Paste Double duration /Paste Half Duration discoverability

• Feb 9, 2020 - 06:59

Is there a reason why
Paste Double Duration
Half Duration Duration…
are not in the right-click context menu? Are they considered too specialised?

They are recent additions, and would (IMHO) not clutter the context menu, and bring the Edit menu much closer in line with the context menu, should they be added.

In addition, other programs put multiple Paste-related menu items behind a Paste Special. The following 3 entries would IMHO all be good candidates for 2nd level menu entries behind a 1st level menu entry, Paste Special ->

  • Paste Double Duration
  • Paste Half Duration
  • Swap with Clipboard


To me they are pretty speciailized, but maybe not enough so for me to argue against including them in the context menu. I would argue that the context menu itself is kind of the opposite of discoverable - the main menu is much more so. Many people have no concept there is such a thing as "right click" (especially on macOS, but even on Windows, fewer and fewer people these days have encountered a device with a physical right button). So we've been making a concerted effort of late to make sure we don't "hide" commands there only. But that doesn't mean we can't use it as additional way to access functionality.

To me menu items in the context menu are more discoverable, because they are right there, as opposed to knowing under which main window menu entry to go look for them (most of what is found in the context menu is under Edit, some are found in the Add menu)

My view is obviously subjective as I have no idea how others use the app, and what the ratio is of users using the context menu versus the File/Edit/View menu. Would this not be a great usage case for telemetry data? E.g. for the menu entries that exist in both the context menu and the Edit menu,

  • Cut
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Swap with Clipboard
  • Delete

which are used most by users (to keep it simple, lets exclude these commands that have keyboard shortcut equivalents). How would one go about to request such data?

In reply to by Riaan van Niekerk

How people choose to use a feature is different from how they *discover it. Most people probably go around right clicking things just to see if a menu exists, and as I said, many have literally never right clicked anything in their lives. But once someone knows it is there, it may we’ll be they use it more than another method. Because no doubt it is more efficient. Less so than a shortcut, but easier to remember.

Anyhow, so you personally might happen to discover context menus by randomly
right clicking things, but many people don’t. So all I’m saying is, sure, add it if it feels useful from an efficiency standpoint or whatever, but don’t remove it from the places others would need it to be in order to be truly discoverable. Something in the right click menu only is something some people will literally never discover. Whereas everyone knows menus exist and can go around exploring them.

As for telemetry data, as I said this might tell you about current usage of a command but I don’t see how it could tell you how the command was first discovered. Probably the usage data is already there though. Something to discuss in the Telegram chat I guess.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Your distinction between discovery and use of a feature is useful, and not something I have considered before. If you think it is useful to add, I will move forward. It was definitely not an either (remove from Edit menu ...) or (... if I add it to context menu) scenario for me.

If telemetry data won't show us anything useful, I will leave it at that (Esp if I do not need to make the case for the context menu addition but just do it).

I will log an issue and take it from there.

In reply to by Riaan van Niekerk

Cool. To clarify, I realize you weren't actually suggesting we remove it from the menu. But still, the distinction is important with respect to new features. Quite a few have in the past only been added to context menus, and for the past few months we've been making a concerted effort to either reproduce or move them elsewhere, specifically because of discoverability. I just want to make sure we remain focused on making sure all new features are "discoverable" in a way that doesn't require, for example, either context menus or keyboard shortcuts, neither of which are considered very discoverable. Of course, it is great if we make them available in context menus or keyboard shortcuts in addition.

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