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Hi Christoph :) - Nice to see you!

Hi all,

Christoph Noack wrote on 20-08-15 15:39:

Am Mittwoch, den 19.08.2015, 13:48 +0000 schrieb Katarina Behrens:
Hello world, 

I started this discussion, so it's about time I also contribute
something to it:


The main issue I have with status quo is this duality between "File 
-> Printer settings" and "File -> Print -> $some_printer ->
Properties". In other words,  settings of the printer and
document/page-specific settings that can be (and often are) entirely

Yep, printing is a complicated task.
With a new printer or in a print shop that I only visit occasionally, I
always seek advice for settings.

In LibreOffice, the 'order' to know (as far as I understand) is:

1 - Default printer for document  (File > Printer settings)

2 - Page settings in page style
  * page format and default paper tray for default printer

3 - Print-what options (File > Print > LibreOffice $Application
    (and Tools > $Application > Print )
  * hide/show certain content, color/bw, automatically inserted
    blanc pages
  (* but also 'print-where': [ ]paper tray from printer settings
    (same as in page style. I expect, options is General, and
    Page style has preference)  )
  (* and also 'print-how': [ ] brochure  )

4 - Print-how options (File > Print > Options, partly)
  * adaption of size, multi page

5 - Print-where options (File > Printer > Properties and
    File > Print > Options, partly)

As far as I remember earlier discussions, it exists for two "reasons":
   1. Change printer / document print options without actually printing
      something (e.g. for getting access to printer trays in page format
      settings for non-default printers).

This still is valid. And IMO in the proper place, in the file menu.

Then, things like tdf#92676 
( happen --
user goes to printer settings, sets something up, saves and thinks
this is how his document's going to be printed, but it ain't the
case, because the document/page settings will be used instead.

As far as I am aware, the most problems by far are indeed with the
experienced conflict between Page style (size/orientation) and Printer

There's of course this "use only paper * from printer preferences"
checkbox that makes it possible to override document settings with
printer settings, but how many users know about it?

So, ugly UX hack (sorry for even daring to suggest ;) ):
In the File > Print dialog, on the first Tab (General) add below the
list Printer en > details, a button: "..printer settings in stead of
document/page settings" leading to the fourth tab (Options)
 - shows where to find the desired behavior (well, not really - see
Christophs remark below)
 - indicates that there are document/page settings.
 - on the fourth tab (Options) ad a button: "learn more on page settings
and influence on printing) or something like that.

I know, I'll burn in hell for this ugly suggestion, but... it directly
shows what is needed to solve majority of printing problems.

It rather makes me think of: why should they? I quickly tested the use
case above (changing the page orientation in the printer preferences)
but Calc's output was unusable (because being cut-off).

=== 1. LibO Printing UI ===

The LibO printing UI is cluttered and distributes (similar)
functionality within different dialogs. Aim: One print preview,
simplified access to print options.
To me, this clean-up would require:
 * Harmonize the document Print Options (e.g. "Print text as black")
   from the printing dialog ("File -- Print... -- $option) and LibO
   options dialog ("

See my #3 above.

 * Remove "File -- Printer Settings...". Plus, to enable access to non
   -default printer trays, add printer selection capabilities to the
   page layout dialogs ("Format -- Page -- Page: Paper Tray").

Would be fine for me.
Mind this allows (via page styles) directing different pages of one file
to different printers :)

 * If possible, remove "File -- Print Preview...". Move required
   functionality (e.g. display facing pages) to the print preview in
   the print dialog.

Apart from missing details because the view is small, it totally misses
the options that File > Print preview for Calc.
So this is not going to work from that side.
(Possibly there are also performance differences: current preview in
File > Print <> File > Print Preview ?)

=== 2. Document Page Settings vs. Printer Page Preferences ===

As the article by Microsoft suggests, we may not address all issues
related to page layout. Especially since LibO offers the capability to
define numerous page layouts in the document - the printer preferences
just offer one definition per print job.

I miss the real needs by users, 

I guess direct to another tray with same orientation, but different type
of paper..

so I haven't a clear solution preference - just options:

Option #1: Remove page size and portrait settings from the printer's
 * Pro: Easy to achieve
 * Con: Things can still go wrong (e.g. printer settings by OS). We need
   to make users aware of issues we can identify (e.g. wrong page format)
   and inform them -> see idea of Info Bar in print dialog

Indeed, see my UX-hack before.

Option #2: Extend #1 by access to document page layout options (like
"Format -- Page...") via e.g. button
 * Pro: Direct access to document options
 * Con: Different page layouts different to understand

and the risk for changing a lot in the document, if applied without
proper thought..

Option #3: Re-arrange print dialog to directly contain and use (e.g.)
page size and portrait settings.
 * Pro: Improved WYSIWYG
 * Con: Technical feasibility? Effort?
 * Details (examples for a UI control for page orientation):
    * If the document print range contains only "Portrait" pages, pre
      -select "Portrait".
    * If the document print range contains only "Landscape" pages, pre
      -select "Landscape".
    * If the document print range contains both Portrait and Landscape
      pages, show "Automatic". (Document settings are used)

Looks attractive. But indeed, may need much effort.

    * If the user changes the setting, the new setting is applied to
      the whole print range (as if the user would have changed the
      document page layout, and its aligned with the printer setting).

This results in the same as tick "use only paper * from printer

      Per default, this setting is valid for the given print dialog
      session only. Per user demand, the setting can be applied to the
      document settings (image something like a "make setting sticky"
      appearing after the user changed the default selection).

I would not support this.
It may cause unexpected problems in the document.
And look at my UX-hack: that puts emphasis on showing how the printing
actually works at the same moment that the user wants to change Portrait
to Landscape.. What is the most faced problem.

    * Special case for Calc ("Print Selection"): "Automatic" will pre
      -select the orientation that makes most sense for the given

    * Examples

=== 3. Enable Proper Saving and Loading of Document Print Options ===

As previously explained, once the document print options are sorted
out, they should be properly saved and loaded.

I miss an overview of (cant find easily) what isn't stored, and what
settings influence it.


Cor Nouws
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