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Hi all,

Today I put together a mockup for a possible Layout I think LibreOffice
could use. Since it's just a layout, it's quite rough, lacks polish and is
very simple [it's also my first ever mockup]. The design is inspired by the
concepts behind Ubuntu's unity. It's all about maximising vertical screen
space while using a sidebar to take advantage of the abundance of horizontal
screen space we have on the standard widescreen resolutions of today.

Here is a summary of the proposed changes:

-Unlike the MS Ribbon, the context menu has been left as is but should be
hidden as default on Windows and some Linux distros (should be recallable
using Alt key, through preferences, or right-click of toolbar)

- On Operating Systems where the context menu is integrated into the top
panel (Mac OS and Ubuntu), the menu should remain present as is since there
is no additional screen real estate to be gained from hiding it

-The bottom panel has also been removed but its vital components now exist
in the lower part of the new sidebar (I call it the info panel! Bare in mind
that it's just a concept so it looks pretty rough and needs cleaning up)

-The remaining top panel should be reserved for vital 'File' operations and
other application level options such as access to help and a 'Tools'
dropdown (similar to the 'Wrench' icon in Google's Chromium/Chrome

-The Drawers in the sidebar 'Toolbox' [which I borrowed from a screenshot of
LO Impress] should act as an alternative to Microsoft's ribbon. Features
from the context menu should be graphically represented here and categorized
along with the usual text editing/spreadsheet/presentation features found in
the original toolbars
Here is a link to the mockup:

<>I think that
with some polish and styling there would be quite a few benefits to this

- It would modernise the overall look of libreoffice, differentiating us
from the dated OO and MS Office 1997 - 2003 look and feel.
- The 'drawers' are not a clone of the MS Ribbon but it is consistent with
it, leaving MS converts with an easier job adopting to LO (rather than
sending them back in time to the toolbar interface)
- Users will be able to see more of their documents. At 1440 x 900,  the
sidebar takes up 240 px of abundant horizontal space while freeing up over
100 px of precious vertical space. This is particularly beneficial in Writer
where documents can easily scroll more than 2 metres.
- As you can see from the mockup, there is buckets of space left over in the
sidebar drawers which can be filled with anything that takes our imagine
such as extra large widgets, style shortcuts similar to MS Office etc (I
simply dumped the text formatting icons in here, since this is just a

Please everyone, let me know what your thoughts are! I know people have been
discussing docks and docklet's etc and I'm not disregarding those
suggestions. I'm simply proposing a layout to which features like those as
well as others like tabbed documents could be added.


On 8 June 2011 13:05, Phil Howard <> wrote:

I can imagine a kind of mixture of toolbars/docks/ribbons now. A
toolbar that is resized larger becomes a ribbon, which can be dragged
over to a side to become a dock. One dock (the top one?) fills with
frequently used icons, and the user can drag things onto that.

I like Christian's idea of being able to open a drawer further for the
complete set of actions - since these are the rarely used items, they
need to be in consistent positions. That way the 'ajar' (shallow open)
view can change and show frequently used items, but the fully open
drawer is always consistent.

I do think that a large part of improving UIs is getting rid of
irrelevant things. If nothing is selected, you need to be able to
switch input modes (bold/italics or draw line/shape) or views, or to
insert new objects, but not to edit object properties (delete column).
The converse is true if you have selected something. I think MS were
driving at that with the Ribbon - apart from a different view of the
menus, the Ribbon's difference from the past is showing
context-dependent menus when objects are selected.

One concept I'm very keen on which helps reduce UI glut is localising
controls. Office 2007 introduced local context edit panels - if you
right click on some text, as well as the context menu, a panel appears
with B, U, I etc. Another instance of local controls is 37signals'
tools where hovering over a list item reveals handles to drag-reorder,
delete etc, which disappear when you mouseout. The GIMP and old Unix
window managers had everything (inc File, Edit etc) on a right-click
menu, even when the actions were not context-dependent, which was

I guess I'm saying less is better. So limit what's visible to what's
useable, and localise controls to the object. That leaves just
context-independent tools and mode switches in a dock.

I tried to mock up a toolbar/ribbon/menu but it turned into a bit of a
nesting blob that wouldn't work on small screens. I might try again
with less stuff...

Phil H

On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 1:37 AM, Phil Jackson <> wrote:
Hi Sonic

That's fine! - so long as it is easy enough to view. Just let us know
it is ready.


Phil Jackson

On 6/8/2011 11:26 AM, Sonic Spuds wrote:

On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 5:22 PM, Phil Jackson<>

Hi Christian

Can you do a mock-up of this and give us a link to see what this might

I use something as simple as Paint and then use cut and paste to move
blocks around to get a final design. Quick and easy.


Phil Jackson

On 6/7/2011 10:07 AM, Christian Vielma wrote:

Hi everyone.

My name is Christian Vielma, i'm a Computer Engineer from Venezuela
interested in improving LibreOffice.

I think Fernando's idea could be great, but i would like to see images
how could it be in order to understand better.

I had an idea of using things like "drawers". Those are similar to
MS Office, but you could "open" as many drawers as you want and have
options in the windows or maintain opened only the drawers that you

That could be a good mix with the dock that Fernando commented,
could have a dock with the options you use most and "open drawers" to
for functions that you would like to drag to the dock.

LibreOffice already use things like my idea of drawers, for example in
Impress when you have a side with the presentation design. But i would
to extend it to be drawers instead of menues.

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks in advance.


On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 5:23 PM, Scott Pledger<


 Hey Fernando,

Just so you know, the listserv removes images and attachments
so you'll have to include a link to the photo.  From what I'm
reading/imagining, I think this might be a good idea, so let's not
about it as we continue forward!


On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 20:13, Fernando Andrade


my name is Fernando Andrade, and i have an idea for the graphical


of Libre Office.
It is a little bit based on Mac OS X and Ubuntu, minimalistic
and functional but a lot different of the actual LO interface.
made a step in the right direction in 2007 when they introduced in
market the new interface, although many people didn't like it
people cant use other interface, because the MS Office interface
have eye-candy and is useful and productive.

Now it is time to LO do the changes that will make the difference, i


the concept of a Dock, introduced by Steve Jobs on NextStep, and


to the toolbars. Instead of ugly toolbars or the tabs thing of MS


dock would work nice. But how do i apply a fancy dock like docky on
toolbars, it just don't make sense. Well its just the dock concept,
thing i call docklet.

It works like a dock in the way that we can drag and drop icons to
add functionalities that we need, or drag and drop to remove the
don't need. when clicked a drop down menu appears with the info and
options that we have.

As an example the character related info(Bolted, Italic, Underlined,


size, color, highlight, etc..) in only a small and beutiful menu,
a beautiful icon.

[image: rffff.bmp]

In the picture you can see what i mean, its just the concept of some


the menu can be on a global menu like he ones on MacOS or Ubuntu, on
it could show  on top of the docklet. If you like this concept
to me, i have more idieas and you would need the full concept, this


a raw draw made directly from my brain to the file via ms paint...

Thank you for your time;
Open regards;
Fernando Andrade

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The best way to handel a UI mockup is to work in Inkscape or another
compliant SVG editor. This allows you or  others to make quick tweaks or
fixes to the design, and has the benefit of being basically the same way
the final UI will be built.


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