Bug Hunting Session
Bug 84350 - Creation of a shapes drop down group button
Summary: Creation of a shapes drop down group button
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: UI (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
unspecified
Hardware: Other All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsDevEval, topicUI
Depends on:
Blocks: UNO-Command-New Split-Group-Buttons Writer-Toolbars
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2014-09-26 05:28 UTC by Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Modified: 2017-06-27 14:44 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
shapes group button in ms word 2013 (44.50 KB, image/png)
2014-09-26 05:28 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details
shapes group button in iwork pages (57.23 KB, image/png)
2014-09-26 05:28 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details
shapes group button in wordperfect (13.33 KB, image/png)
2014-09-26 05:29 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details
drop downs of the 3 shapes group buttons in ibm symphony (43.78 KB, image/png)
2014-09-26 05:30 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details
what the libreoffice implemention could look like (20.27 KB, image/png)
2014-09-26 05:33 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details
Google Docs Shape Drop Down (23.68 KB, image/png)
2014-09-30 05:00 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details
IBM Symphony basic shapes group drop down (21.78 KB, image/png)
2014-09-30 15:25 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details
shapes group button in wps writer (28.48 KB, image/png)
2014-09-30 15:26 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details
Picture of the predefined shapes in LibreOffice (104.61 KB, image/png)
2014-09-30 16:21 UTC, Regina Henschel
Details

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Description Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-26 05:28:22 UTC
Created attachment 106893 [details]
shapes group button in ms word 2013

Presently, the drawing toolbar has 13 buttons related to shape creation and i think this could be reduced to 1 group button similar to other office suites (ms office, wps office, wordperfect, iwork pages) or 3 group buttons similar to IBM Symphony.

The benefit of a single group button is that this button could be added to the standard toolbar, which would reduce the need for the drawing toolbar and even if needed, it would take up less space.

I believe that part of the code is already implemented in order to create something like this, but of course it would have to be changed to suit this purpose.

Will be attaching various implementations of the shapes group button found in other apps.
Comment 1 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-26 05:28:50 UTC
Created attachment 106894 [details]
shapes group button in iwork pages
Comment 2 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-26 05:29:49 UTC
Created attachment 106895 [details]
shapes group button in wordperfect
Comment 3 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-26 05:30:26 UTC
Created attachment 106896 [details]
drop downs of the 3 shapes group buttons in ibm symphony
Comment 4 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-26 05:33:41 UTC
Created attachment 106897 [details]
what the libreoffice implemention could look like

I believe the insert slide button in impress has the necessary code to begin the creation of a single drop down. The attached file shows how the button implementation used to look in older versions of impress.
Comment 5 Regina Henschel 2014-09-26 12:46:57 UTC
I'm happy with the current Drawing toolbar. I only dislike, that in Writer and Calc not all shapes can be added to this toolbar.

There exists about 160 predefined shapes. For me it would be no improvement to put them into one pane in a drop-down menu. In addition, you will loose the ability to let a sub-toolbar flow. If you really want to show them all at once, why not extend the already existing pane in the sidebar?

When you compare Draw with other applications, you should compare it with other vector graphic processor applications, having such an amount of predefined shapes.

The drawing toolbar does not only contain shapes but a lot of tools for manipulating the shapes. If you remove the shapes, the need for the drawing toolbar remains.
Comment 6 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-26 19:48:08 UTC
(In reply to comment #5)
> I'm happy with the current Drawing toolbar. I only dislike, that in Writer
> and Calc not all shapes can be added to this toolbar.

Some may prefer the Drawing toolbar as it is, so maybe its best to leave the toolbar as is, but that doesnt negate the benefit of having a single shape group button for users who prefer it. Yes while i was writing the description, i did notice that 2 button (line ending in arrow, connector drop down) were missing in writer.

> There exists about 160 predefined shapes. For me it would be no improvement
> to put them into one pane in a drop-down menu. In addition, you will loose
> the ability to let a sub-toolbar flow. If you really want to show them all
> at once, why not extend the already existing pane in the sidebar?

Another of the benefits of the single drop down, is that users with smaller screen sizes wont need to have the drawing toolbar open and taking up space. Didnt quite get what 'let a sub-toolbar flow' meant. It might be good to also propose a drawing sidebar pane, but this bug relates to the toolbars.

> When you compare Draw with other applications, you should compare it with
> other vector graphic processor applications, having such an amount of
> predefined shapes.

