Interface question

Devin Asay devin_asay at
Tue Dec 22 13:56:52 EST 2009

On Dec 22, 2009, at 11:50 AM, J. Landman Gay wrote:

> I've got another interface problem I can't decide how to solve, maybe
> some of you have ideas.
> I have an app that creates various printouts. These are all hard- 
> coded;
> i.e., the end user never sees the templates and can't change them. In
> the app's preferences, though, they are allowed to add custom header  
> and
> footer text that will appear on each printout. This info is entered  
> into
> fields in the prefs stack. They can also set the tabstops by moving
> little sliding arrows, so that they can control the text placement in
> each header or footer by adding and positioning tabs.
> Because the prefs stack is much smaller than the print template  
> stacks,
> the text entry fields are also not as wide. To give the user a way to
> visualize how their tabstops will look, the textsize in the entry  
> fields
> is very small. This gives the right ratio between field width and text
> size, so that they get a fairly accurate idea of the text placement in
> the header or footer as they slide the tabstops around.
> So now the client says the text is too small to read easily (which is
> true) and he'd like it legible. Problem is, if I increase the text  
> size,
> the relative ratio of the tabstops will not be accurate and the fields
> will not display the relative text placement correctly.
> I need a clever idea on how to display accurate text positioning while
> maintaining legibility. I've thought of a few things, but nothing I
> like. Tooltips that show what the text says might be one way, but I
> don't really like that much.


What about a "Show Full Size" button that would zoom the header/footer  
page to actual size in a separate, non-editable window. Seems like you  
could just figure out the proportional increase for the tab stops  
along with the proportionally-larger font.


Devin Asay
Humanities Technology and Research Support Center
Brigham Young University

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