Issue 84163 - Usability issue: Cannot duplicate a table row with copy and paste
Summary: Usability issue: Cannot duplicate a table row with copy and paste
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: editing (show other issues)
Version: OOo 2.4.1
Hardware: PC All
: P3 Trivial with 3 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2007-12-02 09:12 UTC by pengo_au
Modified: 2013-08-07 14:38 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

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

Demo of issue (11.00 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2007-12-02 09:13 UTC, pengo_au
no flags Details

Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this issue.
Description pengo_au 2007-12-02 09:12:11 UTC
It is impossible to duplicate a row within a table using just copy and paste. It
should be possible, but I have had no success. This is a usability issue.

The same usability issue exists when you try to duplicate a column using copy
and paste.

This issue probably exists on all platforms.

I will attach a document as an example.
Comment 1 pengo_au 2007-12-02 09:13:07 UTC
Created attachment 50044 [details]
Demo of issue
Comment 2 jbf.faure 2007-12-02 18:19:09 UTC
You must insert a new row before pasting. IMHO it is the correct behaviour
because ctrl+V paste at the current cursor position. If you want insert before
you need to make room for it.
On another hand with the actual behaviour, you can paste several times the same
row by only one ctrl+V.
I think it's not a defect, perhaps an enhancement, but I prefer the actual
Comment 3 pengo_au 2007-12-02 22:37:59 UTC
Of course you can justify the existing behaviour, but it doesn't make it less

In all other circumstances, in a word processor, image editor, or even a
spreadsheet, whether it is an OpenOffice application or not, you can duplicate
something with the following steps:

*select the thing to be duplicated
*clicking the cursor elsewhere

Except when you try to duplicate a row in a table in Writer.

No other steps are required to duplicate text, images, or cells in any other
OpenOffice program, or indeed, any other program I can think of. Why should a
row or column be any different?

You can say it is the "correct" behaviour all you want, but it doesn't make any easier to use, and leaves a horrible kludge for users to work
out. It's also painfully slow to have to find the "insert row" command every
time you want to do it.

You should note that I have not suggested a solution, just the problem. The
solution may be to allow selection of a row or column in a way that is different
to selection its cells, so that it is clear to the user and the application
which behaviour is being used (cell or row/column based). When you do select
cells, the current behaviour may make sense. When you select a row and copy it,
it makes sense that the user wishes to have duplicate it if they paste it
"between" two other rows.

I wish I could recommend OpenOffice to more people, but little usability bugs
that have not been ironed out at this late stage make me think that little
development effort is going into making the basic GUI usable. I'd be happy to
report other usability bugs if the attitude of developers isn't defensive.
Comment 4 michael.ruess 2007-12-03 11:23:38 UTC
This is currently "industry standard" in treating copy&paste process in tables
of Word Processors.
But what we could is to somehow offer a possibility to paste table content as
new table part and not to overwrite.
This is related to issue 13645.

MRU->FL/AMA: cold you please also give a comment on this? Thanks!
Comment 5 pengo_au 2007-12-05 00:41:10 UTC
If "industry standard" is code for "Microsoft Word" then you're mistaken. It
allows rows to be duplicated with copy and paste, without requiring an "insert
row" command between them.

I'm happy to test other word processors if you'd like further comparison.
Comment 6 pfrandsen 2009-04-02 16:08:49 UTC
I was just trying to make a table with alternating row background color and
other styling (as e.g. in the OOoAuthors Math guide
- this is just not user friendly. My expectation was definitely that i could
copy and paste two rows and then get all the styling copied. Copying style
should, in my opinion, be the default. An option of "copy as plain text/copy
without styling" like the Firefox extension
( would be nice.

Thanx for a great product though.