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Old 05-10-2018, 08:57 AM   #1
Fuzzi
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Fixed menu item width

Hi,

I think it's since version 3 that I'm unhappy with the menu design.

I'd like to have fixed-width menu items with written subtitle (probably in two lines, split at space).

Currently many items are much too wide (because of the title), others are too small (like "DB").

The option to show text only if there is enough space makes no difference or is defective. I chose to always show text as this is what I want anyway.

Screenshot of my current menu:
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Did I miss something in the configuration?

Thanks for help,
Fuzzi

Calibre 3.23 64-bit
Windows 8.1
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:55 AM   #2
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Items in the menu of calibre have been variable width since the dawn of time. If you dont like that, you can always hide the text in Preferences->Look & feel
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzi View Post
I think it's since version 3 that I'm unhappy with the menu design.

I'd like to have fixed-width menu items with written subtitle (probably in two lines, split at space).
As Kovid said what you are seeing is the way it has always been. There is no change in what you describe.

Personally I like to see the text, but to manage everything I eliminate a lot of items from the main toolbar and place them in my "Favourites" menu (see attached) which is added via the Favourites plugin. The menu is fully configurable and allows me to drastically reduce the items on my main toolbar.

Other items I add to my right click context menu (see attached).
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Last edited by DoctorOhh; 05-10-2018 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:44 PM   #4
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the above, with variations

I don't have any toolbars, just a menu bar with Preferences, but only because calibre insists Preferences be shown in a toolbar or menu bar.

I access my most commonly used calibre tools firstly via keyboard shortcuts, secondly via the context menu, and lastly via the Favourites plugin.

The Favourites plugin allows the selection of individual items from a tool's drop down menu, so for tools with lots of options (e.g. Job Spy) I only put the options I use into the Favourites plugin configuration. Same with Cover and metadata download from the Edit Metadata dropdown.

I'm mouse shy, so I drive the context menu and hence the Favourites menu with the keyboard arrow keys.

BR
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:41 AM   #5
Fuzzi
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Thanks for your answers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal
Items in the menu of calibre have been variable width since the dawn of time.
Well ok then I might remember wrong or the differences are just not so big in the english version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal
If you dont like that, you can always hide the text in Preferences->Look & feel
As said in the first post, I do want the text. Icons only is not intuitive enough for me as I don't use it every week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorOhh
As Kovid said what you are seeing is the way it has always been.
Ok, but that's not a pro-argument for the bumpy menu. I don't know any other program with this kind of aperiodic item widths.

Thank you @DoctorOhh and @BetterRed for the screenshots and your setup suggestions, but actually these are just workarounds. You obtain more space by eliminating buttons from the UI.
I'd better like to prevent single items to waste too much space. This will allow me to have more items visible at once and more important it's a cleaner look and feel which will also improve first impression.

The question for me is "what speaks against fixed-width"?

Best regards,
Fuzzi
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:52 AM   #6
Nicolas F
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If it's not too difficult to code, it would definitely be very useful for french users too since labels are so much longer compared to English.
As suggested above, fixed width with too lines for the labels if needed would work great.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzi View Post
The question for me is "what speaks against fixed-width"?

Best regards,
Fuzzi
Because it won't help you either if the translation is all the time in long version. Look for example to the difference between "View" and "Bücher öffnen"? For me this one is in first place how to deal with redundant information in translations (and maybe the use of flowery descriptions, not bad for a book but worse for menus). A bit streamlining in translation is maybe a better first choice. In combination with the mentioned other tools and tweaks like adding a menu bar and/or a second tool bar it will work maybe better.

By the way, there was already a time where we had "fix length" in description and that was not a good solution. Can't remember wether it was a feature or a error - too long ago...

Or take the opportunity for an english UI
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:00 PM   #8
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Yesterday, I noticed the Favourites plugin allows one to re-label the items one adds to its menu, so I re-labelled some, viz:

Click image for larger version

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I wonder if it might be possible to provide something similar within the existing Toolbar configuration tool in Preferences, or in a plugin that operates on the toolbars and menus defined in Preferences.

