Issue 99034 - Calc: Replace All: confirm & count of replacements, like Writer
Summary: Calc: Replace All: confirm & count of replacements, like Writer
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: editing (show other issues)
Version: 4.1.0-dev
Hardware: PC Linux, all
: P3 Normal with 2 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2009-02-09 07:23 UTC by nicklevinson
Modified: 2013-11-20 21:44 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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


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Description nicklevinson 2009-02-09 07:23:30 UTC
When doing a global search-and-replace, confirmation of completion would be
helpful, and even more helpful would be a count of replacements performed. Both
are available in Writer but neither one is in Calc.

The usefulness of a count in Calc is in determining if one has changed too few
or too many instances in formulas or was just right. Formulas are not easy to
see simultaneously in many cells, especially when they're long. For instance,
suppose one anticipates that a string replacement in formulas will change 50
formulas and the count reveals that 500 were replaced, then a user could assume
there's an error in their replacement-process logic and immediately undo the
replacements to reverse the damage. Similarly, if the numbers were the other way
around, the user could assume their logic missed something and they could
redesign the find-and-replace parameters. Counts would help.

How to replicate in either program, especially useful in Calc:

1. In a new document, type lots of the letter "a" (without quote marks). If it's
in Calc, type them into lots of cells. In Writer, holding the key down a while
is good enough.

2. Give the Find command. Search for "a". Replace with "b". (No quote marks for
either.) Leave Whole Words Only uncheckmarked. In Calc's Find, under More
Options, be sure it'll search values, not formulas or notes.

3. Click Replace all.

Result: Replacement will succeed. However, while Writer will confirm with
"Search key replaced . . . [#] times.", Calc gives no message when done.

That is a problem when the fact of replacement is not visible without burrowing
through a document, for example, in the case of Calc by examining formulae or in
the case of Writer by paging through a long document.

In Calc, a partial kludge is available. If you repeat the identical
search-and-replace when the string to search for is absent from the document or
selection, the result will be the message "Search key not found." However, this
does not produce a count and if, as sometimes seems to happen, an option to
search a selection only becomes without warning an option to search the whole
sheet or document, unwanted replacements may ensue.

Quick searches would confirm completion almost immediately, but, since large
documents have more to search, search-and-replace generally takes longer,
requiring feedback. None of my searches produced a cursor representing waiting
(e.g., an hourglass or a wristwatch), so, if that's present in your design, it
doesn't show up on screen early enough to serve to notify by its departure that
the process is finished.

A count is useful, because if I want to see if I've used a string too many times
I can replace the string by itself and get a count without changing the document
(other than changing its metainformation). I use such a feature in word
processing for literary improvement by looking for overused words, and it might
be useful in Calc for counting formulas sharing a given string, for instance.

I used OOo 2.4 (the latest that I have), with Calc and Writer open
simultaneously, on Fedora Core 4 Linux with the Gnome 2.10.0 desktop on a Dell
Latitude C840 laptop. No retrofit is suggested.

Issue 62188 may be relevant if the original author used incorrect terminology;
and it is a bit confusing in its content.

Thank you.

Comment 1 Edwin Sharp 2013-11-20 21:44:23 UTC
Useful enhancement.