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Search: useful for finding less common functionality, but not for
common actions. One searches for information, rather than for a tool,
and most people don't know that there's a tool for what they're trying
to do, so they won't even think to search for it. However, combining
search with a search-as-you-type engine that can autocomplete/suggest
tools would allow those who know the name of the tool to get it with a
few characters. A search box at the top of the screen is not
context-sensitive, though, so they could be searching for a tool, or
for a word in the document, or for how to view documents side-by-side.
Re: the bold example, recently found tools could be added to a recent
tools bar, with a little animation. That way the user now has a button
to perform the action on the appropriate chunk of text/cells/object.

Tabs: Look fantastic! In Outlook 2007, you can view two calendars side
by side by clicking a -> button on the tab. In VS2008 you can
right-click the tab and make a new tab group. Personally, I prefer the
-> button as it's more discoverable.

Left/right toolbars: Also excellent. Even 4:3 monitors end up with
load of whitespace to the sides as documents are far longer than they
are wide. For spreadsheets, however, the reverse is often true.
Presentations are even worse, because they are the same shape as the
screen, but you could be editing a 16:9 slide on a 4:3 screen, etc. I
think the key is to minimise the amount of stuff we actually present
to the user; everyone runs out of screen space sometimes, particularly
when viewing things side-by-side, transcribing, opening emails, etc.

One dock I would love to see is a copy/paste dock, showing recently
copied items as well as the straightforward Copy/Paste/Paste special,
and also automatic creation of common Paste Special links. Having said
that, Word 2007's post-paste context dropdown that lets you modify the
paste after the fact is brilliant, because it's usually at that moment
that you realise you wanted to paste it differently. The paste dock
could let you select something to paste and then optionally preview
the different paste specials by rolling over them.

Context menus: I would like paragraphs to get translucent handles that
can be clicked/hovered over to change the paragraph options (mockup ,
inkscape .svg there too). That dispenses with the paragraph dialog.
Repeat for images, etc. In a spreadsheet, Calc could recognise an
ad-hoc table or the current selection and provide a similar handle to
perform actions on the block. The more we can make context-sensitive
and non-modal interfaces, the better prepared LO becomes for
multi-user multi-touch interfaces; one user can select some shapes in
one corner and perform a union while another user edits some text
elsewhere. Because there are no dialogs, there is no focus/mode fight
between the different users.

Hillar, I couldn't see what those mockups were showing.

For now though, tabs that you can push to the side to compare,
docks/drawers and a copy/paste dock.


On Sun, Jun 12, 2011 at 3:53 AM, Patrick Scott <> wrote:
Hi Christian!

I like the search idea, it's interesting and I think it should probably
looked at in more detail at some point. However, the funny thing about
search it's kind of tricky to implement because you need to second guess
what the user actually wants to do. A search function for UI commands hasn't
really been done before [that I know of] so it's hard to imagine how it
should work. Take the simple example, a user has his cursor positioned half
way through line 3 of his document in writer and he wants to start typing in
bold. He doesn't know the UI too well so he types bold into the search box
and the bold command pops up. He clicks that and wants to start typing in
bold but his cursor is no longer in place since he just moved focus to the
search box. That's not very nice behaviour and of the thousands of commands
in LO there are probably a lot that don't quite fit with search for a
variety of reasons like this. In the end, I'm not sure if the benefits of
search to the user would warrant the effort it would take to implement. I
wouldn't rule out search, I'm just not sold yet.

As for left sided sidebar vs right sided toolbar, that's a good point you
make about unity users. With the near infinite variety of different users
and configurations out there, there are also going to be some upset with a
decision left or right decision like this one. If LO does go down the
sidebar route, the side which the sidebar sits on should probably be
made configurable since most people would have their own preference on
this. You're correct that Manual Searching is a feature of tabs, ribbons and
drawers. The best we can do about that is to make sure that everything is in
it's most logical place! ;-)

Some great discussions flowing on this list. Loving my first week here!


On 12 June 2011 02:54, Christian Vielma <> wrote:


Patricks mockup is very similar to Calligra (which i liked too). But i
thinkthe search button and a easy configurable toolbar would be great. Also
i think the left side options could interfere with unity, and i think it
could have the same "lack" of the tabs in MSO because if you are
changing between the options, you will be making extra/unnecessary clicks
activating the menu and then making the clic.

Anyway, i think the evolution of LO interface should be in this direction,
using those spaces on the sides.\

Best regards,

On Sat, Jun 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM, Alexander Wilms


I really like Patricks mockup (, I had a
similar Idea. The toolbar shoud contain only the basic features and the
sidebar would show context-sensitive options, eg. the text formatting or
diagram options. I also made a mockup:
In the mockup I additionally removed all those unneccesary dark lines to
achieve a cleaner look.


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Christian Vielma

"Somos lo que hacemos día a día.
De modo que la excelencia no es un acto, sino un hábito" - Aristóteles

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