Issue 61477 - Unexpected behaviour for formatting transfer by paste special and CALC-functions
Summary: Unexpected behaviour for formatting transfer by paste special and CALC-functions
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: formatting (show other issues)
Version: 680m154
Hardware: All All
: P4 Trivial (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: oooqa
Depends on:
Reported: 2006-02-01 13:26 UTC by mmenaz
Modified: 2013-11-03 08:08 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

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

Testfile and screenshots explaining comments from rainerbielefeld Wed Feb 1 07:31:47 comment 4 (135.18 KB, application/x-compressed)
2006-02-01 15:35 UTC, Rainer Bielefeld
no flags Details

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Description mmenaz 2006-02-01 13:26:45 UTC
You can do this with an empty sheet:
Take A1, enter a big value (i.e. 12345678), then format taht cell as currency
then move to A2 put there the formula =A1.
Bizarre behaviour, A2 not only will have A1 value, as expected, but also it's
FORMAT (will be displayed as currency value)!
Then another anomaly:
Go to A3 and enter another number (i.e. 456789), then select A2, click the
format pailnbrush, and then click on A3 with the intention of copy the currency
format A2 has... surprise, A3 will keep it's "no format" format.
Developers in IRC channel has gave me the "implementation" reason for this, but
since it's behaviour must conform to user expectation, I consider it a defect
(and one developer agreed with me).
The implementation reason was like "that's the formula that displays the result
according to the input cells. The result cell has no number format attribute,
that's why." but every user will be very unhappy about it, so please fix this
usability/productivity/faith in predicable behaviouir issue.
Comment 1 mmenaz 2006-02-01 13:56:13 UTC
Ok, for the first problem, the one that if you reference a cell, it's format is
used also, I've seen that M$ Excell does the same, so we can consider it a
"standard behaviour".
Remains the problem that it does not really copy the format flag, so a
subsequent FormatBrush copy from it fails, and the user sees a cell with a
certain format that can't be copied (the format) to another with the brush.
Strange, if you then reference that cell, the format IS copied.
so you have
A1 (shows as currency)
A2=A1 (shows as currency)
A3=A2 (shows as currency as well)
But if you try to act in A2 or A3 copying format from other cells with the
brush, you fail (i.e. copy the "number standard" format from another cell to try
to remove the currency format). This way seems that the format brush is broken
Comment 2 Rainer Bielefeld 2006-02-01 15:31:47 UTC
I checked with "2.0.1 RC5 German version WIN XP: [680m1(Build8990)]" and also
with "1.1.4 (German) WIN XP: [645m52 (Build 8824)]" (only random samples):
Indeed, there is some unexpected behaviour, pls. see my testkit.

In a Table with 
       A1                       B1                C1             D1
-12.345.678,00 €        -12.345.678,00 €       456789        23.08.50
Where 'A2=A1' and D1 = same content as C1, but formatted as Date

1. Creating B1 after inserting and formatting value A1 will transfer format from
A1 to B1. But if you create B1 (=A1) and insert value and format to A1
afterwards, A2 will not use A1-Format. That is unexpected

1a. Try similar in a new spreadsheet, but insert '=A1/2' to B1. Now only value,
but no format will be transferred.

2. Mark C1, Copy (<cntrl><v> of from menu), mark B1 and "Paste Special" only
format. Format will remain. Might be that "unformatted = nothing" to paste,


3. Now Paste Special to A1, and A1 will become "unformatted". That's really
really unexpected because of different result to '2.'.

Now try As in '2.', but with contents of D1. Funny thing, here B1 will get
format from D1 ....

4. Mark B1 , use "Menu - Format - Cell", and you will see "Number - standard"
(screenshot!). That's unexpected, because you see that it's not Standard, but

The format transfer for '=A1' might be comfortable, and all that might be
comfortable from time to time, required for MS-compatibility, but it's really
worrying and  it really sometimes drives me crazy using OOo, because I normally
do not want to have the format transferred by formula.

I believe there might be good reasons for the behaviour as it is, but it seems w
need a special chapter "formatting transfer" or similar in HELP.

I will leave it as DEFECT for first, may be someone might change it to task
(Online Help) or enhancement after further tests.

There are no format brush problems.
Comment 3 Rainer Bielefeld 2006-02-01 15:35:57 UTC
Created attachment 33762 [details]
Testfile and screenshots explaining comments from rainerbielefeld Wed Feb 1 07:31:47 comment 4
Comment 4 Rainer Bielefeld 2006-02-01 15:36:56 UTC
More meaningful summary
Comment 5 frank 2006-02-07 15:55:58 UTC

this is a feature. We do not transfer the format of the source cell to the
target cell but only the value or better the view of the source. So the source
cell for the paintbrush feature has the default format and this is copied. 

This is how it should work and therefore this Issue is an enhancement request.
Re-flagged and re-assigned.

Comment 6 frank 2006-02-07 15:57:00 UTC
changed to enhancement
Comment 7 mmenaz 2006-02-07 16:54:20 UTC
Please, don't consider everything only from a developer point of view, but also
from a user's one, or this issue will be doomed to the same destiny as the
"decimal separation and numeric keypad".
"Issue type: ENHANCEMENT and Target milestone: OOo Later" plus priority P4 means
that is something not important to fix, and won't be fixed in a rasonable
timeframe. For a user, this is a high priority instead. Having Calc behave in a
so confusing way (against WYSIWYG), and also different from what is expected
based on "another program very used" is a real problem.
Please assign a higher priority and a Target milestone not far from now. From
the description seems easy to fix, and hurts a lot the user. OOo has to become a
viable alternative to other office suites, so we are also switching from users
with strong motivation on Free Software to users that just want to try something
that "works good" and is cheaper. For them these "faults" put discredit upon the
entire OOo program.