Command reorg

Reshuffling stuff, cleaning up

The most prominent change in Citrus is the new organization of commands. Commands are now organized into well-defined contextual categories used throughout the whole interface (instead of having different categories for menus and toolbars).

Replacing the menu bar

To be able to use the suite without the menu bar (as is the norm with touch interfaces), everything from the menubar is replicated somewhere within the interface. The insert bar holds commands from “Insert”, the context bar (left part of the toolbar) holds commands related to the selection, the right part of the toolbar holds commands from “Document”, “View”, and optionally “Insert” (i.e. anything dragged here from the insert bar), though most of this is under the overflow menu.

Overflow menu

The overflow menu makes it possible to get to lesser-used commands and to customize the toolbar without using to the menu bar.

Insert bar

The insert bar is used for quickly inserting stuff — shapes, tables, text boxes, etc. It can contain everything the insert menu contains. It can be quickly shown and hidden with a button in the statusbar. Context-related tools that you commonly see in toolboxes (like “edit nodes”) have been moved to the context bar. The eyedropper tool is now a part of the color picker. There’s no “arrow” tool — instead, an “X” icon (that cancels the insertion mode and brings you back to editing mode) appears in the lower left corner. The whole insert bar follows Fitts’s law, and the “cancel” button is especially easy to target, as it’s in a corner.

More shortcuts

Very few menu items currently have shortcuts. This needs to change — we should make sure that most, if not all, menu items have shortcuts, so that things can be done quickly even without toolbar buttons.

10 thoughts on “Command reorg

    1. One for paragraph styles, one for character styles. There are two because you can have a text style within a paragraph style (for example, an “emphasized” element within a caption).
      I’ll think about streamlining this, though.

  1. I just can’t believe someone in 2011 still thinks that contextual menubars is a good idea. Guess what: it _was_ tried. Obviously, it *flopped*. It’s NOT a good idea to create inconsistent menus.

    1. But think about sitting in school and working with Writer. Most students don’t have widescreen monitors in school, but rather netbooks with a very small resolution. Especially Office software has to be comfortable to use on small displays as well.

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