Difference between revisions of "Printerpullpages"

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| [[Image:Printerpullpages 2009-06-07 PrintingDialog EarlyMockup.png|512px|thumb|center]]
| [[Image:Printerpullpages 2009-06-07 PrintingDialog EarlyMockup.png|512px|thumb|center]]
| An '''initial draft''' mockup, just to let you know that we are working on something ;-) Many of the implemented proposals are still in discussion...
| An '''initial draft''' mockup, just to let you know that we are working on something ;-) Many of the implemented proposals are still in discussion...
| [[Image:2009-07-13v4 PrintingDialog.png|512px|thumb|center]]
| A '''draft''' mockup, still many things are in discussion...

Revision as of 21:11, 13 July 2009

Please note that the wiki page is under heavy development. We hope to provide more information (requirements, specifications, mockups, ...) in the next few days. Thanks for you patience!

2009-06-14 printerpullpages logo.png



A new printing UI should give us better performance, more ease of use and overall more customer satisfaction. New features like the instant preview in a print dialog as well as unified N-Up printing for all applications will bring OOo's print experience more up to current standards. Additionally system integration can benefit by making use of native print dialogs (for which the MacOSX implementation will be the prime example). The development is done in the CWS printerpullpages.

Comments, questions or feedback is welcomed on the ui@ux.openoffice.org mailing list.

The team working on the feature:

Role Name E-Mail Address
I-Team Lead Philipp Lohmann (PL) Philipp.Lohmann@Sun.COM

Philipp Lohmann (PL)
Andre Fischer (AF)
Thomas Lange (TL)
Niklas Nebel (NN)


Quality Assurance Hasan Ilter (HI) Hasan.Ilter@Sun.COM
Documentation tbd tbd
User Experience

Christoph Noack
Frank Löhmann



First let us see why we need a new print subsystem in OOo. Up to now printing for OOo's applications worked like this:

  • the user clicks on File->Print
  • a dialog pops up in which the user can enter the page range to be printed, the printer to be printed on, etc.
  • the application evaluates the data from the dialog, starts a print job and prints each page consecutively. After the last page is printed, the application finishes the print job.

This works but has some major drawbacks on the Mac platform:

  • On Mac the printed range has to be known before the native print dialog (usage of which is a requirement on this platform) gets started. Even when printing without a dialog the number of pages has to be known before the print job starts. However the system dependent print implementation cannot know this page range, because it is only known to the application.
  • The Mac print system then requests individual pages to be printed. These need not be in order or each page be printed only once due to the fact that when using the native print dialog a preview gets shown. To achieve this the Mac print system requests the current page to be previewed be printed. This is completely different to OOo's current print model.
  • The current workaround on the Mac is to “print” all pages of a document, but not output to the actual printer but keep a memory copy of the printed pages. These can then in the real print job be requested by the system in random order and as often as needed. This solution has obvious performance and memory footprint drawbacks

So for at least the Mac platform we need a more flexible print solution. This solution should have the following features:

  • pull instead of push pages: the print subsystem pulls pages a needed from the application, not the application pushes a number of pages to the print subsystem. On systems where printing is push based (Windows, Unix) the push behavior can be easily satisfied by an adaptor that pulls all pages and pushes each to the system consecutively.
  • Provide a print preview in the new dialog: the user should be provided with a preview of what his document will look like when printed out. This preview should take into account all available application specific print options which can up to now be accessed by the “Options...” button in the print dialog.
  • Be able to use native print dialogs and embed our print options into them, this benefits system integration.
  • Reuse existing technology when possible to keep the implementation effort low

Based on these requirements the following new model should be implemented:

  • printing migrates to a “pull” model where the print system pulls pages as required from the application.
  • A new generic (that is universal on all systems) print dialog gets implemented that features the entry possibilities of the old dialog as well as new features namely:
    • a print preview
    • all application specific print options (which are hidden on the “Options...” dialog in the old print dialog)
    • N-Up printing


Scope of the Work

In Scope Out of Scope
  • Satisfy the user demands for a the use of native printing dialogs (e.g. on the Mac OS X platform)
  • Provide a high quality printing interface that is system independent
  • Add system independent N-up printing to overcome the drawbacks of certain printer drivers
  • Improve the overall interaction quality (e.g. workflow improvements, terminology, essential print options)
  • Create a fresh and usable interface for printing in OpenOffice.org
  • For all of the above: keep changes to limit that can be implemented for OOo 3.2. Further changes can wait for later version.
  • Additional functionality will not be added (besides the planned N-up printing)

