User Experience/Improving OOo Default Settings

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Renaissance Subproject to Achieve Better Default Settings


Executive summary: Please locate your favorite low hanging fruits by _end of April_ to improve default settings in Impress (or all apps for later, but the lmpress focus is till end of April)


"Better Defaults", as this effort is called for short, aims to collect suggestions for better default settings in OOo. First in Impress (in accordance with the present focus of project Renaissance) and later in the other OOo applications. This is a subproject of Project Renaissance, so it is listed on the "Current Work" wiki page .


What does "better defaults" mean? Well, I KNOW there are default settings that you change first thing when you install a new version of OOo. So please share what they are and why the change(s) make(s) your life much easier. 

For example, two issues Frank found are:

Make objects same size Issue 54281

Text area selection is not very accurate and covers other objects. Issue 96548

One default setting changed recently was Issue 2446 Boy did that feel good! Let's find more of those.


Low Hanging Fruit Clause

No new features. The developer should only have to flip a switch on something that is already alive and kicking in the office suite, but just not set as the default. We want results, so the low hanging fruits are the ones we want to grab.


How to Get Started

Find existing default setting issues or write new RFEs in IssueTracker (use "default" in the title and keyword) and add them to list in the table on this wiki page.
Or, if RFE writing is not your kind of thing, just write your desires to achieve default utopia ;-) in the table below. Be sure to make it clear where the feature is located (write down where to click to get there) and why it is better to set the default the way you want it as compared to the old setting.

If you have a complex issue or several defaults in the same area, it would be best if you create an individual wiki page (put link to it in the table below) for all the related defaults like Chris did (see Grid Handling.) Each individual default setting being suggested can then be discussed on the respective wiki pages, just like the discussion in the table at the bottom of the Grind Handling wiki page. That information will serve as the basis for decision making when it comes to evaluation time, because the iTeam will have the discussion and details all in one place (wiki page) and not jumbled all over the mailing lists.


Time Frame

Please get your 2cents in by the END of APRIL for OOo Impress. Then the iTeam can evaluate the suggestions and decide what to implement with the resources they have. The other applications will follow within the scope of the Renaissance project.