This bug was primarily targetting Writer, as all the comparisons images were taken from alternative word processor applications.

> The drawing toolbar does not only contain shapes but a lot of tools for
> manipulating the shapes. If you remove the shapes, the need for the drawing
> toolbar remains.

If we take the largest drawing toolbar which is available in Draw, it contains 13 shape buttons, 2 textbox buttons, 2 point related buttons which open up their own toolbars, 2 image related buttons (insert image and image gallery), and 2 other buttons (fontwork gallery, extrusion on/off). So there is a total of 21 buttons with more than half of them (62%) related to shapes, including the 2 image buttons that are redundant (insert image is in the standard toolbar and image gallery is in the already visible sidebar).
The drawing toolbar has 13
Comment 7 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-30 05:00:46 UTC
Created attachment 107096 [details]
Google Docs Shape Drop Down

I think Google Docs' way of having it as a group drop down button with categories which open submenus with the icons in it is the most ideal way to show it, if it can be achievable.
Comment 8 Owen Genat (retired) 2014-09-30 07:32:04 UTC
Jay I think the problem you are going to have with this enhancement is that it will depend on changing a few other UX aspects. Of all the large drop-down-style examples, only that of Word 2013 offers the same level of convenience to what the Drawing toolbar in LO currently offers. I would certainly not want to draw anything elaborate or large with a single-group drop-down as the amount of clicking would be excessive.

For example, by default, the Basic Shape group displays the Diamond, however I can select Hexagon, which changes the displayed shape for that group. I can then draw multiple hexagons fairly quickly and easily, via a series of single-click selections. I can simultaneously do the same for any group, thus having the desired Block Arrow, Callout, Flowchart, or object from another group, should I choose to expose these.

With the Word 2013 arrangement each selected shape is moved to the Recent Used Shapes area at the head of the drop-down (or bottom of pop-up if the toolbar appears at the screen bottom). That is pseudo-convenient as it still requires hunting for the required icon each and every time.

(In reply to comment #5)
> If you really want to show them all at once, why not extend the already 
> existing pane in the sidebar?

I can see how the proposed enhancement reduces the need for an entire dedicated Drawing toolbar. However I tend to agree with this comment by Regina that the effort would be better spent creating a new pane in the sidebar and then changing View > Toolbar > Drawing to expose this pane. This is similar to the recent change with regard to the Styles and Formatting toolbar.
Comment 9 Jean-Francois Nifenecker 2014-09-30 08:23:50 UTC
(In reply to comment #8)

> I tend to agree with this comment by Regina that the effort would be better 
> spent creating a new pane in the sidebar and then changing View > Toolbar > 
> Drawing to expose this pane. This is similar to the recent change with regard 
> to the Styles and Formatting toolbar.

Note that, when using Draw extensively, one needs all three toolbars at once: the drawing toolbar, the Navigator toolbar and the Stylist toolbar. To me, the idea of mixing several of these within the Sidebar, typically, the Stylist and the Drawing toobars -- as it seems a given that the Navigator will remain stand-alone -- would interfere with this workflow.
Comment 10 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-30 15:25:25 UTC
Created attachment 107131 [details]
IBM Symphony basic shapes group drop down
Comment 11 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-30 15:26:12 UTC
Created attachment 107132 [details]
shapes group button in wps writer
Comment 12 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-30 16:07:39 UTC
Hi Owen,

(In reply to comment #8)
> Jay I think the problem you are going to have with this enhancement is that
> it will depend on changing a few other UX aspects.

Can you elaborate on this.

> Of all the large
> drop-down-style examples, only that of Word 2013 offers the same level of
> convenience to what the Drawing toolbar in LO currently offers. I would
> certainly not want to draw anything elaborate or large with a single-group
> drop-down as the amount of clicking would be excessive.

One of the primary goals of the single group button is to provide quick access to being able to add a single shape. If we see the current process of how we do this in LibO, you will see where the problem is. So as an example, lets see the process to add a pentagon.

1) move the mouse to the toolbar and click the draw toolbar button, else click on menu bar - View > Toolbars > Drawing.

2) move the mouse to the bottom of the screen and click on the 'Basic Shapes' drop down.

3) look through the list and click on the pentagon button.

4) draw the pentagon on the screen.

5) move the mouse to the top of the screen and click the draw toolbar button to hide it.

And here are the steps with the group drop down.

1) move the mouse to the toolbar and click the group drop down.

