List of wishes
|Please note: This is a dead-end page.
Despite what the introductory paragraph below states, this page will never "serve as a source of inspiration for developers and contributors" for 2 reasons:
Where should I submit my wishes for enhancements then?
This page has been locked to prevent further edits.
In this article, you can add descriptions of features you would like to see in OpenOffice.org. This can serve as a source of inspiration for developers and contributors.
- 1 Invisible Bookmarks for PDF Export
- 2 Graphics: Stencil
- 3 Calc: Single Column Multi-Target AND Checkbox List Menu
- 4 Draw: Simple Hyperlink Export to HTML via autogenerated Image Map(s)
- 5 Draw: UML diagrams
- 6 Draw: CAD
- 7 Desktop Publishing
- 8 Dynamic Links from Excel
- 9 Glyph insertion
- 10 Bulk Encryption
- 11 Change Case
- 12 Fix Conflict with Safari Field Input
- 13 Writer : Extra shortcuts for finding character strings
- 14 Writer: Clean cut&paste
- 15 Make seperate packages available
- 16 Allow for non-universal, or relative, hyperlinks
- 17 Base: add multiple connections to tables in different databases
- 18 Base: add inport/export function
- 19 Allow Different Paths for Each Component
- 20 Allow rotation of chart objects
- 21 Writer: Ability to drag table that will still distrubute the cell's lengths equally and a bug
- 22 Spelling Counter
- 23 Swap language fast
- 24 Change Case again
- 25 Import dropdown boxes from Excel spreadsheets
- 26 Full-specturm color chooser
- 27 x-Error Bars in the Charts
- 28 Writer: Specific layout with pictures on the left (even pages) and text on the right (odd pages)
- 29 Writer: Allow any keyboard combination in Shortcut Key List
- 30 Impress: Better support for Equations
Invisible Bookmarks for PDF Export
I have found it very unpractical to make the PDF Export depend on Text with the Format "Heading 1" for exporting Bookmarks. While for many cases this might be convenient enough, there are also cases when you want to have a PDF bookmark without a corresponding section in the text. For this it would be nice to have "invisible" bookmark elements for the PDF export.
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.
It is surprising that Draw can embed Hyperlinks into a drawing, and it can export that drawing to a GIF file embedded in an HTML page, but it doesn't generate the Image Map needed to implement the hyperlinks in the HTML. This is a very simple use case and a very simple fix...please add it.
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.
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.
It would be very helpful to be able to view more files formats, and that they by default are viewed to fill the screen, even if not all formats would be possible to change.
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,...
Perhaps the Open Source application, Scribus, could offer code that might help implement a publishing component for OpenOffice.org sometime in the (hopefully near) future.
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.
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))
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.
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.
Writer : Extra shortcuts for finding character strings
There is in Microsoft Word a very powerful keyboard shortcut which allows, after the first search of a character string and after the search dialog box has been closed, to find other occurences of the same string in the text by merely pressing <Ctrl+NextPage> and, what is more <Ctrl+PreviousPage> to search backwards. Such a functionality would be greatly appreciated in OpenOffice Writer.
Writer: Clean cut&paste
Pasting text content from other applications (e.g. web browsers or pdf readers) can be very messy when formattings are involved. The cleanest method usually is to paste external text as unformatted text, but the option requires more steps. Ctrl-V even lets you select the source when there is just a single selection to be made. Furthermore pasting text is context sensitive. For instance you generally do not want to keep font size formatting information when you cut from the body and paste to the footnotes. There is a need for an optional usability optimized cut&paste behaviour to meet user needs.
Make seperate packages available
My old laptop has limited hard drive space and also the only component of OpenOffice I use is Writer. So I'd like to be able to install the Writer component by simply running "emerge openoffice-bin-writer" or something along those lines, thus installing only the Writer component.
When creating a document, allow users to create relative hyperlinks. Similar to how html image tags work where the entire URL is not needed, only the path relative to the html file. For example, say I want to create a hyperlink to example.doc which is located in c:\documents\example folder, from a document which resides in c:\documents. I could have the hyperlink be "\example folder\example.doc" instead of "c:\documents\example folder\example.doc"
Base: add multiple connections to tables in different databases
Currently it is only possible to be connected to a single database HSQL, or a single database ODBC, etc. Should be able to have connections, or even links, to tables from different data sources. Ie create a file odb (eg HSQL) and able to bind external tales (mdb, dbf, ...) to transfer data from these tables. In the present situation it is not possible to build a database by importing external data.
Base: add inport/export function
Adding an import / export data to other formats is needed.
Allow Different Paths for Each Component
Having only one path for the whole of OpenOffice is inconvenient for users who have large numbers of files. I propose that each component of OOo be allowed to have its own path or directory. That way all Writer documents are together in one place, all Calc documents in another, etc.
Allow rotation of chart objects
Currently there is no way to rotate a chart object. Inserting a chart in a Writer document from a Calc document can be done easily, but if the chart is too large, there is no way to rotate on a page in Writer (neither in Calc) to better accomodate it on the page. At least rotations by 90 degrees would be very useful. The current workaround  described in the forum.