List of Better Default Setting Suggestions
Idea
Application
Description
Name
Rotation Mode, Guides when Moving on Impress 'Rotation Mode after Clicking Object' & 'Guides When Moving' are two feature options which are switched off by default => they should be switched on by default (more info: Grid Handling). Clu
Change Handle Size Draw/Impress The current handle size was defined years ago - with displays offering less density than today. I propose to change the default handle size to "large". This option can be found in the toolbar "Options" (more info: Grid Handling). ChristophNoack
bullet point lists Impress Bad standard defaults of bullet point lists. If one creates a text frame in Impress and clicks on the button "numbering and bullet points" (Nummerierung und Aufzählungszeichen), the newly created bullet point list has terrible standard defaults:
  • (1) Almost no space between the bullet point and the text.
  • (2) No ident for the second line of text under a bullet point. The second line appears left-justified directly under the bullet point. Instead, there should be a ident of the second line. It should begin exactly there where the first letter in the first line starts.
Gerald
default colour of drawing objects Draw/Impress The default color of drawing object is ugly and has not changed since the 1990ies. For more details, see Issue 93507 Gerald
'Right page' should be next style to 'Left page' Writer Issue 15498 Name
Ugly style sheets for headings in Writer Writer I used Writer for several articles, publications, flyers and in all of them the standard headings look ugly and outdated. Any designer would not choose these style sheets for Heading 1-10. Furthermore, in this regard the competition has made large steps forward during the last release cycles. Gerald
Make manual page break in Writer better visiable Writer for example use 'light blue' and a thicker line. Issue 33518 and duplicates Issue 65150 , Issue 82353 , Issue 96963 , Issue 22646 Name
Default line too thick Chart especially XY-Charts need hairline lines.Issue 98803 Name
Idea Draw Include toolboxes circles, rectangles, text instead of single symbol in drawing toolbar. Reasoning: (1) The 'circles and ovals' and the 'text' toolbox is not accessible via View - Toolbars in Draw. So currently the only way to access arcs and legends is to customize the drawing toolbar. (2) Draw is used for technical constructions and there those objects are often used, in contrast to Writer or Impress, where drawing objects are used for illustrations in most cases. (3) Using the toolboxes needs no more space than single objects and give you a quick access too, because the last used object remains above for single click. Regina
Add Math formula icon to standard bar All Math objects are often used in technical documents. You need the way Insert - Object - Formula to insert one. That is too long. For example consider writing a math text for school, which has about twenty formulas per page usually. Regina
Distance in numbering styles larger Writer Make the distance from number to text in numbering styles larger, so that 10. text is still in line. Regina
Add a gap in table of contents Writer Add a gap (tab or space) between number and text in table of contents in Writer. The picture shows the ugly default settings. Notice the missing space between number and heading text. UglyDefaultSpaceInTOC.png Regina
Use parallel perspective for 3D-scene Draw 3D-scenes in Draw are to illustrate constructions. Often several 3D-objects are combined in one scene. Working with several objects is faulty if perspective is on. So the first step when working with 3D-objects is to switch to parallel projection. It is "faulty" because it is unhandy to arrange or rotate objects inside a scene when in central perspective and because of Issue 67847 . Regina
Set margins in style of Math formula objects to 0cm Writer Set margins in style of Math formula objects in Writer to 0cm. Issue 22136 Regina
Add a spacing below for tables Writer Add a spacing below for tables in Writer. In normal text flow the style text body is used, which gives good distance between two paragraphs. It has a spacing above of 0cm and a spacing below of 0.21cm. But after a table the text nearly touches the border of the table, because the table has spacing 0cm. And if you do not use borders the spacing is to small too, because the style Table contents has below spacing 0cm too. Regina
Uncheck transparency warning All Uncheck transparency warning in Tools > Options. Modern PCs are fast enough to calculate transparency. So most oft the users no longer need this warning. Regina
change default color in form wizard Database the default background color of an default form document, created by the form wizard, is anything like orang -> this is a bad default and looks unprofessional => change it in anything common like 'light gray' MSC
switch off impress wizard Impress looks old fashioned, is redundant and annoying WG
Default Clipboard Format for vector graphics All except Draw If someone paste a vector graphic into a document, he normally doesn't intend to edit it there, but most probably he needs to resize it. Unfortunately scaling of embedded Draw graphics doesn't work, because text will not scaled proper. Until this work, the user must use Paste Special->As GDI-Metafile. I think GDI-Metafile should be the default here. Jörg
Changing default font Impress & Draw Issue 70585 It should be possible to change the overall default font for text (not the GUI)

in Impress permanently, using one centralized setting, for example Options -> Openoffice.org -> fonts -> Change default font or somewhere similar.
This is especially a problem when working with asian languages. I know you can work around the problem using templates, but it is neither quick, nor is it likely to appear obvious to the average user.

Clu
Change default pen color from neon green Impress Issue 47990 As described in BUG 10922 the neon green color of the pen used to draw on a

presentation is very difficult to see for students in a classroom, and the color is hard coded into OOo. I would like to see the default changed to perhaps black or red, as they are much easier colors to see. BUG 10922 is still a very good idea, but I filed this report to request a simple change of the default color, which should be much easier than what BUG 10922 is requesting. A slightly more ambitious, but still not difficult, would be to read the color value from a file or some such, instead of hard coding it in the OOo source.
p.s. available after .. menue: slide show / slide show settings & check 'mouse pointer as pen' & starting a presentation
Please integrate the patch for the pen, that's already available in the go-oo-build, into vanilla-ooo. This patch allows to change the configuration of the pen (color, line width etc.).
It should be posible to change the configuration of the cursor (from arrow to pen) during the presentation mode (via context menu).

