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Project Renaissance Impress Improvements

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OOo

As indicated in the previous posts, we have started to redesign a few really basic interactions in OpenOffice.org Impress in order to reduce the overall complexity of the UI. Currently, we focus on navigation through slides in various contexts, the visual appearance of different slide selection states and the handling of slide layouts. Today, I want to share some thoughts about a different way how to assign slide layouts.

The Challenge.

At present, OpenOffice.org Impress offers five ways how to change the layout of an existing slide. However, four of those merely trigger or point to the task pane. Consequently, there is only one “real” way how a user can pick and apply a slide layout, and there is no way doing that without the task pane. Thinking about a common scenario of creating a presentation, adding new slides, modifying existing ones, adjusting their layouts, one can imagine that switching the task pane on and off over and over again is an unwanted interruption. Keeping the task pane permanently alive is of course an option. Yet, if you want to concentrate more on the content of your work instead on the tools at hand, you’d rather prefer to disable the task pane since it consumes quite a lot of screen real estate.

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