[Libreoffice] Auto-detection of toolbar icon size (well, kinda)

Peter Lairo PeterLairo at gmail.com
Thu Nov 25 02:47:41 PST 2010

On Thu. 25.11.2010 10:19, Michael Meeks wrote:
>> prompted by some complaints on too large icons on Mac, switched the
>> icon size from 'large' to 'auto' for 3.3.
> 	Did we ever get some screenshots of the perceived problem ? I asked in
> some bug, but never got that back AFAIR.
>> this was already in place for windows
> 	I really think the small icons are a usability, and legibility disaster
> when used on large screens - and there is a real risk of selecting them;
> 	My concern is for Windows really - I'd want the vast majority of users
> on>  1024x768 to have large icons.

That's fine, but the large Icons are (about 50%) *too* large. I'm on 
Windows 7, have a 19" monitor, ratio: 4:5, resolution: 1280x1024 and I 
cannot fit the icons I want into the Toolbar.

See screen-shot: 

The situation is made worse by the very poor quality of the icon images. 
For instance:

1. The "New document" icon looks more like a fireplace than the standard 
(a blank white rectangle).

2. the "Open Document" icon doesn't look like most open icons (yellow 
folder) and looks worse (so deviating from the standard was not an 

3. The "Close Document" icon is a black X. That symbol almost always 
means *delete*.

4. The "Print" icon is too blurry. Even at the too large size it is less 
recognizable than the much smaller Print icons of most other applications.

5. There is no "Page Settings " icon.

6. The "Zoom" icon looks too much like a find icon. Pot. solution: add a 
"+" inside the magnifier.

7. The "Review Changes" Toolbar icons don't have icons (only text).

8. The "Styles and Formatting" icon looks like a 
spreadsheet-cell-selection icon and not anything like a "Styles and 
Formatting" icon.

9. The *Bold* /Italics/ and _Underline_ icons should be the letters *B* 
/I/ and _U_ (and localized where possible). Using only "A"s is much less 
recognizable. Even users in non-localized countries will recognize the B 
I U better than A A A, even if they don't know what the letters stand 
for. Even Windows Live Writer uses B I U. Using only A A A shows a lack 
of understanding of basic usability principles. (This is also a pet 
peeve of mine with the current crop of Thunderbird developers.)

10. The "Character" and "Paragraph" icons should use a pencil instead of 
a meaningless pointing hand. Also, the paragraph symbol should be larger 
and more recognizable.

11. The "Page Settings" icon is only text. It is an important icon and 
needs an icon image.

12. The lines in the "Alignment" icons (Left, Centered, Right, Full) are 
much to thin - and thus needlessly hard to identify.

13. The "Numbering" and "Bullets" icons have the most relevant 
information (the numbers and bullets) much too small.

14. Was the "Font Color" icon made by a three-year old? I had to look 
for way too long before I even vaguelly saw a letter "a" buried behind 
the dark red rectangle.

Icons need to be *quickly* recognized. That should be the #1 priority. 
*Every* other factor (e.g. aesthetics) is a *distant* second to 

BTW: IMO, usability is a *huge* deficiency of Open/LibreOffice. It's not 
just the icons; it's largely also the dialog boxes. I've used (and 
loved) WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and OpenOffice. WP (v6.1 to v12) had 
the UI nailed. Word caught up and is now pretty good. OO/LO's UI is 
still too sucky - even for a very experienced user (since 20 years) like me.

Peter Lairo

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