Analysis of the Current State of Printing (OpenOffice 3.1)

Printing Features and Options

Source Data

Currently, there are many options in OpenOffice.org with regard to printing. When looking at the technical constraints (e.g. native dialogs vs. system independent dialog, application settings vs. operating system settings), the space restrictions, ... it seems to make sense to have a look at the current options. Is each option really necessary, can it be well understood? Most of the data is currently provided in several Calc documents which get (hopefully) updated regularly.

  • File:Current Dialogs ListOfAllPrintDialogElements.ods: List of all printing dialog elements and options with regard to their meaning, understandability and necessity. It also includes developer comments, which I have to thank for. Worth reading and commenting ;-) Currently, this is the most important document on this page.
  • File:2009-07-04 UserFeedbackData PrintingAnalysis.ods: Based on the first User Feedback Data there is a short analysis considering Writer, Impress, Draw and (partly) Math. Please note that the User Feedback system still has the drawback that some of the sources of function requests can not be identified. Elements that are ambiguous (to me) are marked with '???'.
  • File:Current PrintingOptions SettingsInDocumentFiles.odt: This document summarizes all printer dialog related settings which are stored in the native OpenOffice.org files (settings.xml). As far as the settings could be identified, they have been transferred to the file “List of all Print Dialog Elements”. Issue: Even for the same module (e.g. Writer), only a subset of all options is saved in the document.

Printerpullpages 2009-06-11 UsageOfImpressDialogsVisualized.png

This is just an early preview how the printing dialog is used.

Note: The data is based upon a previous version of "2009-07-04 UserFeedbackData PrintingAnalysis.ods", so please read the description how the data has been acquired.

Printing Dialogs

The sum OK and Cancel events are the reference for the number of uses for the dialog. Then, for each of the printer dialog elements the usage frequency is calculated on that data. The usage frequency is given by all events of each element (e.g. more/less/modify for spin fields) which will lead to inconsistencies (unknown until we can analyse the exact sequence of how elements were used). Nevertheless, for all modules (if possible) the average and standard deviation have been calculated. Date of creation 2009-07-05.

Module Name Average [%] Standard Deviation [%] Comments / Finding
All Modules OK
Only for Impress, the part of Cancel is extreme (21,3%). Why?
All Modules Number of copies
The usage of Number of copies is slightly higher for Writer and Draw. (But, all events count.)
All Modules Pages
All Modules None (Pages Text Field)
All Modules Properties
In Impress and Draw, properties are set twice that often.
All Modules Name
Calc Selected cells
Impress Slides per page
All Modules Cancel
refer to OK
All Modules Options
In Impress, the options are far more used (4 times as much in comparison with Writer and Calc).
Impress Vertical
Impress Horizontal
Calc Selected sheets
All Modules Collate
All Modules All pages
Writer, Impress, Draw Selection
All Modules Print to file
All Modules Help
In Impress, the need for help is maximal (0,3%).

Current Workflow

The following selection workflows descriptions are used to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of OpenOffice.org printing. These workflows are not selected according their occurence, they are just meant to be examples to better understand printing.

Name Steps and Finding
User prints in Draw directly


  • User has document with certain objects (even transparent ones)
  • User selects one transparent object
  • User selects toolbar icon "Print File Directly (PRINTER NAME)"
  • Dialog "Printing Selection" pops up ("Do you want to print the selection or the entire document?" [Selection / All / Cancel])
    • Case A1: User selects "Selection"
    • Case A2: User selects "All"
  • Only for case 2: Dialog "Transparency Warning" pops up ("The document contains transparent objects. Should ... reduced?" [Yes / No / Cancel])
    • Case B1: User selects "Yes" (reduce transparency)
    • Case B2: User selects "No" (don't reduce transparency)
  • Document is printed

Finding: Why are there so many modal dialogs, even when the users wants to print "quickly". Besides that, why is there a modal dialog? Wouldn't it be better to use a non-modal dialog which gives the user e.g. 15 seconds time to decide. If there is no decision within this time, the printing could start using defaults.

