Reading Documents on your Screen Effectively
I was at Fresh Thyme Soup earlier this week (fantastic place, seriously, go there, it's all made from scratch) and there was a guy surfing with their free wireless whose desktop looked basically like this (this is mine, for illustration.) He was actually running Ubuntu and running what looked like AbiWord, but that's not the point.
Why is a guy who's _______ (insert adjective here...perhaps "savvy?") enough to run Ubuntu reading a document with the window sized like this?
Seems like I'm forever doing this series of keystrokes in Word: Alt-V, then Z, then T, then Enter, to return Word to the Text Width Zoom level. Then I use Alt-V, then U, for Full Screen mode, especially when I'm forced to present a Word document via projector.
Is this the fundamental issue with a Windowing interface that lets you size things willy-nilly.
I've been using a MacBook Pro for two weeks now and I'm still, even now, never sure what I'm going to get when I press the little Green dot that I think of as "Maximize." Sometimes a window gets really tall, other times really wide. With the Finder, it's a roll of the dice.
Same thing with Windows, and Ubuntu. I'm FOREVER forced to rearrange things. There's got to be a middle place between Full-Screen/Maximized and Minimized that "knows" what I need. The fact that the "middle place" is currently "size it however you like" is starting to wear on me.
I'm not sure if the infinite possibilities of window resizing is more sad than the fact that anyone who has a 15" or larger screen wouldn't take the time to maximize their window for readability.
If you've got an LCD, for goodness sake:
- If you've got bad eyes, make the icons large and the fonts large. Really. Don't run your monitor at 1024x768 if it supports 1900x1600. You're doing yourself and your a disservice. Turn on ClearType.
If I had a nickel for every time I went into an Executives office and had this conversation, I'd like like 65 cents. At least.
- "Hm, you're running your laptop at non-native resolution..."
- "I am?"
- "Yes..." click, click, right-click, enter, boom.
- "Oh, wow, that is clearer. But the icons are small now"
- "Ok. One sec" click, click, Large Icons, boom.
- "Ah, that's nice. That text is kind of jagged."
- "Ok. One sec" click, click, ClearType, boom.
- "Wow, that's like getting new glasses."
- "Yes. Yes, it is."
Make your pixels work for you, Dear Reader.