Development/Crazy Ideas

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With a product like LibreOffice, there is often a floodgate of radical ideas on directions the project might take. Obviously LibreOffice isn't going to immediately rewrite the whole codebase, but there is a chance to discuss new ideas - hence this page. Please do note that this is a non-endorsed list made up by everyone, so don't go away from here thinking this is the directions that LO *will* actually take (or even wants to take).

Contents

About this page

Please use this template when adding new ideas and take a look at the bugtracker if there are corresponding bugs/enhancement requests:

Title + date + corresponding bug number

Idea: description of the idea + wiki signature of the submitter

Comments should be made under a Comment section.

Porting

Expand supported LibreOffice platforms

Idea: Future Platforms

Comment: Port on Windows 64 bit implemented in version 5.0

Real "Convergence" with LibreOffice on mobile devices (smartphones, tablets): Touch UI <> Desktop UI

Idea: In 2016, true "Convergence" of mobile and desktop experience will become reality. This means that mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) show the touch user interface of LibreOffice when no external input/output devices are connected. When the user connects keyboard, screeen and mouse the LibreOffice UI needs to switch to normal desktop mode.

Ubuntu Touch is set to activate true convergence with the upcoming version(s). Microsoft "Continuum" is providing a semi-true convergence with Windows 10 and is likely to expand this offer in 2016. Android tablets are more frequently sold with optional keyboards which make the appearance of convergence-like features in 2016 highly likely. Apple is rumored to work on convergence devices, too.

Some applications already provide support for convergence. Besides some defaults apps in Ubuntu Touch and Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile, there is Microsoft Office 2016 which can switch between touch UI and desktop UI on Microsoft Continuum. Calligra Suite provides this functionality already for a longer time with Calligra Gemini.

In the Ubuntu Touch wishlist, LibreOffice with convergence ranks as 3rd important wish by users.

Development

Update the UNO API mappings

Idea: The UNO mappings are rather dated and could benefit from some updates. (a) Use C++11 enum classes for UNO enums (b) in the Java UNO mapping, return UNO interfaces from methods instead of always mapping it to java.lang.Object. (c) Use java.lang.Enum subtypes for UNO enums

Explore whether MS Office support in LibreOffice can be made into libraries

Idea: It is acknowledged as being difficult, but explore what it might take to rework !LibreOffice's MS Office support into libraries that could be shared by other open source office projects. Can it be done at all, or is the required logic too deeply specific to each open source project's own internal logic and framework?

Comment: This is maybe something that can be incorporated by the DLP.--Kerwyn (talk) 2014-04-15T19:29:22 (UTC)

Replace all interface code with an interface using the Qt widgets

Idea: Rework !LibreOffice to use the Qt widgets for its GUI, instead of the current approaches to get native appearance. Would almost certainly involve massive reworking of all the interface code - around 1 million lines. It would also make !LibreOffice depend on another huge piece of code owned by a single corporation with (C) assignment: unclear that this is a positive move though the GUI would look better.

Comment: Yes, it would look better, although only on KDE-using distros. How would it look in GNOME? If unetbootin and Skype are anything to go by, you won't be able to see half the menu text... Spacebat 2010-10-13T16:10:43 (CEST)

Of course it's something of a matter of opinion, but with newer Qt4 releases it is quite possible to obtain a pleasing, clean look with Qt without running in KDE.  Dunno if it respects Gnome themes directly, but this looks interesting: https://http://blog.qt.io/blog/2008/05/13/introducing-qgtkstyle/  Anyway, Qt is certainly the closest thing I know of to a robust, fully cross platform GUI toolkit.  To respond as to whether Qt would be an improvement over the current situation - currently LibreOffice must do all the work of maintaining its own cross platform widget solution.  Even if Qt someday must be forked, at least there are a vast array of tools in real world use that rely on it.  The incentive to maintain a fork properly would extend far beyond the LibreOffice project, so even in that (worst case) scenario LibreOffice would get more help on cross-platform GUI toolkit maintainance than it does with its own current internal solution.  I might also mention that so far the trend of Qt has been consistently making the toolkit MORE free, not less, and unlike the OO.org case there hasn't been much visible trouble or lack of progress due to Trolltech/Nokia running the development.  Bottom line is that cross platform GUI work has to be done, and Qt seems to have the best solution to that problem of any currently active project - why not leverage that effort and community buy-in?  A better looking GUI is an important metric for a project like LibreOffice, whose users are going to expect GUI polish as a matter of course.

Comment: Nokia no longer requires copyright assignment for contributions to Qt. And using Qt does not necessarily mean that it would need to depend on KDE libs, or look KDE-centric. For example, look at the Minitube application. While this is just a small example, it shows some of the possibilities of a non-KDE-based Qt desktop app. Feel free to try it in Gnome to see how it would look and work there. jwcampbell

Comment: Using Qt sounds like a GREAT idea. Consider that not only does Qt simplify the cross platform UI but it also contains a lot of functionality that LO is implementing internally or pulling in as a mash of 3rd party libraries. Another item on this page relates to using a common regexp instead of a built-in version. Qt has a built-in regexp, https://doc.qt.io/qt-4.8/qregexp.html. This and a bunch of other built-in functionality would help to reduce external dependencies simplifying the code and build process. cmorgan

Comment:

"Qt is certainly the closest thing I know of to a robust, fully cross platform GUI toolkit."

