Need a cue to tell users how to add text to drawing objects

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Need a cue to tell users how to add text to drawing objects

Hood Family
Hi again everyone.
I'm wondering what you think about this:

To add text to a picture or a shape (or probably other objects, but I
haven't checked)
you just need to select it and start typing.  But how is the user
supposed to know this?

It isn't necessarily intuitive, particularly for someone coming from
other software.
They can spend a very long time trying to find out how to add text to an
object, and
may give up.  And if they don't use the feature frequently they may
forget (I did!)

This would be a real pity, especially since OOo "contours" allow text to
be handled
so much better than in the primitive competition, and "edit points"
works so much
better.
(for entertainment see the workaround Microsoft called "easy":
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint-help/wrap-text-around-an-object-in-powerpoint-2007-HA010282114.aspx
MS must get a lot of complaints, because the Powerpoint 2010 help
includes an
apology and no longer calls it "easy")

How could OOo let people know how to add text?
What about an "add text" entry in the right-click menu?  It would need a
tooltip
explaining that they can also just select the object and start typing,
otherwise most
people would never realise this.

Otherwise I thought maybe a message in the status bar when an object is
selected;
but in Writer the status bar is already full.
Maybe a tooltip for the object?  Does OOo support tooltips for file
content?  I don't
think I've ever seen one.

Has anyone looked into this before?  Perhaps there's something I'm missing?

Regards,
Alister

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Re: Need a cue to tell users how to add text to drawing objects

Hood Family
Hood Family wrote:
> Hi again everyone.
> I'm wondering what you think about this:
>
> To add text to a picture or a shape (or probably other objects, but I
> haven't checked)
> you just need to select it and start typing.  But how is the user
> supposed to know this?
Just to clarify, the behaviour is not always the same in all OOo
components, e.g. you
can add text to a drawing object in Writer or Impress by selecting it
and then typing,
and you can add text to a picture this way in Impress, but not in Writer
(however you
can add text to a picture in Impress and then copy it to Writer).

>
> It isn't necessarily intuitive, particularly for someone coming from
> other software.
> They can spend a very long time trying to find out how to add text to
> an object, and
> may give up.  And if they don't use the feature frequently they may
> forget (I did!)
>
> This would be a real pity, especially since OOo "contours" allow text
> to be handled
> so much better than in the primitive competition, and "edit points"
> works so much
> better.
> (for entertainment see the workaround Microsoft called "easy":
> http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint-help/wrap-text-around-an-object-in-powerpoint-2007-HA010282114.aspx 
>
> MS must get a lot of complaints, because the Powerpoint 2010 help
> includes an
> apology and no longer calls it "easy")
>
> How could OOo let people know how to add text?
> What about an "add text" entry in the right-click menu?  It would need
> a tooltip
> explaining that they can also just select the object and start typing,
> otherwise most
> people would never realise this.
>
> Otherwise I thought maybe a message in the status bar when an object
> is selected;
> but in Writer the status bar is already full.
> Maybe a tooltip for the object?  Does OOo support tooltips for file
> content?  I don't
> think I've ever seen one.
>
> Has anyone looked into this before?  Perhaps there's something I'm
> missing?
>
> Regards,
> Alister
>
Here's another idea: maybe there should just be a flashing cursor in the
middle of an
object when it is selected.  Although perhaps that could be confusing if
the object has
other text above or below it.

Alister

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