List of wishes

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Revision as of 11:32, 1 January 2009 by TJFrazier (Talk | contribs)

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In this article, you can add descriptions of features you would like to see in This can serve as a source of inspiration for developers and contributers.

Graphics: Stencil

I propose a new graphics application and corresponding sub-project. Lets call it Stencil for now.

The idea is simply MS Office Visio™ or KOffice Kivio style creation of drawings and diagrams using predefined stencil templates (obvious examples are Organisational Charts, Flow Charts, Engineering, Building Layout, UML and Network Diagrams, etc.) Additionally, the ability to create new stencils and templates using both pixel and vector import filters as well as native drawings would be paramount.

ODF compliant document formats would be needed (I'm guessing these would be XML and SVG based) but what maybe more important for any initial version would be import and export filters for MS Visio™ (*.vsd drawing, *.vss stencil, *.vst template and their 2007 XML based counterparts *.vdx drawing, *.vsx stencil, and *.vtx template), with Kivio (*.flw drawing and *.sml stencil) and Dia (*.dia drawing, and *.shape stencil) as important seconds. AutoCAD™ and other CAD/vector file formats coming in a third phase of filter development.

Finally, some form of a VBA interoperability to allow programmatic drawing (again, obvious examples would be a spreadsheet of dimensions used to automatically create Floor Plans, automatic code generation from UML diagrams, and network scans automatically drawing Network Diagrams).

As a Network and Security professional, the lack of stencil based drawing keeps me firmly rooted in the Visio™ world and hence full MS Office. Add this functionality and a believe you'll get a lot of happy converts.

Calc: Single Column Multi-Target AND Checkbox List Menu

That is the best I can describe it as. What keeps me from using Calc is JUST that I have to sort lists of names and addresses from a master portal page. If I could pull a sheet with 50 states, throw in the Standard Filter and check off the States I need under the State Column, My whole COMPANY could use Calc. So, you have Chain, Client, Name, Street Number, Street Name, Street Type, Address Type, Address Marker, CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE. I want to click State, and just checkbox NY,NJ,DC,MD,VA and it filters out the rest. Then I can turn around and just look at a certain Client, then change to another client. THAT is what I have to do just to START looking at my territory I manage. I HAVE BECOME Highly addicted to this feature in Excel 2007 and see it as the single best feature improvement in the MS Product.

Draw: UML diagrams

I propose addition of a new category of drawing symbols, similar to flowchart symbols, but adhering to the naming and drawing conventions of UML - Unified Modeling Language.

Draw: CAD

Who draws? I suppose draftsman do. So to improve Draw the surface should look about the menu of a CAD program (AutoCAD, SolidWorks, ProgeCAD). Beside the appearance it should have one single function of CAD. It should have a zero point and all lines and objects should be calculated as double precision if quadruple precision is not possible.

Desktop Publishing

I know this is a significant request, and something that has been discussed several times in the past. The inclusion of a Desktop Publishing component would make Open Office even better that it already is! I use Desktop Publishing software quite a lot for designing posters and certificates. Writer is very good at it's function, and so is Draw, what's required is a component which combines a little of both. If Open Office could take on MS Publisher that would be great.

If a Desktop Publishing component were to be introduced (v4 perhaps?) This would open the possibility of basic web page creation, as is possible in another desk top publishing suite I use, Serif Page Plus.

Eventually I could imagine some kind of convergence & collaboration between the Mozilla group (with Composer in SeaMonkey, Thunderbird for Mail) and Open Office, (perhaps even the likes of the Gimp project for graphics) to create a truly integrated suite of applications to rival to the Internet Explorer, Outlook client + Office monopoly that MS have created.

It would be very nice, if writers can access, directly from OO Writer, what is offered by OpenType font format - swashes, alternative glyphs, complex diacriticals, exact positioning of individual glyphs,...

Dynamic Links from Excel

Hi, I have many Excel documents that lookup values from other sheets. When you change a value in one document, it automatically updates in the other, very similar to the 'automatic'. dynamic update (i think thats what its called) present in OO Calc. When you convert an Excel sheet over to ods the links are present, but you have to save the document, where you made the change, and update the document you are working on for the change to be updated. What would be good is to have a tool that can 'find & replace' these Excel links and offer to replace them with 'dynamic' links.

Glyph insertion

It would be nice to have a keyboard shortcut, which enables you to insert a Unicode glyph by typing its Unicode number or its HTML/ISO/MUFI entity. This would be helpful for scholars working with lots of special characters, philologists for example.

A shortcut key exists to open the Insert Character dialog: Ctrl + Shift + "s". It should not be hard to direct any keyboard input (a Tab press might be required) to a text box, in which the user could enter the Unicode number or other identifying information.
Another very convenient method can be found in Mozilla Thunderbird. That method is particularly good for adding letters with diacritics.
All of these methods could be available at the same time. --TJ 11:22, 1 January 2009 (CET)
(Oops! You have to use the Tools > Customize > Keyboard dialog, as I did, to get this; otherwise you get the Save As dialog. Or pick your own shortcut.--TJ 12:32, 1 January 2009 (CET))

Bulk Encryption

I have great difficulty getting staff to encrypt sensitive files - mostly because they have a lot of legacy unencrypted documents, they are too busy to open each one and save with a password, and they will only buy in to an 'all or nothing' policy. It would be really useful if users could simply highlight a selection of OOo files, select 'Encrypt' from a right click menu (or equivalent on non Windows platforms) and get a dialogue asking for a common password to be used for that selection of files. This would see the job done with little or no fuss. Failure to encrypt sensitive data is fast becoming a really hot topic in the UK! It would be especially nice if this bulk approach could also work on legacy OOo file formats and MS .doc .sxc and .ppt files.

Change Case

A missing feature that I use extensively is Change Case. OpenOffice supports only Upper and Lower change case. I would love to see "Title" and "Sentence" change case also added.

Some bibliographic styles prefer small capitals for authors' surnames, in many situations (especially when printed) small capitals look much better than simple capitals. OO Writer cannot so far (or am I wrong?) access directly true small capitals if it is contained in a OTF font family. However, even the use of simulated small capitals is very very uncomfortable. Why not to add the conversion of a selected text to small caps as a subtype of the case change, or assign a shortcut to it like Ctrl-B for Bold (perhaps also to the formatting toolbar)?

Fix Conflict with Safari Field Input

Right now, if I have OpenOffice 3 open, and I am using Safari 3.1.2 (on the Macintosh), if I try to enter data in a large field in Safari such as a discussion board, I get the Spinning Rainbow of Death and everything slows down horribly. It is sometimes possible to recover, but other times I've had to force quit and restart. This only happens when OpenOffice is open, so there must be a conflict somewhere that needs to be resolved.

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