Size matters

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Todd
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Size matters

Post by Todd » 2004-03-27 22:40:21

I've always looked at the text-sizing slider as one of NWE's great assets. But on further inspection, it's quite the quirky little tool, isn't it? The smallest increment in which it can resize selected text is 2pts. But sometimes, as I'm resizing, it inexplicably jumps up or down a minimum of 3pts!

Shouldn't the slider <i>always</i> resize in increments of 1pt? Anything more, and the user is often forced to fine-tune the font size manually.

ArttMann
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I agree with Todd.

Post by ArttMann » 2004-03-28 18:12:10

If this were Illustrator (or another graphics program), you'd expect to be able to use the right/left arrows to move that slider up or down 1pt at a time. Perhaps a scheme like this needs to be implemented?

At any rate, I often find "controls" like that in programs: erratic or so badly implemented that they verge on useless. Hmmmmph.
Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself! -- George Carlin's add'l Commandment

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Todd
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I agree with Arttman's agreement with me

Post by Todd » 2004-03-28 20:44:37

Amen, Arttman. One pt increments is the way it's gotta be.

But I cut Nisus some slack on this point. NWE's still a 1.x release. And controls like these really can be made to work well (like iPhoto's zoom bar) when the developers listen to their users and are attentive to detail. And with forums like these that are a direct route to the eyes and ears of the software team, I give Nisus a lot of credit on that score.

charles
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Post by charles » 2004-03-29 16:59:43

Hi:

Thanks for your feedback on the font slider; I'm glad you consider it a benefit! Thanks also for cutting us some slack; this feature is surprisingly hard to get right because everyone uses it just a little bit differently and we want to fit with as many people's expectations as possible.

When we added the arrow buttons next to the font size field in this last release, we set the increment to two points because we felt that 1 point made it too slow to get to the size you want. We are thinking about changing it to 1 point increments because that is what people seem to want.

On the topic of the slider itself, we have thought about having it "snap" to the standard font sizes (9,10,10.5, 12,14,16,18,24,32,48,72, etc). That would probably make the slider more useful to people looking for a specific setting.

What do you think?

-Charles

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Todd
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Slide different

Post by Todd » 2004-03-29 20:36:13

The slider is definitely a plus. Besides having a major "wow" factor, it allows for maximum trial-and-error style experimentation when looking for the right size. It gives the user a direct control over fonts that's almost tactile - like you're shaping words with your own hands. Finally don't underestimate the power of differentiation. As a general rule, your novel approaches to features (like font and page sizing) that are implemented routinely in other applications tells the user that Nisus thinks different. That's the stuff from which cult followings are made.

And count me in on the font "snap" concept. Your margins already snap nicely into place when they hover around popular destinations like 1". Adobe and Macromedia applications snap as often as Rice Krispies in milk, making life easier for designers everywhere. I'll bet it'll work with fonts, too.

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Post by JBL » 2004-03-30 07:40:10

How about if it snaps if you move quickly and doesn't if you move slowly, or if it snaps normally, but doesn't snap if you hold down the command key (that would follow Keynote). There really should be a nice way to have it both ways.

charles
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Post by charles » 2004-03-30 08:23:06

JBL wrote:How about if it snaps if you move quickly and doesn't if you move slowly, or if it snaps normally, but doesn't snap if you hold down the command key (that would follow Keynote). There really should be a nice way to have it both ways.
Great idea! We will try these out. If we could do the speed thing just right, it might be so natural that most people won't even notice it. On the other hand, it might be frustrating when someone is trying to get it to snap to just the right point but they can't because they slow down too much! :?

We can definitely do the command key thing, though. That is a very good way to handle that sort of situation.

Thanks, also, Todd, for the encouragement. I agree that the slider makes it very easy to experiment and gives a very tactile feel to formatting your document. We will definitely keep the slider!

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