2) look through the list and click on the pentagon button (ms word and ibm symphony style) or move the mouse to the shapes category and then look through the list and click the pentagon (google docs style)

3) draw the pentagon on the screen.

> For example, by default, the Basic Shape group displays the Diamond, however
> I can select Hexagon, which changes the displayed shape for that group. I
> can then draw multiple hexagons fairly quickly and easily, via a series of
> single-click selections. I can simultaneously do the same for any group,
> thus having the desired Block Arrow, Callout, Flowchart, or object from
> another group, should I choose to expose these.

Yes this would be an advantage of using the toolbar, when you need to work with a number of different types of objects as you have multiple object groups. IBM Symphony chose to have 2 group drop downs - one for basic and arrow shapes and a second for flow charts, callouts, stars, and symbol shapes.

> With the Word 2013 arrangement each selected shape is moved to the Recent
> Used Shapes area at the head of the drop-down (or bottom of pop-up if the
> toolbar appears at the screen bottom). That is pseudo-convenient as it still
> requires hunting for the required icon each and every time.

The single group drop down would never be as extensive or as powerful as the drawing toolbar, but it has advantages over the drawing toolbar when it comes to easier access for single operations, as mentioned above.

The recent used shapes area found in Word 2013 could easily be molded into the Google Docs styled list by adding an additional category called 'Recently Used'.

> I can see how the proposed enhancement reduces the need for an entire
> dedicated Drawing toolbar. However I tend to agree with this comment by
> Regina that the effort would be better spent creating a new pane in the
> sidebar and then changing View > Toolbar > Drawing to expose this pane.

I doubt there is a need to dedicate an entire sidebar pane to inserting drawing objects and this enhancement is focused on toolbar users how wont be using the sidebar.

> This is similar to the recent change with regard to the Styles and Formatting
> toolbar.

Can you elaborate on this.

--------------------------

There is a means of bringing all the functionality of the drawing toolbar into a single toolbar button. You can see this illustrated with the insert button found in the tools toolbar. It basically expands the entire insert toolbar when you click on the drop down part. The only disadvantage to this is that everything would need an extra click.
Comment 13 Regina Henschel 2014-09-30 16:21:46 UTC
Created attachment 107137 [details]
Picture of the predefined shapes in LibreOffice

And these are the predefined shapes in LibreOffice. Only to be sure, that we speak about the same shapes.
Comment 14 Jean-Francois Nifenecker 2014-09-30 16:39:52 UTC
What is important (to me) is the ability to detach the individual shape panels for a quick access when is drawing phase.
Would the new proposal allow for that? Is yes, a smaller amount of panels would imply bigger ones, which migh be a nuisance.
Comment 15 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-09-30 20:44:26 UTC
(In reply to comment #13)
> And these are the predefined shapes in LibreOffice. Only to be sure, that we
> speak about the same shapes.

Well i was primarily focused on the shapes - basic shapes, symbol shapes, block arrows, flowchart, callouts, star & banners, 3d-objects, rectangles, circles & ovals. I believe that textbox objects (Text) and lines (Lines, Arrows, Connectors) should have their own separate group buttons, similar to how it IBM Symphony and Google Docs. I would ultimately like to add these three group buttons to writer's standard toolbar, and this bug report was focused on the largest of the three and would layout the ground work to easily achieve the other two.
Comment 16 Owen Genat (retired) 2014-10-04 06:14:28 UTC
(In reply to Jay Philips from comment #12)
> (In reply to comment #8)
> > Jay I think the problem you are going to have with this enhancement is that
> > it will depend on changing a few other UX aspects.
> 
> Can you elaborate on this.

This was a general reference to the design plan for toolbars vs sidebar. Rather than elaborate here, I will do so in the Design forum as that would seem more appropriate. I have made a start in these two locations:

https://redmine.documentfoundation.org/boards/1/topics/218
https://redmine.documentfoundation.org/boards/1/topics/217?r=219#message-219

> One of the primary goals of the single group button is to provide quick
> access to being able to add a single shape. 

We are talking different forms of quick access (latency) trade-off here. I will just summarise here both our points. The advantage of having a single always-displayed toolbar with group item, is that the initial click is low latency, but hunting for a specific item remains high(er) latency. By comparison the current toolbar has high initial latency (getting it displayed) and then low(er) latency while in use, as more recently used items are on display at once. Thus for inserting a single shape, the group button is more advantageous, but for constructing a drawing, a dedicated toolbar is often more advantageous. We seem to be in agreement about this and in honesty I do not hold a strong opinion, particular with respect to this toolbar in Writer, but I wanted to make these points clear.

