Improving printing UX

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Katarina Behrens Katarina Behrens
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Improving printing UX

Hey there,

tl;dr - I'm looking for ideas how to improve $subject

So I've recently tried to fix tdf#91362 [1] but I'm not really happy with the
solution I was able to come up with and I'd like to have some more input from
real humans :) how to improve printing experience in LibO ...

In the past, there was tdf#61186 [2] that addressed some LibO printing
nastiness, such as

* File -> Printer settings used to contain the settings of the last page that
happened to be printed and not the actual settings of the printer
* Whatever was set in File -> Printer Settings didn't stick
* There was no way to say that we actually want to override document settings
and print on a paper size specified by a printer

tdf#91362 now complains about the following scenario:
* Format -> Page -> set paper format e.g. to Legal
* Go to File -> Print -> Properties
* Howl, because you see e.g. US Letter here (or whatever's default on your
printer, in your locale) and not what is actually going to be printed instead
* Click Print and see the printer asking you to insert a paper in Legal format

Basically whatever the user sets in File ->Print -> Properties (unless they
specify in File -> Print -> Options tab, that they want to use only the paper
size from the printer prefs) is going to be ignored and the page settings are
going to be used instead.

I tried to address those issues by
* actually showing the settings of current printing job in File -> Print ->
Properties -
* but only if it is not specifically overridden by the user going to File ->
Printer Settings and saving their own settings there [3]
* disabling paper and orientation list boxes if 'use only paper size from
printer preferences' is not specified [4]

But even after all this (or maybe thanks to all this *grin*) the printing in
LibO is rather confusing, off-putting user experience and it is totally unclear
what's actually going to be printed.

I'd be grateful for any input and ideas -- maybe we can somehow rearrange UI?
Change its behaviour slightly? (I can think e.g. about moving this 'use only
paper size from printer' checkbox away from 'Options' tab page to some more
prominent place, as it is rather well hidden there, for example)

How do other office suites do it?

Thanks

[1] https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=91362
[2] https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=61186
[3] https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/#/c/16716/
[4] https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/#/c/16812/
--

Katarina Behrens

Softwareentwicklerin LibreOffice
–––
CIB software GmbH
Geschäftsstelle Hamburg
Flachsland 10
22083 Hamburg
–––
T +49 (40) / 28 48 42 -235
F +49 (40) / 28 48 42 -100

[hidden email]
www.cib.de
–––
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Registergericht München, HRB 123286
Geschäftsführer: Dipl.-Ing. Ulrich Brandner

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yphilips yphilips
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Re: Improving printing UX

Hey Katarina and all,

Not sure if this is 100% relevant, but was something i was thinking
about last week.

I've been wondering why we dont rely on the OS's print dialog rather
than LO's internal one. It was something that came to mind as Heiko and
I discussed dialogs for the HIG and the general rule is that dialogs
should always utilize the OS's default dialogs, so that it LO integrates
better with a user's OS.

In LO 3.4ish, we moved from using LO's internal file management dialogs
to the OS's, so why didnt we do the same with the print dialog? I also
couldnt find an option in the Options dialog to tell LO to use the OS's
print dialog.

Regards,
Jay

On 07/07/2015 07:35 PM, Katarina Behrens wrote:

> Hey there,
>
> tl;dr - I'm looking for ideas how to improve $subject
>
> So I've recently tried to fix tdf#91362 [1] but I'm not really happy with the
> solution I was able to come up with and I'd like to have some more input from
> real humans :) how to improve printing experience in LibO ...
>
> In the past, there was tdf#61186 [2] that addressed some LibO printing
> nastiness, such as
>
> * File -> Printer settings used to contain the settings of the last page that
> happened to be printed and not the actual settings of the printer
> * Whatever was set in File -> Printer Settings didn't stick
> * There was no way to say that we actually want to override document settings
> and print on a paper size specified by a printer
>
> tdf#91362 now complains about the following scenario:
> * Format -> Page -> set paper format e.g. to Legal
> * Go to File -> Print -> Properties
> * Howl, because you see e.g. US Letter here (or whatever's default on your
> printer, in your locale) and not what is actually going to be printed instead
> * Click Print and see the printer asking you to insert a paper in Legal format
>
> Basically whatever the user sets in File ->Print -> Properties (unless they
> specify in File -> Print -> Options tab, that they want to use only the paper
> size from the printer prefs) is going to be ignored and the page settings are
> going to be used instead.
>
> I tried to address those issues by
> * actually showing the settings of current printing job in File -> Print ->
> Properties -
> * but only if it is not specifically overridden by the user going to File ->
> Printer Settings and saving their own settings there [3]
> * disabling paper and orientation list boxes if 'use only paper size from
> printer preferences' is not specified [4]
>
> But even after all this (or maybe thanks to all this *grin*) the printing in
> LibO is rather confusing, off-putting user experience and it is totally unclear
> what's actually going to be printed.
>
> I'd be grateful for any input and ideas -- maybe we can somehow rearrange UI?
> Change its behaviour slightly? (I can think e.g. about moving this 'use only
> paper size from printer' checkbox away from 'Options' tab page to some more
> prominent place, as it is rather well hidden there, for example)
>
> How do other office suites do it?
>
> Thanks
>
> [1] https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=91362
> [2] https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=61186
> [3] https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/#/c/16716/
> [4] https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/#/c/16812/
>

