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writer: navigator - change selected frame to another frame results in new frame selected but position/resize handles not visible

asked 2020-05-13 14:00:28 +0200

blashrkh gravatar image

updated 2020-08-30 20:49:50 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

When using navigator (F5) it seems that you cannot have one frame's handles visible/highlighted then double-click on another frame to make the newly selected frame's handles visible. Having handles highlighted is useful to know the location of selected frame in the document.

Upon selection of a new frame in navigator it is not visibly active but has indeed been selected because typing yields appropriate entry of text into the newly selected frame. However, the location of the frame is not visibly revealed. It is the visibility of the frame selection (ie, the new handles). which is the problem.

In order to know the location of selected frame a writer drawing object/shape (such as a line or arrow) must first be selected in the navigator then the destination frame you want highlighted must be double-clicked on. This results in the frame you want selected being highlighted with resize/position handles.

note: selection was done only double-clicking in navigator, not switching between navigator and the document pane.

Can anyone else reproduce this? Is this a bug? Any advice? Am using

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I don't even know a way to make a TextFrame "invisible". Even if "No Border" is set, at least the faint line around text area of the frame is shown. In addition the insertion cursor will be positioned in the frame chosen with the navigator. What's wrong with this behavior?
You might prefer to get the insertion cursor positioned at the end of the frame's content instead of at the beginning. You may save the Ctrl+End then in some cases. Well, you can file an enhancement request to

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2020-05-14 11:39:55 +0200 )edit

Working at a zoomed-out level makes it difficult to see the cursor and hence know the location of which frame is FrameX.

blashrkh gravatar imageblashrkh ( 2020-05-14 12:01:20 +0200 )edit

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answered 2020-05-14 11:20:02 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

updated 2020-05-14 18:22:13 +0200

Double-clicking in the Navigator is the correct way to scroll to the designated destination. What happens next depends on the nature of the target.

For "graphical" objects (images, drawings objects), the target is selected, hence you see the green handles.

For text objects (headings, tables, frames, sections), the supposed intent is to edit text there. The cursor is positioned at the first location where text can be entered (after all, we're in a text document application). In the case of text inside a frame, you need to click on the outline if you want to act on the frame (I hope you work with View>Text Boundaries enabled otherwise you'll have hard time, especially if frames are nested).

For hyperlinks and indexes, the situation is not that clear (for me) because the target is frequently a protected item.

I don't think this is a bug. Your use case may be different from the most common one.

If you only want to see the frames, enable View>Text Boundaries.

If you need frequently to adjust frame properties, ask yourself if a couple of frame styles could not give a more consistent formatting to your frames.

Also, if your frames have a complex structure (many nested frames), see if you are not in fact simulating a relationship property between objects which could much more easily be shown in a Draw structure and then imported as an image in a s non-nested frame. Remember that Draw comes for free with the suite and is much more powerful than the simplified drawing tool in Writer.


From comments in your screenshot: it seems there is an inconsistent (?) behaviour.

Double clicking on an image or drawing object in the Navigator scrolls to this targets and selects the object, showing the handles. If you then double-click on a frame, you get both the cursor and the handles. But if you click on a table name, there no cursor though you scrolled there and keyboard typing is ineffective. This one is a bug.

If you start from any frame to switch to another frame, you only get the cursor.

As I mentioned, the focus on frame is text entry. You could have the handles, meaning the focus is on adjusting frame properties but usually (or in principle) frames are controlled by a style and you would not add direct formatting to them. A "styled" workflow emphasises authoring, leaving formatting for another "independent" step.


Reported as tdf#133039

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Just tested having added a shape to my document: In fact! (I never had noticed that.)

Having previously selected a Draw shape a doubleclick on a framename in the navigator selects the frame itself (V 6.4.3) and behaves different insofar as compared to the case where another TextFrame was selected in advance. In addition the insertion cursor is shown at the start of the text inside, but typing a first character removes the selection from the frame and inserts at the end of the text. It's a mess and shouldn't be considered the expected behavior.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2020-05-14 13:31:15 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2020-05-13 14:00:28 +0200

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Last updated: May 14 '20