Clu
andreasma
Don't emulate MS Office's annoying "clippy" All Options | OpenOffice | General and then Turn off Help Agent and Turn on Extended Tips Safway
Please set all checkboxes in Change Tools --> Options --> Load/Save --> Microsoft Office by default All It is very annoying that these checkboxes are not checked by default because users which own Microsoft Office and open a document with an Excel OLE-object see a document in a different way than a user who does not have Microsoft Office installed. This is because (by default) an installed Excel is used to render the xls-diagrams while (when Excel is not installed) OpenOffice.org is used to render it. When a user sends such a document to a different user it seems as if OpenOffice.org does not display the document in the same way as on the other computer. But the problem is in the OLE-object. When the boxes are checked it would be a better default. parity
Tab Stops with reasonable settings All Tools > Options > Writer or Writer/Web or Calc or Impress or Draw > General > Settings > Tab stops = 0.50 instead of 0.49 Safway
Grid Settings much more manageable and understandable All Tools > Options > Writer or Writer/Web or Calc or Impress or Draw > Grid

Snap to Grid should be off. Visible Grid should be off. Resolution > Horizontal = 0.10 instead of 0.39. Resolution > Vertical = 0.10 instead of 0.39. Synchronize axes should be on.

Safway
Table keyboard handling consistent Calc Tools > Options > Calc > Table > Keyboard handling > Insert cell > Column = 0.20 like the others instead of 0.98. Safway
Anchor context sensitive toolbars by default All Context sensitive toolbars (like table, image toolbars) is a great feature

when you get used to it, but new users just see a toolbar popping in front of their work. I always dock those toolbars to the bottom edge of the window. I think this could be a good default for new (and old) users.

RGB
Change "Show as tip" for word completion Writer The word completion is a useful feature, but the way it is shown by default is quite "disturbing": if a

long suggestion pops when you are near the page edge the word you are writing will jump to next line. "Show as tooltip is a better alternative, IMO. The option is on Tools -> AutoCorrect Options -> Word Completion tab

