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Accordance 10 occupies about 3 inches of screen space at the top


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#1 Enoch

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:03 PM

Is there some way to stop Accordance 10 from wasting screen space. There is this huge grey banner now that wastes screen space. Can one minimize that banner somehow?

There is also this wide grey-blue banner that says in tiny letters: "English Text," but occupies a huge space with nearly no use. Under that there is a search area which has use. Under that there is a grey bar which is mostly wasted space. The a screen wide white bar is also mostly unused waste (it does has NASB in it & have a few little icons at the right.

Edited by Enoch, 03 October 2012 - 05:09 PM.


#2 Joel Brown

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:03 PM

Window menu -> Hide Toolbar.
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#3 R. Mansfield

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:09 PM

The "blue" area will appear less like wasted space when it is populated with other tabs.

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#4 Joel Brown

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 05:12 PM

If you want to hide the larger blue area when there is only one tab, you can also check "Hide tab area if only a single tab" in Preferences -> Appearance.
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#5 Enoch

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 10:52 PM

Thanks for telling me how to hide some things. But I see no reason to hide things in order to recover space. Why can't the arrangement be 70 percent more efficient? Why do bars have to stretch all across the screen, when they have only enough content to fit in a much shorter space. The grey items leave 50 percent open space on their horizontal line. The blue bar has nothing in it right now, except "NASB" with a down arrow at the right & a + sign to the right of a grey popped up bar which also has 70 percent wasted space in itself. The grey bar under the white long search box is 80 percent blank. The Lighter grey bar under that is 90 percent blank

What puzzles me is why the displayed tools & bars have to consume so much room. Take for example the light grey bar (which on my screen says NASB (1977) in the center & has 3 little icons to the right: why does that require its own bar? Why is it not above in the darker grey bar which is 90 percent empty?

Why do the traffic lights & "Workspace" have to be on a separate line from the icons and right "Search All" window?
Why do the icons under "Workspace" have to have words under them instead of beside them? There is lots of space beside the icons.

In other words, I am amazed that so much screen space is wasted.
I can see a lot of time wasted opening & closing tool bars, which could be all left up there in 90 percent less space.

Edited by Enoch, 03 October 2012 - 10:58 PM.


#6 Joel Brown

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 11:28 PM

Its hard to address so many of your points, but I'll point out a few of them:

1) There is actually much more space saved than in v9.
2) The toolbar is very customizable, in fact many of our users have more icons on there than there is room. So, allocating the space is necessary.
3) The location of the toolbar, 'traffic light' icons, and many other user interface elements are standard locations for the mac. Cramming them together would create a very un-Maclike experience.
4) Cramming all items together in general also creates a cluttered windows-like experience, where a complete overbearing of the information in a small space makes most of it unusable to all but the most experienced user.
5) The large blue areas to the right of the tabs are where the other tabs go as they are created. Removing this space removes functionality (the + button), and creates user interface inconsistency as more tabs are opened and space needed.

So, in general, even though you think this space is wasted, it is all carefully designed for the optimal, consistent user experience for a variety of use cases. For users like yourself that desire the maximum space at a cost of functionality (no access to the toolbar and others) you can very easily hide those elements and not worry about them again.
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#7 Enoch

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 11:13 AM

Thanks for interacting with me on this. Often people think in binary terms (yes vs no, my way or the highway), instead of in scaled terms 0-10).
Instead of setting up a straw-man, like crammed & attacking that idea, why not consider fixing this serious deficit in your product?

The only 2 choices are not
1) huge wasted, screen hogging space vs.
2) crammed clutter.

So far as actual arrangement is concerned, at least 70 percent of the banner space is unnecessary. The removal of all that text-stealing space would not result in clutter if it were done ergonomically.

I speak in respect of space. I don't know what is possible so far as needing to put things in separate bands across the screen. But it doesn't look like rocket science to me to fix this space-waster.

By comparison, it looks to me like the new version 10 wastes more space that 9 did, & 9 wasted a lot of space.

You say,
"The toolbar is very customizable, in fact many of our users have more icons on there than there is room. So, allocating the space is necessary."

If some users need more room, how does that indicate that allocating space is necessary? It might indicate that more space should appear or be selectable for those who want it. But why does that require a huge blank, text hogging space for those who don't want it? The problem is not allocated space, but space that is unallocated -- space that just fills the screen for nothing.

One solution could be to leave things as they are as one option for version 10, but supply an alternative compact (yet neat & uncluttered) screen arrangement.
Thus one could choose in preferences:
1) spread out huge banners of largely blank space vs
2) compact & ergonomic.
3) something in between.

Edited by Enoch, 04 October 2012 - 11:22 AM.


#8 Rick Bennett

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 12:47 PM

Have you tried customizing the toolbar? If you check 'use small size' and also either 'Icons Only' or 'Text Only' it significantly reduces the size of the toolbar.

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#9 Matthew Burgess

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 01:05 PM

Hi Joel,

Thanks for your comments. In my opinion, the newest version of Accordance is an excellent balance between the benefits of a unified interface and the need to maximize screen space, particularly when working on smaller screens. I've really appreciated all of the work that the Accordance team has done.. I know that my research will benefit as a result.

