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Re: [tdf-discuss] Re: [Libreoffice] suggestion to improve libreoffice writer


Le 2011-03-20 15:05, Steve Edmonds a écrit :
On 21/03/11 6:38 AM, Charles Marcus wrote:
On 3/20/11 5:18 PM, Charles Marcus wrote:
Adding the ability to have multiple documents as tabs in one window
would be great - as long as there is a choice.

Meaning, I can have multiple windows if I want, and/or drag-n-drop a tab
out into its own window (and vice-versa)... an option to set a default
(open new docs in tabs, or as separate windows) would be best......

Still not really clear though...

Just so I'm clear, the option I mentioned would only be for the
*default* behavior (ie, when opening a new document, does it get opened
into an existing window as a new tab, or as a separate window).

You should still be able to move a tab to a separate window or
vice-versa on the fly whenever you want, without having to change an
option, just like you can with Firefox (and most other browsers now).

Would work for me, which bit of real estate would you take up with the tabs? I would hope that if I opted to open in a new window I would not loose any real estate.


Obviously having a choice is a good thing, but I would prefer to keep the current form as default.

Besides that, I would like to point out that contrary to what had been said, people are NOT trained to use tabs. On one hand, all browsers starting with Firefox 3, then Google and Internet Explorer have tabs. It is now their default behaviour to open new tabs rather than new windows most of the time, and I am one of those who prefer tabs to windows when it comes to the browser.

Adobe CS4 also uses tabs, with all documents opened into a single application window. For instance, all InDesign documents are in a single window with one tab per document.

On the other hand, Microsoft had introduced us to tabs. Office 97 had one single window per application. I think Office 2000 offered a choice. Office 2003 was very inconsistent, with one window per document in Word and one single window for all Excel documents. And Powerpoint was yet a bit different, showing only one document window at a time. In other words, it was impossible to show two documents side by side. Office 2010 (and I think 2007 too) uses the multiple document interface throughout the platform: i.e. it's one window per document in Word, Excel and Powerpoint. So in that regard, the current versions of Microsoft Office use a system similar to what exists with the current version of LibreOffice.

Overall, for Office-type documents, I generally prefer the current system over tabs: I don't open too many tabs/windows at once, I generally want wide enough windows for each document I want to see, and most importantly, I use a dual-monitor setup at work and those two monitors aren't of the same era and therefore don't have exactly the same resolution. In other words, I have one document (sometimes more) on each monitor and it's not convenient to have a long menubar spread over two monitors.


Generally speaking, there are pros and cons with tabs vs one window per document.

One window per document:
– menu bar and toolbars are closer, because they appear within each document
– no space is lost for a tab bar
– window may be placed anywhere one wants on the monitor... or on a second monitor – allows one to arrange three windows of different size (for example), with two LibreOffice windows and a smaller window for the browser or calculator. In a setting with a large window and documents in tabs, it is impossible to show the calculator through the unused grey space of the application window.

One window per application and documents in tabs:
– some space is lost for a tab bar
– the overall window is wider, allowing one to have all toolbars in a single line; overall each tool appears only once (rather than once per document window), so toolbars and menus take less space – if the window is huge, menus and individual toolbar items could be far away. – moving the application window moves all documents at once; sometimes it's useful.


So as I said, I prefer the current way of doing things. That being said, I would improve a few points to enhance the user experience:

– In toolbars, buttons should be a bit smaller. Even the small buttons are a tiny bit wider and a few pixels higher than those in Microsoft Office 2003. The symbols on buttons are about the same size, but there is some space taken for actual buttons. Maybe we could cut a few pixels there, allowing people to keep more of their screen for useful things. – Floating toolbars and dialogue boxes should be positioned relative to the window. One of the problems of LibreOffice is that if I place a dialogue box just to the left of my current window, LibreOffice will remember its absolute position rather than the relative one. So when I call the same dialogue box from another document, it may well hide the text... or be so far away that I'll desperately look for it.

Finally, one function that could be added is a quick alignment of two windows side by side and a way to scroll both of them at once. Microsoft has a bit of that in it's "compare" function, except it doesn't really work because it's too complex to synchronize and de-synchronize both windows.

--

Michel Gagnon – michel@mgagnon.net <mailto:michel@mgagnon.net>
Montréal (Québec, Canada) – mgagnon.net <http://mgagnon.net>


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