Date: prev next · Thread: first prev next last
2013 Archives by date, by thread · List index

On 8 June 2013 07:44, Virgil Arrington <> wrote:

As I think about software evolution, there was little consistency back in
the DOS days. For example, Wordstar had its Ctrl-key combinations that were
hard to learn but, once learned, made touch typists *very* proficient.
WordPerfect preferred the Function key commands.

Yes, but people who used WordPerfect extensively (as I did in the
early 1990s) knew all 48 functions (plain function, Shift+function,
Alt+function, Ctrl+function) and were, indeed, very proficient. Even
though I only typed about 90 wpm, I could crank out stuff as quickly
as much faster typists.

Because I knew the function keys, I did not use WordPerfect's menu
card which was designed to sit on the top of the keyboard over the
function keys — but when I was away from my desk people would use my
PC for printing because I had a faster and nicer printer and would
bring their menu card so they could print and whatever else they
needed to do .... and frequently leave it behind. I'd return to my
desk, find the menu card and toss it in the overhead bin — had quite a
collection of those things!

One of the Windows selling points was that all of the programs could have a
consistent UI. All programs followed the same basic menu structure (File,
Edit, Format, Tools, etc.). While each program had its own quirks (page
layout under "File"?), the general consistency of menus made programs
relatively easy to figure out.

I always wondered why MS Word had the Page Format under the File
command instead of under the Format command, but got used to it. Until
the ribbon, I typically used the Alt key plus keystrokes as I do in
LO. It just doesn't make sense to me to move from the keyboard to a
mouse whilst typing text. I've become accustomed to the ribbon (I
teach MS Word classes), and the Alt key plus keystrokes is still
there, but it seems much harder to use. However, I must have (in both
LO and MSO) my keyboard shortcuts and create keyboard shortcuts for
things I frequently use. The more I can keep my fingers over the
keyboard, the better.

More often-used commands could be attached to icons streamlining the

Or to keyboard shortcuts.

But, the icon toolbars, while quick and easy, were never intended
to *replace* the menu structure, just supplement it.

I don't look at it that way. What I stress in all my classes is that
there are multiple ways to do things and none of them are more correct
than the others. I recommend users find a way with which they are most
comfortable and stick with it. I may think it a waste of time to move
my hand to the mouse, move it until my eye picks up the pointer on the
screen, move it to the bold format icon and click on it and then
return to the keyboard (and repeat to turn it bold formatting off),
but that doesn't make it more right. Just as different people have
different ways of learning, I think different people have different
degrees of comfort with the various ways to execute commands.

Toolbars are, by their
nature, very much subject to user preferences. When installing LO, I
immediately customize the toolbars to eliminate icons I never use.

I would encourage everyone to do this. Working with the default
arrangement rarely makes sense. It should be viewed as a starting

T. R. Valentine
Your friends will argue with you. Your enemies don't care.
'When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food
and clothes.' -- Erasmus

To unsubscribe e-mail to:
Posting guidelines + more:
List archive:
All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be deleted


Privacy Policy | Impressum (Legal Info) | Copyright information: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use thereof is explained in our trademark policy.