Download it now!
Bug 141121 - Better default font choice for the Writer comments, and/or ability to customize the font family and size for comments
Summary: Better default font choice for the Writer comments, and/or ability to customi...
Status: RESOLVED DUPLICATE of bug 62150
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsUXEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Comments
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2021-03-20 02:55 UTC by Jean-François Fortin Tam
Modified: 2021-03-26 08:04 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
screenshot of the default comment style (84.85 KB, image/png)
2021-03-20 02:55 UTC, Jean-François Fortin Tam
Details
screenshot of the recommended new comment style (76.39 KB, image/png)
2021-03-20 02:55 UTC, Jean-François Fortin Tam
Details

Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.
Description Jean-François Fortin Tam 2021-03-20 02:55:13 UTC
Created attachment 170579 [details]
screenshot of the default comment style

There are two issues at stake here:

A) Comments in Writer have this notion of full rich text including custom per-comment font family and font size, instead of just semi-rich formatting like bold/italics/underline/etc. I posit that it should maintain the latter, but not respect the former; the font family and size should be set by the application (or global user preferences) for legibility at all times. In-margin comments, with the limited available space, is not the place to showcase variable and fancy font choices depending on who touched the document last.

B) The default font family & size used for comments are not optimal.

Attached are two screenshots comparing the default appearance on Linux (GTK3 version under Fedora) with the "Liberation Serif" 10pt font, vs what I claim it should be ("Droid Sans" 8pt).

Why Droid Sans, and why 8pt?

* Droid Sans was designed (commissionned by Google) for perfect legibility on small LCD phone screens, back in 2007, before the era of gigantic retina displays. This means it is highly readable ANYWHERE, especially at small font sizes. I still think it's one of the very best fonts ever made, for this reason. It clamps to the pixels of your screen like a champion, and it doesn't create visual noise with serifs, allowing you to have it readable even at small font sizes like 8 to 9 points.

* The LibreOffice Writer comments area/column/margin is not very wide, which means that very few words can fit on a line at 10pts size, causing a ton of wrapping, and comments end up super long, and if you have multiple comments on the page it rapidly becomes a mess. On the other hand, it is normal and somewhat expected that comments have somewhat smaller font sizes than the main body text, because, well, they're comments stuffed in a margin area, whaddya expect! and they're not meant to be as emphasized as the main contents.

Setting the font of a comment to Droid Sans 8pt not only makes it more legible than the default 10pts serifed font, it also makes it look more professionnal AND saves space.



I would therefore recommend that:

1- LibreOffice ignores comment metadata about font family and font size, instead applying those two properties globally for the comments.
2- LibreOffice uses a better default font for comments (Droid Sans 8pt, or at least some sort of highly-readable Sans serif font)
3- LibreOffice exposes a setting to control #2 (optional)
Comment 1 Jean-François Fortin Tam 2021-03-20 02:55:47 UTC
Created attachment 170580 [details]
screenshot of the recommended new comment style
Comment 2 Roman Kuznetsov 2021-03-20 16:55:05 UTC
My opinion:

A) What is about CTL and SE Asian languages? And I personally against deleting any current functional

B) I disagree with decrease font size in comments by default. Many people have bad vision (and me too) and we don't want change comment's font size manually every time as we open any Writer's document. But we could change font family to another if a new font will be better than current one.

Let ask UX-team about it of course.
Comment 3 Uwe Auer 2021-03-20 23:19:33 UTC
See also tdf#103064 - Introduce a comment style. And from my point of view that would be the LibreOffice way to do that.
Comment 4 Heiko Tietze 2021-03-22 10:38:56 UTC
(In reply to Jean-François Fortin Tam from comment #0)
> A) ...the font family and size should be set by the application (or global user preferences)
Yes, requested in bug 62150 (or more generally but maybe over-engineered in bug 103064, as comment by Uwe).

> B) The default font family & size used for comments are not optimal.
Don't see much of an issue with Liberation and would avoid shipping another font. If A) is solved it's not a problem to set B) to your preference.

> I would therefore recommend that:
> 1- LibreOffice ignores comment metadata about font family and font size,
> instead applying those two properties globally for the comments.
Guess removing the ability to highlight parts of the comments with font color or weight is a regression for some users. If your co-workers are mean and format every word differently, the only reason I can think of why rich formatting has a negative impact on UX, we could introduce an option to clear or hide all direct formatting in comments.

My take: duplicate of bug 62150. But it's a good topic for the design meeting.
Comment 5 Jean-François Fortin Tam 2021-03-22 13:29:08 UTC
Well the problem I see with carrying font family+size information "in the comments" rather than "per system/app" is that:

1. it might render pretty differently on other people's systems anyway if they don't have the fonts (especially if someone chose a non-shipped-with-libreoffice font)
2. this metadata would then be stuck forever "polluting" each document, i.e. even if you were to set your preferred default font as a user you wouldn't retroactively see this improvement in all the old documents that you open, or documents generated by users. I for one would like to be able to open any document and see the text comments as a UI element rather than a document element, because they don't have spatial characteristics in Writer (no size and position, unlike in spreadsheets).
Comment 6 Adolfo Jayme 2021-03-23 06:09:50 UTC
It is obviously not feasible for the project to bundle one old* font just for a tiny part of the UI.

We have Liberation Sans for that already.


* It’s a dead-end; the project was superseded twice (!) by successors Open Sans and Noto.
Comment 7 Heiko Tietze 2021-03-26 08:04:09 UTC

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 62150 ***