Some ideas to improve the look & feel of LO

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Alexander Wilms Alexander Wilms
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Some ideas to improve the look & feel of LO

Hi all,

I've collected several ideas regarding the look of LO. Some of them are
inspired by word and I think it wouldn't be too hard to realize them.
There's a short summary with a few examples in this document:
http://ubuntuone.com/7m7AXgeh7OIwGBiCOHAjGh

1) First of all, I think it's time to change the default formatting and
coloring of text, shapes and tables. It doesn't have to be
extraordinary, but some polish would be nice. Additionally would it be
useful if the user could define alternating colors for tables and maybe
even export all this to a xml file or something for easy exchange.

2) Pressing "Ctrl" while resizing a picture or shape should keep the
ratio, like e.g. in Inkscape

3) If possible, the markup-language input for formulas should be optional

4) I wonder how useful the text border actually is. We could achieve a
cleaner look by simply disabling it by default

5) The handles for resizing and rotating look rather dated. They should
be replaced by some squares/circles filled with a nice gradient.

6) There should be some nice borders (e.g. polaroid-style) that could
easily be applied to imported graphics

What do you think? Some of this might not be trivial to implement, but
in my opinion it would be worth the effort. Should I forward the mail to
the devs?

Kind Regards

Alex


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Stefan Knorr (Astron) Stefan Knorr (Astron)
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Re: Some ideas to improve the look & feel of LO

Hi Alexander,

let's go through the list one by one...

> 1) First of all, I think it's time to change the default formatting and
> coloring of text, shapes and tables. It doesn't have to be extraordinary,
> but some polish would be nice. Additionally would it be useful if the user
> could define alternating colors for tables and maybe even export all this to
> a xml file or something for easy exchange.

There is an initiative to do this at libreoffice-ux-advise by one Dag
Wieers. (Too lazy to look up the thread on a public archive, but
search for "Styles cleanup & removing option page std fonts".) Nothing
concrete so far, but seems promising – maybe you can pitch in with
ideas/constructive criticism.


> 2) Pressing "Ctrl" while resizing a picture or shape should keep the ratio,
> like e.g. in Inkscape

You can use Shift in LibO. But if it really is something of a
convention to use Control, we should probably look into that, I guess.


> 3) If possible, the markup-language input for formulas should be optional

I'm not sure what you mean: do you mean the syntax-highlighting? I
find that helpful, personally.


> 4) I wonder how useful the text border actually is. We could achieve a
> cleaner look by simply disabling it by default

In LibO 3.5 there will only be L-shaped borders, take a gander: [1].
You can also try in a daily build [2]. I hope you consider that a
(good) solution.


> 5) The handles for resizing and rotating look rather dated. They should be
> replaced by some squares/circles filled with a nice gradient.

You're right. I am not sure if they are contained in the themes
themselves (a quick look through didn't bring anything square and
green up for me) ... maybe these can't be themed today. In that case
they might be harder to replace, again, it would be lovely to find
more modern-looking handles (and a new anchor image). If you're
interested to research that, please try and ask on
libreoffice-ux-advise at global libreoffice org (there you'll stand a
better chance to find someone who knows how they can be changed, as
some devs use this list, too). Dunno if that's the correct usage for
this list, but I hope it won't hurt.


> 6) There should be some nice borders (e.g. polaroid-style) that could easily
> be applied to imported graphics

Hm. This is a good idea. There even is infrastructure (the Gallery)
for this of thing, but you'd need an easy way to apply the borders to
images (which of course doesn't work with today's Gallery). What you
can do now, is create a few attractive borders as vector files (SVG's
or ODG's) and propose a UI entry point, attach them to a bug and hope
for the best, I suppose. Not sure how you can get a developer to work
on this, then, though...

Hope this helps and you're not overwhelmed by the possibilities.


Regards,

Astron.

[1] wiki.documentfoundation.org/File:Design_Whiteboard_Writer_SpecialIndicators_2011-09-09_DailyBuild_HeaderFooterTest_ImprovementProposals.png
[2] dev-builds.libreoffice.org/daily/

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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: Some ideas to improve the look & feel of LO

In reply to this post by Alexander Wilms
Hi Alex,

let me quickly comment them ...

Am Donnerstag, den 27.10.2011, 21:57 +0200 schrieb
[hidden email]:
> Hi all,
>
> I've collected several ideas regarding the look of LO. Some of them are
> inspired by word and I think it wouldn't be too hard to realize them.
> There's a short summary with a few examples in this document:
> http://ubuntuone.com/7m7AXgeh7OIwGBiCOHAjGh

Thanks for the visualization ...

> 1) First of all, I think it's time to change the default formatting and
> coloring of text, shapes and tables. It doesn't have to be
> extraordinary, but some polish would be nice.

