Bug 136174 - Enhancement: Font drop down in toolbar in Impress
Summary: Enhancement: Font drop down in toolbar in Impress
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Impress (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) release
Hardware: x86-64 (AMD64) Linux (All)
: medium minor
Assignee: Not Assigned
Keywords: needsUXEval
Depends on:
Reported: 2020-08-27 10:17 UTC by herk
Modified: 2021-05-31 11:17 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:
Regression By:


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Description herk 2020-08-27 10:17:19 UTC
Dear libreoffice developers,

Thanks for your time and effort invested to make this product - it's an important goal to have free and available software and I can't really go without it. However, this morning I got so frustrated I went and wrote this request.

In libreoffice impress, I couldn't find the single most basic option of any text editor: changing the font. It is for good reason that every other program has it somewhere in plain view, from GIMP to Word to Canva to email clients, as hiding the option seriously breaks the user's workflow. Read about my journey to finding the option:
I hovered over the nameless icons which only some of them are obvious - saving, loading, print, etc. The rest are too uncommon to know by heart. I googled it to no avail, as all pages only mentioned standard font instead of just the font. The reason that this is the only result that comes up, is because no other program necessitates googling this question.
I clicked on the help button to search the documentation, but found nothing. Finally, it turns out that I needed to click format, then either styles, or character. I had to read all entries of multiple tabs before this stood out to me. Whoever would think of doing this? How is any of this intuitive? How can you invest so much time in functionality and end up completely disregarding an easy and seamless user experience? If the basic functionality is not obvious, it makes me want to quit a program right that instant. Can you imagine how stupid and like a waste of time it feels when you have to look for the font change option - then have to search multiple places to no avail - then finally find it tucked away among complicated options?

Please introduce the basic text editing options back into the top bar of Impress. Some things just have to work. Thanks for reading.
Comment 1 Telesto 2020-08-27 10:35:24 UTC
I agree, but running it through User Experience department. 

For the time being: 

1) You could change the interface to tabbed (contains the Font box) View -> user Interface -> Tabbed

2) Alternative route: Tools -> Customize & add the fontbox back
Comment 2 Maxim Monastirsky 2020-08-27 11:13:14 UTC
Impress comes with the sidebar visible by default, and it has the font name box in the Properties deck.

In addition, you can click the View > Toolbars > Reset menu command to restore the contextual toolbars behvaior for the second toolbar row. That will make a toolbar with the font name box appear when you edit some text box. And you can just move the drawing toolbar to somewhere else in the interface, to not  interfere with the contextual toolbars.
Comment 3 Heiko Tietze 2020-09-10 13:30:01 UTC
If we add the font name dropdown control (.uno:FontName) we run into trouble with the total width that must not exceed 1280px (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Guidelines/ToolBar). Andreas, do you think we can remove/move some function to other places?
Comment 4 herk 2020-09-10 14:29:59 UTC
A small update: it's super wonderful to see people making an effort in response to my little rant. In fact, Telesto's workaround of using the tabbed user interface solved my problem very satisfactorily. It was especially good for me because not only the font options appeared, but also buttons like font size, text colour and font options (bold, italic).

I suppose the spirit of my complaint / enhancement request is that the basic options were too difficult to find, while complex functions took centre stage.  For the average user, the basic functions need to be within reach and clearly visible, while they will not need most of the fancy functions.

Therefore, might I add this suggestion: instead of defaulting to a difficult user interface and leaving it up to the inexperienced users to look around for basic functions (like font changes) or a basic interface (tabbed), why not turn it around? Make the tabbed interface the default and let the experienced user find the option to expand it to more complicated functionality (the current default look). In my mind this solution makes more sense than keeping this behaviour and trying to fit a font menu somewhere among the buttons (@Heiko Tietze).

@Maxim Monastirsky, thank you for your reply, this worked as well, even though I must say that a more intuitive design philosophy would place the most used buttons left, and the less used buttons right. It does not make sense to me that the font menu is all the way to the right and disappears when not working in full screen, but one of the first options is a range of shapes which I rarely use.
Comment 5 andreas_k 2020-09-15 18:26:12 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #3)
> If we add the font name dropdown control (.uno:FontName) we run into trouble
> with the total width that must not exceed 1280px
> (https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Design/Guidelines/ToolBar). Andreas, do
> you think we can remove/move some function to other places?

In addition the font toolbar isn't activated. However I have to say that the default layout in impress isn't well fitted common users. It's nice that the drawing stuff is activated by default, but presentations contain regularly text. And yes I love to see the sidebar by default in impress.

For me it's a bit confuse, that 
- writer/calc use standard two line toolbar
- impress/draw use standard two line toolbar with sidebar

but this is a topic for a separate bug.
Comment 6 andreas_k 2020-09-15 18:26:42 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 7 Heiko Tietze 2020-09-16 08:38:47 UTC
(In reply to andreas_k from comment #5)
> the font toolbar isn't activated.

Which reminds me that it was a conscious decision to hide the formatting toolbar in bug 87676.

> For me it's a bit confuse, that 
> - writer/calc use standard two line toolbar
> - impress/draw use standard two line toolbar with sidebar

Reason to hide the formatting toolbar was exactly this: two toolbars instead of four. 

My comment 3 was about the addition of just the font name dropdown. But in fact we should rather find a better solution.
Comment 8 Heiko Tietze 2021-05-31 11:17:31 UTC
No further input here. Resolving as WF as of comment 2, comment 7 and workaround in comment 1. Also not much interest (people on CC, duplicates) in this change.