Hiding/Collapsing Annotations/Footnotes

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KB
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:14 pm Post

Hi,

My Apple Developer Connection subscription runs out in February and I have one technical support incident left - whereby you can get code-level help from Apple engineers. Since I only submitted my first ever incident to them yesterday, I have no idea how much help they really give, but in the event that it is genuinely useful I am thinking about using the remaining incident to ask for some help in implementing hiding or collapsing annotations or footnotes.

Before doing so, I'd like to get some user feedback. First, though, just to make this absolutely clear: just because I ask Apple about this doesn't mean it will ever be implemented. It depends on their reply and on how it would impact on other things even then. So all this is entirely theoretical.

Anyway, here are the two ways I could see this working:

1) Each annotation and footnote could be collapsed or expanded individually, leaving a little marker in the text you would click on to expand it, which would appear before the footnote or annotation so that you could collapse it. There would be a "toggle all" option in the menu, of course. This option would give the most flexibility. It would probably also be the hardest to implement (at a guess), the most buggy, and it would also be more obtrusive, I think.

2) The other option would be having a "Hide/Show Annotations" and "Hide/Show Footnotes" feature, which would hide or show all annotations or footnotes. A small marker would still be left in the text, but it could be very subtle - a grey "fn" in a circle, for instance, or a coloured "nb". Of course, there then is the problem of what happens when you want to create a new footnote when they are all hidden... Either the option shouldn't be available, or all footnotes would automatically be displayed again upon creating a footnote, I guess.

I personally like the simplicity of the second option but I bet everyone disagrees. :) Like I say, there are no guarantees here and I really doubt much will happen any time soon, but it's worth using my technical support incident for this, I think (though of course, I could ask about widows & orphans instead...).

Best,
Keith
Last edited by KB on Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jaysen
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:33 pm Post

KB wrote:....

I personally like the simplicity of the second option but I bet everyone disagrees. :) ....

Best,
Keith

I like #2. Then again I don't use these features very much.

On the "what to do for new" can you just allow for
* select the text to make footnote
* select menu "make selected text footnote"
* text is collapsed into marker

For the record I recognize that I am nobody (refer to Keith's "everyone disagrees"). Just remember that "nobody" is perfect.
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:07 pm Post

I agree with Jaysen, that number 2 looks good and, for my purposes, adequate. I seldom use footnotes, but I do like the idea of being able to manipulate (ought we to have another verb for what the computer does as opposed to what the hand does? Something like "cyberlate"?) ( forget I mentioned it ) the text of annotations in this fashion.

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popcornflix
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:51 pm Post

KB wrote:1) Each annotation and footnote could be collapsed or expanded individually, leaving a little marker in the text you would click on to expand it, which would appear before the footnote or annotation so that you could collapse it. There would be a "toggle all" option in the menu, of course.

...

I personally like the simplicity of the second option but I bet everyone disagrees. :)


Yeah, I like #1 better. It's the way Final Draft handles annotations. It's especially useful for tucking away big chunks of text that may be used later. If you could only expand/collapse all, long annotations would make navigation unwieldy.

If this theoretical possibility comes to pass, may I also request some sort of categories for annotations? That way, you could easily tell if a collapsed annotation was a container with an alternate scene, notes about changes needed, or question to ask your writing partner. Again, this is a feature that Final Draft has had for many years -- and it's pretty primitive.

Just a thought.
.:popcornFlix:.

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KB
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Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:05 pm Post

Let's not make this any more complicated than already stated - there would definitely be no categorisations (although the "np" or whatever would be the colour of the annotation, so you would just use different colours for that). I'm not going to spend months developing this - if Apple can give any help with the technical support incident, then I may look at it, that's all. (For the record, I could have implemented annotations in the way FD uses script notes fairly easily - that's similar to how SG's annotations worked. It's a lot more complicated when they are actually inside the text, but also much easier to read...)

Thanks for opinions so far.
Best,
Keith

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Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:22 am Post

Either would be great, but option 2 would be sufficient for my purposes.
Cheers,

Mark

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Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:04 am Post

I actually don't mind having them there and ghosted as it is, but option 1 would definitely be even better!

Option 2 would be useful, although I suspect I would just leave them showing most of the time.

With Option 1, I think I would use it regularly.

(But obviously, if 2 is much easier, go with that)

Matt

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Wock
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Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:03 pm Post

(1) Seems fairly easier on a new user or for a learning curve (seems simpler)

(2) Sounds a tad more difficult but more flexible and powerful in the end.


I would shoot for #2 because it offers (IMO) more flexability to the user overall than #1.
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Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:47 pm Post

Either one would work for me, though my first reaction was to go with #2.

Would the little np have a flyout like Word does where if you hover the mouse on it, the text appears like in a Tool Tip? That would be awesome.

(Sorry, I either don't know or can't think of the proper terms for those things.)

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alexwein
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Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:14 pm Post

From someone who frequently uses footnotes, I like option #2. Seems cleaner and simpler.

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Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:13 am Post

Well, you already have piles of documentation from me on this topic, so I'll just restate that I have stated. :)

I think that if option 2 was the plan, having notes temporarily expanded while active (be it during creation or editing) and then immediately collapse when focus is removed, would make the "hidden" view much more useful and less jarring. If everything expands and then collapses when you make a note, that could make for a dizzying experience if there are a lot of notes peppered about.
.:.
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:08 pm Post

About #2

If there is a lot of annotations they might push the current looked-at text far down when shown and so loose the focus? Or maybe it is easy to keep track of the scroll?

Mic

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xiamenese
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:33 pm Post

I'm currently revising my notes for my students ... currently working on Coleridge's "Kubla Khan". That means a note -- footnote -- every few words, but with the system as it is, using ghost mode, I don't have any trouble at all and actually like it better than using footnotes or endnotes directly as in Nisus. I don't have to think about numbering or formatting, and the data is right next to the word or phrase that I'm annotating, and having the ghost mode set pale means they don't get in the way of the main text.

For collapsing notes, I'd like them all collapsed with only the active note open when being read or edited. Having them all collapsing and opening, collapsing and opening every time you opened one would be very distracting ... I would have to turn it off!

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Novatlan
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:47 pm Post

Wouldn't it be possible to have both?
Single annotations/footnotes can be shown/hidden by clicking on a small arrow besides them.
The menu would host Sow/Hide all footnotes/annotations, which would hide/show all.
This would be the solution for everyone.

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xiamenese
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Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:34 pm Post

Novatlan wrote:Wouldn't it be possible to have both?
Single annotations/footnotes can be shown/hidden by clicking on a small arrow besides them.
The menu would host Sow/Hide all footnotes/annotations, which would hide/show all.
This would be the solution for everyone.

Yes, that would be fine As I say, I'm happy with them not collapsed at all. My impression of what we're wanting to avoid is a situation where if you click on one note, they all open up, and then close down when you leave that note.

Mark
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