h a l f b a k e r y
Ceci n'est pas une idée.
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There are many pieces of software that take text input and, in
many of those, you can switch between regular, bold, italic
and underscored text. In most of these packages, the cursor
appears as a vertical bar (like here, where I'm entering text
under Chrome) or something a little more elaborate
I'll often click into a piece of text that has some parts in bold
or italic. Often, a heading will be in bold, and I click to enter
text under it. Depending on where the "end-of-bold" marker
is, what I type may come out either bold, like the heading, or
plain, like the following text.
So (and it seems to have taken a long time to get here, despite
this being a simple idea), I would like the I-bar cursor to
appear as bold, italic or regular, to reflect the style of text I'm
about to enter. This would save me from typing something
underneath a heading, only to notice that it's coming out in
bold, and then having to either select and unbold it or delete
a few characters, unbold, and then type on.
[hippo, Jul 21 2019]
||I like it but don't the specs change in the attached text editing bar as the cursor moves between blocks? The different styles of cursor will have to be deferentially bold.
||I believe Word (and I expect its competitors) has (have) this
with both the pointing cursor and the typing cursor, but only
for italic, not for bold or underline, which seems like an
||// The different styles of cursor will have to be
deferentially bold. //
||What will their boldness have to defer to?
||//Word... but only for italic// By golly you're right, and I
hadn't even noticed. Well, if I hadn't noticed maybe it's not
such an important thing after all.
||Id expect it to make the whole screen italic, and
perhaps the surrounding room.
||<Peers at taskbar looking for "Italianate" option/>
||Would it change just the wallpaper, or the whole decor ?
||Yes! And not just the "blinky" typing cursor, but the mouse-
pointer too, ie. the mouse-pointer changes to indicate what
the formatting under it is as you hover. Even just a small
"tool-tip" note/icon at the bottom-right of the pointer (since
top-left is the "pointing" part of the mouse-pointer).
||Yesas I said, Word does that already, but only for italicism,
not boldness. Also, what would be the point of a tooltip saying "the text you're pointing
at is italic/bold"? I can see that. The change of the cursor is just to visually coordinate
with the text, except in cases where there isn't any text to show that there is latent
formatting there, where I guess the tooltip might be helpful, but tooltips are too slow for
that usage to be practical.
||PS: Surprisingly, Wiktionary defines "italicism" to mean
exactly what I used it for.
||//what would be the point...I can see that// Not quite.
Imagine a document which has a bold heading, an empty line,
and plain body text starting on the next line after that. You
want to insert some text where that empty line is.
||Depending on where the previous user switched from bold to
regular, your text will appear either in bold or in regular.
||Which is exactly the kind of situation I was talking about where it could
be useful, but tooltips are too slow for anyone to notice. To elaborate:
Nobody who doesn't already know that the tooltip about the formatting
exists will hover over that empty line to see whether it's bold or not.
They'll click as soon as they've pointed at it, and that prevents the
appearance of the tooltip. With the cursors, they'll see the pointing
cursor change as soon as they point, before clicking, or they'll see it after
clicking, because clicking doesn't affect it, or they'll see the typing
cursor's appearance indicating the formatting state after they've clicked
to place it there. But in other cases, where there is text there already
that shows what the formatting in that location is, the visual change of
the cursor is just to look nicer with the text, and to get users used to it
changing to indicate formatting, so that they know what it means when
they point at a place with latent formatting.
||I'm not sure why the sentence "I can see that." is in the middle of my
previous annotation. I just had an idea as to what I might have meant to
mean by it, but I forgot it before I could type it here.