Document map pane

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JohnWasilewski
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Document map pane

Post by JohnWasilewski » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:07 pm

Please could SoftMaker's developers make the document content pane scaleable like the main document window. In long, complex documents, my document content pane often has 4, 4 or 6 levels of successively-indented section and sub-section headings, which makes it necessary for me to keep dragging the vertical separator ever further to the right, so that I can see the deepest reaches of the document map. But this eats excessively into teh available screen display width for my document, so I have to keep zooming the document in and out, and skidding it left and right, just to find my place in it where I am currently editing it.

This, of course, makes the text too small for me to read it and edit it comfortably, so I have to go bag to the vertical divider again and drag it back to the left before I can continue what I was doing in the document.

Result? I spend fat too much time having to keep yanking bits of screen in, oult, laft, right - always having to search carefully for teh exact spot to click my mouse button, all very time-wasting - instead of actually producing something,

If only the document map pane was Ctrl-Mousewheel zoomable, all of this aggro could be reduced to a single action. I would really LOVE to have that. I hope you can agree that this is valuable feedback, based as it is on user-experience from heavy usage of TM. I do therefore hope you can make it happen, also. I consider TM is a really good program, but its isn't yet 'superb.' This kind of feedback from multiple users can help you get it there if you can make it do what others and I ask for.
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John
Last edited by JohnWasilewski on Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

SuperTech
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Re: Document content pane

Post by SuperTech » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:21 pm

Thanks for your suggestion. But I think instead of making Document Map zoomable, it will be better to have a horizontal scroll bar into it so that you can see what is in the rightmost part of it instead of expanding or zooming it. What do you suggest about it?

JohnWasilewski
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Re: Document content pane

Post by JohnWasilewski » Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:58 pm

Thank you for responding to my request.

I agree that what you suggest instead would be better than what we can so now, which is not quite nothing, but it nearly is. Just now, we have to fiddle with the mouse pointer until we find the drag-sideways gadget, then drag the dividing line to the right to look at the map. Then we have to scroll it up and down to look at the document structure. Then we have to repeat the fiddling, to narrow the map and widen the document screen. Your idea would speed that up quite a bit because we'd then just drag the map sideways, scroll it, then sometimes but not always, drag it back again. So, better than now, but I still think also an inferior solution.

My emphasis in what I ask of a word processor is very strongly on productivity not functionality. That is to say, I need it, above all else, to make my work move along more efficiently. We need TM to continue to be designed to do what heavy users of it need it to do, not what programmers can do to it because they can. Putting in facilities that are there because the programmers were able to provided them is a hit-and-miss approach. Sometimes users will appreciate them. Sometimes they won't. Sometimes they will learn to live with them, like when we used WinWord and wanted to insert a date field. after 2003, the programmers changed the Word user interface and everyone was baffled for years, continually having to chase around all the options and tools and menus and peculiar names for things, to try to find the often illogical places where where MS had put some of them. Nightmare. Like having to eat a piece of Hersheys chocolate.

Coming back to this matter, about revealing more of the document map pane, I don't like the idea of side-scrolling because it would still slow my work down almost as much as the present usage does. This because I don't only need to see the right half of the document map. I need to see the whole structure. So, at best, I would still have to keep moving the mouse pointer to the L/R scrollbar and, at worst, I would be swapping between the L/R scrollbar and the L/R pane divide gadget, as well as scrolling vertically.

Far, far better in my view if the document map pane was scaleable. With the main text display, it is essential for it always to be large enough for clear reading and easy placement of the cursor but the document map can be zoomed-out to the point of being only just readable and it would still be useful. The document author knows from memory what all the parts are, he/she just needs to be able to check their arrangement, sequencing and hierarchy. I would find it hugely useful if, with one click and a Ctrl-MouseWheel, I could zoom the map in and out as I needed.