What about wxWidgets? Cross-platform native UI is its raison d'être, plus it's not controlled largely by one organisation. Development is very active too. Doubi 2011-04-11T18:28:44 (CEST)

Comment: With LibreOffice Online planning on using the GTK+ 3 backend Broadway, it seems that GTK+ would be a better choice than Qt. --

Comment:

  • Qt is written in C++, LibreOffice too. GTK+ is written in C
  • Qt is multiplateform, LibreOffice too. GTK+ 3 Mac and Windows are experimental, they don't even provide GTK+ 3 Windows binaries
    • This is moot, as we do not use Gtk on Windows and OS X either. Counter-argument: Qt is not present by default on either of these systems, which means that we would have to build it internally and bundle it. --Dtardon (talk)
  • Qt works on Android, Blackberry and Ubuntu phone, GTK+ will most probably never
    • And it does not matter at all, as we will most probably never want to use it there. --Dtardon (talk)
  • By multiplatform it means really multiplatform: fully stable, all features, native look and feel, tools, binaries, full documentation...
  • Qt integrates perfectly within GNOME: it uses GTK+ to render itself with proper icons, button positions, file dialogs...
  • Qt is not only a GUI toolkit, it also features network, regexp, STL, SVG, XML, SQL, OpenGL, DBUS, QtWebKit, audio, video... in a modular way
  • There is also an experimental HTML5 backend for Qt
  • Qt is under LGPLv2/GPLv3+ on all platforms and under full open gouvernance with many companies and open source projects behind
  • Qt is > 5 years ahead of GTK+ on features, even Canonical who is a GNOME/GTK+ company at its heart went for Qt with their new Ubuntu phone OS!
  • Qt can be mixed with other toolkits: GTK+/Glib, MFC, Motif, Java SWING/AWT. One can imagine a "bridge" between Qt and VCL so new LibreOffice features can be developped in Qt while the others use VCL.
  • And so much more: Visual Studio support, Qt Creator - a full multiplatform IDE, declarative GUI with QML, hardware acceleration, animations, JavaScript integration, bindings (Python, Java, Perl), everything modular, clean, so well engineered, so easy to use, probably the best documentation ever...
  • The choice is obvious and the fight not even fair: "GTK+ has 210 contributors adding around 3000 commits a year" and Qt, 400 contributors for 15780 commits. GTK+ is not future proof: "GTK has 1 person working full-time on it. Glib doesn’t even have that". What about wxWidgets? it's a toy compared to Qt.

Comment: All dialogs will use GTK's .ui file format in the future

Remove java components

Idea: Some think java is a slow memory hog, others think it is a legal swamp that invites lawsuits. Neither might be true, but some developers have nevertheless expressed their desire to remove Java usage in LO over time. Our build master says, the first step is to make compilation work with --without-java, and then go to replace components by non-Java components. E.g. the xslt processing is being done with Java, apparently and libxslt (which is already included in LO) could be used to do the job (We have someone working on it).

What we have in Java: Rhino, HSQLDB, ...???

  • See Development/Java for specific information about components written in Java (and progress on replacing java code in LO).

Remove SeaMonkey (or make optional) tdf#56902

Idea:Currently LibreOffice contains an old and heavily patched tarball of SeaMonkey. YES! That Web-suite that include everything. It uses that to access the Mozilla/Thunderbird address book, uses its LDAP backend for address searches and I believe as a LDAP config backend. Investigating if we can't do away with it, or make it easily optional would be great for the sake of quicker compile times. Heck, I mean compiling a Web-suite just in order to get LDAP access (which I don't even need at all!)

Comment: Some thoughts on this. There's OpenLDAP which offers a mature LDAP C library (there's currently no official C++ wrapper, and it seems to be quite hard to write one. According to Wikipedia it runs on "BSD-variants, AIX, Android, HP-UX, Mac OS X, Solaris, Microsoft Windows (NT and derivatives, e.g. 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, etc.), and z/OS". They have their own license which may or may not be compatible with ours.PhilippW:

A short tutorial on how to use it.

