Printerpullpages/Design Proposals

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This page is part of the CWS printerpullpages. Based on requirements, it collects design proposals and rates them - maybe some of the proposals get integrated into

System Independent Print Dialog

The Dialog Itself


Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas Dialog Resizing.JPG Automatic Dialog Resizing

Currently, the size of the dialog is limited by the use of netbooks which only feature a very low vertical screen resolution. It would be desirable to have some kind of resizing of the dialog, so that we could provide a full dialog at the current 3.0 system requirements resolution of 1024x768 and a smaller version providing the same functionality for low resolution displays.

Answer by Philipp: Theoretically, this is possible, but it would create effort which I would like to avoid. (E-Mail to Christoph, 2008-06-16, 11:17am)

Selecting the Printer and Providing Printer Information

Requirements (only new ones): If the user selects a printer for output, then the system should present meta information to the printer during the selection. (meta information: e.g. name, status, type, location, comment).


Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrinterSelection DropDown.JPG Enhanced Drop-Down

The current dropdown could be extended by additional information to show the meta information of the printer - before the printer gets selected. This avoids the usual use case: selecting a printer, check if it is the desired one, retry, ...

Advantage: Space Disadvantage: Limited printer information, so that it has to be provided additionally

Note: Technically, there is no control available within which provides such capabilities.

Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrinterSelection Table.JPG Simple Table


  • Good overview
  • Both printer selection and printer information combined in one element


  • Space required
(no mockup) Printer Information Text

Use a sentence for printer information which can be placed separately from the printer selection.

  • Example: "Printer kyocera (Kyocera FS-1750 laser with duplex) at location Meeting Room 217/R15 has the status Offline"
  • Example (location not available): "Printer kyocera (Kyocera FS-1750 laser with duplex) has the status Offline"
  • Example (comment, location not available): "Printer kyocera has the status Offline"
  • Advantages: Compact, “humane” kind of information presentation, unavailable information can be omitted easily
  • Disadvantages: According Philipp, it is impossible to easily concatenate the string for all languages, so we would end up with about 15 strings which might cause high effort for the translation.


  • According to Philipp, gathering the meta information might cause problems in large network environments. When using Windows or Linux, each of the available (network) printers has be "installed" to be usable for printing. On Solaris, things are pretty different, since all of the available printers (up to thousands) will be made instantly available. That would mean querying a lot of printers at the same time ... The OpenSolaris Presto GUI spec (see Competitive Analysis) does not mention such a problem, but maybe behaves different.

Visualization of Printed Pages in the Print Preview


  • The system should make efficient use of screen space. (Example: Resizing of the dialog should resize the preview accordingly).
  • If the print print preview calculation and drawing requires a long time, then the system should provide sufficient feedback. (long time: >= 200 ms; sufficient feedback: e.g. a progress element in the middle of the print preview page)
  • The system should explain the print preview, if the content could cause confusion by the user. (Example: Calc might cause empty pages for certain print ranges, why not explain why the page is empty?)
  • The system should provide a high quality graphics output for the visualization. (high quality visualization: e.g. fast and flicker free drawing, smooth changes between portrait and landscape formats, ...)
  • Explicitly not required: preview which can be manually zoomed by the user


Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrintPreview Working.JPG Working

Idea for showing that the printer preview is generated, e.g. if it takes longer than 500 ms:

  • Fade to white
  • Show progress symbol (refer to picture)
  • Fade to page
Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrintPreview EmptyPage.JPG Empty Page

Could be shown if there are "special" pages in the document, e.g.:

  • Writer: Empty pages automatically inserted for certain page breaks
  • Calc: Empty pages because of certain print ranges

Note: This time, the smaller rectangle represents the page.

Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrintPreview 3D.JPG Print Preview 3D

Shows the print preview as a 3D stack of paper including a smooth animation when another sheet is selected. The kind of visualization is pretty similar to Apple's Cover Flow.

Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrintPreview 3D Duplex.JPG Print Preview 3D with Duplex

Supplements "Print Preview 3D", but here the print preview consists of two 3D stacks of paper for duplex printing. Here, we go more towards the "real" print output.

Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrintPreview 3D Duplex LongSided.JPG Print Preview 3D with Duplex Long Sided Bind

Supplements "Print Preview 3D", but here the print preview shows the selected page binding for duplex printing. From experience it is known, that people are confused by "long side binding" and "short side binding", because the final output is dependent on the format of the page.

Example: If the user wants to see the next page, then the lower print page is "virtually" turned and put down at the upper stack.

Note: Here, the rest of the dialog should just show the print options - this isn't a final version.

Navigating Pages in the Print Preview


  • The system must make it possible to navigate one print page forward.
  • The system must make it possible to navigate one page backward.
  • The system should provide a function to jump to a certain print page.
  • The system must provide an information about the number of printed pages.
  • The system must provide an information what print page is visualized.
  • The system should provide an information which can be understood with low effort. (Example: Visual representation that the currently shown page is at about the half of the full print page stack.)
  • The system should provide a function to navigate to a certain print page. (Example: Entering the print page number.)
  • The system should minimize effort for navigating between subsequent print pages. (Example: Both minimizing mouse travel and providing large controls for forward / backward navigation.)

Control Elements (some comments not to get lost):

  • Horizontal scroll bar: Scroll bars satisfy many of the requirements but have to be used for continuous content. If they are used for other things, we may get publicity soon ... on same “bad UI design web pages” ;-).
  • Slider: There is a slider available in which is currently used for the media player. In the current state, this element shouldn't be used – it seems to lack basic things like keyboard navigation or proper “flicker free” visualization. Nor is it themed for different operating systems. In general, it is hard to select individual pages and the area for “grabbing” the control is very small. Otherwise, they provide excellent feedback about the position inside the document.


Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrintPreviewNavigation SimpleButtons.JPG Simple Buttons

How will this work??? :-)


  • Simple
  • Similar to print preview controls
  • reduced mouse travel when jumping forward/backward
Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrintPreviewNavigation SliderPlusButtons.JPG Slider Plus Buttons

Similar to horizontal scrollbar


  • Shows position in the paper stack
  • Clear shape of buttons

Disadvantage: Size of paper stack isn't visulized (in comparison to scrollbar)

Cwsprinterpullpages 2009-06-14 Ideas PrintPreviewNavigation VideoRecorderControl.JPG Some kind of "Video Recorder Control"

Advantage: Very flexible Disadvantage: New control in OOo with completely new behavior, maybe users will just confused...

(no mockup) Navigator

Navigate to important elements in the document, if the print layout makes it hard to check a certain page (e.g. 4-up printing, only left pages). Writer: headings, ...; Calc: spreadsheet names; Impress: page names; ...

N-up printing

work in progress: writer's page preview is kept, but the N-Up configuration of the "page preview" gets removed completely. The general N-Up printing facility now provides this functionality. Additionally the "print preview" button gets its text replaced by "print document" as you do not print the page preview, but the document the page preview is a viewing.

Native Print Dialog

nothing yet

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