Word integration QuickFormat: some issues

1. Using the slick new Word plugin interface, PDFs come up, sometimes as first hit, and their parent items follow later in the list. Noone wants to cite PDFs so I suggest the Word plugin display only top level items.

2. I have trouble make page numbers stick in this interface. It is not clear where to click after having filled out the page number. If I click on the citation again it is not updated. Do I have to hit enter after editing the field?
I can't reproduce this it seems.

3. Deleting refs from the red bar is also non-obvious (you have to place the cursor behind one and press backspace. I suggest that clicking on one and hitting delete should also remove it.

4. Items found in group libraries need some visual indication, I think. Frequently these are duplicates of local items, and it is now impossible to tell which is the local one and which the group one. Is it possible to hide group items that have a link to local items? (I remember discussions of some kind of identifier tying it to a local item being available.) Perhaps an option to just search the local library would also help, but I do agree with the current implementation that the default should be to search in group libraries too.
  • 1 is done for 3.0b1.

    2 I can't reproduce. What OS are you running? Can you provide a little more detail about what you're doing? (Also note that, assuming your page numbers are numeric, you can just type "p. 5" after inserting the reference and it will tag on a page number automatically.)

    3 is tricky. Forward delete doesn't exist on my Mac keyboard, so if this needs to be easier, I would prefer to change something else. Click-and-backspace doesn't work because the user might be pressing delete One possibility is to add a delete button to the panel that appears. Another possibility would be to require a double click to bring up the panel.

    4 we can think a little more about. We should probably hide group items that link to local items, since the Word plugin now embeds both IDs anyway. As far as restricting to specific libraries, I need to consider this a little more. The most extensible option would be to allow the user to select the collection(s) in which QuickFormat operates, but this would require designing another UI.
  • 5. The search results don't update when I shorten the search string by backspacing. (Word 2010, Zotero 3.0b1)
  • Rintze: Fixed for 3.0b2.
  • edited August 27, 2011
    (I'm on Windows XP/7)

    Re 3: I would prefer a simple keyboard action. I now see however that I can move between items with left and right arrows and that Backspace as well as Delete work. I think I can get used to that. Keeping the panel coming up on one click is preferable, BTW.

    Re 4: If linked items can be hidden that helps a bit. Selecting libraries for inclusion would be very useful. Perhaps a simple right-click/context menu with a list of libraries and checkmarks would do?
  • edited August 27, 2011
    6. When dragging items, the cursor immediately changes to a no-drop sign even while hovering over the quickformat bar. (On Windows XP at least.)

    7. Despite #6 moving items by dragging works well, but somehow left to right is easier than right to left. If you go right to left it is really difficult to get a cursor indicating insertion point showing up.

    8. During moving there is very little indication of the insertion point (only a 1pixel vertical line). I would prefer a visual indication like that offered in many web interfaces nowadays, where the items become transparent and the repositioning is previewed.

    9. (At least on Windows XP) it is very easy for the quickformat bar to lose focus. Too easy for the average user, I'm pretty sure this will lead to confusion many times. Always on top OTOH could also be annoying. Is there a reliable way to tie the visibility to whether the word processor window is active? The effect would be sth like always-on-top-of-word-processor.

    (This is also a problem of classic view, by the way. In fact classic view would often open without focus.)
  • edited August 30, 2011
    By the way, the focus issue with classic view I reported in #9 is directly related to this report by mronkko. If the quickformat bar / classic view would be displayed instantaneously, the problem would disappear. I think the issue is that (1) it takes a while to load on many systems (Mac as well as Windows), (2) during this time it very easily loses focus, and (3) when it does become available it is not "assertive", i.e. does not take focus in the way that (I assume) other programs do it. Perhaps binding the keyboard during load time, as mronkko suggests, would be a solution.
  • 10. When editing a multiple sources citation, the QF bar does not expand to show all sources and also lacks an indication that some sources are not shown (only the first five of eight total are shown). When trying to move to the right using the Right arrow, the cursor disappears and won't come back no matter how often you hit Left arrow. The cursor does not disappear when moving around in this way in a citation for which all items are shown in the QF bar. (All this in Word 2003.)
  • edited August 31, 2011
    11. QF should not fail silently when it fails to parse. I was typing "Jones 2002:19" meaning "Jones 2002 p. 19" but apparently QF does not know that syntax and therefore just disappeared without leaving a citation when I hit enter.

    12. (Related to 11) QF should probably be able to parse a few common formats for writing citations. Colons for page numbers (2011:12) are really common in many styles so it would make sense to support that. Also, parse "&" as a logical sign rather than a text string so that "Zwicky & Pullum" retrieves a paper by Zwicky and Pullum.
  • 13. The possibility to click and thereby determine the point at which new refs are added should be generalized. In particular, it should be possible to click before the leftmost citation and add one before it.

    14. More in general, one reason the QF bar feels a bit wonky despite the slick design is that the insertion point cursor positioning is a bit inconsistent. Sometimes it ends up glued to the blue frame of the citation, sometimes there's about six pixels separating it.
  • I just posted a patch to zotero-dev list implementing choosing a preferred library or collection. This can possibly address the point number 4.
  • 6, 10, 11, and 12 I'll take care of.

    8 should be doable, but I don't consider it particularly high priority at the moment.

    Re: 9, we could make the window always on top on Windows. We can't tie it to the Word document.

    7, 13, and 14 are hard. The QuickFormat dialog is a standard contenteditable element, and Firefox has some rendering quirks. It may or may not be possible to get around these quirks.
  • Re: 9, I would like to try what always on top feels like. It may feel too agressive; on the other hand, I really lose focus on the QF bar very easily right now and I imagine that must hold for very many users. (Anybody who can confirm or disconfirm this?)

    What is problematic about always on top though is that on smaller windows the QF bar may obscure the Zotero library. I sometimes find myself citing something, then opening the item in my library to look up a page number. Having the QF bar float on top of that might be annoying.
  • I couldn't reproduce 6, but I've fixed 10, 11, and 12.

    Re: 9, I've made the quick format window come to the foreground with any Firefox window. There's also a hidden pref extensions.zotero.integration.keepAddCitationDialogRaised that will keep the quick format dialog in the foreground at all times. I'm not sure if extensions.zotero.integration.keepAddCitationDialogRaised should default to true or false.
  • Great, thanks for the progress. I will try the hidden pref and see how it works.

    Re: 6, I can reliably reproduce in in FF3.6.3 & Windows XP, but I can't take a screenshot because that doesn't show the cursor. Anyway, maybe it's only an issue in my antiquated setup.
  • 15. Somehow the "suppress author" checkbox in the QF bar doesn't respond to clicks quickly following each other. This is only noticeable when you do a double-click, which should double-toggle the checkmark (on then off) but instead has the effect of a single click.
  • I can't reproduce 15, and we don't attach any code to the checkbox click, so it sounds like a Firefox issue.
  • Gee. As noted elsewhere it seems I'm running into FF3.6 issues. This is my office computer. I'll ask for an update.
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