Comment: Starting from LibreOffice 4.0.0.3 Seamonkey is dropped on all non Windows platforms. Mozilla/Thunderbird address book integration is done with new mork driver. LDAP (Mozilla schema specific) support is discontinued, see Release Notes. On Windows seamonkey is still in use as Outlook and Windows Address book provider (disabled per default, the configure option --enable-win-mozab-driver must be provided to activate it). There is GSoC task out there to provide a replacement for that, to drop Seamonkey even from Windows: Development/GSoC/Ideas#Kill ancient in-tree seamonkey copy fdo.2356902

Replace Mozilla Rhino with Mozilla's SpiderMonkey or Google's V8 tdf#97827

idea: Mozilla Rhino is a JavaScript engine written in Java (lives in rhino). Replacing this with Google's V8 (written in C++) would possibly gain improvements in memory size and JavaScript execution speed. Also it would drop Java as a dependency to execute JavaScript extensions. Furthermore v8 seems to be very much better maintained than Rhino. It would also drop generic compatibility, because V8 code has architecture-dependent assembly code inside (the only currently supported architectures are 80x86, ARM and MIPS Wikipedia logo v3.svg ).

Comment: Is V8 unencumbered? Although it is billed as "open source", if it isn't free software with no commercial restrictions, it should not be included in LibreOffice. — User8192T @ 2012-08-21T18:40:13 (CEST)

Comment: v8 uses the BSD 3 clause license (see project page) which is GPL compatible according to the FSF. The MPL is also compatible with the GPL. Yes, that does not mean we can use it, but it looks promissing. ;-) --PhilippW (talk) 2013-01-15T21:07:52 (UTC)

Comment: An other option is to use SpiderMonkey, also fast and more platform I presume. Or have both usable. Arnaud versini

Comment: SpiderMonkey is apparently a very bad choice for embedding, see my comment in the 97827 bug report. Duktape is one promising candidate, very easy to integrate into a C++ project and has sane release policy. Beluga (talk) 2016-03-07T08:41:15 (UTC)

Use a multi process

Idea: LibreOffice is curently a one process product. Microsoft Office use one process per document, and all web browser are moving also to a multi process system. Changing LibreOffice to a multi process architecture will allow user to work during document loading and after one document crash. Mozilla Firefox project to create a multi process web browser is https://wiki.mozilla.org/Electrolysis Arnaud versini

Replace internal pre processor by the compiler one

Idea:LibreOffice have it's own pre processor for hrc files, I think we could use cpp for this and remove all this from source tree. Arnaud versini

use LLVM and LLDB for Basic execution

Idea:LibreOffice should use LLVM/LLDB or an other library like libgccjit for LibreOffice Basic execution. It could improve Basic performance and have less source code. Arnaud versini

Ideas for new features

Incorporate/add an OpenProj type Project Managment tool

Idea : Broadens the appeal of the suite whilst reinforcing confidence in MS alternatives. Increases interoperability and functionality etc.

Comment : I think it would be good to use ProjectLibre because is the fork of OpenProj and it's the best.

Enable cell dragging in Calc tdf#38994

Idea: Click the edge of the cell and drag to reposition the contents. As in Gnumeric/Excel.

Integrate a Python editor, so Python can be as easy to use as VBA

Idea: There are a great deal of people that use Python. I would say a great deal fewer use VBA. There is no reason to copy Microsoft in this manner, python is easier and more flexible than VBA in almost every aspect. This would just mean allowing the same functionality VBA has but with python also. This may also allow easier interfacing with a great deal of code written in python, and thus LO.--Taylorh140 2014-07-18T22:19:38

I am (slowly) working on this. See Ideas:Improve Python scripting situation - PhilippW (talk) 2014-08-05T12:27:10 (UTC)

Add a "+1" button in Calc

Idea: Just click on "+1" button (near the name of the cell), to increase the value of the cell.

LOPlus1.JPG

Change the Load Styles Menu to add more control in writer

LoadStylesMenu-7-18-2014.png

Idea: the Current Load Styles menu is very underwhelming, not that I don't appreciate it. It just lacks the degree of control I desire, such as taking a single style from an external document and implementing it in the current document. Perhaps you want to move a few styles and rename them during the transfer? So, reworking the menu to add a greater degree of control would be great.--Taylorh140 2014-07-18T22:19:38

Support of high-quality latin typography

Idea:Support OpenType features of fonts: ligatures, number spacing (proportional/tabular) and forms (lining/oldstyle), stylistic sets (as seen e.g. in MS Office 2010 and onwards) Idea: Include support of true small caps if they are available in the font, currently small caps are done by scalling the capital letters.

Round and Trim border conner

Idea: On paragraph or cell in Writer and Calc.

ODF Document Container

Idea: Adding a universal ODF-Document Container for every type of LibreOffice Document. A quick example: Every student has many different subjects and so he needs many different folders with subfolders. If there is a Document Container for every subject, the students can browse the documents by using LibreOffice directly. The could be a sidebar or something like that with a tree-structure, like in the normal Data-Explorer. But If a student saves the currently opened file it automatically get saved in the container. Although the program can automatically tag the documents and save which Documents were opened and make cross references, so that the students can find all documents they need to understand what they have done in the main document. If a student doesn't choose a name for a new empty document and save's it, there could be a folder "unsorted", but with timestamp and in the Document-Container for the subject. I think this will allow people to find documents more quickly.

