Command Cleanup: Menus and toolbars and fizz, oh my!

Today, LibreOffice organizes commands in a number of ways. Menus, toolbars, sidebars, and dialogs (including the “Customize…” dialog) all sort commands into different categories, which can make it quite difficult to find certain commands under different scenarios. What’s worse, there’s no central place that houses all the currently available commands, so the user might have to browse all the various available UI contraptions to find the command he is looking for.

Last time, I showed you how menus are organized. Well, it turns out that this organization applies not only to menus, but to other parts of Citrus as well, including the context bar (the main toolbar) and fizz. Menus are the central UI for finding commands here: if a command is available, it’s somewhere in the menu hierarchy. Text fizz contains a subset of the commands from the text context bar, which contains a subset of the commands from the Text menu.

So it basically boils down to this: fizz is for really fast access to a select few commands (it’s closest to the pointer, appearing centered above the selection), the context bar holds more commands and is still relatively easy to access, and the menu structure replaces dialog windows for access to more tedious options. Clicking the “ellipses” icon on either the context bar or on fizz shows a menu containing the commands not shown on the bar/fizz, like so:

One can customize fizz or the context bar by dragging an item to or from this “ellipses” menu.

Having commands organized in a singular way should also be a boon to developers: Menus and toolbars and fizz don’t have to be coded separately.

That said, there are areas of this interface for which I’ve received criticism. Notably, because the whole interface is contextual, the “copy” and “cut” items only appear when something is selected, and only under that object’s menu (so if you select text and want to copy it, you go to “Text” > “Copy”). I’m hoping that these commands will be discoverable because they appear in fizz by default:

(Note: the icons would be different. I’m just experimenting with using the standard file manager symbols for copying and moving for the clipboard.)

2 thoughts on “Command Cleanup: Menus and toolbars and fizz, oh my!

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