Re: [Usability] Printing dialog and GNOME


Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
Very nice. I have long wanted a platform-wide print dialog that has a built-in preview! A subtle enhancement would be to show the edges of the other pages peeking out from underneath the page currently on top of the preview, so that it looked like a stack of paper viewed from the top. (I would even go as far as showing the last page by default, not the first. Maybe I'm biased by my time in Internet cafés, but a common workflow seems to be printing a document, then discovering that the last page contains only two lines, then wishing you'd realized earlier so you could have done something to shrink the job by one page.)

Maybe being able to press the back button and go to the last page from the first would accomplish this less drastically?

One big advantage of a built-in preview would be that you could see the effects of your changes in the Print dialog itself (albeit with a delay of a few seconds after each change), without repeatedly reopening a separate preview window. For that reason, I suggest making "Print Settings" not a separate dialog, but tabs of the overall Print dialog, with the preview outside the tabs so it can be seen no matter which tab is selected.

I like keeping the main dialog clean. I like that Windows and OSX's main print dialogs are visually complex and scary and tabby, and this one is not.

But yes, having another settings dialog may hinder the interactivity of a live-update feature.

(Would it be too much to be able to ask for a 2-up duplex book, or a 4-up leaflet, with the correct page ordering and orientation required, from within the Print dialog?)

Probably, unless you write it :-)

2.  When applications have app-specific options (in a Web browser for
    example, printing the selection and/or backgrounds, and specifying
    the header and/or footer), these are buried in a panel near the
    bottom of the list -- when they're often the options you're *most*
    likely to want to change.

Ya, I think apps being able to add or override existing controls on any of the stock panes makes sense. Like F-Spot changing "Pages per sheet" to "Photos per sheet".

3.  Over the last few years saving as a PDF, and then sending as a fax,
    have been shoehorned as buttons into the Print dialog. But if I
    can use the Print dialog to export a poster design I'm working on
    as a large PDF for proofing, why not as a small JPEG to e-mail to
    my client? And if I can send a document by fax from this dialog,
    why not by e-mail or by SFTP? Done right, I think an extensible
    "Print/Publish" dialog could save people a *lot* of time.

Note that the printers drop-down does not say "Printer:", but that it says "Send To:".


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