I don't know about Andreas, but when I read your original steps:
3_ In Sheet2 -> A1 : =Sheet1.A1
I thought you meant type "=Sheet1.A1" in cell A1 of Sheet2, and expected
that to behave as an absolute reference (which would be inconsistent
with row and column references). From the above description, about
"default behaviour" giving "=$Sheet1.A1", it sounds like you're talking
about the behaviour when clicking on a cell as a shortcut to creating a
Correct, I was referring to "clicking" on other sheets, and their
cells. I have just sent another email to make it more clear. Apologies
for the confusion.
When typing a formula directly, it's reasonable to expect the user to be
responsible for getting the syntax right, including using $ to create
absolute references where necessary. It may be more reasonable to expect
that references generated by clicking in cells be tailored to the more
common need - whatever that may be. I can imagine working out what's
most common isn't be easy though, and will probably never please
Indeed, explicitly typing a formula should be respected. If users
explicitly type-in "$A$1", or "A$1", or "$A1", Calc respects it (i.e.
it does not change it to relative references). If users explicitly
type-in "$Sheet1.A1", or "Sheet.$A$1", or whatever, then Calc should
definitely respect the input. I think we all agree that this is
correct, adequate and expected.
Personally, I don't often copy entire sheets, and when I do I probably
do usually want absolute references to other sheets as you suggest. On
the other hand, I can also see the use of relative sheet references,
e.g. for things where there's a sheet for each month with totals carried
over from one month to the next. I couldn't really say which is the more
common use overall, and therefore which should be the default. Another
consideration is that changing the current behaviour may confuse those
who are used to the way it works at the moment and find it convenient.
Certainly having relative references to sheets is useful. I am not
saying it is not. My issue is about the _default_ behavior.
I could understand the potential inconvenience with current users of
Calc, perhaps already expecting the "unusual" (as of other spreadsheet
To be clear, I am not expecting from Calc to change current formulas,
or any content. I would expect to change the default behavior for new
editions. If a user edits an old Calc document, what was done before is
"done", but IMHO in the same document the new behavior for new editions
/ new formulas should be as I am suggesting (and as other programs
already do / behave).
Moreover, considering the lack of features in Calc for multiple-sheets
documents, my guess would be that such change in the default behavior
would be more than welcome by experienced users.
But, I could understand such change could be considered somewhat
controversial by someone. So, as an alternative, I would suggest
introducing an option, so the user could select which kind of
references should be used by _default_ for sheets: either relative (as
Calc behaves currently), or absolute ones (as any other program I
know). Similar options regarding the _default_ behavior could also be
added for "cells' columns" and for "cells' rows", or for "cells".
By changing the _default_ behavior:
_ users would get the "traditional" (expected) behavior;
Unless it's changed recently, it seems "traditional" for LibreOffice
(and therefore probably "expected" for at least some of its users) is to
create relative sheet references.
I meant "traditional" as in spreadsheet programs that are being used
for more than 2 decades. "Traditional" for "old" users of spreadsheet
programs. I guess you are correct about "traditional" being different
when talking about Calc (which is in fact the conflict I am talking
about). I am focusing on users and practical functionality, more than
in the program (Calc).
As of the more common / frequent use of relative or absolute references
for sheets, we probably cannot really know. And yet, since it is easier
to correct (in case the user really needs such correction) from
absolute to relative references to sheets than the other way around,
the suggested change in default behavior makes at least some sense.
There is a reason why this issue keeps coming back to forums and alike,
and even reported as if the behavior would be an actual bug (IMO, it is
an inadequate default behavior, but it is not a complete "bug", but
close to it :).
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