What happened to editing fields in Writer?

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What happened to editing fields in Writer?

Postby joris » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:51 pm

Not sure if this is a bug or a new feature I don't really understand. Maybe somebody can help me out?

Every blue moon I need to export a list of books from a spreadsheet into a writer document. I still follow the steps some smart people explained to me in this thread long ago.

I am using a spreadsheet as a data source for Writer. So I can insert a long list of books to Writer. I want to do some layout on the list. So I export the first line on the spreadsheet with the data to field feature. Then I do some lay-out in Writer, so it looks like this example:

Jeffries, Stuart
Grand Hotel Abyss
The lives of the Frankfurt School
2017, 448 pag., €17.95

Verso, London, ISBN 9781784785697[/b]
Who were the Frankfurt School — Benjamin, Adorno, Marcuse, Horkheimer — and why do they matter today? Grand Hotel Abyss combines biography, philosophy, and storytelling to reveal how the Frankfurt thinkers gathered in hopes of understanding the politics of culture during the rise of fascism.
Trefwoorden: Filosofie

This is what the fields look like:


After that I copy/paste these fields to a lot of pages in Writer.
Then I select all the tables from the spreadsheet and click the Data to fields button. This populates the Writer document with all the books.

This works really nice and gives me the list I want.

But after that I cannot edit the contents of the fields in the writer document anymore. I am 100% sure I could do this in the past.
If I click on a field Writer highlights the content of the full field.
if I double click on a field Writer opens a new "Edit Fields" box, but there is no option to actually edit the content of the field.


I am I missing something or is this a bug?
Only workarounds I found so far, is doing all the editing on the source spread sheet and repeat the steps to insert the data in the Writer document. Or I save to a word document (.doc) and edit the file online with MS office. Both work, but both are suboptimal.

This is on Ubuntu 19.10 and the included LibreOffice
Libre Office on Ubuntu 12.10
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Re: What happened to editing fields in Writer?

Postby Villeroy » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:09 pm

1) Open the database document and call menu:Edit>Database>Connection so it points to the right spreadsheet document. Check if the database displays the right data in the right tables.
2) menu:Tools>Options>Base>Databases and assign the database document (*.odb) to the registered name.
3) Open your Writer document and call menu:Edit>Exchange Database... Choose the right table or query from the registered database.

A database field in Writer consists of 3 parts: DatabaseName.Table_Or_Query_Name.ColumnName (hit Ctrl+F9 to see what I mean)
If the database fields still not work because the column names have changed in the spreadsheet document you can adjust the column names in the spreadsheet document and then restart the office suite --- or you redefine the column names like this:
1) Open the database
2) Select the Queries section and add a new query in design view where you define the expected alias names for the columns
3) Open your Writer document and call menu:Edit>Exchange Database... Choose the query with the correct column names from the registered database.
Queries with unified column aliases make it easy to switch a text document from one data source to a completely different source by simply picking the required columns and naming them according to what the target documents expect.

Note that a spreadsheet is the worst type of pseudo-database. Any change in the spreadsheet data requires that you restart the entire suite before the change is reflected in your database fields.

P.S. This kind of problem occurs when data are moved between systems. The first 3) steps in this topic should fix this. The column name problem occurs when people paste data from various sources with different column names into spreadsheets.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
Ubuntu 18.04, no OpenOffice, LibreOffice 6.4
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