User prints a poster in Draw


  • User designed a poster in Draw and set the margings to "0". Then he wants to print it on his inkjet printer which isn't able to printer borderless.
  • User selects File -- Print... -- OK
  • Dialog "Warning Printing Options" pops up ("The page settings do not match the print range. ..." [Fit page to print range / Print on multiple pages / Trim])
    • Case A1: User selects "Fit page to print range"
    • Case A2: User selects "Print on multiple pages"
    • Case A3: User selects "Trim"
  • Document is printed

Finding: If the document was designed on the same computer, then the user has already been warned concerning the limited print range when the page margins have been set (Format -- Page...). When printing is started, the user is warned concerning the print range. In case he wants to have the true scale, then there is no way to pre-define "trim" for the output (the same is true for "Print on multiple pages"). The user gets the "Warning Print Options" every time he prints!

Note: The formulation of "Fit page to print range" in "Warning Print Options" is different in comparison to "Fit to page" in the print options.

Note: If page options "brochure" is selected, then no "Warning Print Options" (paper size) is given, even if objects cross the printable range.

User prints to file


  • User has a document which should be saved to a file (in a printer language)
  • User selects File -- Print...
  • User activates "Print to file"
  • User clicks on "OK"
  • A file selector dialog pops up
  • The user enters / selects the file to be printed in
    • Case A1: File doesn't exist yet
    • Case A2: File already exists
  • Only for case A2: The dialog "Save" pops up ("The file already exists. Overwrite?" [Yes / No]).

Notes concerning the dialog "Save" (OOo 3.1 from Ubuntu PPA):

  • Short: The dialog is ... bad!
  • The title is wrong, since it should state something like "Overwrite existing file?"
  • The buttons are not self explaining ([Yes / No])
  • The main dialog text is surrounded by '"' (quotation marks) - why?
  • The dialog looks "alien", because it is provided by GTK. Here, the button order is different to the OOo dialogs.
  • On my computer, the dialog is hidden behind (!!!) the printing dialog - and OOo appears to be frozen.

General Findings:

  • The printing system is very flexible, but sometimes complicated and complex!
  • We have far to many modal dialogs!
  • Each print (warning) dialog looks different!
  • We have inconsistent options!


This section is intended to show some of the places where OpenOffice.org provides functionality or options concerning printing. You may see that it is not just related to the printing dialog, so that we have to keep an eye on consistency. And if you look very closely, the current user interface isn't that consistent and (maybe) understandable, so please refer to Printing Features and Options

Print Dialogs

Writer Print Dialog
Calc Print Dialog
Impress Print Dialog
Draw Print Dialog
Math Print Dialog

Print Options Dialogs

Writer Print Options Dialog
Calc Print Options Dialog
Impress Print Options Dialog
Draw Print Options Dialog
Math Print Options Dialog

Various Printer Dialogs

Printer Setup Dialog
Printer Properties Dialog (Paper)
Printer Properties Dialog (Device)
Tools - Options... - OpenOffice.org - Print Sub-Page
Writer Print Options Page View Dialog

Various Printer Warning Dialogs

Warning Printing Selection Dialog (Title „Printing Selection“)
Warning Print Options Dialog (Title "Warning Print Options")
Warning Transparency Dialog (Title „Warning“)
Warning Save Dialog (Title „Save“)

PDF Export Dialog

PDF Export Options Dialog (General)
PDF Export Options Dialog (Initial View)
PDF Export Options Dialog (User Interface)
PDF Export Options Dialog (Links)
PDF Export Options Dialog (Security)

Use Cases

Use cases are an important tool for the design of both usable and efficient interaction concepts. Knowing the most common ones, the user interface can be optimized to satisfy the need of a large user base in many situations. Besides the user feedback data, we don't have any knowledge about how our users work with OpenOffice.org. So we asked experts, users and trainers to get some feedback on "the three most common use cases". We know that this data isn't statistically relevant, but we may get some insight which we currently don't have.

Questions to the mailing lists:

The file Printerpullpages_UseCases_CollectionOfFeedback contains the first collected feedback. If anybody wants to help to further collect/sort/analyse the feedback - that would be really great!

Competitive Analysis

Please note that although we do competitive analysis, we won't publish too many information here, e.g. screenshots. If you are interested in a special program, then try to search for images in your favorite internet search. In 99% of all cases, you will get some pictures and a first idea how it looks like ... and most presumably how it will behave.