Writer: Ability to drag table that will still distrubute the cell's lengths equally and a bug
In Microsoft Word you can click the bottom-right corner of the table and drag the entire table to any size you want (in Word a blue box pops up when your cursor is on the table corner to show you could drag it) and as you drag it all of its rows and columns are distrubted equally. OpenOffice currently doesn't have that ability. I want to be able to make a table fill the entire page. Instead, the workaround to do it is to make a table of one row, click and drag the bottom of the table to the desired size, then highlight the table and click "Split Cells" on the Table Toolbar to create the desired columns and rows. But if my table is already filled with data then I can't easily resize the table the way I want it.
That's why I guess the "Distrubute Rows Equally" option is there but it doesn't work the way it should. By highlighting the entire table, clicking "Optimize," and then clicking "Distrubte Rows Equally" it makes all the rows the same size as the biggest row. Meaning, if I drag the bottom of the table further down making the bottom row of the table grow larger, highlight the entire table, and try to "Distrubute Rows Equally" it makes all of the rows the same size as the bottom row I just adjusted. What I want it to do is to make all the rows distributed equally within the table without changing the actual size of the table. Bug issue page: http://qa.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=58326
This is a fairly simple request, but I think it would be very helpful for many. Every time the user allows the speller to correct a word it will be registered. Over some weeks the user can then see what words they often write wrong. You could extend this funcionality to be able to have a master (teacher) that get updated on the spelling of all students (registered users, reporting bakc to user web site, so next update will continue the stats from last). It is important that the spelling counter is not reset when an update is installed (follow Winlogin?), even if the user is not registered online! The Spelling Counter needs to be able to hold stats in all the languages OpenOffice has installed.
It should be possible to print the most common (you choose how many) words you spell wrong, and what you most often write instead. Even better would be to have a little trainer/quiz, making it fun to improve, and then getting feedback on your improvements (words you now are writing correct, words you still have problems with, new words you need to write correct).
Swap language fast
Just left of the document zoomer (on the bottom right) I suggest a small field with three letter IOC code for country in addition to two letters for language. Just double click on it and swap language from menu, or right click and change even with fewer clicks.
Change Case again
I would use OpenOffice if this was improved! I hate to say it but MS Word 2007 really beats OpenOffice in this point. Lowercase, Uppercase, Toggle Case, Sentence Case and Capitalise Each Word are all there in an easy drop-down menu in the evil empire of Microsoft. Surely you can beat them - please!
Import dropdown boxes from Excel spreadsheets
I have a few Excel spreadsheets that heavily use dropdown boxes. It would be very useful if the Excel import filter could understand them and generate OOO dropdown boxes, or at least produce text boxes showing the dropdown boxes' settings. As it is I have to open the same spreadsheet in both programs and manually inspect each dropdown box in Excel to manually create it in OOO.
A few changes I would like in OpenOffice-
In Calc- Make an "off" switch for the date auto insert. I am aware that I could put an apostrophe to turn it off, however doing so is tedious when entering many math equations/numbers, and the solution is not intuitive to new users. The problem was posted on the forum and has had over 2000 views, compared to the others which on a sample of the last postings the average was close to 90 views, so I am probably not the only one who would like this change.
I have version 3.0.1 of OpenOffice, and another suggestion I have would be to add a few more auto-filter features, some of which microsoft has- filtering by >, <, or not equals (value), or filtering by color. I am aware these features are available in a standard filter, but the standard filter in my version of OpenOffice seems to only allow three different columns to filter by.
Another suggestion I have is make it easier/more possible to have the same reference cell in copy-down formulas, this issue is described in more detail in the forum question http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=24791&start=0&hilit=keep+the+same+cell+reference+for+formula The topic had 176 views, again more than average.
This would probably be difficult to program, but I would also like Base to be able to directly copy data from calc to base. Again the post on this at http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=29046&start=0&hilit=copy+data+from+calc has had 416 views, (vs. a calculated average from the forums of the last few days to be about 110)so I am probably not the only one interested in this change. The forum mentions untidy data, and my suggestion for this is to have Base flag the "untidy" data points in red, and warn the user that those data points will not be used in a calculation that they could mess up.
Full-specturm color chooser
Although color palettes can be very useful in specific circumstances (eg., offset printing inks, web palettes, 8-bit color, etc.), it would be nice for the default OOo color selector widget to offer a full-color, full-spectrum (i.e., smooth, continuously variable) color picker. Palettes could still be available for use when needed, but by default a full color chooser would be far more useful, IMO.
x-Error Bars in the Charts
Almost ALL Measurements have errors in x and y direction! That really needs to be implemented.
Writer: Specific layout with pictures on the left (even pages) and text on the right (odd pages)
Many times, when we write a report, it is asked that the text runs continuousely on the right pages with the pictures/charts/graphs on the left pages. Now we require to spend a lot of time printing the text on the right, then the pictures on the corresponding back... It would be nice just to select an option to do this automatically.
Writer: Allow any keyboard combination in Shortcut Key List
Currently, the Shortcut Key List provides the only set of keyboard combinations allowed for assigning a keyboard shortcut to a command. Keyboard combinations such as Ctrl+Shift+- and Ctrl+= are not available. On various forums, from 2007 onwards, Writer users have asked for the option of using their own, defined keyboard shortcut combinations rather than the Shortcut Key List combinations. Any way of possibly making that happen?
Impress: Better support for Equations
Without support for writing equations inline like in Writer, it is very hard to use Impress to make presentations that have more than a tiny number of equations. I am forced to use Writer to do this. In OO 3.2, pasting from Writer either makes equations disappear or their size is messed up.