Sidebar pictures

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Sidebar pictures

Nicolas Pujol
Hi everyone !

I saw a large debate about horizontal and vertical sidebars. I'm for the vertical and like I use a text processor with that I will try to give you some good reasons to change your mind if you aren't... Or at least some ideas to improve OpenOffice ;-)

First, the software I use is Pages from Apple. I like this software because it is very simple to use contrary to Word (even if it don't have all the functions of Word).

So let's go, and open the "1- Sides on Pages.png" file.

On this picture you can see, inside the box 1, one of the four sidebars Pages can have. This one allow to manage very efficiently styles. The others displays miniatures of the document's pages, a search box with the results, and the comments write on the document. All of the sidebars can be display in the same times (2 on each side of the document).

Pages have also an "Inspector". All the functions have to be managed with it since menus have only very few things. You can see on the first line the 10 categories of the inspector (Text, Pictures, Charts, etc.) The advantage is you can use menus to do the very simple things (Format -> Font -> Increase the size of the text for example but you can't specify the size you want with the menu) while all the functions are in the inspector. In this way Pages don't use any popup windows and never more than 3 level menu. The inspector can be displayed or not very easily and it can be moved everywhere on the screen. Pages can also display several Inspector in the same time if you want one Inspector for each categories of functions for example.

The box 3 is there to choose the Font you want, it size, it color, shadows, etc. You can be surprised to see you can't managed the Font unless to display a windows for that but Pages use Styles and not Direct formating.

I will write few words on that so you can display the second pictures : "2- Styles on Pages.png".

On this screen you can see a vertical sidebar with styles managing. This sidebar can be split on 3 areas (on this screen there are only 2 firsts) with the paragraphs styles, the text styles and the bullet points styles. This 2 lasts can be display or not when you click on the 2 buttons under the number 3 in the circle.

When you change something in the style (Font size, bold, etc.) a red triangle are displayed. You can replace the style with the new one or save it as a new style.

An other powerful thing with Pages is the Indent level (bullet point) management. I have chosen the "List" management in the Inspector (See the number 3) so I can apply numberings, bullets points, etc. on my text. That's so easy that I cry when I have to do the same thing with Word.

Here, when you select a numbering, etc. you can choose in the same time the space between numbers and text but not more, except the Level of your title. (If you want more things you have to call the Font management.)

And that is the thing I love : When you choose to apply a Level 1 and Level 2 on your text, this software is smart enough to renumbering itself the Level 2 if it came just after the Level 1. All of the Levels styles are saved with the paragraph style so that's simple to use it. To apply a Level style you have only to change the indent level (Level 1 for titles 1, 2 and 3 in my document and Level 2 for Title 2.1 and 2.2).

The style management of the software is terrific even if it appear natural.
And like I'm not sure to was very clear I can do a movie to show you that if you want.

Thanks for reading,


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Re: [ux-discuss] Sidebar pictures

Nicolas Pujol
Thanks Alexandro !

I didn't try KOffice2 and I don't find any MacOS package for it. Do you know
where I can download it ?
About the screencast, you can download the file<>
*(3:30 - 33 Mo) and see a short usage of the style management. You will see
how is organized the work space of the software too.

I downloaded the last version of Pages to do the screencast and Apple add
the Font Formating (Bold, center, etc.) on a top bar, like OpenOffice have.
That's better than the dedicated windows it have before (Cf my lasts

If you wan other screencast, please ask.



2009/8/16 Alexandro Colorado <[hidden email]>

> What about doing a video of your experience. Screencasting software is free
> and it could give a better idea of the software. This can demo some of the
> features of the stuff.
> Have you installed and tried KOffice2 since this has a much different
> interface but also has a great stuff about the use of boxed tools.
> --
> Alexandro Colorado
> CoLeader of ES