patch is no longer relevant, please let us know that as well.

If you have any general questions or want to discuss this further, please send a note to our dev mailing list:


Comment 26 jolatt 2013-03-11 19:32:05 UTC
This patch is nonsense, IMHO.
In Libreoffice this behaviour was introduced and must be changed after heavy protests, so that this feature could be disabled.

Because of this and the changed margin I changed from Libreoffice to AOO.
Comment 27 jolatt 2015-01-11 08:26:38 UTC
Close this very old issue, please.
Comment 28 Marcus 2015-01-11 10:18:50 UTC
I agree that implementing the patch wouldn't be a good user experience. Therefore I'm closing this issue.