Re: Toolbars

Subject: Re: Toolbars
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 08:24:51 -0500

>David (the idiot) Ibbetson said:
>>And this has the result that the types who use the toolbar all the time
>>won't know about the facilities that have been hidden from them!

>Sue (the usually infallible) Gallagher replied:
>>. . . The user isn't there to play with the computer, but to get a
>>job done. If the toolbar button accomplishes the result *and* does so
>>faster and easier than the menu option, that's the way many users will
>>choose to go.


>It's good to hide complexity from new users, but some of that
>is what will help them to go from being beginners to using the software
>efficiently and effectively. Buttons are good for fast, easy, default
>Saves and default Prints. But it's also good to know that there are
>options other than the defaults. This is not playing but learning.

>Stuart (the stupid) Burnfield (slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au)

I don't see the problem with toolbars. Their usage is optional. Aren't
most toolbars user-defined? The user has the choice as to which, if
any, toolbars to display. Furthermore, the user can add items to or
delete items from the toolbar. I always considered toolbars as a
mechanism that provides quick access to commonly use commands. In Word,
I've also used toolbars as a container for some of my macros (such as my
"create topic" macro).

On a side note, I've seen some nifty uses of toolbars in some
object-oriented applications. These applications use a "step sequence"
toolbar to guide the user through a series of operational steps. The
"step sequence" toolbar appears immediately after selecting certain
commands. As the user works on a step, the toolbar(s) containing the
commands required to complete that step appear (the software also
activates and deactivates applicable commands in the menus).

When the step is complete, the next button on the "step sequence"
toolbar activates and the toolbar(s) necessary to complete the next step
replace the previous ones. The user can repeat the previous step by
selecting its button on the "step sequence" toolbar. This accomplishes
an "undo" up-to-and-including the selected steps (some undo only the
affects of the selected step and make adjustments to work done
subsequent to that step). The original toolbars and available commands,
return when the command sequence is complete.

Mike Wing

>_/ Michael Wing
>_/ Principal Technical Writer
>_/ Infrastructure Technical Information Development
>_/ Intergraph Corporation
>_/ Huntsville, Alabama
>_/ (205) 730-7250
>_/ mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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