Author Topic: Contact Sheet tabs  (Read 5430 times)

Offline SamFrost

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Contact Sheet tabs
« on: April 11, 2007, 01:58:24 AM »
I'm really liking the new tabs in 4.5, but I have a couple of thoughts on their behaviour for you.

Would it be possible to make the Select Next or Previous Tab command (Command-{ or Command-}) wrap around the end, so if I'm in the rightmost tab, and press Next Tab, it cycles to the leftmost tab?  I used to use Exposé to quickly switch between Contact Sheets in 4.4, and the keyboard shortcuts are now quicker most of the time, but it I only have two tabs I sometimes lose track of which one I'm in, so this change would mean that either Command-} or -{ would always switch to the next tab.  Safari's tabs behave like this and it's very convenient.

Also, would it be possible to somehow have a choice over whether PM opens new folders in multiple tabs or a single tab?  Specifically, I'm thinking of when I drop folders onto the Dock icon, which is my usual way of opening folders as I tend to use the Finder more than PM's Navigator or Favorites.  If I drop multiple folders onto PM, it now opens them into multiple tabs in the same window, which is usually ideal.  Sometimes though it would be nice to have them all open into the same tab, as this would be quicker than right-clicking each one individually in the Navigator and opening each one into the current contact sheet, especially if it is many folders.  Ideally a keyboard choice, for example by holding down a specific key or not as you drop them onto the icon to define how PM handles them, but I suspect that would be handled by Mac OS rather than PM so may be outside your control.  I can see a preference setting would be able to affect how PM handles multiple folders opened at the same time, but that would not be so useful on a case-by-case basis.  Would something like a Combine All Tabs command be possible, which would create a a new Contact Sheet replacing all the tabs in the current window with a single one containing the contents of all the separate Contact Sheets?

Sam.

Offline heywood

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2007, 12:43:32 PM »
A closely related feature request to the above post (but if it's preferable to have in its own thread, let me know and I will gladly create one):

As SamFrost says, dropping multiple folders onto the PM dock icon has the expected behavior. But within PM 4.5.3b4, the only one-step way I've found to open the contents of a folder in a new tab is to double-click on it in the navigator panel. In addition, I would expect to be able to...

1) Control-click on multiple folders (or shift-click to select a range) in the navigator panel, then drag all items so selected into the main panel to open multiple contact sheets; and/or

2) Drag a single folder from the Navigator into the main panel while holding a keyboard modifier (say command or control) to open its contents in a new tab.

I find the "destructive" replacement of one contact sheet with another a bit unintuitive; perhaps there could be a pref for the default tab behavior (repace/open in new tab/etc.) in this case, along the lines of what Firefox does?

Also, I realize the second item is minor (since you can double-click on the folder to do the same thing) but being able to do it that way in addition to the existing double-click method would be very intuitive (well, for me at least  :)). But the first item seems like a no-brainer unless there is a valid technical reason for not being able to do this (I did RTFM, but saw nothing about this; perhaps I missed it?).

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2007, 01:20:28 PM »
I find the "destructive" replacement of one contact sheet with another a bit unintuitive; perhaps there could be a pref for the default tab behavior (repace/open in new tab/etc.) in this case, along the lines of what Firefox does?

This is completely adjustable in the Preferences dialog under the Launching tab.  You can make single clicks open in a new sheet, replace the old sheet, etc.  Or you can use double-clicks.

-Kirk

Offline heywood

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2007, 10:06:29 AM »
The Launching tab in Preferences allows you to adjust behavior when clicking in the Navigator, but what I had in mind was a pref to adjust behavior when dragging from the Navigator into the contact sheet area.

What's more, the dragging behavior does not follow the pref for clicking in any case. That is, even if I set the pref to either of "{Single,Double}-click opens in new Contact Sheet," dragging still replaces the active sheet.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2007, 11:21:17 AM »
The Launching tab in Preferences allows you to adjust behavior when clicking in the Navigator, but what I had in mind was a pref to adjust behavior when dragging from the Navigator into the contact sheet area.

What's more, the dragging behavior does not follow the pref for clicking in any case. That is, even if I set the pref to either of "{Single,Double}-click opens in new Contact Sheet," dragging still replaces the active sheet.

OK, but is there a reason why you *have* to drag folders when there are other methods available that will do what you're looking for?

-Kirk

Offline heywood

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2007, 01:12:30 PM »
No, no, this certainly isn't critical. The "Double-click opens in new Contact Sheet" setting does the job. The reason I suggested this is that it seems like it would be logically consistent with the drag-and-drop idiom used in both Finder and Windows Explorer.

In any case, whatever you decide to do, thanks for responding so quickly!

Offline heywood

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2007, 10:33:16 AM »
(sorry for the comment spam...)

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OK, but is there a reason why you *have* to drag folders when there are other methods available that will do what you're looking for?

I think I just put my finger on why this behavior is so unintuitive. A basic principle of GUI design is that, roughly speaking, things that represent similar (or parallel) functionality should in fact work similarly. The PM Navigator violates this in a few spots.

Specifically, in Finder, command-click selects multiple individual folders, and shift-click selects a range. Same thing (with different modifier keys) in Windows Explorer. But in PM (setting aside the case where you have the Launching pref set to operate on single clicks), neither one works. It seems to me Navigator would be much more intuitive to use if it followed Finder's (or Windows Explorer's) behavior as much as is logically possible, and that includes the ability to drag.