Another good approach is to have a look at the official documentation of our platforms:

  • Apple User Interface Guidelines, The Print Dialog
  • Microsoft Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines, Common Dialogs (scroll down a bit, since the print dialog is not listed in the TOC)
  • Linux Common Printing Dialog, Linux Printing UI Specification, specification created by the Linux Foundation OpenPrinting workgroup available in the OpenUsability.org wiki
  • OpenSolaris, Project: "Presto: Automatic Printing Configuration", UI Prototypes, contains some information about the Print Dialog

Information on special applications or general printing dialogs is collected on the separate wiki page Competitive Analysis.

Requirements List

The following list contains the most important requirements to get started. Okay, these aren't real requirements, it is more like a what-feature-is-generally-desired list.

  • The new print functionality shall provide an native print dialog. As an alternative, a system independent print dialog is used.
  • The new print dialog shall provide all application specific print options which are necessary for most printing tasks.
  • The new print dialog shall provide a print preview. The visualization is updated immediately if print options are changed (immediately: time until final visualization <= 500 ms).

Technical Constraints

The following list contains the most important technical constraints which will have impact on the final interaction and dialog design.

  • Options: Especially the application specific options have to be "compatible" to be used in the native print dialogs. This refers to the overall number (space restrictions in the native print dialogs), the organization (it should be possible to define property groups), controls (limited use of graphical UI controls), layout (layouting is limited to what the operating system provides), ...
  • Size: Since printing is an ordinary task, the dialog should be usable on computers with low screen resolution (e.g. Netbooks with 576px height) and large screens (e.g. PCs)
  • GUI elements:
    • Non-standard controls: Since printing will provide some visual output, it is strongly desirable to use graphical controls (e.g. for the print order). Especially for embedding of application specific print options into native print dialogs this might cause problems, since a) it might be impossible, or b) it might create additional effort for porting.
    • Element "Group Box": Since OpenOffice.org 2.2 group boxes have been replaced by simple horizontal or vertical lines to divide dialogs. As a result, these group boxes aren't themed at the moment (themed: adapted to the visual style of the graphical user interface of certain operating systems).
  • Layout: Currently, there is no GUI layout manager available which resizes all dialog elements according the size of the screen and the size of each of the dialog's objects. Consequence: Static dialog layout which considers the space requirements for other languages.
  • Mac OS X Compatibility: OpenOffice.org is made to run on a variety of Mac OS X versions. Some of those provide a different feature set with regard to printing, so that there is a need for a compromise to satisfy most of the users.
    • 10.4 (Tiger): Application specific options can be integrated in the native print dialog, but there is no print preview available.
    • 10.5 (Leopard): Application specific can be integrated in the native print dialog, and a print preview can be made available.

Definition of Terms

Definitions for the use on this wiki page and the specification. They might be different to the final user interface terminology.

Term Description
System Independent Print Dialog A print dialog that is independent from the underlying operating system, since it is provided by OpenOffice.org. This dialog is used if either the native print dialog is not available or the user explicitly wants to use it instead of the native one. Besides the application specific options, it is required for the print dialog to handle also: printer selection, printer status text, print to file, copy count, collate, N-up printing
Native Print Dialog The native print dialog is the one provided by the operating system, e.g. Mac OS X. The advantage is the visual and behavioral consistency among all applications on the platform, but there are also technical constraints which limit the flexibility of the design.
Application Specific Print Options OpenOffice.org consists of several modules optimized for certain document types, e.g. word processing (Writer) or spreadsheet editing (Calc). For each of the document types the user may require special options which do only make sense with regard to a certain document type (e.g. printing of Notes). Most of these options are today (OpenOffice.org <= 3.1) available in the print options dialog and the tools options settings pages.
N-up printing N-up printing refers to multiple page printing, so that more than one document page (created in the application) is printed on the real paper page. Usually the user selects the number of pages to be printed, e.g. 2 on 1.
Print Preview A preview of what the document will look like when printed out. Therefore this preview should take as much as available print options into account. The print preview is given in the print dialog and therefore complements the page preview available in the file menu in some applications.

