C-Command Software Forum

optimal record viewer scrolling?

Are there any keyboard shortcuts for scrolling the record viewer without selecting it? I’m intuitively wanting to use space and shift-space to do that while selection focus is on a record in the records list, similar to scrolling content of a selected message in Mail’s preview pane when it’s larger than the pane. In that context up/down-arrow can be used to move between records instead of scrolling. [edit: Just noticed the View > Next/Previous Record shortcuts, which work independently of selection focus]

Also, is there any visual indicator when the record viewer is selected? I couldn’t see a change when tabbing in and out of it, which would be useful for knowing that space and shift-space scrolling would be active there.

What I’m wanting to do is quickly browse/scroll multiple records with minimal keystrokes. The Mail-like [shift-]space method is just one idea; I’m certainly open to others. Thanks.

EagleFiler actually does this the other way. If you have focus on the record viewer, you can scroll with the arrow keys or Page Up/Page Down, and you can also change to the next/previous record using Space/Shift-Space or Command-Control-Down/Command-Control-Up. Probably the Space shortcut should scroll the message if it isn’t at the end, rather than always going to the next message.

I suppose not, unless it’s editable in which case there would be an insertion point. Also, the source list and records list selections would be in gray instead of the highlight color.

Right, though I’d prefer not having to focus on the record viewer in order to scroll it. So be it if that is (and remains) impossible.

and you can also change to the next/previous record using Space/Shift-Space or Command-Control-Down/Command-Control-Up.

Which I hadn’t noticed in my original post, then later mentioned in an edit after discovering them. Those help achieve what I’m trying to do in a backwards sort of way, keeping focus on the record viewer (for easy scrolling) and intra-record navigation.

Probably the Space shortcut should scroll the message if it isn’t at the end, rather than always going to the next message.

If “message” also applies to webarchive and rich text documents, which is all I’ve tested so far. And I’m assuming you mean that scrolling would work with focus on the record list? That’s what I’m wanting. The [shift]-space scrolling already works fine with focus on the record viewer (with uneditable content, of course).

I suppose not, unless it’s editable in which case there would be an insertion point.

And then the rules for scrolling in an editable region apply. That’s already fine as-is, IMO.

Also, the source list and records list selections would be in gray instead of the highlight color.

Right. I already use those “unselections” as a visual cue but realize they don’t always make it obvious where selection is, especially when walking up to an idle EF and wanting to know where focus/selection is without any UI interaction. That’s on my list of more subtle usability tests, which many apps fail including Apple’s …

Pierre Igot @ Betalogue often writes (with harsh detail) about UI niggles in a way I relate to. There’s a certain satisfaction in that kind of attention to detail, even with things I don’t expect will change. Hopefully I’m more adaptable and flexible in the process, or something like that.

Point? If my EF-related suggestions/perspectives ever seem blunt or critical it’s always with positive intention, never to be demanding or attacking. Many posts here (wish I could read more) have already helped me better understand your product vision and goals. And I really appreciate the respect and professional quality of interaction between participants here.

Now I’ll shut up.

Right. My intent is for the Spacebar stuff to work like in Mail. (Unlike Mail, Page Up/Page Down will continue to operate on the pane that has focus.)

How do you think it should be indicated that the viewer has focus? The only app I can think of that does this is Entourage, which uses a colored focus ring that I always found distracting. I’m all for having better indications of where the focus is, but I think Apple would have to take the lead here because nobody wants to write an app that looks “wrong.”

That’ll be great; thanks.

(Unlike Mail, Page Up/Page Down will continue to operate on the pane that has focus.)

Yeah, those missing Page Up/Down shortcuts in Mail can be frustrating. Same dubious omission in a Safari bookmarks window. And Home/End don’t always work where you’d expect them to, although option-up/down is sometimes a workaround.

How do you think it should be indicated that the viewer has focus?

Not sure. Something subtle or you risk:

The only app I can think of that does this is Entourage, which uses a colored focus ring that I always found distracting.

Never used Entourage but I can imagine that colored focus ring being distracting.

I’m all for having better indications of where the focus is, but I think Apple would have to take the lead here because nobody wants to write an app that looks “wrong.”

I agree that it’s ultimately Apple’s responsibility to provide standard focus indicators for contexts like we’re discussing (however you’d say that in more accurate developer terms; I’m mostly a sysadmin). Maybe there’s already some support for that using accessibility features?

Missing focus indicators are common enough in many multipane apps, including Apple’s, so it’s not that hard adjusting to that in EF. I guess this belongs in the no-to-low “it would be nice…” category of suggestions to reconsider if/when there’s an opportunity to easily implement it properly.