True. Two different activities here
      * on libreoffice-ux-discuss, Olivier and others discussed fonts
        standardization (a bit different issue, but touches the
        defaults)
      * Cedric (Writer dev) wanted to work on the styles and the stylist
        in general. Concerning the former, a German guy offered his
        help. Furthermore, on the developers list there is a recent
        thread called "[Libreoffice] Styles cleanup & removing option
        page std fonts."

So, you may simply jump in :-) I already provided some input concerning
the types of documents being written.

> Additionally would it be
> useful if the user could define alternating colors for tables and maybe
> even export all this to a xml file or something for easy exchange.

True, that's known ... incl. the need for table styles. But an Easy Hack
for that would be nice. I didn't have a look whether an issue for that
exists.

> 2) Pressing "Ctrl" while resizing a picture or shape should keep the
> ratio, like e.g. in Inkscape

Mmh, "Shift" already does that ...


> 3) If possible, the markup-language input for formulas should be optional

Ongoing work called "Visual Formula Input" ... has been discussed some
months ago on the dev list. If you want to have a look, enable the
"experimental (unstable) features" in Tools - Options - General. I
assume it might help to test the feature and provide feedback (but we
should ask the dev first).


> 4) I wonder how useful the text border actually is. We could achieve a
> cleaner look by simply disabling it by default

Well, I got already almost killed at the conf for my agreement to
minimize the borders :-) It's ongoing work by Cedric, who worked on the
Headers/Footers:
http://cedric.bosdonnat.free.fr/wordpress/?p=818

My specification is here:
http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Whiteboard/Writer_SpecialIndicators#Document_Margin_Design

Test it in one of the daily builds :-)

> 5) The handles for resizing and rotating look rather dated. They should
> be replaced by some squares/circles filled with a nice gradient.

I think devs will be happy to get the graphics to implement them. As far
as I remember, the elements are rather simple graphics (but we may ask
Thorsten, who mentioned them - if I remember well enough). But, there
are already "3D" and "flat" handles in LibreOffice. Switching by (Draw)
View - Toolbars - Options - Simple Handles (off).


> 6) There should be some nice borders (e.g. polaroid-style) that could
> easily be applied to imported graphics

Sure - but do you mean to apply them during importing, or applying them
afterwards (being interchangable), or do you mean using frame styles?

> What do you think? Some of this might not be trivial to implement, but
> in my opinion it would be worth the effort. Should I forward the mail to
> the devs?

I hope it helped a bit.

A side note: given your proposals I notice (and that's great, as I
mentioned recently), developers do care about such stuff. I can only
recommend to subscribe to the developers list and to join to test the
daily builds.

Cheers,
Christoph


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Alexander Wilms Alexander Wilms
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Re: Some ideas to improve the look & feel of LO

Thanks for the feedback, Astron and Christoph,

Nice to hear that some of this stuff is already being worked on or even
implemented :)

1) I sent my suggestions to Dag Wieers and asked him to forward the
mail to the ux-advice and/or help me

2) Well, at least in Inkscape and Gimp "Ctrl" is the used key so it
might be considered a "standard"

3) Is this "Visual Formula Input" something different than the small
window containing icons for integrals, roots etc. ?
Astron: What highlighting? I meant the window containing the "raw
input" like "sqrt{}"

4) Cool. Now I remember I already saw that but somehow forgot about it
:)

5) Asked on the ux-advice mailing list

6) The borders should be interchangeable

Maybe tomorrow I'm gonna subscribe to the devs mailing list and submit
my proposals. Good night everyone

Alex

Am Do 27 Okt 2011 22:49:33 CEST schrieb Christoph Noack:

> Hi Alex,
>
> let me quickly comment them ...
>
> Am Donnerstag, den 27.10.2011, 21:57 +0200 schrieb
> [hidden email]:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I've collected several ideas regarding the look of LO. Some of them are
>> inspired by word and I think it wouldn't be too hard to realize them.
>> There's a short summary with a few examples in this document:
>> http://ubuntuone.com/7m7AXgeh7OIwGBiCOHAjGh
>
> Thanks for the visualization ...
>
>> 1) First of all, I think it's time to change the default formatting and
>> coloring of text, shapes and tables. It doesn't have to be
>> extraordinary, but some polish would be nice.
>
> True. Two different activities here
>        * on libreoffice-ux-discuss, Olivier and others discussed fonts
>          standardization (a bit different issue, but touches the
>          defaults)
>        * Cedric (Writer dev) wanted to work on the styles and the stylist
>          in general. Concerning the former, a German guy offered his
>          help. Furthermore, on the developers list there is a recent
>          thread called "[Libreoffice] Styles cleanup&  removing option
>          page std fonts."
>
> So, you may simply jump in :-) I already provided some input concerning
> the types of documents being written.
>
>> Additionally would it be
>> useful if the user could define alternating colors for tables and maybe
>> even export all this to a xml file or something for easy exchange.
>
> True, that's known ... incl. the need for table styles. But an Easy Hack
> for that would be nice. I didn't have a look whether an issue for that
> exists.
>
>> 2) Pressing "Ctrl" while resizing a picture or shape should keep the
>> ratio, like e.g. in Inkscape
>
> Mmh, "Shift" already does that ...
>
>
>> 3) If possible, the markup-language input for formulas should be optional
>
> Ongoing work called "Visual Formula Input" ... has been discussed some
> months ago on the dev list. If you want to have a look, enable the
> "experimental (unstable) features" in Tools - Options - General. I
> assume it might help to test the feature and provide feedback (but we
> should ask the dev first).
>
>
>> 4) I wonder how useful the text border actually is. We could achieve a
>> cleaner look by simply disabling it by default
>
> Well, I got already almost killed at the conf for my agreement to
> minimize the borders :-) It's ongoing work by Cedric, who worked on the
> Headers/Footers:
> http://cedric.bosdonnat.free.fr/wordpress/?p=818
>
> My specification is here:
> http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Whiteboard/Writer_SpecialIndicators#Document_Margin_Design
>
> Test it in one of the daily builds :-)
>
>> 5) The handles for resizing and rotating look rather dated. They should
>> be replaced by some squares/circles filled with a nice gradient.
>
> I think devs will be happy to get the graphics to implement them. As far
> as I remember, the elements are rather simple graphics (but we may ask
> Thorsten, who mentioned them - if I remember well enough). But, there
> are already "3D" and "flat" handles in LibreOffice. Switching by (Draw)
> View - Toolbars - Options - Simple Handles (off).
>
>
>> 6) There should be some nice borders (e.g. polaroid-style) that could
>> easily be applied to imported graphics
>
> Sure - but do you mean to apply them during importing, or applying them
> afterwards (being interchangable), or do you mean using frame styles?
>
>> What do you think? Some of this might not be trivial to implement, but
>> in my opinion it would be worth the effort. Should I forward the mail to
>> the devs?
>
> I hope it helped a bit.
>
> A side note: given your proposals I notice (and that's great, as I
> mentioned recently), developers do care about such stuff. I can only
> recommend to subscribe to the developers list and to join to test the
> daily builds.
>
> Cheers,
> Christoph
>
>




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Andrew Pullins Andrew Pullins
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Re: Some ideas to improve the look & feel of LO

>
> Well, I got already almost killed at the conf for my agreement to
> minimize the borders :-) It's ongoing work by Cedric, who worked on the
> Headers/Footers:
> http://cedric.bosdonnat.free.fr/wordpress/?p=818
> My specification is here.
>


http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Whiteboard/Writer_SpecialIndicators#Document_Margin_Design
> Test it in one of the daily builds :-)


I personaly do not mind the border being a box, but when looking through the
DocumentBorder on the OpenOffice.org page[1] I think that this could change.
I like option 2, but I really like option 6. could we could have the option
to do all of these, just decide on a defult then let the user choose
for themselves. th

[1]
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/DocumentBorder#Option_3

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Stefan Weigel Stefan Weigel
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Re: Some ideas to improve the look & feel of LO

In reply to this post by Alexander Wilms
Hi,

Am 28.10.2011 00:51, schrieb [hidden email]:

> 2) Well, at least in Inkscape and Gimp "Ctrl" is the used key so it
> might be considered a "standard"

I am not saying Microsoft is the standard. But MS Word uses the
shift key for that, as well as OpenOffce.org and LibreOffice. If
different word processor applications use the same method for the
same thing, I would *not* recommend changing it in one of these
common applications.

Stefan


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Christoph Noack Christoph Noack
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Re: Some ideas to improve the look & feel of LO

Hi Stefan,

I share your view ... but if we want to improve things, then teaching the user might help. There has been a thread on libo-ux-advise talking about Draw/Impress tools behavior ... I proposed to improve feedback via the status bar. anybody (Alex) who could have a look?

Cheers,
Christoph
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Stefan Weigel <[hidden email]> schrieb:

Hi,

Am 28.10.2011 00:51, schrieb [hidden email]:

> 2) Well, at least in Inkscape and Gimp "Ctrl" is the used key so it
> might be considered a "standard"

I am not saying Microsoft is the standard. But MS Word uses the
shift key for that, as well as OpenOffce.org and LibreOffice. If
different word processor applications use the same method for the
same thing, I would *not* recommend changing it in one of these
common applications.

Stefan


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