Issue 97920 - need general method to change all program defaults
Summary: need general method to change all program defaults
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: formatting (show other issues)
Version: OOO300m9
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: oooqa
Depends on:
Reported: 2009-01-10 02:06 UTC by az77
Modified: 2013-01-29 21:54 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

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


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Description az77 2009-01-10 02:06:50 UTC
Program defaults, such as font type/size, default column width, and other
formatting, cannot be changed.
If one wishes to use alternate defaults, one must change each new document to
achieve the intended behavior.
(Note that the same problem exists with the word processing module.)
Suggest that either
1) The tools/options menu contain options for program defaults
2) Format/styles/standard/modify should have options to apply changes to all new

An example of problems with the existing situation :
1) The default font is often ambiguous to those not used to its appearance,
leading to errors.  (Many fonts do not distinguish between certain characters
very clearly.)
2) In metric environments, the default column width of 2.27 cm is somewhat
bizarre.  (Note that metric is the norm in almost all countries outside the U.S.)
Comment 1 Regina Henschel 2009-01-10 18:55:29 UTC
This issue contains different problems. Such issue cannot be properly handled.
Therefore I will close this as invalid. Please read especially "One problem
- one issue". uses another approach than Excel. Please learn more about
document templates and setting a document template as default. Many of your
wishes can be solved inside the existing features.

Please submit a new issue for each of your remaining wishes. Don't forget to
search, whether a similar issue already exists.
Comment 2 az77 2009-01-11 07:43:39 UTC
1) This issue contains EXACTLY ONE PROBLEM
I did suggest 2 possible types of changes to solve the problem, along with 2
How can it get more simple than that ?

2) A search revealed no similar problems posted.

3) Being totally unfamiliar with Excel, I don't understand the relevance of that
comment.  (I used Quatro Pro and other spreadsheets before using OpenOffice.)

4) Any documentation on templates that I found did not solve the problem.
Selecting a template is a very awkward process, much like reconfiguring any new
spreadsheet.  And does not seemed to be designed to adresse the problem of
initial (default) configuration.
If you have information that would solve the problem, it would be helpful to let
people know.
Comment 3 Regina Henschel 2009-01-11 12:49:37 UTC
I will try to explain it briefly:
1. Create a spreadsheet with all the styles and settings do you want.
2. File > Templates > Save. Enter a template name. OK.
3. Close document.
4. File > Templates > Organize. Select your Template in the left list.
5. Click on button "Commands" which opens a list.
6. Click on "Set as Default Template". Close.

Now each new document will have the settings do you made. Therefore "Program
defaults cannot be changed" is not true.

But you will notice, that not all settings are possible via document template.
For example you can set the column width in the template, but the checkbox
"default value" still gives 2.27cm. So one request can be, "Give a way to
customize the default value for column width."

You made a suggestion to extend the tools/options menu. You need to say what
settings do you want to see there, and look whether a similar issue already
exists. For example the font setting is issue 20251.

You made a suggestion to update the defaults by the settings of the current
document. That is a quite different problem than extending the tools/options
menu. Therefore my comment concerning "one problem - one issue". Currently you
would copy the style from the document to the template in the organizer.

You're right concerning Excel. That comment belongs to issue 97929, which is
about a similar request. 


Comment 4 az77 2009-01-11 18:30:09 UTC
Thanks for your response, Regina.
My request was for a general method for changing program defaults for the
I now realise that templates do adresse much of the problem (thanks to your
information), but as you mention, not all.

So effectively this gives a third option for solution :
3) Make all default options not currently settable in templates settable in
  (To provide a solution with a default template.)

My given suggestions and examples are just that.
The problem of a general method for changing program defaults remains.

True, it MAY require a lot of work, but I suspect a lot less than it might seem
at first.

After all, these defaults must be initialised either
1) when a new document is created
2) when an existing document is loaded

Certain defaults, such as the default column width, are currently always
initialised the same.

This all can be rationalised -- and I suspect without a great degree of
difficulty (for a programmer familiar with the internals of Openoffice, of course).

So I respectfully resubmit this issue for reconsideration.

Note : I'm changing the title from "unable to change program defaults" to "need
 general method to change all program defaults" in order to clarify the issue.
Comment 5 Regina Henschel 2009-01-11 19:32:29 UTC
I have set this issue to new. But the solution, that is will be added to the
heap of enhancement request might perhaps not satisfy you. Therefore I encourage
you to have a look at the User Experience project, and
its mailing lists and wiki pages, for example
Comment 6 az77 2009-01-11 23:42:58 UTC
Your suggestion of using a customised template spreadsheet loaded by default
ALMOST works, with a few problems :

1) On charging a new document DIRECTLY (instead of from inside an existing
spreadsheet) one gets the original (non-customised) template spreadsheet.
(From an existing spreadsheet already loaded, the customised template is loaded
as expected.)

-- This should be easy to fix.  (Hopefully soon)

2) As you have confirmed, one cannot change the default column width.
This and other unchangeable default formats should be explicitly changeable.

Thanks for your suggested links.
I really want to improve my favorite spreadsheet :)