RGB
Space Markers Off Writer Turn off markers for spaces (small dots between words). mr_smyle
Shortcut For Insert Comment Calc, Writer Like Ctrl+Ins or Shift+Ins mr_smyle
Text Paragraph Indents Writer(RU) For style 'Text Body' in RU Locale. Off top margin. Add first line indent 1cm. On justify. mr_smyle
Many Issues From helen_russian All Look at this page, please: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fmyooo.ru%2Fcontent%2Fview%2F58%2F1%2F&sl=ru&tl=en -- Discussion was here at 5:05:35 PM mr_smyle
Show Color Panel Impress View -> Toolbars -> Color Bar mr_smyle
Please include presenter screen in default install set of OOo. Impress Only this integration in the default install set would make the presenter console usable for many use cases: See more detailed description in Issue 90415 . Gerald
Remove the limits on multi-level undo! All I assume that this limit is just an out-dated, but hard coded default setting. Please see: Issue 98009 Gerald
Styles and formatting panel docked right Writer Styles and formatting panel is floating and that's annoying, partialy because it obstructs sight from file in edition.It should be in right side (or left) docked so it's always in the same place, and doesn't obstruct the documents. xihh
Find & Replace after selecting a range should have "current selection only" checked by default Calc If you select a range of cells before a Find & Replace, it means in 90% cases that you want to act inside this selection. So the option "current selection only" (two clicks more today) should be:
- pre-checked if there is an active cells range selection
- unchecked if there is no active cells range selection
Gilles Bignebat (gibi)
All OpenOffice.org programmes should use the same default keyboard short-cut for inserting comments Impress,Calc,Writer Inserting comments in OOo programmes is inconsistent. 1st: since the name has changed from "notes" to "comments", the keyboard short-cut in Writer is still Ctrl-Alt-N, but should be Ctrl-Alt-C now. 2nd: None of these short-cuts works in Impress or Calc. Why? Gerald
Default Impress formula font should be much larger Impress The default font size for formula in Impress (after Insert->Objects->Formula) is 12pt which is too small to read on the screen. It should be 16pt or 18pt. Please see: Issue 21118 . Gerald
Add default keyboard short-cut for inserting new slide Impress Please see: Issue 100650 . Gerald
Remove old word versions from Save As dialog Writer Take a look at Issue 21118 , Word 95 and 6.0 formats aren't being used much anymore, I have had several users accidentally click on them and lose data from the format change. Since they are at least 15 years old and the number of people using Word 95 and 6.0 are likely a very small number I suggest we disable it by default. (It might be possible to move it over to Export?) gquigs
Remove old staroffice files from Save As dialog Impress, Writer, Calc Similar to above, but I haven't had users do it accidentally yet. It would also go a long way to make the save as-> file format dropdown less overwhelming to users. (It might be possible to move it over to Export?) gquigs
Enable Vertical Text Button for all Impress, Draw It was disabled apparently on purpose but it makes the interface inconsistent. Also, in many presentations people try to use vertical text and can't find it (I have been asked by my users about this on many occasions). Alternative solution (which seems odd to get this functionality) is to enable "enhanced support for asian languages" by default. Read more Issue 54423 gquigs
Enable Vertical Align Buttons Calc I always enable toolbar buttons for vertical align text in the cells. MT: +1 mr_smyle
Enable Add Comment Button Writer I always enable toolbar button for adding comment in writer mr_smyle
Attach Numeric Styles to same Paragraph Styles Writer At now default paragraph styles 'Numeric paragraph N' 'Marked paragraph N' have not same numeric styles. So, activation of NUMERIC style did not activate numeration of paragraph! It`s very unexpected for trivial user. dvc
Use ??/?? as default for fractions instead of ?/? Calc See Issue 67862 fst
New Document Property : PrintIntention ALL All users who wish to create documents who has to been "printed" by a professional Printer (high resolution) struggles with the same problem:
The size/resolution off the graphics inside a OOdocument.
I propose to store a "Printer Intention" in the Document
see also http://api.openoffice.org/servlets/ReadMsg?listName=dev&msgNo=22239
Fernand
Default user annimation Impress Issue 62838 I want to create a user animation with default behaviour: The object just pops up with no tricky animation. Therefore I have to search for this "animation" type (called in german: "erscheinen") every time within the large list of possible animations. This costs me a lot of time. It would be better, when this were the default, and only if I really want fancy animation, then I have to choose from the list.
clu: idea .. usage tracking can show if one setting is significantly more often shown than other .. and this one can became the new default
Clu
Duration of pause to 0 Impress Issue 49762 In Slide Show settings (Slide Show - Slide Show Settings), Impress features a setting for the "duration of pause before the slide show is repeated". It defaults to 10 seconds. I would suggest to have the default set to 0 seconds in order to improve compatibility with MS Powerpoint users, and secondly to leave the decision to insert a pause to the user. Clu
Slide Titles editable in navigator Impress Issue 21888 The Navigator is a very handy tool to move through a presentation and it also can act as a mini outline of the presentation. However, now the only way to change the slide title shown is to display the Modify Layout dialog from the Format menu. It would be a very nice addition to allow the user to directly edit the title of the slide shown in the Navigator directly in the Navigator. Clu
Real Slide Titles in Navigator Impress Issue 21888 It would also be very useful to display the title actually shown on the slide itself as the title unless the user deliberately changed it. The current "Slide 1", "Slide 2", etc. defaults are not very useful for identifying the slide. Clu
Change default table color Impress Issue 102922 After inserting a table I change the color of my table. I added the data. Now if I want to add a new row, then despite the color of my whole table it inserts the row with default color (blue combination). So I need to select that row again & then change the color. Steps to reproduce the bug: Clu
Shortcut for adding a new slide Impress Issue 100650 Clu
Open pps files in show mode Impress Issue 52755 If, during installation, a user choses to associate Microsoft PowerPoint

documents with Open Office, the default behavior for a .pps (PowerPoint Show) file is changed to this:

"C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 1.9.109\program\soffice.exe" -o "%1"

This causes the presentation to be opened in edit mode when double clicked. However, when using Microsoft PowerPoint as the default handler, double clicking a .pps file causes it to immediately start the show. To achieve the same behavior, and hence ease the migration from MSO to OOo, I believe the default behavior for .pps files should be as follow durring installation:

"C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 1.9.109\program\soffice.exe" -show "%1"

Clu
Disable "Allow quick editing" mode as default Draw/Impress The so called quick editing mode at /tools/options/draw/general or /tools/options/impress/general should be disabled by default because people will be able to detect and to move text objects more easily ja
"Number recognition" (in tables) should be turned of by default, Writer It's usefull for advanced user, but disorientating / annoying for new users. Advanced user can easily switch it on. CamilleM
Default shadow should be transparent and smaller Impress A better shadow effect can be achieved with Distance : 0,1 cm (instead of 0,3) ; Color : Black (instead of Grey) ; Transparency : 60 % (instead of 0%) CamilleM
"tagged PDF" as default All PDF-Export: set "tagged PDF" as default (30% bigger files, but accessible by default) .. from letter of MT Clu
"don't register" as default All First-Start-Wizard: "don't register" as default .. from letter of MT Clu
Improvement Program in startup wizard All Move the question about participating in the improvement wizard to the first run wizard. (Alternatively put them both as part of the install) gquigs
Don't put OO install files on Desktop All It makes OO look messy when it has to extract the files to the desktop first. Removing the extra extraction step would be the best, but if not, extracting to a temporary location, and then deleting when done. gquigs
Keyboard shortcut to make fine position adjustments Draw, Impress I often use the alt+arrow keys to make fine adjustments to the position of drawing objects in Draw and Impress. In Mac OS X, that shortcut is assigned to switch 'Spaces' (the multiple desktops in Mac OS X). Please see Issue 107125 vkkodali
Double-click to bring up 'Position and Size' dialog box All Currently, the easiest way (AFAIK) to reach the 'Position and Size' dialog box for a drawing or text box object is from the right-click context menu. It would be nice to activate it upon double-clicking on the object ala MS Office. Currently, double-clicking the object brings up a cursor to allow text entry. vkkodali
Increase default size of graphics cache All Many users know nothing about the size of the pictures they insert in their documents and they encounter performance problems often due to the too small size of graphics cache. Please see Issue 63253 jbfaure
Change print default to 'All Sheets' Calc In the file/print dialog the default setting is 'Selected sheets', but should be 'All sheets' and this can confuse normal user because 1. the user await that the whole doc is printed if he push the print button; not from selected sheet on (that can give a lot of confusion) 2. the preview can show a different numbering and amount of pages than the print outcome 3. the user do not await this behavior if he does not made further settings and this is an inconsistent behavior to f.e. writer which print all pages by default (from cj). Clu
Make the "record changes" feature more attractive Writer The "record changes" feature is not easy to find. Two suggestions: 1. Rename the toolbar from "Changes" to "Record changes". 2. Add icons to the toolbar buttons to make them more visually appealing. paperjam
Adapt the "update extensions" dialog to make it look like the "extensions manager" dialog. All The "update extensions" dialog should use the same layout that the "extensions manager" dialog uses. paperjam
No Splash Screen All Disable the splash screen by default, 3.2 is fast enough starting. it just feels like it is getting in the way. gquigs
Disable OpenOffice's Open/Save Dialogs All At least on Ubuntu Linux the non OpenOffice dialogs are much much easier to use and more consistent with the platform. You can try for yourself in options -> General -> Open/Save gquigs
Autotext default preview window too small Writer The default preview window of the Autotext dialogue is too small. It is almost impossible to read the available autotexts in that window. Gerald



Autors: Christoph Lukasiak (Clu), Elizabeth Matthis 30 March 2010

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