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Suggestion: Effects shown in (multiple) columns


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The following idea may be a really good idea, or it may be a really bad idea, but i'll run it by you guys to get some opinions.

Basically, my idea is for effects to be shown in multiple columns when you have many effects. To see what i mean, take a look at the image below.

th_idea.png

The left part (shown in blue) is what happens to the "All Programs" bit of the start menu, when you have quite a number of application/programs. The right part (in red) shows PDN in the distorts menu, with scrolling arrows (thats what i call them). I think it would be much easier and more productive to use PDN if the effects were shown as in the windows style (left part), as you don't need to scroll to find the effect.

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I agree.

I've always voted for automatic scrolling when you land your cursor on the scrolling-arrows, but your suggestion works even better. Two columns wouldn't obscure anything that the one column does already, so no screen real-estate would be sacrificed.

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Wouldn't organising effects be better?

"Ability to organize/manage effects -- This one's interesting. Now that there are so many plugins available, people now need the ability to organize them, like into sub-menus or something. Will probably make it into a 3.x0 release (3.20? 3.50?) "

Now I'm not saying your idea is bad, but considering that you might be able to organise your effects in a 3.x release it would just slow Rick down. Effect menus a bit larger than the floating windows would be very nice, much better than 3 columns. But it could work well if your submenus are huge, it might look a bit ugly though. Also that could be fixed by menus inside menus with the current plan (the ability to organise effects). So I reckon it's a no-go, unless it's quick and easy to implement of course.

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Wouldn't organising effects be better?
No, both would be better. But multi-column would probably be easier/faster/not-as-much-testing-needed than the ability to organize the effects.
"Ability to organize/manage effects -- This one's interesting. Now that there are so many plugins available, people now need the ability to organize them, like into sub-menus or something. Will probably make it into a 3.x0 release (3.20? 3.50?) "

If I were a betting man, I'd say that's not going to make it into 3.x after all. Much more likely to see it in 4.x. But I've been shown to be wrong many times before, so don't be too surprised if I am this time, too.

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I like this idea, but three or even four columns are going to be needed in some cases.

I mentioned another idea recently (here). Why not give a submenu to each of the major plug-in developers?

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Actually you were one of my examples!

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Why not give a submenu to each of the major plug-in developers?

That is a terrible idea. People don't want to have to remember the author of the effect they are looking for just to use it, they should look in a submenu that is relevant to what they are doing. The word "pyrochild" is not helpful to someone who is trying to smudge their image, "Distort" is. "BoltBait" is completely useless for someone who is trying to feather their edges, and "Simon Brown" is just a random arrangement of letters to someone who is trying to draw with a custom brush. The name of the author is only relevant to the programmer's ego, really.

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As an after-thought, it could be helpful to sort by author's name, but only if there was a quick and easy way to sort by other things as well. Name, Category, Date Last Updated, Author, Version Number (if you wanted to be able to have multiple versions of a plugin installed), etc...

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As an after-thought, it could be helpful to sort by author's name, but only if there was a quick and easy way to sort by other things as well. Name, Category, Date Last Updated, Author, Version Number (if you wanted to be able to have multiple versions of a plugin installed), etc...

I said something along the same lines here. It would be a great improvement to paint.NET's UI if this happened

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A problem is that if effects were put into sub-menus by author there would either be a huge menu under "Rick Brewster" or confusion over why "Find Edges" is under "Simon Brown" and not "Artistic". There would also be the problem plugins implemented before the change of which the author didn't bother to fill in their name under "Assembly Information".

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I'm more convinced that changing the way the menu is presented or organized is a bad idea.

What we really just need is Spotlight-for-Paint.NET.

Imagine there was a little text box next to the "Help" menu. The shortcut key would be Ctrl+E.

So, press Ctrl+E and then type BoltBait ... instantly a dropdown list would fill with anything that matched that text. In this case, assuming BoltBait tagged his plugins with his name all his plugins would show up. Or you could type "Distort" for any plugin from the distort menu (or that had the word "distort" in any of its description or metadata). etc.

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I like the idea of the Spotlight search box. I need that. But I don't see any reason why the scroll wheel couldn't be added, also...at least, not from a usability standpoint. I don't know how hard that would be to code....

 

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