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Character palette 
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Joined: 2004-02-25 18:28:40
Posts: 419
Location: Maryland, USA
I'd like to mention three relatively trivial issues I have with the character palette. None of them requires urgent attention. They all relate to the fact that I'm a keyboard guy who opts for a keystroke over a mouse click whenever I can.

1. Browsing with the keyboard
I'd like to be able to browse through fonts by clicking on the arrow next to the Family field and typing a letter in order to jump to the first font beginning with that letter, as I can in the Font submenu in the Format menu. If I try this, though, the list disappears, and the second letter that I type appears in the family field, followed by a suggested completion.

2. Stuck in the palette
If I'm in a text field in the character palette (or in any palette for that matter), I'm kind of "stuck" in the palette and can't get back to my document unless I close the drawer (assuming the palette is in the drawer and not detached) or click in the document. If I click, I need to be kind of precise about where I click. Clicking in the blank space below the last line of text (which would be convenient, especially when the document is still only a few lines long) or outside the margins (in Page View) has no effect. Clicking anywhere else moves the insertion point to that spot even if I want just to return to my earlier place (as I often do). Perhaps there could be an "escape" key (like Enter) to get back to the document from a field in the palette.

3. Weird problem with font names
I'd like to be able to change fonts by typing the name of the font I want in the Family field. This, in fact, works fine in most cases, but I have what is probably an unusual situation. I like to work in Times, but I also have a font named TimeScrDBol. If I type "times," "TimeScrDBol" appears. If I delete "crDBol," "TimeS" (note the capital S) remains in the field, but when I click back in the document, the font does not change. Basically, I can't get to Times by this method. Frankly, I'll probably just delete TimeScrDBol from my Fonts folder, but, though this situation is probably rare, I thought I'd let you know about it.

If anyone can offer advice or if any Nisus folks want to make note of these for a future version, that would be great. If solutions are obvious, bear in mind that I'm new to Nisus and the Mac. If it sounds like I'm whining, remember I said these were trivial.

--Craig


2004-07-21 15:24:08
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Joined: 2004-07-06 08:45:15
Posts: 83
Location: Australia
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Craig, I think you'll find that these issues (which I agree with BTW), are entirely within Apple's domain.

As you're probably noticed, Nisus are using the OS-provided Font palette, that is generally available in 'most'(1) other applications (TextEdit for one.)

I would agree that these issues are generally true of other OS-provided palettes, like the 'Special Characters', and that Apple's keyboard navigation, while greatly improved over previous versions of the OS, are still not that great, as there are a lot of places where they seem to fall down... at least in my experience.

1. by 'most', I mean new software which is generally Cocoa based, i.e. you don't see Carbon apps like Word, BBEdit, Photoshop etc., sporting these palettes.


2004-08-13 00:47:44
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Hi, Marc. Thanks for the information.

Does that also go for the palette in the tooldrawer? Though I wasn't clear about it, I meant the tooldrawer character palette, not the OS X font palette.

--Craig


2004-08-13 10:47:40
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cchapin wrote:
Hi, Marc. Thanks for the information.

Does that also go for the palette in the tooldrawer? Though I wasn't clear about it, I meant the tooldrawer character palette, not the OS X font palette.

Ah yes, on second reading, I see that! I guess I just jumped to conclusions when you mentioned fonts, and I've been thinking about similar issues with floating palettes etc.!

Like I said, I agree with your sentiments... I'd really like to see a couple of improvements to keyboard navigation (was just talking to Omni about the same thing for OmniGraffle!)

One big plus for Nisus, is their support for navigating through basically all UI elements in their drawer, including buttons and sliders.

cchapin wrote:
Perhaps there could be an "escape" key (like Enter) to get back to the document from a field in the palette.

Personally I'd like to see a command that allows you to toggle between the two, as you say, switching out of the drawer, to the document, but also from the document to the drawer and focuses the tool drawer (or floating palette) inputs.

I'd also like to see tabbing open palettes that might be collapsed, perhaps as an option (i.e. require another modifier key, otherwise you just tab through the active palettes), and for focus to travel between floating palettes.

In this situation, you might need direct command keys for particular floating palettes, as Omni do, which could also be useful in the drawer, as it would allow you to jump straight to a specific section. Indeed this might be the mechanism to open/activate a particular section, particularly as a way to focus a palette for keyboard input.

cchapin wrote:
I'd like to be able to change fonts by typing the name of the font I want in the Family field.

As you say, when the font pull down menu is active, you should be able to type the name of the font, and scroll to that font. Of course you can just type the name in the field (i.e. don't open the menu), since it's a combo box, that allows typing (as distinct from a pull down menu that doesn't), and this will progressively match fonts names.

Have you tried expanding the Character palette, via the little drag handles at the bottom of the palette? This expands the Family combo into a selection list, that unfortunately doesn't accept typing to scroll to particular fonts, but does allow you to scroll through with the up/down keys.

...But these don't particularly address your specific issue with switching to Times. One option might be to disable the 'TimeScrDBol' font in the Font Book, if you don't use to often, without actually deleting the file... just in case.

One thing I have found a little annoying about OS X have been international fonts. By my reckoning, they should 'get out of the way', unless I specifically want to use them, or am dealing with a foreign language, so I've used Font Book to disable them (since I'm sadly mono-lingual, but hopefully not forever!) :)


2004-08-13 18:16:18
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marc wrote:
Have you tried expanding the Character palette, via the little drag handles at the bottom of the palette?

I did when I was first setting up the program, but as you said the font list won't accept keyboard input that way.

Quote:
One option might be to disable the 'TimeScrDBol' font in the Font Book, if you don't use to often, without actually deleting the file... just in case.

I've gone ahead and deleted the offending font, so that problem is solved.

Since I need to type in more than one language, I don't share the same opinion about non-English fonts. You could safely disable those in Font Book. I've disabled Chinese fonts since I rarely need them.

--Craig


2004-08-13 19:01:42
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