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Keyboard shortcuts (Read 8687 times)
Jason Yergeau
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Keyboard shortcuts
May 30th, 2014, 4:00am
 
Exciting to play with the new release. Congrats! Lots of nice little details, like holding the option key in map view to select multiple notes. I rely heavily on these kinds of keyboard shortcuts to avoid RSI. Could you help me map some of the old features to new sequences?

1) In map view, how do I change the contents of a note? In TB5, this was the space key.

2) In map view, how do I link two notes together? In TB5, this was ⌃⌘L.

3) How do I toggle between view tabs? In web browsers this is typically ⇧⌘] to go right, or ⇧⌘[ to go left.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #1 - May 30th, 2014, 4:34am
 
Keyboard shortcuts are, I believe, incomplete at present. Due to changes in the UI through the beta a number of things like shortcuts weren't mapped in case they change.

#1. For me, in v6.0.0, if I have a map note selected and focus is on the map pressing spacebar shifts focus to the text pane.  Actually works for other main (left pane) view. Or, use Opt+Tab to cycle between main view/key attribute table (if used)/text.

#2. No shortcut allocated (yet). As with v5, use the link-widget. Either drag to another visible note or drag to the circle at left end of the tab strip with is the v6 link 'parking' tool.

#3. No shortcut allocated (yet).
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Jason Yergeau
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #2 - May 30th, 2014, 9:22am
 
1) I see now, I was missing the text pane. ⌘5 restores it.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #3 - May 30th, 2014, 1:41pm
 
Ah yes, if you want more space for the main view or text, you can toggle the splitter pane postion:
  • Cmd+4 -> show Text pane only.
  • Cmd+5 -> show both panes.
  • Cmd+6 -> show main pane only
These commands are available as menu items via the Window menu.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #4 - May 30th, 2014, 2:50pm
 
We use ⌘-[ and ⌘-] for indent/unindent.

In practice, we offer an extraordinary number of keyboard shortcuts -- probably more than is really justified -- and it is often difficult to find any keyboard combination not already in use. But conceivable we might try ⇧⌘-[ and ⇧⌘-] here.
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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #5 - Jun 8th, 2014, 3:19am
 
Mark,

I don't think you have to worry so much about the difficulty of finding new shortcut combinations: the real issue is the lack of menu access to some common commands, which means that I have to use the mouse, even in modes where it's a distraction (I try to avoid the mouse wherever possible as it gives me problems with RSI).

If you provide menu items for these common actions, I'm quite happy to add my own shortcuts (I change some of the defaults anyway). The most obvious ones that stand out to me after only a few days use are

* Tabs, as the OP says -- you only have to create a tab once, but you move between them many times and having to leave the keyboard to use the mouse to do so is not optimal

* Focus in Outline -- I can focus into a container with a shortcut, but not out of it, as far as I can tell.

* It would be very useful to have direct access to the Quickstamp menu, with the cursor already in the search field -- "cmd-2 (say), type, tab, edit" would be really helpful.

* Add key attributes to a note.

Other areas where the keyboard workflow could be a little smoother:

* Get Info -- very useful to have the cmd-opt-I shortcut, but once I've done that, I have to use the mouse to enter the (very useful) attribute search field, put the mouse down to enter the text, then pick it up again to highlight the attribute to edit it. Tabbing between elements (cmd-i, down arrow, type, enter, enter, edit would a lot quicker and smoother, for me at least than having to pick up the mouse and put it down twice in the process).

* I can open a new outline with the keyboard, but if there's no note selected, I have to click on a note before I can use the keyboard to navigate the list.  It would be helpful to be able to use the down arrow to highlight the first entry in those circumstances.

The new version has many welcome improvements, which I'm slowly starting to explore. I understand that these are early days, and that you've already listened to feedback about the same issue from v5 (Cleanup is now on the menus...), so I hope these suggestions are considered useful feedback.

Thanks
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Paul Atlan
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #6 - Jun 8th, 2014, 8:31am
 
As a new user getting to grips with tinderbox, I'd second David's opinion.

I don't shy away from the mouse from an RSI perspective (although I certainly understand the rationale) but from a "mac (semi)power user" perspective. I'm far from an expert, but I tend to categorise actions as "design" and "tell" : if I need to tell the computer to do something, then I'd rather use the keyboard; if I need to design a slide or paint in a filter in a photograph i use the mouse. Having to mouse over to some of the panes feels counterintuitive.

I'm not sure this makes sense to anybody but me?
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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #7 - Jun 9th, 2014, 3:59pm
 
Following on from the suggestions for improving the workflow with the keyboard in outline mode:

From a selected note in outline mode, opt-tab twice takes you to the key attributes, and you can use the arrow keys to highlight, enter to edit, which is excellent.

However, when you've finished editing, Enter closes the edit, but removes the highlight from the attribute list, and the down arrow takes you to the top of the list again -- which gets progressively more frustrating as the number of attributes increases and you have to return to the top of the list each time. It would be helpful if the highlight remained on the current line after editing so that entering a series of attributes is a simple sequential process.

Using Tab in this process is a little counter-intuitive, too.  You have to use opt-Tab to get to the attribute list (no problems with that), but when you have an attribute highlighted, Tab once and you edit the field. Press Tab while you're in the field and you're sent straight back to the Outline itself, and if you inadvertently press it a third time, you're altering the outline structure. Press opt-Tab (which is otherwise used for moving between elements) and it looks like you enter a tab stop into the field itself.  Would it be possible to reserve opt-Tab for moving between the main elements (cycle between Outline, Text, Attributes), Enter for entering / leaving a field, Tab for entering tab stops?