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Michael Stahl-2 Michael Stahl-2
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Re: Improving printing UX

On 09.07.2015 00:44, Jay Philips wrote:

> Hey Katarina and all,
>
> Not sure if this is 100% relevant, but was something i was thinking
> about last week.
>
> I've been wondering why we dont rely on the OS's print dialog rather
> than LO's internal one. It was something that came to mind as Heiko and
> I discussed dialogs for the HIG and the general rule is that dialogs
> should always utilize the OS's default dialogs, so that it LO integrates
> better with a user's OS.

that would require the OS print dialog to have the features we need.

somebody investigated using the native GTK print dialog some years ago
but it was not possible to put all the options required to configure
spreadsheet printing onto it, so the idea was shelved.



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Katarina Behrens Katarina Behrens
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by yphilips
Hi *

> I've been wondering why we dont rely on the OS's print dialog rather
> than LO's internal one. It was something that came to mind as Heiko and
> I discussed dialogs for the HIG and the general rule is that dialogs
> should always utilize the OS's default dialogs, so that it LO integrates
> better with a user's OS.

I didn't expect this kind of answer tbh :o)

I was more looking for ideas how to improve status quo. Anyway -- I looked
more closely at how print dialog in my (K)DE looks like and it's kinda slim,
minimalistic, yet very usable. But then again, I'm a home user.

I can imagine that a company printing several hundred pages of business
correspondence per day or, dunno, a school printing their own brochures would
be very unhappy about feature loss if LibO switched to platform default
dialogs.

> In LO 3.4ish, we moved from using LO's internal file management dialogs
> to the OS's, so why didnt we do the same with the print dialog?

The above is most likely answer to this "why?"

--

Katarina Behrens

Softwareentwicklerin LibreOffice
–––
CIB software GmbH
Geschäftsstelle Hamburg
Flachsland 10
22083 Hamburg
–––
T +49 (40) / 28 48 42 -235
F +49 (40) / 28 48 42 -100

[hidden email]
www.cib.de
–––
Sitz: München
Registergericht München, HRB 123286
Geschäftsführer: Dipl.-Ing. Ulrich Brandner

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Rosmaninho Rosmaninho
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Re: Improving printing UX

The problem with using the OS print dialog is that some print may lack
options that LO needs.
I would stick with a LO print dialog. I even consider the current dialog
more intuitive than MSO 07 dialog.

On Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 9:48 AM, Katarina Behrens <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi *
>
> > I've been wondering why we dont rely on the OS's print dialog rather
> > than LO's internal one. It was something that came to mind as Heiko and
> > I discussed dialogs for the HIG and the general rule is that dialogs
> > should always utilize the OS's default dialogs, so that it LO integrates
> > better with a user's OS.
>
> I didn't expect this kind of answer tbh :o)
>
> I was more looking for ideas how to improve status quo. Anyway -- I looked
> more closely at how print dialog in my (K)DE looks like and it's kinda
> slim,
> minimalistic, yet very usable. But then again, I'm a home user.
>
> I can imagine that a company printing several hundred pages of business
> correspondence per day or, dunno, a school printing their own brochures
> would
> be very unhappy about feature loss if LibO switched to platform default
> dialogs.
>
> > In LO 3.4ish, we moved from using LO's internal file management dialogs
> > to the OS's, so why didnt we do the same with the print dialog?
>
> The above is most likely answer to this "why?"
>
> --
>
> Katarina Behrens
>
> Softwareentwicklerin LibreOffice
> –––
> CIB software GmbH
> Geschäftsstelle Hamburg
> Flachsland 10
> 22083 Hamburg
> –––
> T +49 (40) / 28 48 42 -235
> F +49 (40) / 28 48 42 -100
>
> [hidden email]
> www.cib.de
> –––
> Sitz: München
> Registergericht München, HRB 123286
> Geschäftsführer: Dipl.-Ing. Ulrich Brandner
>
> --
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Michel RENON-2 Michel RENON-2
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by yphilips
Hi,

Le 09/07/2015 00:44, Jay Philips a écrit :

> Hey Katarina and all,
>
> Not sure if this is 100% relevant, but was something i was thinking
> about last week.
>
> I've been wondering why we dont rely on the OS's print dialog rather
> than LO's internal one. It was something that came to mind as Heiko and
> I discussed dialogs for the HIG and the general rule is that dialogs
> should always utilize the OS's default dialogs, so that it LO integrates
> better with a user's OS.
>
> In LO 3.4ish, we moved from using LO's internal file management dialogs
> to the OS's, so why didnt we do the same with the print dialog?


Because LO is several years old :-)
Let's come back to the OOo timeframe (~2009) :

from https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Printerpullpages :
"A new printing UI should give us better performance, more ease of use
and overall more customer satisfaction. New features like the instant
preview in a print dialog as well as unified N-Up printing for all
applications will bring OOo's print experience more up to current
standards. Additionally system integration can benefit by making use of
native print dialogs (for which the MacOSX implementation will be the
prime example)."