Add WordPerfect features like RevealCodes and HiddenText tdf#34002

idea:See i#3395 and tdf#34002 for detailed description, some patches and how much wanted this feature is (it was filed in 2002 and has 176 votes).

When MS copied them into Word it broke them horribly for power users.

They ran a survey asking what people used Reveal Codes for and 90% said they "use it for checking formatting". The remaining ten percent were probably power users, who use it as their main editing window (like me). It is an *incredibly* powerful tool for a power user. Given that ODF is XML-based it shouldn't be that difficult to get something like that working.

And Hidden Text is a nifty little feature too ... Word has something similar in "comments", but the problem there is comments don't print. Hidden text (in WordPerfect) is just another font attribute, but controlled by an entry in the "view" menu. If it's on, hidden text can be seen on screen and prints on the printer. If it's off, it's only visible (as a marker) in the Reveal Codes window. Great for doing quizes :-) where you put the answers in in hidden text, and then you can print the document with it off for the question sheet, and again with it on for the answer sheet.

Add support for ePub formatting, verification and export tdf#33226

Idea: Adding support for verify and export from writer to .mobi epub format could open up a new market for LibreOffice as a epub markup platform. bookworm.oreilly.com/ code.google.com/p/epub-tools/ epub-tools-read-only epub-tools.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ epub-tools-read-only. Epub tools integrated into writer with a odt to epub would be great! There are some extensions available that might implement this feature: [1], [2], [3] and [4].

Easy service to have document format incompatibilities identified/filed

Idea: I imagine the following service for format incompatibilities: Upload a .docx/.odt file that gives you problems. Some officeshot backend attaches screenshots of how that document looks in LO/OOo/MS Office 2010 automatically. No user registration needed for that. Volunteers could help digging out the relevant pieces of the doc and create minimal test cases which would then end up being filed as "real" bugs or being assigned to existing bugs and could serve as test cases verifying the bug fix.

Integrate simple photo editing and video editing as part of Impress.

Idea: This is an enhancement that will add features found in MS Office 2010.

Integrate word cloud of the words used in a presentation as part of Impress.

Idea:Every presentation includes many catchwords within the slides which could be grouped as a word cloud in one of the final slides (like "Questions on what you just heard ?".

Enable screenplay formatting with Screenwright(R)

Idea: Every aspiring screenwriter has a movie in his/her head that needs to get down on paper. However, some film production companies won't accept a script submission if the formatting is even ONE POSITION off! So ensuring that screenplays are formatted correctly is an obsession of screenwriters everywhere. But formatting a script can be an expensive proposition; 78 commercial formatters are listed at The Writers Store. A screenwriter could easily spend $200 or more on software, just to get a screenplay into acceptable shape. UNLESS s/he uses LibreOffice in conjunction with the Screenwright(R) screenplay formatting template. Ref: [5]

Bad font alert

Idea: How about making small alert, for example in status bar, containing information about font's problems. For example I open document which uses Calibri font, but this font doesn't installed on my PC, then I should now, that document displays incorrect.

Machine epsilon

Idea: LibreOffice Calc needs a "machine epsilon Wikipedia logo v3.svg " function to return the platform-dependent smallest number that Calc can handle. This is important for spreadsheet portability from machine to machine and from operating system to operating system, so that scientific and engineering spreadsheet calculations produce consistent, predictable results. I further propose that the function be called EPS(). This could also evolve into an extension to the .ods file format standard for inclusion into any spreadsheet program that can read .ods files. — User8192T @ 2012-08-21T18:32:10 (CEST)

Canvas spreadsheet interface similar to Apple's Numbers

Idea:While I haven't used Apple's Numbers very much, I tested out their "canvas" approach to the interface and really liked it. It solves the problem of column sizes when you have multiple tables on a single sheet, and gives the spreadsheet a clean look. ImperfectlyInformed (talk) 23:43, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Network saving documents without mounting any disks

Idea: Is there a way to start combine power of the file managers and LibreOffice? Such as using kerberos tickets in save dialog for saving documents in NAS without mounting any new network drives on system.

Auto-update

Idea (Shunesburg69): An auto-update system in option like the browsers (like Firefox or Chrome) for invisible update.

For developer: see Development/Test Update Check

Add Tabs like Lotus Symphony

Idea (Shunesburg69): It will be good to integrate the tabs in LO like the browsers (like Firefox or Chrome) not by default with possibility to combine windows each others or not. And with an home tab to access at the welcome window.

