Add option to increase/decrease the indentation of items at each level in the Binder and Outliner

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thomas.neuburger
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Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:39 pm Post

I posted this in the Wishlist forum, but I'm now convinced it's a bug.

I'm starting work on a long hierarchical book, and the amount of indentation from level to level in both the Binder and the Outliner just isn't sufficient to make the structure easy to "get" at a glance.

Here's my original request from the Wishlist forum:
I noticed in going though the program features that Options contains a way to indent the Binder [and Outliner] items as a block, i.e., all together.

What I'd like is the option to increase the amount indent from level to level. That is, to spread out the Binder [and Outliner] items horizontally (the horizontal equivalent of increasing line spacing vertically, which is available).

On some systems, and with complex outline structures, the Binder in the RC11 beta is just too tight horizontally to easily see what's at what level.

Example: Let's say the program default is to indent each level by 6 points, or 6 px, or whatever the measurement is. A new "Increasing Indent" item would add one unit to the default indent at each level for each click of the button.

This would be similar to the item "Binder and Outliner Extra Indent", except that this item changes the indent of the whole block, but doesn't add extra horizontal space to the individual items — doesn't spread them out.

(Or maybe this Option item was intended to add the extra space to individual items — and doesn't work as intended?)

At the very least, please change the built-in indent parameter so that the left edge of the subordinate element's icon is no further left than the left edge of the text above it.

Thanks,

Thomas

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narrsd
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:12 am Post

Sounds a good and relatively easy idea, and may be particularly useful with lower resolution screens, where font letters and symbols may get effectively shifted out of true position through anti-aliasing and font hints in attempt for better readability.

And providing adjustability will allow getting what works for you, avoiding needs for more programming effort to auto-compensate.

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tiho_d
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:13 am Post

Indeed this option already exists. Check Options > Appearance > Binder > Binder and Outliner extra indent.

br
brookter
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:16 am Post

Sorry, but I don't really understand what it is you're asking for. My fault, I'm sure.

At the moment, if you set Options > Appearance > Options > Binder and Outliner extra indent to 0px you get this:

Screenshot 2020-10-22 at 08.06.13.png
Screenshot 2020-10-22 at 08.06.13.png (137.46 KiB) Viewed 403 times


If you set it to the maximum 5px, you get this:

Screenshot 2020-10-22 at 08.06.44.png
Screenshot 2020-10-22 at 08.06.44.png (68.59 KiB) Viewed 403 times


where the left edge of the subdocuments icon is aligned with the left edge of the folder's title and the indents are clearly visible. (Vertical distance between lines is set by another option of course).

Are you saying that this is the effect you want, but that 5px isn't enough as the maximum indent? Or do you want something else entirely?

If it's the first, then it's clearly not a bug, it's just a (perfectly legitimate) request for the pixel limit to be increased. If it's the latter, then please could you be more precise in what you want to see?

Thanks

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krastev
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:32 pm Post

@brookter, an OT question: what is the font used in the binder in those images?
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brookter
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:43 pm Post

@Krastev

It's probably Courier Prime -- I use it for most monospaced font purposes and I wanted to take any variable font variations out of the screen shot.

I'd check for you, but a few minutes after the screenshot the external drive which holds the Windows 10 Parallels Virtual Machine I use for the V3 beta died...

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krastev
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:50 pm Post

brookter wrote:@Krastev

It's probably Courier Prime -- I use it for most monospaced font purposes and I wanted to take any variable font variations out of the screen shot.

I'd check for you, but a few minutes after the screenshot the external drive which holds the Windows 10 Parallels Virtual Machine I use for the V3 beta died...

Thanks, I think that's it. I just tried it and it looks the same. :)
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thomas.neuburger
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 4:13 pm Post

I want to add that I'm loving the outline-generating process with Scrivener otherwise. This is my first time using it for this purpose. I've tried many similar programs with unsatisfying results — including the fact that they were much less pleasing environments to work in. (For one thing, they just didn't look good, and given that you're staring at something for hours on end that displease the eye, that can matter.)

This is my only complaint. It's a big one — I'm really struggling to read my work in outline form — but everything else is going swimmingly.

Thomas

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brookter
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:54 pm Post

Thomas

Please could you explain why my second screenshot *doesn't* provide what you appear to be asking for? It indents the left of the icon of subdocuments to the left of the text of the enclosing document, so what is missing?

Cheers.

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thomas.neuburger
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:41 pm Post

It does provide what I'm asking for (I was wrong about that). Just not enough of it. Perhaps the attached will help. The eye works best and fastest with clean vertical alignments. The subordinate elements, for me, should be allowed to be further right.

Again, for me (and if the the choices are expanded to >5 px, individual users can choose for themselves) — the left edge of the icon below an element s/b alignable with the left edge of the first character of text above it. In your image, the subordinate elements aren't far enough right.

Again, if the range of choices is expanded to >5px, which should be easy enough to do, this becomes a near NoOp for you folks and lets users decide for themselves what they like/need on smaller screens.

Thanks for staying with this request. Much appreciated.

Screenshot from 2020-10-22 12-20-48_1.png
Line added to show vertical alignment
Screenshot from 2020-10-22 12-20-48_1.png (30.49 KiB) Viewed 333 times


Thomas

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brookter
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:14 pm Post

Hi Thomas,

I'm not a developer, just a user, so it’s not in my power to make any changes!

They do monitor the forum of course, so I assume they'll see your request.

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thomas.neuburger
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:23 pm Post

Thanks. My mistake.

Thomas

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lunk
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:52 pm Post

thomas.neuburger wrote:— the left edge of the icon below an element s/b alignable with the left edge of the first character of text above it.

Why?
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, running different OS.
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 11 Pro, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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thomas.neuburger
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Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:19 pm Post

Interesting question, lunk.

1. Because it's very easy for them to do. All they need to change is one number, the max indent allowed, in the code. That "5" could just as easily be "10" or any other number.

2. Because on small monitors (many of us live portably, work from many locations, and use small laptops) the added horizontal spacing is meaningful — it aids in grasping at a glance the meaning of the indent without having to struggle so much to look at it. The project I'm developing now is highly hierarchical, and staring at the Binder is driving me a little nuts.

3. Because it's just good design. Vertical alignment is as important as horizontal alignment. In document design, the same principle governs bullet placement, spacing from left margins for various indents, etc. I did doc (and interface) design consulting for a fair number of years. Good design works from a grid and aligns its elements to the grid.

But mainly points 1 and 2. Let users choose if it's easy to give them good choices and it makes their work easier.

Mes centimes anyway, Thanks for asking, lunk.

Thomas

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brookter
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Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:14 am Post

FWIW, the Mac version doesn't have this 'increase the indent' feature at all, as far as I can see, only the horizontal spacer. I've never really noticed it as a problem, TBH, but if I had, I wouldn't have been able to do anything about it... The only difference I can see between the Mac screenshot and the V3 Beta at 5px is the position of the fold/unfold icon; in the Mac it's directly below the icon above, on Windows slightly to one side. It may be because MacOS's default toolkit does all of this for you?

Screenshot 2020-10-23 at 04.11.54.png
Screenshot 2020-10-23 at 04.11.54.png (246.83 KiB) Viewed 267 times