Re: Fwd: Re: AbiWord Font Usability question

From: Leonard Rosenthol (
Date: Wed Aug 28 2002 - 10:15:36 EDT

  • Next message: Leonard Rosenthol: "Re: AbiWord Font Usability question"

    At 4:59 AM -0400 8/28/02, Hubert Figuiere wrote:
    >1) Almost everyone makes consistent use of a sans-serif font and a serif
    >font. Most people don't really care which sans-serif or serif font this
    >is as long as it is a good one.

            I would argue that 90% of the world using a word processor
    has never even HEARD the term "serif" - let alone know what it is,
    and when to use it.

    >Instead I propose to only include 5-8 MRU items in the font pulldown
    >menu (organized alphabetically, to organize by recency of use will
    >probably only serve to confuse), then a seperator then "Other Fonts..."
    >which will open up a font selection dialogue.

            Interesting suggestion, and one that certainly addresses the
    issue(s). I believe that I have seen this done before, but can't
    place where.

    >As a further optimization allowed by resticting the pulldown menu to a
    >fixed length, AbiWord could move to using an option menu control rather
    >than a combo box. Fitt's law says that time to acquire a target with the
    >mouse is a function of distance from the cursor and size of the target.
    >The pulldown button for combo boxes is a very small target indeed.
    >Option menus provide a much larger target. Combo boxes have a scrolling
    >ability however, that, I conjecture, is the main reason they have
    >traditionally been used for font menus. This need is eliminated with a
    >fixed length menu.

            All true.

            If you reduce to a maximum length menu (MRU list + Other) you
    have eliminated the need for the combo box. As you point out, it's
    advantages of scrolling and type-ahead are pretty useless for a menu
    with only about 10 items in it.

    >The only other advantage of a combo box is that you can directly type
    >the name of a font in rather than going through the list. I have rarely
    >seen this used, and its very hard to do without typeahead (which abiword
    >doesn't provide in the font combos anyway).

            I use it all the time in Word - but as you point out, they
    have typeahead which helps A LOT!

    >Also, the Other Font feature could have typeahead font selection

            All lists should provide type-selection!


    Leonard Rosenthol                            <>

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