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re-thinking auto-formating.. possible?

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  • User profile image
    jamie

    ( the title alone is ironic?)

    i am not a fan of auto-formatting found in windows/office apps.

    i wish it was just thrown out and re-done in a new way: the "Optional" version

    so if office wanted to automate something - it could be smart enough to bring the options to what you are trying to do - right there. (like Corels property bar - only dynamic)

    for example:

    if Office see's what seems to be a bulletted list in the works - instead of imposing weird "all bullets need paragraph spacing rules like this" <-- huge space - <--enter

     - they could offer users different bullets in a flyout menu - where they are typing...facilitating the equivilant of alt - 0149 ( bullet)

    this will save time for people having to re-edit auto formatting

    another example:

    before PowerPoint takes it upon itself to re-arrange your layout without direct permission: offer a 3 step: "Would you like us to do this, this or this? - Cancel" with small thumbnails of purposed changes.
    (*happens when inserting images into already designed page)

    last example would be clipboard collecting

    why not first create a new embedded desktop work area that utilizes OLE ( as it should be) then users will see the need for "collecting" in a multi application environment as Windows is controlling the "Page"

    just ideas.. please dont "fact" me to death Wink


  • User profile image
    Michael Griffiths

    Like.... smart tags? Smiley

    So when it recognizes formatting, instead of auto-applying the template, it could place a small smart tag there. When the user clicks on it, the user is presented with an expanded menu of choices, which is also pre-configurable across a variety of templates.

    Personally, I'd hate to sit through a tutorial. These days, I just open the Formatting pane in Word 2003 and never directly format anything. Autoformatting, when you use it, is incrediably useful.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    maybe i should have said: Helping deisgners deal with re-formatting your auto-formating Wink

    off-topic:
    guy i know is writing a book. i said oh cool - you know Word has a that new book view feature - so you can sort of see the book as you write it

    he said its not there

    i said its under view - print - normal - web - book...

    he said its not there

    THEN i figured out office "SMART" menus had hidden the feature

    good move - add new feature - auto hide it Wink haha

  • User profile image
    Michael Griffiths

    I like smart menus Smiley

    Makes it easier to find commonly-used commands.

    However, I have to wonder if the menu paradigm is best for commonly used things. Toolbars seem better. Why not a dynamic toolbar with "commonly used tasks" on it?

    Menus are a way to navigate through to find features in a logical way. Hiding features then becomes pointless.

    But toolbars... toolbars are another matter. I don't recall that my "toolbars" are smart in the same way.... why not?

  • User profile image
    jamie

    well see ? - this point is half moot - as you as a user like it - and i as a user are not to enthralled (so to speak)

    so that means - new / separate Office - new windows too maybe

    i say thats Office 3degrees - all apps same pallettes and command and toolbars = consistant - new looks

    (which is why current office cant be fixed... users are use to it)

    hey - a response to the other "name Longhorn" thread - Windows 3D(egrees)

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