Missing Font Manager

Idea (Shunesburg69): For a better compatibility and to know what fonts are missing in a document, it will be good if there is a check at the opening and open a missing font manager if there is a missing font. A first column to show the missing font, and a second column for the font of replacement if a near-appearance-and-dimensions font exists (it will be good to made a list with the better alternatives), if there is no alternative the list let you choose a font in the present fonts in the system. And in the right side a magnifying glass to see the difference between the font if the missing font is known. (Bugs: tdf#88438 / tdf#94327 / tdf#68880 / tdf#56076 / tdf#95097)

Missing Font Manager.png

Ideas for new applications

Add a Dia like program

Idea: One thing that would be useful is a program to create/edit Visio like diagrams for designing networks, flow charts and the like. Dia is old and not really as useful for this and Calligra (formerly KOffice) has replaced Kivio with "Calligra Flow". Software like this would help to round out the suite and make it an even bigger alternative for Microsoft office users. --Maliuta (talk) 2012-12-20T18:16:01 (UTC)

Integrate an Email Client

Idea:Making Libreoffice a one stop shop for users and a bigger alternative to Microsoft office would mean integrating a Mail User Agent (MUA). This biggest roadblock I face when trying to get people to switch to Libreoffice is that there is no alternative to MS Outlook. It might be worth talking to/working with the Evolution team, they have a very complete MUA that is a very real alternative to MS Outlook - it's only drawback is that it's not integrated with a suite like Libreoffice and Windows support is basically non-existant. --Maliuta (talk) 2012-12-20T18:16:01 (UTC)

Comment: I would like to second this addition. The only prominent open source email client on Windows is Mozilla Thunderbird, which is no longer a priority in active development. It has, what I would consider significant features missing. For example: 1) Some mailing lists use a digest format that will attach individual messages as text files. It would be nice to see these opened in an internal viewer, like opening an email in a new tab/window. 2) For anyone with several email accounts, there is no way to export/sync account settings or program settings for copying to a new computer/reimage. While there is a 3rd party program(MozBackup), it would be nice to see this as an actual feature. 3) The desktop notifications when working with gmail accounts is also broken. These are just a few things I've found to be missing from Thunderbird that I would like to see in a LibreOffice email client. Other than Thunderbird and Outlook, there aren't any real, quality options on Windows, and it would be nice to have a good, modern, alternative that is cross-platform. --Padenton (talk) 2013-02-27T16:58:59 (UTC)

Integrate calibre in LibreOffice

Idea: It'd be useful to integrate the open source e-book manager calibre as our seventh core module. It supports a lot of hardware devices and the conversion of many formats.

Integrate Openmeetings

Idea: Integrate Openmeetings

Sheet Music Editor (like Math)

Idea (Shunesburg69): Add an editor like Math but to write sheet music. An addon made the same thing but it can't work without an external application (ooolilypond).

Example-sheet-music-editor.jpg

Existing feature improvement ideas

Increase number of columns tdf#50916

Idea: Excel now supports 16,384 columns, so Excel spreadsheets can exceed LibreOffice's 256 column limit. The limit should match or exceed 16,384.

Comment: With LibreOffice 3.3 the column limit has been raised to 1024 columns. The same limit is valid for 3.4 (tested myself). BTW: the row limit is 1048576 (3.3 and 3.4). Increasing the limit(s) would be nice for better interoperability. Bastik 2011-12-31T12:52:26 (CET)

Grammar checker

Idea: The extension LanguageTools http://www.languagetool.org/ should be re-factored to become an integrated part of LibreOffice. The data (language rules for languages) should then be available as individual extensions.

Comment:PhilippW: Please note that this adds another Java dependency (requires Java 5.0 and is 18 MB large). I suggest the After the deadline plugin as a working alternative.

Comment:Gerald: Please note that Afterthedeadline supports only English language.

LanguageTool has got a lot of xml-based rules. Checking against these rules wouldn't require Java.

Comment:Shunesburg69: There is also Grammalecte. You don't need Java (it use the python include in LO) and there is very good, the problem is French-only but is it open-source, it can be adapted in another language.

Integrate option for online dictionary sites to improve dictionary/thesaurus

Idea: The current situation to add different dictionaries and thesaurus options is ok, but they are them selves a little basic and would be better if you could increase the function of this with an online add-on like http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ /etc. Such a team-up would also help with portable apps versions as the dictionaries are online, smaller main file packages. This is a big issue and one ythat has come up time and again with people looking for an option to MS Word.

Better source and reference management

Idea: As it's now, it's pretty hard to use this important function. Especially I miss the ISO 690-2, with numbers. MS Office has this function.

Simple and clear fullscreen mode in writer

Idea: The current fullscreen mode in writer still contains some part of the graphical menus. I think it could be better the provide a simple and clean fullscreen containing only the page and the text—allowing users to focus on the contents — but the upper menu bar would stay accessible but hidden (like focuswriter). We could imagine the ruler to auto-hid if the cursor isn't over it and same for the scrollbar. At least, the fullscreen mode should only contain the page with rulers but without any menubar or something like that. If some users dislike that behavior it could be accessible with a little box to check or not to activate that behavior.

At present it is impossible to close the "Full Screen" tool bar, which gets in the way of viewing full screen — this should be changed.

Formulas editor in LateX

Idea: The current mathematic formulas editor isn't a real pleasure to use and sometimes lack of some things. Therefore it would be just great to re-write it and use the LateX syntax and features instead. Plus, we would not need to learn a syntax only for LibreOffice/OpenOffice.