> I doubt there is a need to dedicate an entire sidebar pane to inserting
> drawing objects and this enhancement is focused on toolbar users how wont be
> using the sidebar.

I guess this depends, as I indicated above on the ultimate design strategy with respect to the toolbars and sidebar.
 
> > This is similar to the recent change with regard to the Styles and Formatting
> > toolbar.
> 
> Can you elaborate on this.

I meant that View > Toolbar > Drawing could be amended to expose a new Drawing deck in the sidebar (as Format > Styles and Formatting now will, as per bug 73151). Of course this is speculative, and it may be View > Toolbar > Drawing will merely hide/reveal a launched toolbar, should this type of behaviour be pursued. Again, this is really a discussion better suited to the Design forum.
Comment 17 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2014-10-05 08:50:41 UTC
(In reply to Owen Genat from comment #16)
> > Can you elaborate on this.
> 
> This was a general reference to the design plan for toolbars vs sidebar.
> Rather than elaborate here, I will do so in the Design forum as that would
> seem more appropriate. I have made a start in these two locations:
> 
> https://redmine.documentfoundation.org/boards/1/topics/218
> https://redmine.documentfoundation.org/boards/1/topics/217?r=219#message-219

Well as this bug report is discussing toolbar and their buttons, i dont see the argument in bringing up the sidebar.

> > One of the primary goals of the single group button is to provide quick
> > access to being able to add a single shape. 
> 
> We are talking different forms of quick access (latency) trade-off here. I
> will just summarise here both our points. The advantage of having a single
> always-displayed toolbar with group item, is that the initial click is low
> latency, but hunting for a specific item remains high(er) latency. By
> comparison the current toolbar has high initial latency (getting it
> displayed) and then low(er) latency while in use, as more recently used
> items are on display at once. Thus for inserting a single shape, the group
> button is more advantageous, but for constructing a drawing, a dedicated
> toolbar is often more advantageous. We seem to be in agreement about this
> and in honesty I do not hold a strong opinion, particular with respect to
> this toolbar in Writer, but I wanted to make these points clear.

Yes we do agree on these points. Both have their advantages, so i'd like to create the one that is presently not available.

> > I doubt there is a need to dedicate an entire sidebar pane to inserting
> > drawing objects and this enhancement is focused on toolbar users how wont be
> > using the sidebar.
> 
> I guess this depends, as I indicated above on the ultimate design strategy
> with respect to the toolbars and sidebar.

Look forward to hearing this design strategy, as i consider the toolbar-only UI and toolbar + sidebar UI to be separate modes a user should be able to choose from.

https://redmine.documentfoundation.org/boards/1/topics/69?r=118#message-118
https://redmine.documentfoundation.org/boards/1/topics/163

> > Can you elaborate on this.
> 
> I meant that View > Toolbar > Drawing could be amended to expose a new
> Drawing deck in the sidebar (as Format > Styles and Formatting now will, as
> per bug 73151). Of course this is speculative, and it may be View > Toolbar
> > Drawing will merely hide/reveal a launched toolbar, should this type of
> behaviour be pursued. Again, this is really a discussion better suited to
> the Design forum.

If you'd like to propose a drawing deck in the sidebar, i look forward to its discussion and mockups.
Comment 18 Robinson Tryon (qubit) 2014-12-24 03:02:26 UTC
Component is ux-advise, so setting Status -> NEW.
Comment 19 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2016-08-08 17:56:16 UTC
So we need 3 new uno commands for this enhancement.

1) Lines split button (.uno:LinesToolbox) - a duplicate of .uno:ArrowsToolbox with .uno:Line as the main button and 5 entries per row with .uno:Line and .uno:Line_Diagonal taking up slots A1 and A2 respectively.

2) Lines group button (.uno:LinesGroup) - opens a menu with .uno:LinesToolbox, .uno:ArrowsToolbox and .uno:ConnectorToolbox.

3) Shapes group button (.uno:ShapesGroup) - opens a menu with .uno:BasicShapes, .uno:ArrowShapes, .uno:SymbolShapes, .uno:StarShapes, .uno:CalloutShapes and .uno:FlowChartShapes, similar to how Insert > Shapes looks.