Issue 47740 - annoying toolbars behavior
Summary: annoying toolbars behavior
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: 680m93
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 35 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
: 106408 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2005-04-19 13:08 UTC by ittay
Modified: 2013-08-07 14:38 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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


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Description ittay 2005-04-19 13:08:50 UTC
the 'bullets and numbering' toolbar appears / disappears according to whether 
the cursor is on a bullet/numbering or not.

i want to dock this toolbar, but can't because when it appears or disappears it 
changes the window layout, making it very annoying. 

maybe you can provide a 'pin' option that means that the toolbar always remains 
Comment 1 michael.ruess 2005-04-19 13:49:37 UTC
Reassigned to ES.
Comment 2 eric.savary 2005-05-12 16:00:14 UTC
Comment 3 quizar 2006-11-22 11:24:54 UTC
*** Issue 47740 has been confirmed by votes. ***
Comment 4 drking 2007-11-28 05:41:51 UTC
Even more annoying than not being able to pin this toolbar, is not being able 
to turn it off. Infuriating, it appears and covers up the text so you can't 
read what you've written as you try to edit a bullet.

Comment 5 pesala 2008-01-27 20:20:34 UTC
"Even more annoying than not being able to pin this toolbar, is not being able 
to turn it off."

You can turn it off. 


You can also prevent it from changing the window layout by docking it in front of a 
horizontal toolbar, or above a vertical one. 

This issue is a non-issue, as there are easy ways to avoid the problems that context-
sensitive toolbars cause. Having an option to pin them would make the desired aim 
easier to achieve, but it can already be done quite easily. 

1. Create a customised toolbar (they are never context-sensitve), and put all of the 
icons that you wish to have available permanently on that.

2. Turn off the context sensitive toolbar(s) by placing the cursor *in context,* and 
turning off the toolbar from the View, Toolbars, menu. 
Comment 6 drking 2008-01-28 12:05:18 UTC
"You can turn it off."

I tried everything, including View-Toolbars in context, but since my post I've 
upgraded a notch and reinstalled, and it now does turn off. So withdraw my 

I do still hate the default behaviour - which assumes that the context of a 
click in a bullet is that of editing (rather than the surely more common 
navigation or review), but it's apparently not going to change.
Comment 7 rlancefield 2008-03-09 14:06:33 UTC
The often cited "solution" for this is to place the cursor in-context, allow the
toolbar to appear and then explicitly switch it off via View > Toolbars.

*However*, this does not work on OpenOffice 2.3.0 on Ubuntu 7.10 (at least, not
on my setup). The toolbar ignores the command and re-appears whenever the cursor
is returned to the relevant context.

The workaround I am using is to explictly switch on the relevant toolbar,
position it at the bottom of the document window, right-click on the menu button
(the down arrow) and check the "Lock Toolbar Position" option. The toolbar still
appears and disappears as the cursor enters and exits the corresponding context,
but at least it no longer shifts the document up and down as the toolbar appears
 and disappears.

I have to say, I'm surprised that there is not an easy (i.e. more obvious) way
to control this behaviour.
Comment 8 starko 2008-10-09 10:00:42 UTC
Please make it possible to enable/disable the 'context_sensitivity' of toolbars.
I don't care what the default behaviour is and what the rationaly is behind it -
don't make it THE ONLY POSSIBLE behaviour!
Comment 9 drking 2008-10-09 10:33:49 UTC
@ starko
Please check the comments above for how to enable/disable the toolbars, eg:

"Additional comments from pesala Sun Jan 27 20:20:34 +0000 2008"
Comment 10 starko 2008-10-09 13:13:00 UTC
Thank you for pointing that out but... I have been making custom toolbars or
empty toolbars and sticking them to the right of context sensitive bars for a
couple of years now and hating it every time... 

Those are not intuitive workarounds and hacks that help overcome a number of
ugly usability issues introduced by one clever idea - "context awareness". Once
again those are not solutions but workarounds that can be executed only by "a
computer lierate/power user" who is DETERMINED to stick with OOo. 
I am sure that for every posting on this site there many thousands of others who
are probably dumping OOo because of this and similar "non-issues". They are are
either not even aware that they can contact developers with their comments or
can't be bothered.