Along the same lines, I wish there were a pref for retaining the main PM window (that says "To open a contact sheet here...", with Navigator still showing on the left-hand side) when the last tab is closed. It's a bit disconcerting to have the entire window close when I close that last tab, because at that point the app is still running but it's necessary to open a new window to get back to the Navigator.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2007, 10:51:54 AM »
(sorry for the comment spam...)

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OK, but is there a reason why you *have* to drag folders when there are other methods available that will do what you're looking for?

I think I just put my finger on why this behavior is so unintuitive. A basic principle of GUI design is that, roughly speaking, things that represent similar (or parallel) functionality should in fact work similarly. The PM Navigator violates this in a few spots.

Specifically, in Finder, command-click selects multiple individual folders, and shift-click selects a range. Same thing (with different modifier keys) in Windows Explorer. But in PM (setting aside the case where you have the Launching pref set to operate on single clicks), neither one works.

The Navigator and Favorites do not allow multiple items to be selected so none of those qualifier keys apply to them.  The Navigator and Favorites panes are not Finder GUIs hosted inside Photo Mechanic.  They had to be written from scratch.

Quote from: heywood
It seems to me Navigator would be much more intuitive to use if it followed Finder's (or Windows Explorer's) behavior as much as is logically possible, and that includes the ability to drag.

Hmm, you should have been here about a year ago. ;)  I got numerous requests for adding the single-click behavior, many not even wanting the double-click behavior at all.  So I compromised and made it possible to have both behaviors.

Dragging would never work with the single-click behavior, but it could work with the double-click behavior.  Option-drag could just add the dragged folder to the current contact sheet instead of replacing it.

Quote from: heywood
Along the same lines, I wish there were a pref for retaining the main PM window (that says "To open a contact sheet here...", with Navigator still showing on the left-hand side) when the last tab is closed. It's a bit disconcerting to have the entire window close when I close that last tab, because at that point the app is still running but it's necessary to open a new window to get back to the Navigator.

I took my cue from Apple here.  Safari does exactly the same thing.  If you manually close the tabs, the last tab cannot be closed.  But if you use Command-W to close the tabs then when you get to the last tab, an additional Command-W closes the window.

-Kirk

Offline Frantisek Vlcek

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2007, 12:09:49 PM »
As for the clicks, the way it is done now is great :) Allows me to select multiple files with mouse alone, OR using the keyboard modifiers as well. It's perfect for laptop users too.

As to last window closing, that's easy to do in Mac OS X. It's simply a systemwide change for specified applications. Works with Safari,Firefox,whatever. Just go to Keyboard preferences, and add Keyboard Shortcuts for PM as follows: Close Window CMD-SHIFT-W, Close Contact Sheet Tab CMD-W. Same with Safari. CMD-W will then just close tabs, but it will leave the last one open. You can then click the red button to close the window itself.

Frantisek

Offline heywood

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Re: Contact Sheet tabs
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2007, 06:19:04 PM »
@Frantisek:
Quote
As to last window closing, that's easy to do in Mac OS X. It's simply a systemwide change for specified applications. Works with Safari,Firefox,whatever. Just go to Keyboard preferences, and add Keyboard Shortcuts for PM as follows:
Cool -- I'd forgotten about this. It isn't precisely what I described earlier (I wanted to be able to close the last contact sheet and just leave the blank background in the main panel, so that it looks the same way it does when PM starts up), but it's easily close enough. Thanks for that.

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Allows me to select multiple files with mouse alone, OR using the keyboard modifiers as well.
I'm confused. How are you able to select multiple files (folders) using keyboard modifiers? Or do you mean the pop-up context menu?


@Kirk:
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The Navigator and Favorites do not allow multiple items to be selected so none of those qualifier keys apply to them.
Umm... that's sort of the thing I was complaining about...  ::)

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The Navigator and Favorites panes are not Finder GUIs hosted inside Photo Mechanic.  They had to be written from scratch.
I appreciate that, and please understand that I'm not at all trying to belittle or minimize the amount of work that must have taken. All I'm saying is that while this may not use those specific Finder widgets, it does closely resemble one of the standard ones, namely the file picker.

Quote
Dragging would never work with the single-click behavior, but it could work with the double-click behavior.  Option-drag could just add the dragged folder to the current contact sheet instead of replacing it.
Agreed. To be clear, I was not proposing to change or remove the single/double-click idioms; it makes sense to keep those exactly as is, especially since many people like those options and use them. I was only suggesting to add the ability to select multiple folders, either via command-click or shift-click (and yes, it only makes sense if the single-click pref is not chosen). Then, for example:

  • Dragging the compound selection into the main window opens all images into a single contact sheet (either new or topmost, following the pref set in the Launching tab);
  • Doing the same drag while holding option opens all images into individual new contact sheets (again following the Launching pref as concerns the topmost/active sheet);
  • Double-clicking on the compound selection does the same thing as dragging; and
  • Double-clicking while holding option does the same thing as option-dragging.

OK, enough for now. I realize this may well only make sense to me, so if you tell me to go take a walk I'll understand. Thanks either way for the thoughtful discussion!

Cheers,

/H