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Feature request: Dynamic inspectors Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I would like to see the inspectors automatically hide/show or even dynamically change contextually depending on what item is selected.

For example, have the Task inspector show itself when a task is selected, and have the Project and Context inspectors disappear or collapse. Likewise, when a Project or Context is selected, hide the other inspectors and show the Project/Context inspector.

This would keep the screen less cluttered, despite the near-necessity that inspectors be available when setting up new projects, actions and contexts.
 
An inspector cleanup is one of the major bits of UI cleanup left before 1.0 (another being preferences). Our current plan (subject to change) is that we'll have type-based inspectors instead of aspect-based (so project/action/group/context instead of having things like dates/repeats in their own tabs).

I'm not sure if inspectors will always automatically switch based on the selection; this is really subjective -- too much motion & display changing in the inspectors while you are just mousing around can be annoying.

Anyway, that's what I'm doing this weekend while the Great Omni Move is going on =)
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dynamic inspectors do not have to have lots of motion.

I think the idea here would be one inspector window where the available fields changed, not several windows that open and closed dynamically.

Adobe's inspectors do this pretty well (Adobe GoLive anyways).
 
I know its too late for 1.0 and Omni has a long standing love affair with the old NEXT style inspector mode of doing things, but I think Apple's approach to this issue with a "context bar" in addition to inspectors (as seen in the iWork apps) really hits a sweet spot.

-P
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Wood View Post
An inspector cleanup is one of the major bits of UI cleanup left before 1.0 (another being preferences). Our current plan (subject to change) is that we'll have type-based inspectors instead of aspect-based (so project/action/group/context instead of having things like dates/repeats in their own tabs).
That would be a great start and would really make stuff easier to manipulate!

Quote:
I'm not sure if inspectors will always automatically switch based on the selection; this is really subjective -- too much motion & display changing in the inspectors while you are just mousing around can be annoying.
I've seen other apps pull this off pretty well. One option is certainly the "big ol' inspector" window that is large enough to fit the most options available for any single item, so it just looks a bit empty. Otherwise, some modest growing/shrinking wouldn't hurt the eyes too much, at least not for me.

The main reason I find the current setup objectionable is that OmniFocus isn't, say, OmniGraffle. I don't spend a lot of time WORKING in the app. I duck in quickly to pull a NA or add a project/notes/task/whatever and then leave the program. The less clicking and fidgeting I have to do, the faster I can get out of the application.

Another option might be to simply change the inspectors based on mode. In Planning mode, you'd have a Task and Project inspector. (The latter might also work on folders, just with many options grayed out) In Context mode, the Project inspector grows/shrinks into Context mode.

Since changing those states is an inherent mode switch, and also (often) changes the window size/layout/etc., the animation at that point would probably not be too distracting.

Anyhow, ideas. Take 'em or leave 'em and keep up the good work!
 
Nice to see the new inspectors in the Dec 11 build. I'm not entirely sure this is a real improvement. While I like the cleaner and less panel-cluttered appearance, I think it only underscores the usefulness of a dynamic inspector.

It now takes two clicks to change properties on an item (select item, switch to the appropriate inspector) where before I could keep the appropriate inspector(s) visible and ready for use.

One minor feature request on the inspectors: Can they include the name of what's being inspected (or perhaps "multiple items" when many items are selected). That will make it easier to tell that editing a group edits a specific parent task, and edit project will edit the containing project, etc. Plus it's a nice way to rename things while you edit its properties, especially when triaging inbox items.
 
Another idea: A keyboard shortcut to go to the inspector for the selected item. So a CMD+I (as per The Finder's "get info") makes the inspector visible in the right mode for the selected item. I'd still prefer it if that behavior were automatic, but it's a nice intermediate solution.

For that matter, keyboard shortcuts for each inspector mode seems like a must-have.
 
Couldn't they just make it so that when you click on an action, the action inspector is shown, when you click on a project, the project inspector is shown, ditto for group and context?

Auto-switching the inspector based on selection would eliminate all of the clicking....
 
Auto-switching inspectors is in the works, just not there yet.
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CTO, The Omni Group
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Wood View Post
Auto-switching inspectors is in the works, just not there yet.
And as Tim was too polite to mention it, the Release Notes say as much. Running beta software, those release notes are your friend.
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Cheers,

Curt
 
 


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