All subpages are *very* interesting from a design point of view :
(here are 2 with visuals)
https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Printerpullpages/History_of_Design_Development
[this page is fantastic :
- you can easily see the evolution of proposals ; no need for gdoc ;-)
- just check how precise/complete proposals are ! we should have the
same level of details in our current proposals
]

https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Printerpullpages/Design_Proposals

As you can read, it was a huge work (design and dev) and the result is
quite good.


So I think it actually makes no sense to come back to OS's print
dialogs. Maybe add an exception to your rule ? :-)


Michel


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Jean-Baptiste Faure-3 Jean-Baptiste Faure-3
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by yphilips
Hi,

Le 09/07/2015 00:44, Jay Philips a écrit :
> [...] I also couldnt find an option in the Options dialog to tell LO to use the OS's
> print dialog.

Until the version 4.3 this option was under Tools > Options >
LibreOffice > General.
If you unchecked "Use LibreOffice dialogs" under "Print dialogs" then
you used OS dialogs.

I do not know why this option has been removed from options dialog in LO
4.4. It is still available in expert configuration, search
"UseSystemPrintDialog" which is set to false by default.

Best regards.
JBF

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Heiko Tietze Heiko Tietze
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Michel RENON-2
On Thursday 09 July 2015, 12:02:06 Michel RENON wrote:
> Maybe add an exception to your rule ? :-)

Every rule needs an exception. :-)

Looks like all cards are on the table; thanks for the references, Michel.
What's your schedule, Katarina? Do we have as much time as the prior art took?

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Papamatti-2 Papamatti-2
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by yphilips
Hey Jay, hey all

in my opinion using the OS's print dialog isn't a good idea, because it
would be a support nightmare for every admin. There are so many desktops
and OS's out there and the print dialoges differs each other.

The print dialog has to be the same on all systems - the output should
be the same and of course the use, the way of getting to this same
output of the output dialog on each desktop.

Filemanagement dialog as opposite should use the dialog of the
underlying OS, because of the different file system behavior and
structures on different OS's. (Linux/Mac is very different to Win)

Regards,
Matthias

Am 09.07.2015 um 00:44 schrieb Jay Philips:

> Hey Katarina and all,
>
> Not sure if this is 100% relevant, but was something i was thinking
> about last week.
>
> I've been wondering why we dont rely on the OS's print dialog rather
> than LO's internal one. It was something that came to mind as Heiko and
> I discussed dialogs for the HIG and the general rule is that dialogs
> should always utilize the OS's default dialogs, so that it LO integrates
> better with a user's OS.
>
> In LO 3.4ish, we moved from using LO's internal file management dialogs
> to the OS's, so why didnt we do the same with the print dialog? I also
> couldnt find an option in the Options dialog to tell LO to use the OS's
> print dialog.
>
> Regards,
> Jay
>
> On 07/07/2015 07:35 PM, Katarina Behrens wrote:
>> Hey there,
>>
>> tl;dr - I'm looking for ideas how to improve $subject
>>
>> So I've recently tried to fix tdf#91362 [1] but I'm not really happy
>> with the
>> solution I was able to come up with and I'd like to have some more
>> input from
>> real humans :) how to improve printing experience in LibO ...
>>
>> In the past, there was tdf#61186 [2] that addressed some LibO printing
>> nastiness, such as
>>
>> * File -> Printer settings used to contain the settings of the last
>> page that
>> happened to be printed and not the actual settings of the printer
>> * Whatever was set in File -> Printer Settings didn't stick
>> * There was no way to say that we actually want to override document
>> settings
>> and print on a paper size specified by a printer
>>
>> tdf#91362 now complains about the following scenario:
>> * Format -> Page -> set paper format e.g. to Legal
>> * Go to File -> Print -> Properties
>> * Howl, because you see e.g. US Letter here (or whatever's default on
>> your
>> printer, in your locale) and not what is actually going to be printed
>> instead
>> * Click Print and see the printer asking you to insert a paper in
>> Legal format
>>
>> Basically whatever the user sets in File ->Print -> Properties (unless
>> they
>> specify in File -> Print -> Options tab, that they want to use only
>> the paper
>> size from the printer prefs) is going to be ignored and the page
>> settings are
>> going to be used instead.
>>
>> I tried to address those issues by
>> * actually showing the settings of current printing job in File ->
>> Print ->
>> Properties -
>> * but only if it is not specifically overridden by the user going to
>> File ->
>> Printer Settings and saving their own settings there [3]
>> * disabling paper and orientation list boxes if 'use only paper size from
>> printer preferences' is not specified [4]
>>
>> But even after all this (or maybe thanks to all this *grin*) the
>> printing in
>> LibO is rather confusing, off-putting user experience and it is
>> totally unclear
>> what's actually going to be printed.
>>
>> I'd be grateful for any input and ideas -- maybe we can somehow
>> rearrange UI?
>> Change its behaviour slightly? (I can think e.g. about moving this
>> 'use only
>> paper size from printer' checkbox away from 'Options' tab page to some
>> more
>> prominent place, as it is rather well hidden there, for example)
>>
>> How do other office suites do it?
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>> [1] https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=91362
>> [2] https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=61186
>> [3] https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/#/c/16716/
>> [4] https://gerrit.libreoffice.org/#/c/16812/
>>
>


