Issue 9392 - Pressing the "delete" button on a selected cell should not necessarily bring up the "Delete Contents" popup dialog. Excel also does not bring up a dialog on deletion of a cell.
Summary: Pressing the "delete" button on a selected cell should not necessarily bring ...
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: editing (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.0.0
Hardware: PC Windows 2000
: P3 Trivial with 16 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: ms_interoperability, rfe_eval_ok, usability
: 52810 62777 64375 78396 82503 90039 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Blocks: 90135
  Show dependency tree
Reported: 2002-11-20 02:28 UTC by Unknown
Modified: 2018-08-28 21:11 UTC (History)
12 users (show)

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

patch to swap bindings for DEL and Backspace. (1.20 KB, patch)
2009-05-13 22:21 UTC, kyoshida
no flags Details | Diff

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Description Unknown 2002-11-20 02:28:30 UTC
Dialogs are anathema to productivity.  Popping up a dialog box every time I hit
Delete on a cell is a major annoyance and a stumbling block for me being able to
deploy personally, and hence evangelize it.

The option to delete only certain parts of a cell should be available by
right-click, not as a primary function of a major key (here, the Delete key).

At the very least, I should be able to disable this dialog or change it so that
hitting Delete simply clears the cell of all data, like it does in that evil
office suite that the rest of the world still ignorantly uses.
Comment 1 oc 2003-06-25 12:02:33 UTC
There are at least two possibilities:
1. backspace: will erase the cellcontent, but leaves the formating
2. shift-del: this cuts the cells to the clipboard, which has the same
effect as deleting, accept that you are additionally able to paste them

But maybe it is worth to think about making the delete-button
configurable (delete and delete-content)
Comment 2 bettina.haberer 2004-01-21 17:23:30 UTC
Yes, it needs a generall re-thinking about. But for OO.o 2.0 there is no chance
to change this dialog or add further options, as an aim for OO.o 2.0 is reducing
the amount of options for simplifying the use. This issue is considered for OO.o
Comment 3 erwin.tenhumberg 2004-10-01 15:08:55 UTC
enhanced summary, set keywords and reassigned issue according to RFE process
Comment 4 alanucsd 2005-05-18 18:07:24 UTC
Also it would be nice to have a single key combo that shifts cell contents when
you delete them. 
Comment 5 master2 2005-08-12 06:22:16 UTC
I have submitted 52810 just recently - didn't realize it existed since 2002. I
am sure that everyone who tries Calc after Excel which is probably the majority
of users will have this problem. The thing is that it would be great to be at
least warned once, somewhere in help or by that popping up sun picture, that
backspace  clears the cell. The option to bring up the "Delete contents" pop up
is already in the right click menu - this is the best place for it. So please
let us delete all with delete key or at least be able to change the default
function of it.
Thank you
Comment 6 lohmaier 2005-08-14 19:28:30 UTC
*** Issue 52810 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 7 kyoshida 2005-08-18 14:57:11 UTC
I agree with this.  Putting myself to CC.
Comment 8 drensink 2006-03-08 10:55:09 UTC
*** Issue 62777 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 9 drensink 2006-03-27 04:47:21 UTC
CAUTION:  I do not know what the full consequences of this modification are on
the modules not related to Calc or on Calc. Keep a backup of the original file
in case you need to restore it.

On Windows XP with the US English 2.02 you can change the file

c:\Documents and Settings\{Username}\Application Data\OpenOffice.org2

where {Username} is the username to change the settings for.

Change the line:
<accel:item accel:code="KEY_BACKSPACE" xlink:href=".uno:ClearContents"/>

<accel:item accel:code="KEY_BACKSPACE" xlink:href=".uno:Delete"/>

Add the line:
<accel:item accel:code="KEY_DELETE" xlink:href=".uno:ClearContents"/>

I am unsure how this change would react with the
<accel:item accel:code="KEY_BACKSPACE" xlink:href=".uno:Delete"/>
line in the global\accelerator\en-US\current.xml file, but it appears to
override it.

I have not tried this for any other version of, but have
successfully tried it on Fedora Core 5.

This is just a workaround, not a proper fix, so my current opinion is this issue
should not be closed yet.

Comment 10 drensink 2006-03-29 03:56:16 UTC
How to swap the function of the Backspace and Delete keys in Openoffice 2.02

1. Click "Tools" in the main menu
2. Click "Customize" in the submenu
3. Click the "Keyboard" Tab
4. Set the radio button to "Calc" which should be the default
5. In the Shortcut keys list: 
   Scroll to and select "Backspace"
6. In the Functions Lists:
   Select "Edit" under Category and the second "Delete Contents" under Function
7. Click the Modify Button

8. In the Shortcut keys list:
   Scroll to and select "Delete"
9. In the Functions Lists:
   Select "Edit" under Category and the first "Delete Contents" under Function
10. Click the Modify Button
11. Click the OK Button

Apparently this feature got added at some point and was very poorly documented,
at least in relation to this Issue.

