move and paste behaviour

I've installed Gnumeric 1.0.1 from the GnomeHide RPMs for my sister,
and it works nicely for her use, she's especially happy about frozen
panes (no more hiding and unhiding columns).

She finds the behaviour wrt to formatting when she moves or copies
cells inconsistent.  Most irritating to her is the fact that the
formating is removed from the source even if the moved cell(s) are
using the default column (or row) formatting.  She also doesn't like
that she needs to use Paste Special all the time to copy the content

I notice that this is controlled in clipboard.h, so I guess I could
just recompile:


However, I also tried out Excel 2000, and it does things a bit
differently, and perhaps more intuitively.

  A.  When you move or clear a cell, it will restore the defaults for
      that row or column.

  B.  When you paste, it will make a small floating dropdown button at
      the lower right corner.  It will stick around as long as the
      source range is active.  There is only one such button at a
      time, at the latest pasted area.

      This dropdown button replaces the paste special dialog, you can
      choose one of

        Keep Source Formatting (default)  [All]
        Match Destination Formatting      [Content]
        Values And Number Formatting      [As Value]
        Keep Source Column Widths         [N/A]
        Formatting Only                   [Formats]
        Link Cells                        [Paste Link]

      The Gnumeric equivalents are listed on the right.  As you can
      see, the capabilities of Gnumeric are mostly there, but the
      ability to do this choice retroactively seems more natural, and
      it's more conveniently available.  The only real beef I have
      with Excel's UI is that the default can't be changed.  An IMO
      much more useful default would be the previously selected paste
      style (remembered on a per worksheet basis).

      Notice that many of these choices are orthogonal.  You can't
      both keep source column widths _and_ link cells (Excel links
      relatively, btw, Gnumeric uses an absolute address).  I don't
      think that's a brilliant way of doing it.  It may be easier to
      quickly understand this radio button list than a combination of
      checkboxes and radio buttons, but I'm not convinced.  The
      current Gnumeric Paste Special isn't panacean either, but it's
      not bad.

I think Gnumeric should do A, the current behaviour is a misfeature.
B would have been nice in some form.  I'll be looking into it, but if
someone who knows the code better says "aha! Sounds fun, I can do that
easily", I'll be much obliged. :-)

Kjetil T.               abusing standards for the greater good

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