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Thorsten Behrens Thorsten Behrens
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Heiko Tietze
Heiko Tietze wrote:
> What's your schedule, Katarina? Do we have as much time as the prior
> art took?
>
Let's put it that way - the current attention of that topic could be
used for some quick iterative improvements. ;)

Cheers,

-- Thorsten

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Heiko Tietze Heiko Tietze
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Re: Improving printing UX

To start the discussion I prepared a pad with the basics (needs some work though) and two alternative workflows/designs with mockups. Please comment the hell out of these ideas (either comment via speech bubble icon or just add text). Perhaps it's good to have a hangout too...

http://pad.documentfoundation.org/p/UX-PrintDialog

I add Christoph as the usability expert of the previous/current layout. Initial question is here http://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/design/msg07254.html

Cheers,
Heiko.

Am 19.07.2015 23:28:56, schrieb Thorsten Behrens:

> Heiko Tietze wrote:
> > What's your schedule, Katarina? Do we have as much time as the prior
> > art took?
> >
> Let's put it that way - the current attention of that topic could be
> used for some quick iterative improvements. ;)
>
> Cheers,
>
> -- Thorsten





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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: Improving printing UX

Hi all!

Am Montag, den 27.07.2015, 15:19 +0000 schrieb Heiko Tietze:
> To start the discussion I prepared a pad with the basics (needs some
> work though) and two alternative workflows/designs with mockups.
> Please comment the hell out of these ideas (either comment via speech
> bubble icon or just add text). Perhaps it's good to have a hangout
> too...
>
> http://pad.documentfoundation.org/p/UX-PrintDialog

Thanks! I've added some remarks and commented issue #67905.

> I add Christoph as the usability expert of the previous/current
> layout. Initial question is here
> http://listarchives.libreoffice.org/global/design/msg07254.html

Well, to me, the described issues are based on / caused by a combination
of (statements based on PPP "printerpullpages" work - see extensive
documentation at [1]):
      * I was told (by the former developer) that OOo is unable to
        directly connect with certain printer settings (e.g. page
        format) / information (e.g. printer status). Rationale: Effort
        for handling  different platforms and individual printer
        (drivers).
      * Due to LibO's complexity and complexity of printing in general
        (e.g. handling page style related page settings incl. printer
        tray VS. single separate printer setting) we run into a number
        of issues. First ideas to address these issues (e.g. inform the
        user) have been deferred/altered due to developer time
        constraints - see proposals [2] and [3].
      * Due to limited resources, the harmonization of different printer
        related features has been (guess what, sigh) deferred. For
        example:
              * "File - Printer Settings" still exists (looking and
                behaving totally different).
              * "Tools - Options... - LibreOffice - Print Options"
      * Print options (e.g. for Writer) are only partly saved in
        documents and therefore only partly restored. See the initial
        analysis at [4] (and [5]). Hasn't been addressed yet (guess
        why :-).
      * Add some bugs (e.g. on my system, specifying "A3" in the page
        style, using the printer setting "A4", finally results in
        "Letter" shown above the preview in the printer dialog)

All adds up to a messy printing experience for quite some use cases
(although I still think that PPP was a step in the right direction).

> Am 19.07.2015 23:28:56, schrieb Thorsten Behrens:
> > Heiko Tietze wrote:
> > > What's your schedule, Katarina? Do we have as much time as the prior
> > > art took?
> > >
> > Let's put it that way - the current attention of that topic could be
> > used for some quick iterative improvements. ;)

Some quick improvements will help, but I think we have to discuss how
LibO handles printing UI wise (the print dialog being only one part in
the game). I'm happy to add some proposals (after getting some sleep) -
just tell me if there is still interest.

Cheers,
Christoph

[1] Printerpullpages Overview
https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Printerpullpages

[2] Idea for showing "print related issues"
https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Printerpullpages/ContextualInformation 

[3] Idea for showing "page size issues"
https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/File:2009-12-06_PrintingDialog_Idea_ShowPageSize1.png

[4] Print settings stored in files
https://wiki.openoffice.org/w/images/3/3e/Current_PrintingOptions_SettingsInDocumentFiles.odt

[5] Dialog options / controls overview
https://wiki.openoffice.org/w/images/e/e2/Current_Dialogs_ListOfAllPrintDialogElements.ods


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Alex Thurgood Alex Thurgood
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Katarina Behrens
Le 07/07/2015 17:35, Katarina Behrens a écrit :

Hi Katrina,

>
> How do other office suites do it?
>

On Mac, as far as I can tell, Keynote/Pages/Numbers and MS Office use
what the OS provides, i.e. they directly call the OS print dialog in all
of the options available to the selected printer.

At present LO seems to call a subset of the total printer options
available for any given printer in its "own" version of the OSX print
dialog. For example, if psnup is supported by the printer and available
in the native OSX print dialog in other apps, this doesn't show up in
the LO print dialog.