Comment: The current formula editor needs work but rather in the direction of better support of newer mathtype formats (in import/export routines) and overall usability improvement (e.g., font setting interface in formula editor is an abomination). And yes, it's the better compatibility with MS Word files which is a major issue in some parts of the world, while the suggested rework actually serves no useful purpose, as there are already some formula-related extensions utilising LateX itself. Yury Tarasievich

Make it easier to align equations on a particular character (especially equal sign) tdf#44902

Idea: According to the LibreOffice Math Guide, Math does not have a command for aligning equations on a particular character, but you have to use a matrix to do it. This is not very easy, the code becomes confusing, and it does not work well with the graphical editor.

I think a simple command (similar to alignc) with which you can mark the character on which the lines should be aligned should be introduced. (I don't know whether there is a command defined in ODF.)

Allow merging borders of differently idented paragraphs

Idea: When applying borders to multiple paragraphs, the "merge with next paragraph" option can only work if the paragraphs have the same idents.

One limitation is for example that you can't border paragraphs containing a bulleted list. In that case, the bulleted list will be automatically set with an ident, so it can't be included in a global border including upper an above paragraphs.

One idea could be to allow merging borders of differently idented paragraphs (the size could be based on the larger paragraph selected).

Improved FontWork (Integration in the sidebar)

Idea: Integration of FontWork in the Sidebar and improves it with new functions (for best compatibility with WordArt).

Usability improvement ideas

Add Font Setting Buttons

Idea: I use a lot of the same Font combinations such as 10 pt, 16 pt with Bold, etc. What I would like is a way to add buttons on to my toolbar with these settings. That way I can just click and go to a set up font pt combination instead of having to go through the lists each time. User:Garrowolf

Comment: what about using Styles and Formatting (F11)? You can define character styles as well as paragraph styles. Permitting custom styles to be set as icons in a toolbar is an idea, but what would the icons be? At least with the Styles menu, you can name each style and opt to display custom styles only.

Add a personal settings file

Idea: I like to set up defaults and such for my toolbars and file defaults. I would like the system to save this to one file so that I could transfer it and keep it to other copies. User:Garrowolf

Make personal dictionaries easier to use

Idea: I write a lot of scifi and gaming related material. In order to make the spell check useful I end up filling it up with unusual words. Then I have no way to save this dictionary of unusual words and take it with me. Please fix this. User:Garrowolf

Family of words: Lexemes and morphemes

Idea: Add the possibility to choose the kind of word (adjective, noun) to be added in the dictionary by the lexemes and morphemes, so then, automatically all the possible conjugations become part of it. That would save the job who adds technical words, idioms, etc., with different variations. May be useful. User:Bami

Have a download link for just the Writer

Idea: I don't always need the whole suite. Sometimes I just want the writer and I'm worried about hard drive space. Please have a separate download for the writer. User:Garrowolf

Comment: At the moment, when you install LibO, the Install Wizard allows you do a custom install, selecting the components you want. You do have to download the whole installation package, but you can delete it when your chosen component(s) are installed.

Have a forum for all of this

Idea: I think that a forum would be a better way to have this kind of feedback and for asking questions. User:Garrowolf

Allow spell-checking to be switched on/off independently for Writer and Calc

Idea: I suspect many users always want spell checking in Writer, but dislike spreadsheets being underlined extensively in red because proper-name or specialist cell entries are not in the dictionary. It is too time consuming to make dictionary entries for every word that might appear in every spreadsheet, and it clogs up the dictionary, but if the spell checker is switched off in Calc to get rid of the red ink, it is easily forgotten to switch it back on in Writer, so typos go unnoticed in letters, reports, etc.

Great usability improvement idea: Drag&Drop in the margin of the application window tdf#37956

Idea: I believe this could be a great usability improvement. The cut&paste experience in OOo/LO could be greatly enhanced, if it would be possible to drag object to the margins of the application window and drop it there. If one would like to use this snippet again, it could be just possible to draw it back into the document and drop it there. As it is alway easier to explain something with pictures, please see below images. The first is a mockup, how it could look like in Impress. The second picture is a photo of an old Apple Newton Messagepad which had this great feature. And indeed, it was a very handy feature. Thank you very much for considering this idea!

Mockup-DragandDrop-at-margin.jpg     Example-DragandDrop-in-margin.jpg

Impress usability improvement: ala impressive function tdf#38169

Idea: Impressive [6] has some really useful features as the highlight boxes [7], the spotlight effect [8] or the overview screen [9]. Besides it looks great and is really useful. Impress could get a lot with those features. However Impressive works with OpenGL and I am not sure those features are possible without it. Maybe we can propose to use an external render of the slides (optional) and use impressive for example.