I could zoom it the an optimal magnification and position, and leave it there as I worked. As it is now, and as your improvement would still leave it, I would not be able to do that,

If you are still with me then thank you for reading all this!
---
John
Last edited by JohnWasilewski on Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SuperTech
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Re: Document content pane

Post by SuperTech » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:45 pm

I have forwarded this feature request to our development team.

martin-k
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Re: Document content pane

Post by martin-k » Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:27 pm

Sorry, I don't understand how your suggestion could work. The document map already uses a small font; making it smaller will make the text illegible.

At least in Windows, there is a tooltip with the full heading when you hover over a long entry in the document map.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

JohnWasilewski
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Re: Document map pane

Post by JohnWasilewski » Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:28 pm

Hello Martin.
Please have a look at this partial screenshot:
Screenshot 2020-09-30 at 16.21.57.png
As you see, much of the document map is out of the visible part of its display pane.
I like very much the Ctrl-Mousewheel zoom function (and thank you SoftMaker, for coding this into SMO because it is missig from MacOS). I think the functionality would be greatly enhanced if I could do this in the document map as well as I can already do in the main document-display pane.

I don't understand why you say the document map already has a small font, that would be illegible if any smaller. That's not at all the case here, as you see. Admittedly, I have some settings intended to enlarge things a bit. This is because I am getting some eye strain when working for many hours on long documents. Even with this screen setting, I find some of the icons hard to pick out, because they are small, and light coloured on a light background. That's another subject, but I so wish it could also be improved.

There is also the point I made earlier, that the document map does not need to be quite as readable as the main document display because it's only there as a map, not as a place to set oown the cursor accurately and amend the text.
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Yours sincerely,
John
Last edited by JohnWasilewski on Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

martin-k
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Re: Document content pane

Post by martin-k » Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:20 pm

OK, so you first made the UI larger and then want individual items smaller again :-)

That's not a common situation. You still have the tooltips for the long headlines.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

JohnWasilewski
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Location: UK

Re: Document map pane

Post by JohnWasilewski » Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:36 pm

With today's very high-res display screens, I find the default program UI resolution is giving me icons that are just too small for me. Added to this is that the white, pale yellow and pale blue icons used by TM, on a pale grey background, when they are so small, make me have to peer at the screen and strain my eyes.

That's why I have had to set a quite large screen magnification for TM2021.
Basically, my difficulty is in findng a set of settings that gives me icons that are small enough to take up only a small space, but also easy to see.

I think maybe the settings in the screenshot I sent you were not good, so I've try another combination, and its as shown here.
Screenshot 2020-10-01 at 15.34.21.png
I think this is quite a lot better but now, all the icons are a bit too small. And, as you can see, the icons down the left margin especially, are really hard read and identify. I can't change to the next icon size because they are far too large.

A darker border behind the icons would improve i but the dark grey opiton that's available is much too dark.

So, with TM as it is now, I'd like to see a scaleable Document Map, but the document map I have now would be perfect, if only I could still read the icons!

I hope this correspondence is useful to you Martin,
---
John
Last edited by JohnWasilewski on Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

martin-k
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Re: Document content pane

Post by martin-k » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:07 pm

It might be heresy to some, but if you switched to our ribbon UI, the more important icons are larger there than the less important ones.
Martin Kotulla
SoftMaker Software GmbH

JohnWasilewski
Posts: 350
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:06 am
Location: UK

Re: Document map pane

Post by JohnWasilewski » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:41 pm

Yes I know, Martin, and I like the idea of importance-related icon sizes but I'm still not one of the heretics who practise all the rest of that heresy!

I did try, for years, to learn to like the M$ ribbon concept but I failed.
I disliked it more and more.

(1) Most documents have 'portrait' proportions, which needs a tall display, yet, with most screens already sub-optimally aligned for the least space vertically, ribbon UIs not only take up the most screen area but also take it out of the screen height, not its width. Daft.

(2) The M$ ribbon was acutely, dreadfully, counter-intuitive.

(3) The M$ ribon was also hopelessly limited in its user-addjustments in layout.

Good for users who have learned only the ribbon UI but, for anyone else, best not to touch ribbon UIs with a barge pole.

I get it that you're not keen on zoomable document map but my plea still stands - brighter icons contrasting morenwith the background! Thanks for dicussing it.
---
John

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