MS Word on Mac, for example, knows (probably due to some system
notification) when a given printer is offline, and will offer up another
connected printer instead, if one has been configured and is available.
LO will quite happily send the print job to the offline printer...


Alex


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Katarina Behrens Katarina Behrens
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RE: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Heiko Tietze
Hello world,

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

> To start the discussion I prepared a pad with the basics (needs some work
> though) and two alternative workflows/designs with mockups. Please comment
> the hell out of these ideas (either comment via speech bubble icon or just
> add text). Perhaps it's good to have a hangout too...

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 different.

An equivalent of "File -> Printer settings" doesn't seem to exist in MSO, for example (or it does but I'm not so very good at searching). When I asked on IRC why it exists in LibO, I was only told that it sets up some stuff that can't be set up elsewhere *grin*

Then, things like tdf#92676
(https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=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.

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?

Giving it a more prominent place on title page like in Heiko's mockup is a step in the right direction, but ideally, it should be possible to toggle it also in printer settings ('use those settings when printing all documents' or sth along that line).

In another example, when the document settings are used (i.e. not overriden by printer settings), user goes to "File -> Print -> $some_printer -> Properties", changes something e.g. paper size, page orientation and thinks this is what is going to be printed, but again, it ain't the case ...

So I've disabled those controls (paper size and orientation) in 5.0 and newer, but I'm not so sure it was the right thing to do ...

... and what would be the right thing to do instead? Just take user's settings and override document settings with those, even if it means the document will come out cropped/distorted (due to paper size too small, wrong paper orientation etc.) ? I guess this is what MSO does, but didn't really test ....
 
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Katarina Behrens Katarina Behrens
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RE: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Christoph Noack
... and totally unrelated to design part of the things ...

>       * Print options (e.g. for Writer) are only partly saved in
>         documents and therefore only partly restored. See the initial
>         analysis at [4] (and [5]). Hasn't been addressed yet (guess
>         why :-).

this ^^^ is rather easy to fix. At least for ODF format, with the limitation that it'll be stored in a part of ODF container that is fully honoured by LibreOffice, but not (or not necessarilly) by other ODF consumers/viewers. Didn't investigate other format (OOXML etc.) + not so sure if there would even be demand for that.

How up-to-date is that table?
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F +49 (40) / 28 48 42 -100

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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Katarina Behrens
> Hi all!

And, Katarina, great to "hear" you again :-)


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
> different.

Some trouble can be avoided, some can't (but nevertheless there are
ways to better support our users). Since printing is that complex, I'd
like to break down the issues (so please bear with me).


> An equivalent of "File -> Printer settings" doesn't seem to exist in
> MSO, for example (or it does but I'm not so very good at searching).
> When I asked on IRC why it exists in LibO, I was only told that it
> sets up some stuff that can't be set up elsewhere *grin*

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).
   2. Access to document related print settings if OOo (at that time) used
      the print dialog of the OS instead of showing the built-in dialog.
      Similar (but not identical) settings are available via "Tools -
      Options - $component - Print".

Word handles/handled that a bit differently. However, also Word runs
into issues if e.g. the document page layout is different to printer
settings. Here is an interesting article by Microsoft:
    The printer settings are ignored when you print a Word document
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/904805


> Then, things like tdf#92676
> (https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=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.

Thanks for the pointer. I think such use cases need special treatment,
since Calc works technically correct - but users expect different
behavior. Unfortunately, the (usually great logical structure) of LibO
makes the page orientation setting hard to discover.


> 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?

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).

So, finally, breaking down the issues of printing (omitting OS printing
dialogs)...


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


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

Option #1: Remove page size and portrait settings from the printer's
preferences.
 * 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

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

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)
    * 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).
      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).
    * Special case for Calc ("Print Selection"): "Automatic" will pre
      -select the orientation that makes most sense for the given
      selection.
    * Examples
            (Landscape used in print range)
            +-------------------------------------------------------+            | LANDSCAPE                                             |
            | Uses format of document page layout                   |
            +-------------------------------------------------------+

(Different orientations used in print range)
+-------------------------------------------------------+| AUTOMATIC                                             |
| Uses format of document page layout                   |
+-------------------------------------------------------+

(User manually changed setting)
+-------------------------------------------------------+
| LANDSCAPE                                             |
| Temporarily applied to all printed pages              |
+-------------------------------------------------------+
[ ] Save selected orientation for whole document      (i)

 * Details (for page size, needs further refinement): The UI control
   might show "Automatic" if all document defined sizes are available.
   If not (e.g. pages need to be scaled down), the UI control might
   provide an additional hint/warning.

            (Different page sizes in print range, supported by printer)
            +-------------------------------------------------------+            | AUTOMATIC                                             |
            | Uses format of document page layout                   |
            +-------------------------------------------------------+

            (Only page size A4 in print range, supported by printer)
            +-------------------------------------------------------+            | DIN A4                                                |
            | Uses format of document page layout                   |
            +-------------------------------------------------------+

(Different page sizes, partly unsupported by printer)
+-------------------------------------------------------+
| AUTOMATIC                                             |
| /!\ Paper size mismatch! Some pages are scaled down.  |
+-------------------------------------------------------+


Mmh, finally looking at it, Option #3 makes most sense to me. It
provides WYSIWYG with regard to the print output, it allows temporary
changes (it even has some smartness when looking at printing selected
cells), it provides to save the values, and the UI itself might be
quite understandable (a guess, of course).

