Many thanks for your feedback solaero, a.l.e and utnik. It's much appreciated. I'll try and answer your questions and concerns together.
The main problems I was attempting to solve are as follows:
* There is no currently available "zoom to selected" function as requested here: http://forums.scribus.net/index.php/topic,1679.0.html
(It's worth reading the whole thread for more information.) Sometimes it's nice to be able to select something and easily make it fill the screen to work just on that thing.
* There is no way of quickly switching between two user-defined zoom levels. All we have at the moment is the "half or double the existing level" function or the "go up or down by a set amount" function. Sometimes it's nice to be able to quickly switch between two levels that are right for a particular document (see below).
* The zoom GUI is split between the toolbar and the status bar. That just seems silly to me so having everything in the same place sounds better.
* The current "half or double the existing level" function doesn't give the user much fine control. For instance, if you're at 100% and want 300% you have to type the value into a box or use the spinner multiple times which detracts from the work-flow. I'd prefer to just make one click.Who it's for
Basically, it's for me (and people who do the same sort of work as me). The zoom functions of Scribus are, for the work I do, not nearly nice enough to use. I frequently want to switch between two or three zoom levels - close-up, full page, from a distance - and with the current tools I have to keep messing around entering values or using the spinner multiple times to get where I want to be.
It's also for beginners and other people who prefer to be able to make things happen with the minimum of fuss. Just click to set the zoom level that you want, it's as simple as that.
(A "previous" zoom level button would be no use as I work on three levels, normally switching between two levels but occasionally going to another for an overview. Once you switch to a third level the "previous" button no longer works properly and you have to mess around "putting things right" again.)For power users
I do not propose that the shortcuts or power-user functions would change or be removed. People who are used to using mouse wheel zooms or Ctrl+0 etc. would not be affected. There's absolutely no reason for people to lose anything they've already got.
The zoom bar would, of course, be removable if someone didn't want it. I just didn't get round to putting a "Close" icon on it yet. Please remember this is a very crude first version.For screen space
I've only been learning C#.NET for a couple of days so my expertise with the form designer is very limited. This is the only reason why the zoom bar is so large at the moment. I envisage the final thing would be no larger than a vertical scroll bar (see http://forums.scribus.net/index.php/topic,1679.msg7507.html#msg7507
for an example).
Given the space taken up by the align and layers dialogs that I always have open - as there's no other way of quickly aligning things or switching layers on/off (as I frequently want to do) - the space that an extra scroll bar would use is, in my opinion, not excessive. (And, as said above, you can close it if you don't want it.)The LibreOffice way
Personally I don't like the LibreOffice zoom widget. I can never get the zoom level I want first time. Maybe I'm just not using it right but it's not clear to me.In use
I think this is the sort of thing that can only really be understood properly by actually using it. A single click to zoom to the exact level you want really is so much easier than having to negotiate spin boxes, half/double functions and value entry.
I think it could be a case of knowing how to get by with what's available versus getting used to a new way that could be much easier once you've seen what it can do.
If I knew how to package the whole thing up so that people could install it and have a go then I'm sure the whole experience would become much more understandable. (That's probably much more complicated than I think it should be.)Back to the community
I hope I've managed to explain myself - and the proposal - a bit clearer now. Just tell me if I haven't.
If anyone has any questions or ideas or comments then please speak up.
If you're a Scribus beginner then I'd love to hear what you think about it. Power users have their own way of doing things but it's the beginners that can better see the limitations of software and get frustrated when something doesn't work the way they want it to. It's easy to become a power user, you just keep using the software; it's way more difficult being a beginner and not knowing what to do.
P.S. If there's no real enthusiasm for this then I've no problem in just dropping it. It's been a nice way of learning some C#.NET basics and I've got other things I could be working on. I'm not really all that bothered either way, it's just an experiment.