RE: UI issue: Text edit mode

On Mon, 2007-08-13 at 11:25 +0930, Young, Robert wrote:
I'm strong considering splitting diagram editing into a 
"normal" mode and a "text-edit" mode.  It will allow for more 
powerful text editing down the road, use of more shortcuts in 
normal mode, avoidance of the "Delete destroys the object" in 
text-edit mode and more.  While I have no problem with how to 
exit text-edit mode (Esc or clicking elsewhere), I have my 
doubts about what would be best for entering.  My ideas so far are

1) Press "Enter" to start editing text.  Pro: Frees all other 
keys for shortcuts.  Con: Non-obvious
2) Press any letter key to start editing.  Pro: Natural start 
of writing for many people.  Con: Loses some shortcuts, can't 
start writing with non-letters or composite keys.
3) Press any non-modified key to start editing. Pro: Fully 
transparent for English-speaking people.  Con: Loses a few 
more shortcuts, can't start writing with more complex input.
4) Press any part of a character to start editing. Pro: 
Transparent for everyone.  Con: Loses a lot of shortcuts, 
including many alt and some ctrl-shift ones.

Text edit mode is a good idea!!

None of the suggested approaches are what I'd describe as "obvious".
Either single clicking on text, or double clicking would be the best
approach - IMHO these are more obvious.

Currently if you select an object with text (or a text object) text mode
is enabled immediately. What if this was changed so clicking just
selecting the object. Then if the next click on the object started Text
Edit mode? 

Double clicking opens the properties. An alternative would be to change
this for just text, or for all objects? Changing existing behaviour can
be troublesome, though it makes sense (to me) to double click to get
properties for a line, say, and double click to edit a text object. 

I'm still feeling free to change behaviours, given that we're in
pre-1.0.  And this part really needs improvement.

I'm favoring 3 over 2, even though it'd rule out using '1' for 
zoom 100%.  I think 4 would be confusing and hard to code.  
But is 1 too non-intuitive?  Are there better ways?  What do 
other programs get away with?

A quick survey of the tools I often use : Inkscape uses the double click
approach. MS Word uses a mixture - double click for WordArt and the
existing Dia approach for text boxes - this is inconsistent. GIMP
requires selection of Text Tool and then single click.  Windows explorer
uses the click once, click again approach for renaming files. Nautilus
requires <f2> or right click -> Rename. JGraphPad uses double click to
edit text object. So, there's no "standard" except that the use of the
mouse is common.

Anyone know what Visio, Omnigraffle and other more Dia-like programs do?

I see no reason why starting text edit should not involve the keyboard,
given that editing usually involves the keyboard right afterwards.


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