By the way, recent MS Office versions let the user also select printer
settings (e.g. page orientation) in the printer dialog ("backstage
view") and will apply changes automatically. I didn't test it (missing
software), but read it - so I don't know behavior details.


=== 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. (see your separate mail,
maybe I'm unable answer today...).

[...]
> ... and what would be the right thing to do instead? Just take user's
> settings and override document settings with those, even if it means
> the document will come out cropped/distorted (due to paper size too
> small, wrong paper orientation etc.) ? I guess this is what MSO does,
> but didn't really test ....

So, lots of information and ideas. Most of them don't "interfere" with
the ideas to make the print dialog more understandable.

Comments highly appreciated ...

Cheers,
Christoph

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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Katarina Behrens
Hi again!

Am Mittwoch, den 19.08.2015, 13:59 +0000 schrieb Katarina Behrens:

> ... and totally unrelated to design part of the things ...
>
> >       * Print options (e.g. for Writer) are only partly saved in
> >         documents and therefore only partly restored. See the
> > initial
> >         analysis at [4] (and [5]). Hasn't been addressed yet (guess
> >         why :-).
>
> this ^^^ is rather easy to fix. At least for ODF format, with the
> limitation that it'll be stored in a part of ODF container that is
> fully honoured by LibreOffice, but not (or not necessarilly) by other
> ODF consumers/viewers. Didn't investigate other format (OOXML etc.) +
> not so sure if there would even be demand for that.

I quickly checked a recent ODT document (LibO 4.4.5.2, Fedora 21) and
found two configuration settings missing in the document created 2009.
Thus, it seems that things moved forward (cool!). Nevertheless, I
haven't had the time to check thoroughly.

A the moment, I'd like to wait for further feedback to my other mail
dealing with the print issues.

Have a nice evening!
Christoph

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Heiko Tietze Heiko Tietze
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Christoph Noack
Hi all,

as an average user or rather Benjamin like beginner I'm quite confused. What I expect is a good preview which feds back what is being sent to the printer. In particular if my footnotes fits onto A4, whether all columns are shown in landscape view, or if my color cartridge is really not used. In case of letter size I want the printer to either scale my document or print as it is. This option belongs to LO: [x] Scale output depending on paper size (depends on printer capabilities). Landscape vs portrait is just a rotation question to me - sounds pretty easy to achieve.

In general I would make the application rather easier to use than adding more features and expceptions (by default; there might be expert settings hidden somewhere). So removing the additional printer settings as well as harmonizing the previews sounds like a good idea.

About save and restore printer settings with the document I guess you have in mind that documents are shared and handled on different workplaces. So settings made once might not be relevant the next time. It's more important to have the printer settings stored for a particular workplace, let's say at home I want to save color so printing should be done in always b/w. And that might be also the reason for the second printer settings although it has to be done in the configuration dialog.

Cheers,
Heiko.

Am 20.08.2015 15:39:57, schrieb Christoph Noack:

> > Hi all!
>
> And, Katarina, great to "hear" you again :-)
>
>
> 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
> > different.
>
> Some trouble can be avoided, some can't (but nevertheless there are
> ways to better support our users). Since printing is that complex, I'd
> like to break down the issues (so please bear with me).
>
>
> > An equivalent of "File -> Printer settings" doesn't seem to exist in
> > MSO, for example (or it does but I'm not so very good at searching).
> > When I asked on IRC why it exists in LibO, I was only told that it
> > sets up some stuff that can't be set up elsewhere *grin*
>
> 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).
>    2. Access to document related print settings if OOo (at that time) used
>       the print dialog of the OS instead of showing the built-in dialog.
>       Similar (but not identical) settings are available via "Tools -
>       Options - $component - Print".
>
> Word handles/handled that a bit differently. However, also Word runs
> into issues if e.g. the document page layout is different to printer
> settings. Here is an interesting article by Microsoft:
>     The printer settings are ignored when you print a Word document
>     https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/904805
>
>
> > Then, things like tdf#92676
> > (https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=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.
>
> Thanks for the pointer. I think such use cases need special treatment,
> since Calc works technically correct - but users expect different
> behavior. Unfortunately, the (usually great logical structure) of LibO
> makes the page orientation setting hard to discover.
>
>
> > 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?
>
> 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).
>
> So, finally, breaking down the issues of printing (omitting OS printing
> dialogs)...
>
>
> === 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 ("
>  * 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").
>  * If possible, remove "File -- Print Preview...". Move required
>    functionality (e.g. display facing pages) to the print preview in
>    the print dialog.
>
>
> === 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, so I haven't a clear solution
> preference - just options:
>
> Option #1: Remove page size and portrait settings from the printer's
> preferences.
>  * 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
>
> 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
>
> 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)
>     * 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).
>       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).
>     * Special case for Calc ("Print Selection"): "Automatic" will pre
>       -select the orientation that makes most sense for the given
>       selection.
>     * Examples
>             (Landscape used in print range)
>             +-------------------------------------------------------+            | LANDSCAPE                                             |
>             | Uses format of document page layout                   |
>             +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
> (Different orientations used in print range)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+| AUTOMATIC                                             |
> | Uses format of document page layout                   |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
> (User manually changed setting)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
> | LANDSCAPE                                             |
> | Temporarily applied to all printed pages              |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
> [ ] Save selected orientation for whole document      (i)
>
>  * Details (for page size, needs further refinement): The UI control
>    might show "Automatic" if all document defined sizes are available.
>    If not (e.g. pages need to be scaled down), the UI control might
>    provide an additional hint/warning.
>
>             (Different page sizes in print range, supported by printer)
>             +-------------------------------------------------------+            | AUTOMATIC                                             |
>             | Uses format of document page layout                   |
>             +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
>             (Only page size A4 in print range, supported by printer)
>             +-------------------------------------------------------+            | DIN A4                                                |
>             | Uses format of document page layout                   |
>             +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
> (Different page sizes, partly unsupported by printer)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
> | AUTOMATIC                                             |
> | /!\ Paper size mismatch! Some pages are scaled down.  |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
>
> Mmh, finally looking at it, Option #3 makes most sense to me. It
> provides WYSIWYG with regard to the print output, it allows temporary
> changes (it even has some smartness when looking at printing selected
> cells), it provides to save the values, and the UI itself might be
> quite understandable (a guess, of course).
>
> By the way, recent MS Office versions let the user also select printer
> settings (e.g. page orientation) in the printer dialog ("backstage
> view") and will apply changes automatically. I didn't test it (missing
> software), but read it - so I don't know behavior details.
>
>
> === 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. (see your separate mail,
> maybe I'm unable answer today...).
>
> [...]
> > ... and what would be the right thing to do instead? Just take user's
> > settings and override document settings with those, even if it means
> > the document will come out cropped/distorted (due to paper size too
> > small, wrong paper orientation etc.) ? I guess this is what MSO does,
> > but didn't really test ....
>
> So, lots of information and ideas. Most of them don't "interfere" with
> the ideas to make the print dialog more understandable.
>
> Comments highly appreciated ...
>
> Cheers,
> Christoph



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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: Improving printing UX

Hi Heiko, all!

Thanks for the comments. I feel free to answer your mail in chunks...

Am Dienstag, den 25.08.2015, 13:09 +0000 schrieb Heiko Tietze:
> Hi all,
>
> as an average user or rather Benjamin like beginner I'm quite
> confused. What I expect is a good preview which feds back what is
> being sent to the printer. In particular if my footnotes fits onto
> A4, whether all columns are shown in landscape view, or if my color
> cartridge is really not used.

I'm with you. LibO falls short here, since e.g.:
 * Page Preview (File menu) does not consider most of the settings
   (e.g. print text as black, brochure mode, notes printing)
 * Print Preview (Printer dialog) is inadequate to check details (e.g.
   default too small, no facing pages view)

Thus my recommendation to remove the first one and integrate missing
features into the latter one.


> In case of letter size I want the printer to either scale my document
> or print as it is. This option belongs to LO: [x] Scale output
> depending on paper size (depends on printer capabilities).

Well, even if that's an option, the user might still be unaware of
different page sizes (in document, in printer). Thus my recommendation
if we find such issues (and e.g. autoscale the printout as done today).


> Landscape vs portrait is just a rotation question to me - sounds
> pretty easy to achieve.

I agree that most stuff should "just work" out of the box. Still, for
many documents it appears to be difficult. Let's look at how this
information gets to the printer:
1. Document (Page Format) -> 2. Printer Settings -> 3. Printer Driver

When working on "printerpullpages" we discovered some issues when
information was provided from 2 to 3 - partly because of the different
feature set of the OS the software runs on. Let's assume the world
moved forward and remaining issues can be fixed. Then ...

... the printer settings still consider one setting: either "landscape"
or "portrait". But, the document can still contain different page
orientation settings. In Writer, page orientation is defined per page
style. In Calc, page orientation per sheet. Thus, a single printer
settings conflicts with that.

Katarina also mentioned tdf#92676 - so it might be helpful for users to
have the document setting temporarily "overwritten" according to the
user's print range selection.

Hence, my proposal to (at least) extend the given printer setting by
"Automatic" and align settings of 1 to 3 to make it "just work".


> In general I would make the application rather easier to use than
> adding more features and expceptions (by default; there might be
> expert settings hidden somewhere). So removing the additional printer
> settings as well as harmonizing the previews sounds like a good idea.

Plus, your suggestions to improve the printer dialog further :-)


> About save and restore printer settings with the document I guess you
> have in mind that documents are shared and handled on different
> workplaces. So settings made once might not be relevant the next
> time. It's more important to have the printer settings stored for a
> particular workplace, let's say at home I want to save color so
> printing should be done in always b/w. And that might be also the
> reason for the second printer settings although it has to be done in
> the configuration dialog.

I was rather talking about existing functionality that (at least I
thought so) has bugs. So print settings are currently being saved and
loaded - for whatever reason (or use case). At least all related
settings should behave the same.

