Bug Report: Issue with "Select column - Edit cells-Fill spaces with duplicates" Functionality in OpenRefine

Dear OpenRefine Development Team,

I am writing this letter to provide feedback on a bug I encountered while using OpenRefine, along with the solution I discovered. First and foremost, I would like to express my appreciation for OpenRefine. It is an outstanding data cleaning tool that has greatly helped me in my work.

During my practical usage, I discovered a bug related to the “Select column - Edit cells - Fill spaces with duplicates” feature. While using the deduplication function, I noticed that OpenRefine still identified duplicate entries despite applying the fill down operation.

However, through my exploration, I found a workaround that I would like to share with you. By following the steps below, I successfully removed the duplicate entries:

  1. Firstly, I sorted the data to ensure that duplicate entries were adjacent. I utilized OpenRefine’s sorting feature to bring the duplicates together.
  2. Next, I used the “Keep sorted” option to maintain the sorting order while editing cells. This ensured that my modifications did not affect the positions of other rows.
  3. I selected the column I wanted to process.
  4. In the Edit menu, I chose the “Edit cells” option.
  5. In the dialog box that appeared, I selected the “Fill spaces with duplicates” feature.

By following these steps, I was able to successfully eliminate duplicate entries, and OpenRefine no longer identified them.

I hope that my experience can be helpful in resolving this bug. OpenRefine is an exceptional tool, and I have confidence in your ongoing efforts to improve it and provide users with a better experience. Thank you once again for your hard work and contributions.

Sincerely, A Grateful User

Thank you for your report!

I am curious about this “Fill spaces with duplicates” feature - this is not something we have in the tool (we tend to rather do the opposite). Could you provide screenshots of which option you mean? Perhaps this is a translation issue? Or could it be added by an extension?

It would be interesting to know which version of OpenRefine you are using, too.