BR
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
I wonder if it might be possible to provide something similar within the existing Toolbar configuration tool in Preferences, or in a plugin that operates on the toolbars and menus defined in Preferences.

BR
Me too.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
Yesterday, I noticed the Favourites plugin allows one to re-label the items one adds to its menu, so I re-labelled some, viz:

Attachment 163936

I wonder if it might be possible to provide something similar within the existing Toolbar configuration tool in Preferences, or in a plugin that operates on the toolbars and menus defined in Preferences.

BR
I'm not so sure. If you look at Favourites Configurations, you'll see the configuration stores the displayed text and a reference to the plugin. If you look at the gui configuration, there is only a reference, so I guess the translation is done in real time through the plugins translations files. It's a totally different method.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:33 AM   #11
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Yes, these are directly linked to the translation files where Kovid provide the GUI strings and various translators provide the translations. PI translations are not linked to the main calibre translations and it is up to the PI programmer to organize GUI strings and translations.
There are only five PI that use the same infrastructure as calibre for translations via transifex (EpubMerge, EpubSplit, FanFicFare, SmartEject from JimmXinu and Prince PDF from Jellby).
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzi View Post
Ok, but that's not a pro-argument for the bumpy menu. I don't know any other program with this kind of aperiodic item widths.
Pretty much every program I have ever used has different sized items in the menu bar. So I am not sure what you mean. Certainly it is true that some of the translations of the calibre UI use very long strings for some menu items, but that is really something that should be fixed in those translations.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal
something that should be fixed in those translations
No, most translations are actually good. It's part of the language that it has bigger word constructs to feel natural and be precise.
Meaning of translations shouldn't be sacrificed for an UI issue that is fixable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal
Pretty much every program I have ever used has different sized items in the menu bar
I have a different experience. If the author didn't circumvent it by using a vertical menubar with fixed width, it looks like this:
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Even the "inventors" of ribbon design used a max-width. See latest Word, Excel, Windows or this image on top right: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribbon_(computing)

My opinion:
min-width: given by the icons.
max-width: necessary to define (and best be customizable in options).
fixed-width: even cooler, very clean (needs to be customizable according to language).

Line-breaks (if necessary) at space and slash.

@Divingduck
Yes, the "view" one is disputable in this translation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Divingduck
A bit streamlining in translation is maybe a better first choice.
Altering translations (which indeed should be concise and stick to best practice) shouldn't compensate missing design.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Divingduck
Because it won't help you either if the translation is all the time in long version.
Yes it does help, especially for newbies.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Divingduck
there was already a time where we had "fix length" in description
Ah I'm glad my memory wasn't completely wrong :-)

Last edited by BetterRed; 05-18-2018 at 06:14 AM. Reason: Fix the WikiP Ribbon link - why don't posters test what they post, good job they're not writing calibre code
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:49 AM   #14
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You are moving the goalposts. First you wanted fixed width, I said no program does that, which is true. So now you say you want max width, with word breaking. Given that all monitors have wide aspect ratios these days, vertical space is at a premium, so trading vertical space for horizontal space does not make much sense to me. A much better solution is to simply use concise labels, which the English translations already do.

But sure, if you want an option for this, feel free to propose it to the Qt (Qt is what calibre uses for its widgets) developers. They will need to add such an option to the QToolBar/QToolButton/QMenuBar classes.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
But sure, if you want an option for this, feel free to propose it to the Qt (Qt is what calibre uses for its widgets) developers. They will need to add such an option to the QToolBar/QToolButton/QMenuBar classes.
Or the BetterRed proposal:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
The Favourites plugin allows one to re-label the items one adds to its menu.

I wonder if it might be possible to provide something similar within the existing Toolbar configuration tool in Preferences, or in a plugin that operates on the toolbars and menus defined in Preferences.

BR
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