Comment 11 frank 2006-06-09 13:58:37 UTC
*** Issue 64375 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 12 icspl 2006-07-24 02:07:22 UTC
Please dont make life hard for power users, you always have the undo feature to
fall back on.  Power users generally accept the consequences of their actions
Comment 13 burg1 2006-12-13 11:49:46 UTC
I agreee 100% with master2:
>I am sure that everyone who tries Calc after Excel which is probably the
>majority of users will have this problem.

My suggestion: DEL key should delete immediately; delete-contents should be 
accessible via shortcut (plus right-click), maybe ALT+DEL.

Rationale: Delete-contents is an excellent function, but it's for power use, 
not for everyday use. Therefore it should not be the default behavior.
Comment 14 pagalmes.lists 2007-03-09 14:59:46 UTC
I would say invert the current behaviour:

- shift+del => open the delete dialog
- del => simple delete
Comment 15 Regina Henschel 2007-06-13 21:57:19 UTC
*** Issue 78396 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 16 georgeen 2007-06-13 22:48:04 UTC
Hello folks:

Congratulations and thanks for your great work and freeing us ;-). The
enhancement is about when you push the delete key; appears a dialog that maybe
is better as a popup menu option as already is, but in general we want to delete
the content of the cell (value or formula), if I want to delete other things or
all, with CTRL+Delete or the menu item is more functional, but the delete key
should be a shortcut for the most common task, delete the value or formula.

Comment 17 frank 2007-10-11 14:41:15 UTC
*** Issue 82503 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 18 frank 2008-05-29 13:10:08 UTC
*** Issue 90039 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 19 frank 2008-05-29 13:16:52 UTC

just my 2 ct's :

Your used to take backspace for erasing content left to the cursor with an
wordprocessor (WP) and DEL for erasing stuff to the right. Why should an
experienced User should not be able to learn that OOo Calc gives you more
options if using the DEL key and if you just want to erase the content of a cell
us the backspace key as he/she is used to do in a WP ? And also why should the
Userbase used to the current behaviour learn a new keycombination to achieve
what they want. IMHO this should be left un-changed. But  this is just my opinion.

Comment 20 deller 2008-05-29 18:55:40 UTC
Frank, OpenOffice is for every user. Expirienced and not-expirienced ones and 
I don't see a reason why people should learn things differently for a standard 
Calc program.

So, please change the Del-key to just delete the contents without asking.
This is what *every* user expects in all applications (e.g. as well in the 
textbox in my browser while I enter this text!).

Helge (who had opened Issue 90039 which is a duplicate of this Issue) 
Comment 21 michael200 2009-05-13 00:16:33 UTC
fst, it's kind of like the metric system. Everybody uses it except for America
and maybe Britain. It would suck for Americans if they all suddenly were forced
to change from customary measurements to metrics, but the world would be better
off overall, including America in the very long-run (I say this as an American
so I hope no one is offended by this), because of the benefit of standardization.
Comment 22 deller 2009-05-13 22:11:03 UTC
IMHO it's really sad.
This bug/feature request has been open since OOo 1.0 (year 2002).
Now OOo 3.1 has been released and still this annoying behavior has not been
fixed yet.
Personally most of the new and fancy additions in the newer releases is not
being used by most people, while this one is one of the first things you will
hit when using Calc.
So, please OpenOffice-developers, fix it that way which most people expect the
Del key to work...
Comment 23 kyoshida 2009-05-13 22:19:52 UTC
A patch has been submitted to Issue 17965, which was utterly rejected.

If someone still cares, here is the latest patch that binds DEL to a simple
delete content without the ugly dialog.
Comment 24 kyoshida 2009-05-13 22:21:31 UTC
Created attachment 62247 [details]
patch to swap bindings for DEL and Backspace.
Comment 25 kyoshida 2009-05-13 22:22:59 UTC
BTW, this patch is used in the latest Go-OO build.[1]

Comment 26 wcwlgp3ozjd 2009-10-10 06:35:57 UTC
Hmmmmmmm, this is one of the times that I force myself to remember how 99.8% of
Oo perfectly suits my needs.

Cuz this 'bug' is a stinkin, festerin' wart of 7-yr old seniority.

1) IMO it's a bad default for the delete key - very 'non-congruent' with
software programs elsewhere - bad UI I think
2) Exacerbated by no obvious way to swap delete and backspace key
3) Compounded by a bug in the KB assignment 'names' that makes it impossible to
assign the (duplicate!) "Delete Contents" function that was in del, to shift-del
(but one can do the reverse so one can solve the problematic
Comment 27 mr_smyle 2010-02-19 12:37:19 UTC
Hi! Maybe 3.3? 
Comment 28 oooforum (fr) 2018-08-28 13:22:56 UTC
Set as PATCH
I don't know why this was forgot :-/