Re: [Usability] Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME (Summit mockups)

On Thu, 2005-12-15 at 16:54 +0000, Ross Burton wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-12-15 at 16:01 +0000, Iain * wrote:
> > I don't know where I'd put a Print to File option, but I'd like it as
> > a seperate entity instead. I'm wondering out loud now, if it could be
> > linked to the other file operations (such as open, save, etc.) ,
> > because its really an operation that results in a file, rather than an
> > operation that operates on the printer. But suggesting that would be
> > something that I'll be shot down in flames for.
> OpenOffice has an Export option, which currently supports PDF and HTML.
> I'd expect generic PostScript to fall happily in there, which is what
> people generally mean when they print to a file.
> The only use-case for 'print to file' I can think of, apart from to work
> around broken applications (where we fix the apps), is when you have
> designed a document and the print shop wants a Postscript file.  For
> this, Export seems sensible.

The advantage of having it directly in the Print dialog
is that applications all get the functionality for free.
If we have to have a separate Print to File or Export,
my bet is that a lot of applications won't remember to
do so.

Perhaps having Print to File in the Print dialog isn't
the most obviously intuitive thing, but it's common
enough that I think users won't have any difficulty
discovering and remembering it.

As for use-cases, here's one:  My girlfriend uses a
piece of statistical analysis software called SPSS.
It's propriety software for Windows.  She once wanted
me to print a file for her, so I told her to print it
to a PDF and send me that.  It turns out that Print
to PDF isn't in a standard Windows print dialog,
which really shocked me.

PDF is a universal printable format.  If you want
to give somebody something they can print, then you
want to convert it to PDF.  I'm not talking about
high-end print shops here.  I might write my resum�n AbiWord, but convert it to PDF to send out to
prospective employers.  Or maybe I need to print
a Gnumeric spreadsheet at Kinko's.

Any application that's capable of printing should
be able to export to a PDF file.  From a platform
perspective, the only way we can really ensure
that they all do is to have the PDF option inside
the Print dialog.


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