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Feature request: allow users to set default "text import" settings [closed]

asked 2019-05-16 10:48:02 +0200

pheynman gravatar image

I came to this site after looking for a way to disable the 'text import' dialogue that pops up EVERY TIME I open a CSV file in Calc.

I do not generally use office/productivity software, and I use spreadsheets even less but even for me, this annoyance is enough to make me not want to use the software.

I have currently set Sublime Text as my default CSV app since I don't need the special number formatting and calculation that a spreadsheet application affords you, though I wouldn't mind using Calc if it didn't ask me for this information EVERY TIME.

It's okay to have the default behaviour be what it is now, but allow people who have particular preferences and know how to change them, to do so. That's what "preferences" are for. I don't change my tab size and bracket matching on my IDE every time I open a file, and I would not use such an IDE.

I think an earlier question was misunderstood as saying that the default behaviour would be to just force every one to import their CSV with hardcoded defaults.

No, Calc can keep the prompt as the default, but people should have the option to save these options for subsequent file opens, and change them in the settings/preferences/options menu/sub-menu should they change, or not be appropriate for a certain file.

Otherwise, it doesn't matter how well software is written (and it is well-written software, as far as I can tell--thanks). People will gravitate to the software that works more conveniently for them.

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by pheynman
close date 2019-05-17 10:07:59.402189


Read this.

gabix gravatar imagegabix ( 2019-05-16 11:44:42 +0200 )edit

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answered 2019-05-16 11:53:37 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

Although I understand your need and request, I'd like to respectfully make a remark about your usage.

CSV is primarily an interchange format and is not intended as a storage format. Main reason for using it is it is universal and understood by all suites. Major inconvenient is some formatting attributes are lost.

Since CSV addresses the conversion issue between suites, it seems "normal" that the conversion option are presented to the user because this operation is supposed to be done once when importing the data. After you've done the conversion, the file should be stored in native format. It is only under native format that you'll benefit of the full power of thie application (this is valid for any application, not just LO or M$ Office).

If you can argument on the breaking advantages of your proposal, you may try to file an enhancement request on the bugs site. However, due to the tremendous number of open bugs and other feature requests, the scarcity of developers, don't expect quick reaction. Anyway, the request will be filtered and discussed by "experts", so you better be convincing.

PS: I'm no developer, just a satisfied user.

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"Since CSV addresses the conversion issue between suites, it seems "normal" that the conversion option are presented to the user because this operation is supposed to be done once when importing the data."

And, again, like the reporter in the link I pointed to, I do not object to the prompt being the default, so it's not even a breaking change. People who find that behaviour not only "normal" but desirable need not even know that they can "suppress" the prompt by saving the options. The option can exist in a sub-menu somewhere. It would only "break" for us who choose to make the break, like rooting your phone.

Also, technically, I do import the files once, just to address your point about how many times this should be done. But they are many files exported or generated at different times, both of similar datasets, and different datasets, but ...(plus)

pheynman gravatar imagepheynman ( 2019-05-16 13:18:59 +0200 )edit

It looks like there is an open feature request. I wouldn't necessarily want it implemented automagically as the reporter seems to prefer.

I don't agree with this:

(In Excel)...The issue of different delimiters/charsets is handled by using delimiters that are common in the user's country. For example, the U.S. version of Excel will use commas by default, and some European versions of Excel will use semicolons.

But I agree with this:

(in Calc)...The double-click or File=>Open... menu would open the CSV file silently with the default options applied while File=>Import... would allow to change delimiters and character sets.

There, best of both worlds.

I would also retain the prompt as default ("Always ask") if it's not willingly suppressed ("Never ask"), that way it still behaves as it currently does, or as some prefer that it behaves.

pheynman gravatar imagepheynman ( 2019-05-16 13:39:12 +0200 )edit

What is missing in your question is your workfow context. From your comment, you seem to frequently extract data from some databse in CSV format, which is the standard way to proceed. This frequency seems to be the key of your (justified) complaint., e.g. if you do it daily.

This behaviour even prohibit using Calc in command-line mode to do the conversion and consequently writing a script to do it. Maybe more expert contributors could tell if it is possible to batch import a csv file. I found no clue iwith man soffice.

The dialog opens for any text file, by the way.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-05-16 13:57:00 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-05-17 10:07:02 +0200

pheynman gravatar image
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Asked: 2019-05-16 10:48:02 +0200

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Last updated: May 17 '19