Design Proposals

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 OpenOffice.org 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 OpenOffice.org 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 OpenOffice.org 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 OpenOffice.org 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

tbd (may replace Writer N-up feature in the page preview)

Status and Roadmap

It is planned to provide a new basic dialog in OpenOffice.org 3.2. So the interaction design should be finished until end of June 2009. Hopefully ;-)

Specification document: tbd

Current State

Future Tasks

If there are interesting ideas how to further improve printing in OpenOffice.org, then the development might continue for future version of OpenOffice.org.

Philipp said that Caolan, a guy working for RedHat, offered some help to bind the native print dialog in Gnome (GTK). Some years ago, he already blogged about the gnomeprintui.

Other Ideas

Date Raised Source Summary Status Details
 ??? I-Team Specification Replace Print Preview Printing Accepted Currently, Writer provides very flexible N-up capabilities. This should be made available to all applications – via the new print dialog.
 ??? I-Team Improve Workflows New Besides the printing dialog, the concepts and the handling of printing options is difficult in OpenOffice.org (currently we just provide a list of options which have to be combined in a useful manner – here the user has to know exactly what to do).

Another example is the work-flow breaking dialog handling when printing. More information can be found in the blog post Transparent Decision Making.

So this is no real “idea”, it is more a reminder to keep an eye on that.

2009-06-11 I-Team Contextual Information Bar New As discussed in “Improve Workflows”, there are currently a number of modal dialogs which might interrupt the workflow. So how about a contextual information bar which informs only (e.g. for wrong page sizes, transparency, gradients, ...)? How about adding a contextual information bar in the dialog itself...
Rough mockup of a contextual information bar

On the other hand, it would be better to get rid of all these additional informations, warnings and decisions. Open Questions:

  • If people print via shortcut, then the print dialog is omitted. What to do?
  • If native dialogs are used, then we miss the flexibility to add this kind of warning.
 ??? I-Team Harmonize printing and PDF export New Currently, the capabilities of printing and PDF export differ a lot (Example: There is no way to export handouts in Impress.) Why not harmonize that?
2009-06-14 I-Team Printer Presets New Currently, we provide a lot of printer settings which have to be combined by the user. Generally, users use only a small number of combinations, since they are editing similar documents. So they might just use settings for "draft" or "final output". Print settings which could be customized could help here (costomized: edited, saved, loaded, deleted). Some competitors already offer this kind of functionality.
2009-06-14 Regina multiple copies of a one page document on one paper sheet New Use case: You need a lot of DIN A5 sheets to distribute flyers or for to give the sheets to your pupils in your classroom. You write a DIN A5 document. But DIN A5 paper is more expensive than DIN A4 paper. So you want to print the same document twice on a DIN A4 paper. That is not possible up to now. Besides the Issue 67687 , have a look in the internet forums, you see that people are searching for that feature but get only workarounds or have to buy special software. For example http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=65019 or http://www.oooforum.org/forum/viewtopic.phtml?t=30747 or the workaround for Word http://www.gmayor.com/print_multiple_copies.htm
2009-06-16 Regina Assistance for envelope printing New Printing envelopes still belongs to the tasks which most failures. OOo should use informations about the printer (for example from the PPD-file) to help the users. For example, OOo can show how to insert the envelop, or show, what position the envelope must have compared with the standard paper sheet.
2009-07-04 Christoph Merge change tracking and notes New Issue: In Writer, currently there is no common handling for the printing of Notes or handling of Change Tracking. If tracked changes are enabled in the document, they are also printed. There is no way to enable/disable these „reviewer markups“.

Proposal: Maybe something to change/merge for further releases? Open Question: Maybe also Calc is affected, since it also supports change tracking.

Mockups and Screenshots

This section contains mockups and screenshots:

  • Mockups are working models used for demonstration purposes. There is no real functionality at all, because the following pictures have been composed with graphic programs just to get a first impression how it will look like.
  • Screenshots show the behavior of the real development in OpenOffice.org. Those pictures are updated more or less regularly.
Printerpullpages nup current.png

Current state of the N-Up tab page in the system independent print dialog.

Printerpullpages 2009-06-07 PrintingDialog EarlyMockup.png
An initial draft mockup, just to let you know that we are working on something ;-) Many of the implemented proposals are still in discussion...
2009-07-13v4 PrintingDialog.png
A draft mockup, still many things are in discussion...

Online Discussion, Press Coverage and Comments

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