Word Completion

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This page describes the behavior of the Word Completion feature in Writer (sometime called auto-completion.)

How Does It Work?

When typing text in Writer, if the start of a word inside the Word Completion list is recognized after the minimal length has been typed, a suggestion for the rest of the word will be shown just after the text the user has already typed.

To accept the sugestion, press the return key or enter key. Pressing tab or the right arrow will not accept the suggestion, and instead behave just as usual when no suggestion is displayed.

To be completed…


Hard to discover conceptual model

Nature of words in the Word Completion List

  1. The definition of a word — i.e. what letters can compose a word, and what are the authorized delimiters — is more general than what an user might expect. For example, when AutoSpellCheck is off, a point-separated word such.as.this.one is considered as a single word and added to the Word Completion List. See Issue 32809 .
  2. A minimal length is required for the words to be in the list, but that option is hard to find in the Tools > AutoCorrect… > Word Completion tab. As a consequence, the user might not understand that there is such a minimal length.
  3. Only words of the dictionary are allowed in the Word Completion List when AutoSpellCheck is on. Although it is explicitly told in the Help page about Word Completion, the user might be unaware of that behavior, and consequently be confused by the fact that some typed words do not appear in completion list. See Issue 29293 .

Nature of the Word Completion List itself

  1. The origin of default Word Completion List is unclear. Some users may even believe that there is no such list and that suggestions are taken from the document edited and dictionaries.
  2. The event-driven nature of the list is often not understood. Some users do not understand that words are added in the list when they are written, but the list is not updated in real-time. So, deleting the unique occurrence of a word in the document will not remove it from the Word Completion List. A misspelled word written while AutoSpellCheck was off will not be removed from the list when switching AutoSpellCheck on.

Nature of the list of suggested completions

  1. The existence of the list itself may be unknown to some users, because some hard to discover shortcut has to be used to cycle through all suggestions.
  2. Alphabetical order is used to present suggestions from the Word Completion List (what about languages such as Chinese that do not have alphabetical order?). Since Word Completion is a feature designed to assist the user in typing words, the user might rather expect an order based on frequency and/or recentness. See Issue 9380 .

See Also

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