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kettch

Semantic zoom in the storyboard

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While I must admit that for the Characters and Settings, and to some extent for the Notes, the zoom is nice, it is quite weird when used for Sections and Plots. This is mostly due to the fact that zooming on images is OK, but doing so on text only works when the text is readable, which is not the case when using the storyboard as what it is: a quick look of a number of elements. When doing that, I tend to zoom so that I'm viewing 10 or 20 elements at the same time, and this way, there is absolutely no way of seeing the differences between the different elements.

 

That leads me to the semantic zoom on these elements. Rather than considering the text as an image and zooming on it, the size of the item should change but the text size should only change a little, always keeping it readable, and displayed more or less text as necessary. When you find what you're looking for in the storyboard view, there's always the option to zoom in on it to display more, or open it to get everything...

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It's interesting to see what different people notice. That's the value of a forum like this, and the Web in general: more eyes, hearts and minds on the problem.

 

I've been using Storyist for a while now and it had never occurred to me to use the zoom in the storyboard. I suppose that's because I tend to use the outline view rather than the grid view. But you're right, kettch, the text on the index cards in the grid view is very hard to read. Perhaps that's why I prefer the outline view.

 

Being able to control the font size in either mode would be useful to everyone and make the index cards more than just eye candy.

 

Why didn't I think of that,

-Thoth.

 

BTW: You may be hanging around programmers too much. "Semantic zoom" indeed.

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I've been using Storyist for a while now and it had never occurred to me to use the zoom in the storyboard.

 

There's a zoom? And here I've been using this giant magnifying glass.

 

Btw, forgive me if I'm a little out of it (I am), but which zoom feature are we talking about? The storyboard Cmd+> or the OS X Ctrl+scroll zoom? When I use the Cmd+> on the storyboard, text seems to resize just fine. When I use the Ctrl+scroll feature, it just blows up the pixels as expected.

 

IF

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BTW: You may be hanging around programmers too much. "Semantic zoom" indeed.

 

I am one myself, that may explain a lot of things :)

 

Btw, forgive me if I'm a little out of it (I am), but which zoom feature are we talking about? The storyboard Cmd+> or the OS X Ctrl+scroll zoom? When I use the Cmd+> on the storyboard, text seems to resize just fine. When I use the Ctrl+scroll feature, it just blows up the pixels as expected.

 

Ctrl+scroll feature is OS X, so it's expected to have it zoom considering the screen as a whole image.

I didn't know about Cmd+>, but that is actually a shortcut for the same zoom I was using : the one done with the little slider on the bottom right of the storyboard.

 

And the problem is exactly that the text is resizing. When zooming in, it looks normal to you since the text gets bigger and you can read it better each time you're zooming in. But when you're zooming out to have a overall view of all your sections, per example, the more you zoom out, the less you can read the text. And at some point, you just can't read it at all, and you're having an overall view of all your elements, but can't find what you're looking for because you just have a bunch of post-its with gibberish on it... :)

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Anyone else having trouble using Cmd+> from the keyboard (not the menu)? It keeps bringing up my spelling list rather than zooming. I suspect it's just a setting problem, not a bug, but I can't seem to find the right setting. Maybe it's because I'm still using 10.4.11? Which OS are you using kettch?

 

Btw, forgive me if I'm a little out of it...

 

Thou art forgiven. It's always a bit stressful, settling into a new job. (I always grab a copy of the internal phone directory, first thing, to learn who's who and what's where.)

 

Hope the kids get well soon. You too.

-Thoth.

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Anyone else having trouble using Cmd+> from the keyboard (not the menu)? It keeps bringing up my spelling list rather than zooming. I suspect it's just a setting problem, not a bug, but I can't seem to find the right setting. Maybe it's because I'm still using 10.4.11? Which OS are you using kettch?

 

Oddly enough, after I rebooted my system (alright, it crashed again) I can no longer get cmd+> to work. I tried several things to get my section cards to be in focus. Clicking on the cards themselves doesn't help.

 

Hope the kids get well soon. You too.

 

Thanks.

 

IF

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Oddly enough, after I rebooted my system (alright, it crashed again) I can no longer get cmd+> to work. I tried several things to get my section cards to be in focus. Clicking on the cards themselves doesn't help.

 

Would you like to report this as a bug or shall I?

-Thoth.

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FWIW, troubleshooting with Thoth indicates a problem with the shift key on his keyboard.

 

Isaac, info to reproduce your problem would be appreciated.

 

Regarding the original suggestion: I understand the card readability problem and I already have a bug open to improve the usability there. I'm not convinced, though, that changing what text is displayed on the card is the solution. I'd appreciate more discussion on this.

 

My concern is that the cards are more than text entry vehicles, they are visual placeholders that allow you to get a high-level view of your story. If the visual placeholder changes underneath you (as a result of changing view scale), then you lose the value. If the you see a card that is different from the last time you looked, you have to mentally re-calibrate, which just adds cognitive complexity to the writing process.

 

One way to solve this problem would be to add a "loupe" functionality like Aperture has to make it easy to zoom in and get text detail if you want to focus on a particular card or group of cards. Shortcut keys could help here too.

 

Another way to solve the problem might be to have a "focused" area that would simulate taking the cards off the board for further inspection.

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Isaac, info to reproduce your problem would be appreciated.

 

I can't reproduce what I saw the other night. I tried restarting Storyist and everything. Attention divided. Must have been mistaken. Or I have a bad shift key too. I have been getting a lot more password failures lately, so anything is possible.

 

IF

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I can't reproduce what I saw the other night. I tried restarting Storyist and everything. Attention divided. Must have been mistaken. Or I have a bad shift key too. I have been getting a lot more password failures lately, so anything is possible.

 

Ah, computers. Gotta love 'em.

Do you think they'll catch on?

-Thoth.

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