Allow the Full Screen toolbar to be closed

Idea: At present the Full Screen toolbar has the Close Toolbar option greyed out, making it impossible to use the whole screen to view a document. This is a nuisance with large graphs, spreadsheets, double page spreads, etc. Why not permit the user to close the Full Screen toolbar (and choose to keep it permanently closed, as a options setting if necessary)? It only requires Esc to be pressed to leave Full Screen mode. A brief message could be given when closing the toolbar to ensure the user is aware how to exit Full Screen. Alternatively, a tiny arrow icon could be placed in the corner of the screen as with many products. It is not possible to push the toolbar off the screen edge because this docks the toolbar, wasting even more screen area.

Allow column/row selection by clicking column/row header while typing a formula in calc

Idea: As of version 3.4 one can select the whole column A by just clicking on A (which is currently range A1:A1048576), but that's not possible when one enters a formula. With another product (at work) I'm used to enter a large amount of numbers into column A, enter a formula into a cell (which is not in column A) which applies to the whole column A. The point is that whenever I'm adding a number in column A I don't need to check if the formula is using the number. I know that it's possible to give that range a name, but it's only temporary stuff. I'd like to be able to select the whole column/row just by clicking on it. e.g typing "=Sum(" then click A, then type ")". It safes some keyboard strokes.

Add a quick access toolbar (like citrus fizz + mini toolbar in ms office)

Idea: When I want to change the style of a word, I've to select the word, move the cursor up to the toolbar, and click on the correct icon. In case the window is to narrow, I've to click on the arrow at the end of the toolbar in order to show the button I'm looking for. It would be easier if the most important commands for formatting text were available in a little toolbar next to the cursor when text is selected (like in the Citrus Fizz mockups). The default toolbar should include commands like bold, italic, underline, text alignment, and font color, and it should be customizable. tdf#46836 Mockup

Improve visual impaired accessibility

Idea: Support for MacOSX Lion VoiceOver

Draw: add Layer manager window

Idea: To improve handling the layers it is necessary to add a new window similar to Navigator (F5) which will show all layers, their status, order, visibility etc... Similar functions as in Gimp (f.ex.)

Customizable character shortcuts

Idea: At the moment, if a character is not on your physical keyboard, it's not easy to get access to special characters if your work/language requires that. For example, I may use an English keyboard but require currency symbols a lot. It would be much handier if I could select a character on the map and define a shorcut that suits me (e.g. AltGr + y for ¥) that will work in all LO apps, the way you can in MS Word already.

Little note: On Linux, you can enter ¥ using compose Wikipedia logo v3.svg + = + y (e.g. in a German Ubuntu installation Win(right) + Shift+0 + y) ¥
True but (in my case for example) I frequently need ɪ ɔ ɛ ɲ ŋ ɣ ɤ ɯ ː ̪ and so on and I cannot get to those with anything pre-existing. Of course, the ¥ shortcut is handy but each user has such a different set of needs in terms of quick access to characters not on the keyboard that shipping each with the system is impossible.

Better locale handling/installation

Idea: Not sure if this is the right section but from a user POV, it certainly falls under usability. The current setup process is really confusing for non-English locales and results in a lot of extra support work because you can select "your locale" for download on the download page but what you actually download is the default installer and you have to know that for anything but English you must select Custom Install. Really not great, because if you don't, the (new) user then is faced with an English UI and even when rooting around in the settings, you cannot actually change to your desired UI language. Not without running install again.

As an immediate solution, the install dialog needs tweaked so that there's a really big note about having to choose Custom for any language but en-US for the interface.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what's possible but given how many programs work with language packs, it would be nice to give the user the option to, after completing the installation, to go into the language settings and select a new UI language, which then automatically grabs a langpack of the LO site somewhere and installs that.

Or another solution but something that makes it really easy for non-developer users to figure out to get the UI language they want.

Allow touch-based or click-and-drag scrolling.

Idea: I use this on my touchscreen Win8 computer all the time, and I find it frustrating that the scrollbar on the side is so small. And when I tap and drag on the side (off the page in Writer) it selects all the text I pass. I think it would be more useful to have it respond to this gesture by scrolling instead of selecting. I think we could leave it so click-and-drag on the page margins makes it select text, but off the page it scrolls. What do you guys think? And maybe something similar for the other apps? And an option to turn off the touch-friendly mode and revert to how it works now.

Ideas for the touch-friendly zones: Writer: off-page area. Calc: empty cells, long-tap to select cells. Impress: list of slides, long-tap to move slides. Draw: White space, long-tap for multi-select (Side thought, what about a lasso-select like in Photoshop?) User:MikeyZ:

Improvements of the Calc filter window

Idea (Shunesburg69): In Excel there is the possibility to filter and to sort by color of the cell back. It will be good to add this feature. I put a picture to show the possible improvements. (The search box will be implemented in 4.5 https://cgit.freedesktop.org/libreoffice/core/commit/?id=f340278df616921c663075be692264ca37d86d84).

Example-filter-improvements.png

Calc: Add Additional Formula Highlights When in Edit Mode

Idea (D0ugparker (talk)): In edit mode, highlight a function's name, parenthesis, and commas when the text insertion cursor is to the right of 1) characters in the function's name, 2) to the right of any of the function's parentheses, or 3) to the right of any of the function's commas.