As a general question, what's the best way of making such suggestions for v6? In this forum or the Feature Ideas: and is it useful to send an email to Eastgate at the same time?
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Demogorgon
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #8 - Jun 9th, 2014, 5:38pm
 
The keyboard shortcut for unhoist (CMD-OPT-UP) no longer works. The alternative shortcut (LEFT) only works at the wrong selection depth.

If my Outline View window shows this:

B
 C
 D
 E

In order to ascend to depth A, I cannot select B and hit LEFT (as in TB 5).  Rather, I have to be on C, D, or E and then hit LEFT.  Nor can I use CMD-OPT-UP.  So in TB 6, only LEFT unhoists, but only at the wrong selection depth.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #9 - Jun 9th, 2014, 6:49pm
 
Note that we've got the breadcrumb bar above the main view now, providing one-click access to any ancestor.
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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #10 - Jun 10th, 2014, 3:43am
 
That's true, Mark and the breadcrumb is a welcome addition.

I may be reading too much into your comment and to the previous one upthread when you said that you thought you may already be providing too many shortcuts.

I apologise if I am misunderstanding you, but the comments almost come across as though you feel the issues we've raised in this thread about keyboard use (which essentially boils down to the provision of menu items for all relevant functions) are minor and have acceptable long term alternatives, rather than being (perfectly acceptable and understandable) short-term compromises for a first release.

I do understand that there are huge pressures attendant upon a first release, and of course I don't expect that everything can be addressed immediately -- you'll have bigger bugs to squash, I know.

However, while I don't need or expect to be told that X or Y function will definitely be available by such and such a date, these usability issues are not minor to me and it would be reassuring to know that their importance is recognised and that they are on the list to be addressed within a reasonable time-frame.  

Again, apologies if I've misread your comments  -- it's easy to get the wrong tone from internet postings. Similarly, I don't want to come across as confrontational - that's far from my intention - I just would welcome some reassurance that the goal is ultimately for a program that gives equal access where possible to both input methods.

Thanks
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #11 - Jun 10th, 2014, 12:36pm
 
MB is mainly busy fixing things so it limits time for discourse here on the finer points of shortcut mappings.  As I recall the plan - as told to early stage testers - was to leave out so mappings so we know what's actually needed. There are also different user groups to balance: those who will use only a keyboard, though who use a keyboard as little as possible and those who blend the two. Not every group may need/want every affordance. By the same token user a's 'obvious' need may not be so to user 'B' if they are of a different group.

Thus it's useful, as up-thread to know the context of why someone can or can't do a task. In some cases, new affordances exist. There is also a task to try and - where possible - move shortcuts in alignment with general Mac usage. Delaying some shortcut assignment also allows better choice as to where the easier to use/remember get applied. Plus, as nuanced behaviours add in int's helpful if a letter key's shortcuts have several different modifiers. thus Cmd+Opt+C in v5 is New Cart as Cmd+Opt generally opened views. In v6 with new rich texts features (a must have for a vocal group) in v6 Cmd+Opt+C more sensibly maps to Copy style.

I think the most helpful thing is to flag up what's missing/changed and how it impedes an existing task.

Meanwhile, I'm endeavouring to keep a map of changes. My time's limited (ongoing studies) and I'll admit I've not plumbed all the more arcane combos - not least because it's often posts here that show work styles I've never encountered before. My experience, is most TB-ers assume everyone uses the app the same way: in practice few do.
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« Last Edit: Jun 10th, 2014, 12:39pm by Mark Anderson »  

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J Fallows
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #12 - Jun 10th, 2014, 12:46pm
 
Quote:
However, while I don't need or expect to be told that X or Y function will definitely be available by such and such a date, these usability issues are not minor to me


FWIW, I am just weighing in to support the outlook of those who (a) recognize and appreciate all the improvements in TB6 but also (b) really hope for affordances that will permit keyboard-shortcut approaches at least equivalent to TB5. (Ie, menu commands of a sort that allow users to create their own shortcuts via the OS.) I personally place very, very high value on being able to use the keyboard as much as possible, and the mouse as little. Others' preferences vary; just weighing in to express mine.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #13 - Jun 10th, 2014, 1:06pm
 
@Demogorgon, as the View menu controls fail the same way, I think this is a UI glitch rather than a missing shortcut. I've reported this issue via another channel.
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David Bertenshaw
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Re: Keyboard shortcuts
Reply #14 - Jun 10th, 2014, 2:29pm
 
Mark A,

Thanks for your helpful response: I understand the pressure that is on the developers, and I tried hard in my posts not to be too demanding...

I do think it's important though that this doesn't get reduced to the issue of which shortcuts are provided -- those of use who use the keyboard a lot are very used to changing them to meet our needs.

The main issue is that some important functions do not yet have menu commands in situations where they are clearly missing. (The most amusing example of this is that the Map view -- where you'll probably use the mouse most of the time) has a 'Expand View' menu command, but the outline view -- which is predominantly keyboard based and where Expand View will be the most useful -- has the command greyed out....).

It would be a shame to delay these changes simply to decide on the best default shortcuts -- that's a separate and not quite so important process, given that we have the ability to roll our own.

Thanks again.
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