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Working on the 'insert fields' dialogue in writer

We want to improve the 'insert fields' dialogue in writer. You can reach it by pressing <Ctrl>+<F2>.

The idea

The user uses this dialogue in two distinct steps:

1. Choose the type of field to insert (Wizard)

2. Configure the field (different kinds of configurations masks)


  • When a field has been included into a document, the user does not want to change the type of that field, but might want to change the configuration. If the use does want to change the type of the field with the new solution he now has to delete the old field, select and configure the new one. These contradictions are reasonable.
  • Probably no massive insertion of fields will be possible anymore after this change, as a wizard usually closes after a field has been selected. We need to think about finding a solution that still allows this form of interaction.
  • We should include some shortcuts into the dialogue, like favorite fields, last used fields, filtering,...

What type of fields are there?

I continued my analysis of the existing functionality. Currently I feel I do understand most of it, except for the Database section and the DDE field (Marked with a '?' ).

I have created a mindmap to show the reworked structure as I see it at the moment. Unfortunately I am not allowed to upload the original .mm file :( - What do you think? Am I totally wrong somewhere?

Insert field.png

Obsolete fields

I think there are three currently available fields that are obsolete in this dialogue:

  • Input field: This is a dangerous field, because it mixes two differently behaving concepts. First variables that are only active below the position they are introduced and untill they get overwritten. Second User Fields, that can only take a single value and are active in the whole document. These two concepts shouldn#t be mixed up in one dialogue. And we can get the same (almost) functionality by simply useing the variables, resp. user fields native dialogues.
  • Execute Macro: This simply is no field as I understand fields and is accesable via Tools -> Macros.
  • Combine Characters: This is only needed for asian languages is not a field, but a Insert -> special character and should be moved in that context.