Comment: Presently, in Calc's edit mode, when the text edit cursor is to the right of a left- or right parenthesis, its corresponding right- or left parenthesis and its function text will be bolded. (See the left-hand column in the PDF file link at the end of this submission.) A thumbnail follows, here:

Calc-thumb-highlight.png

First, when in edit mode, change the helpful BOLD highlighting to both BOLD and HIGHLIGHT. Highlight the background color in the user's default highlight color for ease of detection.

Second and more importantly, when the text edit cursor is positioned next to a function's commas, add the same highlighting rule to the targeted function's. (See the right-hand column in the following PDF file link.)

File:Calc-spreadsheet-function-highlights.pdf

Great features that were started, but never made it into OpenOffice.org

Idea: Great features for those development had already started, but development was never finished. These features never appeared in OpenOffice.org

Improved XHTML import

Idea: HTML import in OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice has not been considerably improved for many years and is lacking many features. Development on a XHTML import filter has been started and the patch is already better than the default html import filter. The patch can be found here i#83494. There are still many problems and non-implemented features. One particular issue is that external Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) cannot be processed by XSLT 2.0. An idea was that the filter first copies the external CSS into the XHTML header before importing the file. Related bug entry: tdf#36977.

Integration of OCRopus OCR into Writer

Idea: It would be great to have OCR features directly from within LibreOffice, in particular in connection with the PDFImport extension. There was a Google Summer of Code project in 2009 which already had a sample extension done by Jonathan Winandy. Then the implementation has stalled. Some information can be found here [10].

Web integration with ODF@WWW

Idea: ODF@WWW was a project that makes collaboration between several computers and the web possible. Please see [11] and [12].

Improved "track changes" feature and improved "compare documents"

Idea: The ability to track changes of a document in a professional environment is a very basic and important requirement for an Office suite. OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice support track changes, but the implementation has several short comings. Furthermore, the tracked differences between versions or between documents as identified by OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice are sub-optimal. For further description and links to work in progress, please see Track changes page in the wiki.

Intelligent groups (alias SmartArt)

Idea: There are no capabilities in LibreOffice that can be compared to Microsoft SmartArt. However, there was some coding about this feature. Please see [13] and [14]. There is also an extension that partly implements SmartArt features: [15]. Related bug entry: tdf#37932.

Highlighting in presentation mode

Idea: Competing presentation programmes have the ability to highlight text or graphicals elements during the presentation. After the presentation, the drawings, writings and highlighted elements can be saved into the presentation file. The implementation of OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice has several shortcomings. A project at the Ecole Centrale de Nantes has implemented these features. Please see: [16], [17] and i#62973.

Simple server-based collaborative editing

Idea: There has been a student project that was developing a very simple server-based collaborative editing feature for OpenOffice.org. The project had the name PengYou, the project website is closed, but the source code is still available here [18]. The features looked very promising. However, there are currently also extensions available to integrate Alfresco, O3Spaces and TeamDrive in OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice.

Ideas that are implemented

Please move here the ideas that are now implemented in LibreOffice, with information like version and corresponding bug report if possible, and a signature. Please keep the list chronological.

Add polynomial regression type

Idea: See [19] and i#20819

Solved: this was implemented in 4.2: Release notes. Chtfn (talk) 2014-11-07T03:08:48 (UTC)

Allow pasting of a single cell into multiple selections

Idea: Pasting into multiple selections is not permitted, yet there is no reason to prevent pasting into multiple selections when the contents of the clipboard are a single cell. Other changes such as font and format changes can be made on multiple selections. This would be a frequently used enhancement, simple to provide.

Comment: I believe LibO 3.5 will have this.

Solved: This was tested in LO 4.2.7.2 and does work as described. Chtfn (talk) 2014-11-07T03:08:48 (UTC)

3D slide transitions for Windows and MAC OSX

Idea: Some years ago, an extension was released for the Go-OO.org build that enabled 3D slide transitions on Linux (please see [20]) and they are working well. There were long standing efforts to implement this feature also for Windows and OS X, please see [21], [22] and i#87529.

Comment: It's function was realized in LibreOffice 5.0

Replace home-grown regexp parser with some std library

Idea: Currently regexp contains a home-grown regexp-parser. These standard tasks should be done by some external library specialized for that purpose, such as libregex, pcre, regex from boost (or whatever). Investigate this usage and rip it out, replacing calls to some standard library.

Actually this http://opengrok.libreoffice.org/xref/core/i18npool/source/search/textsearch.cxx#34 seems like the only occurence where we import the regexp, so removing that one might actually be quite easy. Other parts or the code already import #include <unicode/regex.h> and standard #include <regex.h> so we would not be introducing new requirements anyway.

Comment: A regex library, or regex functions in the C library, is "standard" only on many Unix platforms, though. For a generic Linux build, and for Windows, we still need a regex library in-tree.

See also