Floating Mini Toolbar for editing different elements

• Nov 8, 2016 - 04:07

Hi everyone,

I have an idea about making editing common properties of an element faster by using a floating mini toolbar similar to Microsoft Office 2010. The good things of using this kind of floating toolbar are:

- For people using large monitors, they don't need to move their heads to the far left/right hand side of their monitor to use the inspector panel;
- Reducing the need to move the cursor to the far left/right hand side of the monitor to use the inspector panel every time they select a different element;
- Since the floating toolbar only appears when the element is selected, it won't obstruct the main UI view (like the inspector panel being pulled out as a window from the side of the monitor) when doing other actions like composing. When you click somewhere outside the floating toolbar, the floating toolbar disappears and will reappear when you select that element again.

In order to visualise my idea I have made 5 MOCKUP images, and I have used a selected barline for my mockup images. Though I didn't say that we should directly copy the ones in Microsoft Office, something similar would have make editing properties quicker and more efficient. If you want to edit other properties that are not displayed in the floating menu, then you go to the inspector panel.

These composited mockup images are being made by using the following resources:
Background MuseScore UI, the colour palette and the barline palette: Cropped Screenshots
Main parts of floating toolbar: Shapes and Textboxes from PowerPoint

Mockup 1: My idea of floating toolbar inspired from Microsoft Office. It appears when the barline is selected.

Mockup 2: The floating toolbar when the barline is being right-clicked. The context menu also appears.

Mockup 3: Barline gallery: different types of barlines previewed like in the palette.

Mockup 4: Colour palette: the original MuseScore colour palette fitted into a dropdown menu.

Mockup 5: Some common properties are grouped into this dropdown menu, although more than one group of dropdowns can be put into the floating menu depending what elements you have selected.

What do you think?


"For people using large monitors, they don't need to move their heads to the far left/right hand side of their monitor to use the inspector panel;
- Reducing the need to move the cursor to the far left/right hand side of the monitor to use the inspector panel every time they select a different element"

It's also my own experience.

Indeed, it becomes a pain, or it will become, to systematically coming and going into the palettes, into the menus and submenus, and the Inspector (for those who leave it open, because personally, it is not my practice: I prefer the horizontal scroll view for having a "direct" and unobstructed view of two neighboring pages to the right of the musescore window, and so, I have to click each time to open it, close it, and re-open it, and so on).

So I support your (great) idea.

I can see the utility of such a tool on occasion, but I would definitely want a way to disable that for when I don't need it; otherwise it would drive me nuts.

Another question is how this would mesh with the current behaviour when selecting elements in a list or range?

It might also be worth considering giving the user to control over what parameters appear in that toolbar.

In reply to by Recorder485

I second this. I can see how this would be useful, but some people (likely new users) would find this annoying/overwhelming. That was my first impression when I started using Word 2013.

One way to implement this over a range of elements might be to utilize the already-existing Select [Element type] built into the inspector. It could list the various types to be selected in the floating window, and the user could choose which elements with which to deal. It might also be convenient to add in a selection filter combo box.

~Happy trails, Flyingninja77

It would be very useful for me.
However if priorities must be set, being able to define shortcuts for ALL elements of the palettes instead of only some of them would be my preference.
And by saying ALL elements of the palette I don't mean that I intend to define a shorcut for all of them, I just mean that this way everybody will be free to define the shortcuts for the elements corresponding to his/her own workflow/usage.

Maybe you can try to consider the following questions:

A. What if this floating menu can be enabled/disabled at the menu/preference?

B. When this floating menu is available, would you...

1. use the floating menu that appears right next to your selection, or
2. use whatever shortcuts that you can remember, or
3. go to the inspector or the palette on the far side of your screen?

When I think about this idea, I don't want to move my cursor to the inspector which is on the side of the screen. Although those panels can be pulled out into a window, the windows formed would obstruct the screen. That's why the floating mini toolbar has a way smaller size than a inspector window/panel has, and it only appears when you have select some elements.

It would be frustrating if you close the panels and then reopen them manually when you really need it. So at the end, I want MuseScore to be a user-friendly, and be a software which offers everyone with higher productivity.

For selecting multiple types of elements, I think implementing Flyingninja77's idea of the already-existing Select [Element type] into the mini toolbar before displaying options of one (type) of the elements is absolutely a great idea.

Maybe it's something like the following mockup? Just don't bother about the elements displayed in the selection part of the mockup.

Thanks Flyingninja77!

I must admit that every new feature has its own learning curve, and this floating mini toolbar has no exception. However if anyone would find this useful they may start using it (if MuseScore team would actually consider it and make it available), and it shouldn't force anyone to use it after all.

By the way thank you everyone who have been giving me comments about this floating mini toolbar, and I hope more people can give comments about this function. :)

Attachment Size
example_floating_menu_3.png 27.77 KB

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