I guess that is the problem with many Open Source Free (as in beer) Projects -
lack of monetary insentive to really listen to the users needs. There is a well
known phrase "Developers are not usability experts"
Comment 11 zagam 2009-03-03 04:43:38 UTC
This is a show stopper for many.
Comment 12 zagam 2009-03-10 02:01:59 UTC
This bad UI design could have been avoided if you were aware of

Similar lessons can be learnt from MS Office 2007.
Comment 13 jimmythesaint 2009-07-23 01:04:55 UTC
the link to the fix dead.  Even if it wasn't, it is pretty annoying that I have
to search a bug tracker to find how to disable what is probably the most
annoying "feature" I have run across in any word processing app.

I frequently make flash cards.  I had to permanently add the table and bullet
dialogs to the toolbar because they would both pop up EVERY TIME I WENT TO EDIT
THE CARDS.  that is not a benifit.  that is an extremely annoying and deal
breaking irritation.  If abiword wasn't having so many issues with text
rendering lately, I would use it instead.  This needs to be fixed, or at the
very least, be easier to disable.  Please, can someone add the directions to
disable this "feature" to the bug report so that we don't rely on outside links
that get taken down?

Comment 14 michael.ruess 2009-10-29 10:28:52 UTC
*** Issue 106408 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 15 zagam 2009-10-30 00:48:16 UTC
In Debian
I have: -
> When editing all you want to see change in a wysiwyg is the document
> you are changing. This could be achieved via a context sensitive menu
> path that could be assigned a keyboard shortcut key.

Given the failure of MS Office 2007 and the continued success of MS Office 2003
now is the time to better Microsoft and not repeat their clippy, ribbon, orb and
many other bad mistakes.
Comment 16 michael.ruess 2009-11-03 14:23:08 UTC
*** Issue 106408 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 17 vodhner 2010-02-28 04:35:18 UTC
The Tables Toolbar appeared directly over the main menu, requiring me to dismiss
it before I could call up a Table or Format command.  To the unsuspecting user,
this gives the impression of being rude and thoughtless.  If it's going to pop
up unrequested, it should at least be placed outside the working area.  And *no*
pop-up should *ever* take focus, since if user is typing rapidly they will get
unexpected results -- always a bad thing.
Comment 18 jimmythesaint 2010-03-01 00:37:50 UTC
I would like to suggest a compromise fix that would likely satisfy annoyed
users, such as myself, and the developers who really seem to love having
toolbars popping up all over the place.

The simple solution would be to add a "hide" button on the toolbar such that
when it is clicked, the toolbar does not come back.  Ever.  Unless specifically
activated through the toolbar customization menu.  This solution would maintain
the functionality that the devs seem to love so much and make it far easier and
less annoying to fix the problem for us users.  I would prefer to see this
implemented in a way that requires two clicks at most.

Also, seeing as how this bug is almost two years old, has several duplicates and
many comments, can we get a milestone for this?

Comment 19 motherdawg 2010-07-11 03:20:15 UTC
The often cited "solution" is a work around a bad feature.
And WHY should I do a work around... the problem is not with me it is wit the

it's so annoying, since I havent totaly abandon my M$ workstation, I go back to
Office Word to do my letters and stuff.

I'm running OO 3.1 from a Linux install and it's unusable period!

Fix this quick.

What other suite is Gnome office... theres others... cool!
Trying AbiWord...
Comment 20 irritated 2010-10-18 11:17:59 UTC
quote from pesala: "This issue is a non-issue, as there are easy ways to avoid
the problems that context-sensitive toolbars cause."

this guy is funny. theres dozens of people complaining about this and he says
theres no issue, but says theres problems. ooookay.

now for what really matters: IMHO, having context-sensitive toolbars should be
optional. you should be able to have normal, not-sensitive-to-anything toolbars,
if you like them.

the appearing / disappearing toolbars, IMHO, are annoying and cause the
additional problem of making the document to be redrawn and flicker whenever a
toolbar appears.

some say "make custom toolbars", well ok but i'd have to make a custom toolbar
every time i reinstall Openoffice. others say "turn off the toolbars by clicking
in the view menu", but then, that totally defeats the purpose of having a dozen
default toolbars. these aren't solutions. it's just partially functional
WORKAROUNDS for something that is clearly an issue in the program.

TL;DR : please make an option turn on/off the context sensitivity of the
toolbars. that way you can choose which toolbars will be always on and which
will be always off.