Given your point about the ability to show and hide the toolbar depending upon your preference for increased functionality or increased screen space, would it be possible for the menu bars associated with each open text or tool to be hidden as well? I can't speak for other users, but the majority of my work with Accordance employs workspaces that I've already customized; as a result, I know which texts are which and have adjusted the fonts to my liking. If I could hide the menu bars, I could regain a large amount of screen space... and if I wanted to change the texts or open an interlinear, I could show the menu bars when I needed to perform these tasks.

I've attached a screenshot to illustrate what I'm talking about. Thanks!

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#10 John Brownie

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 05:14 PM

It sounds as though you are on a small screen if the toolbar is huge. It's approximately the same size as the instant details box in my setup. I'm so used to toolbars that I never gave it a thought. Comparing it to Translator's Workplace makes me very grateful for good design that works for me.

But a toolbar is a Mac standard item these days, and they always cover the top of the window. In any application that uses a toolbar, it can be hidden. Apple's UI guidelines say that anything on the toolbar should be accessible in another way via menus. So the "Mac way" is that a toolbar is a binary choice, on or off, though as Rick pointed out you can change its display style.

One problem all developers face is that, if they create a customised UI feature, at some point in the future, an OS upgrade will break what they were doing, and there will be a bunch of users unhappy about that. Using standard elements should help (but Apple have been known to break standard things, too).
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#11 Enoch

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 03:54 PM

My screen size happens to be a 40 inch screen. But no matter how big the screen is, the banners still run from coast to coast. The problem is not my setup.
Can anyone tell me what he has against there existing an alternative tool bar system, for the same items, that occupies much less space?

#12 Steve King

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 05:36 PM

If by alternative tool bar system you mean replace the current one with a different format then accordance still needs to follow Mac standards otherwise it is out of sync with Apple software styles so there will still be space usage issues anyway.

If by alternative tool bar system you mean a second type of toolbar setup that you choose then that to my mind is not a sensible solution because it adds complexity from a program point of view with no real gain from a user point of view. If you are saying that you do not want the toolbar to go right across the screen but only be as large as needed for the icons on it then you would never have a standardised pane. It would create real problems in screen layout.

The way it is done at the moment is to provide preferences which allow you to reduce or remove the toolbar. The pane toolbars cannot be reduced in size at the moment but as Matthew comments above a preference to reduce them could be added. That would be the way to go because it provides flexibility without losing the standardisation.

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#13 Enoch

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:38 AM

What leads you to think that reducing the wasted text area gives no real gain from a user point of view?

I simply suggest that if some persons want all that wasted space, the present system might be kept with an alternative more compact system selectable in preferences.

#14 Steve King

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:13 AM

But you can get extra space through the options now, either by removing the toolbar or changing the options on the toolbar (text only/icons only/text and icons). It allows you to select the amount of 'space saving you want' and you can very easily bring back the toolbar if you only want to use it as a'one-off' then get rid of it again.

The extra complexity associated with providing alternative layouts would cause more confusion (for users as well as the program) when the layouts can be customised now.

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#15 Enoch

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:47 PM

How is it confusing to have an alternative layout selectable in preferences?

Why should you not be able to have all the tool bar tools, but arranged compactly & ergonomically having more text space?

#16 Steve King

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:05 PM

You can reduce space now by selecting the relevant options so what is it that would improve by having another format to select that saves space?

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#17 Ryan Gustason

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

Hmm... I like it the way it is. Kudos to Oaktree, and don't change a thing!

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#18 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 08:37 AM

Hi, Enoch!

I've been reflecting on this thread and think I may have a solution for you.

Accordance is designed for all common monitor sizes, the smallest MacBook Air to the largest cinema display Apple makes (27"). The problem lies in the external monitor you are using. I'm willing to bet it has a large physical size (40"), but a relatively low pixel count (1920x1080 or standard HD). Such monitors are best reserved for those with some degree of visual impairment or a classroom setting, as everything is simply larger on it, including the menus. The cure is not for us to reprogram the interface (which would be a relatively high expense considering the few complaints we've received from users), but to encourage you purchase a monitor with a higher resolution. Apple's 27" cinema display, for example, has a resolution of 2560x1440. I think you'll find the toolbar size on this sort of monitor much more acceptable.

If the cost of a new monitor is prohibitive, consider using several keyboard shortcuts for the time being. "Expand zone" will fill your monitor with a single zone, including its parallel panes. "Reading mode" (^R) will expand a single module (tool or text) to fill the screen. Either will hide the tool bar and reclaim that wasted space.

Hope this helps!

Blessings,
Dr. J

Edited by Timothy Jenney, 03 November 2012 - 08:40 AM.

Blessings,
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#19 Enoch

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 04:45 PM

You can reduce space by eliminating features & tools, yes.
But why should that be necessary?
But why would anyone object to having a space saving alternative?
You don't have to use it if you don't like it.

First it was opined that my problem was too small a monitor.
Then when I informed you that I had a 40 inch monitor, it was theorized that HD was low pixel
(perhaps by someone who never used a TI-994A in his life) & that I needed a monitor better than the $1,000+ monitor I was using.

This has nothing to do with my monitor.
It has to do with wasted screen space.
Why anyone would want a large amount of screen space grabbed by tool bars is beyond me.
But I don't ask that anyone lose his large tool bar spaces.
I just ask for an alternative efficient, ergonomic, text-space saving alternative.

Edited by Enoch, 03 November 2012 - 04:51 PM.





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