With regard to the printer settings. As commented in [1], we've
identified that users rather have a few print use cases (thus settings)
per document. A made-up example: "Draft" when still working on it
(print notes, show placeholder, printer draft mode) vs. "Final" when
finished (no review markup, good quality). Hence the idea in the
printerpullpages wiki to think about managing pre-defined settings. One
step back, we even hardly support such cases for working on the
document ... but that might be another topic ;-)

Bye,
Christoph

[1] http://pad.documentfoundation.org/p/UX-PrintDialog

> Cheers,
> Heiko.
>
> Am 20.08.2015 15:39:57, schrieb Christoph Noack:
> > Hi all!
>
> And, Katarina, great to "hear" you again :-)
>
>
> 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
> > different.
>
> Some trouble can be avoided, some can't (but nevertheless there are
> ways to better support our users). Since printing is that complex,
> I'd
> like to break down the issues (so please bear with me).
>
>
> > An equivalent of "File -> Printer settings" doesn't seem to exist
> in
> > MSO, for example (or it does but I'm not so very good at
> searching).
> > When I asked on IRC why it exists in LibO, I was only told that it
> > sets up some stuff that can't be set up elsewhere *grin*
>
> 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).
> 2. Access to document related print settings if OOo (at that time)
> used
> the print dialog of the OS instead of showing the built-in dialog.
> Similar (but not identical) settings are available via "Tools -
> Options - $component - Print".
>
> Word handles/handled that a bit differently. However, also Word runs
> into issues if e.g. the document page layout is different to printer
> settings. Here is an interesting article by Microsoft:
> The printer settings are ignored when you print a Word document
> https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/904805
>
>
> > Then, things like tdf#92676
> > (https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=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.
>
> Thanks for the pointer. I think such use cases need special
> treatment,
> since Calc works technically correct - but users expect different
> behavior. Unfortunately, the (usually great logical structure) of
> LibO
> makes the page orientation setting hard to discover.
>
>
> > 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?
>
> 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).
>
> So, finally, breaking down the issues of printing (omitting OS
> printing
> dialogs)...
>
>
> === 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 ("
> * 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").
> * If possible, remove "File -- Print Preview...". Move required
> functionality (e.g. display facing pages) to the print preview in
> the print dialog.
>
>
> === 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, so I haven't a clear solution
> preference - just options:
>
> Option #1: Remove page size and portrait settings from the printer's
> preferences.
> * 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
>
> 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
>
> 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)
> * 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).
> 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).
> * Special case for Calc ("Print Selection"): "Automatic" will pre
> -select the orientation that makes most sense for the given
> selection.
> * Examples
> (Landscape used in print range)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+ | LANDSCAPE
> |
> | Uses format of document page layout |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
> (Different orientations used in print range)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+| AUTOMATIC
> |
> | Uses format of document page layout |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
> (User manually changed setting)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
> | LANDSCAPE |
> | Temporarily applied to all printed pages |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
> [ ] Save selected orientation for whole document (i)
>
> * Details (for page size, needs further refinement): The UI control
> might show "Automatic" if all document defined sizes are available.
> If not (e.g. pages need to be scaled down), the UI control might
> provide an additional hint/warning.
>
> (Different page sizes in print range, supported by printer)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+ | AUTOMATIC
> |
> | Uses format of document page layout |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
> (Only page size A4 in print range, supported by printer)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+ | DIN A4 |
> | Uses format of document page layout |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
> (Different page sizes, partly unsupported by printer)
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
> | AUTOMATIC |
> | /!\ Paper size mismatch! Some pages are scaled down. |
> +-------------------------------------------------------+
>
>
> Mmh, finally looking at it, Option #3 makes most sense to me. It
> provides WYSIWYG with regard to the print output, it allows temporary
> changes (it even has some smartness when looking at printing selected
> cells), it provides to save the values, and the UI itself might be
> quite understandable (a guess, of course).
>
> By the way, recent MS Office versions let the user also select
> printer
> settings (e.g. page orientation) in the printer dialog ("backstage
> view") and will apply changes automatically. I didn't test it
> (missing
> software), but read it - so I don't know behavior details.
>
>
> === 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. (see your separate
> mail,
> maybe I'm unable answer today...).
>
> [...]
> > ... and what would be the right thing to do instead? Just take
> user's
> > settings and override document settings with those, even if it
> means
> > the document will come out cropped/distorted (due to paper size too
> > small, wrong paper orientation etc.) ? I guess this is what MSO
> does,
> > but didn't really test ....
>
> So, lots of information and ideas. Most of them don't "interfere"
> with
> the ideas to make the print dialog more understandable.
>
> Comments highly appreciated ...
>
> Cheers,
> Christoph


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Cor Nouws Cor Nouws
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Re: Improving printing UX

In reply to this post by Christoph Noack
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
>> different.

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
>> (https://bugs.documentfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=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
settings.

>> 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)
This
 - shows where to find the desired behavior (well, not really - see
Christophs remark below)
 - indicates that there are document/page settings.
Then
 - 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
> preferences.
>  * 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
preferences".

>       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
>       selection.

Interesting..
>     * 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.

Cheers,
Cor

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