To drop or not to drop

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To drop or not to drop

Published by on March 20th 2008.

To answer this sneaky question will become much easier in future versions of RealWorld Designer applications. As you might have guessed, this short post will be about improvements to the handy but sometimes overlooked “drag and drop” technique.

Dragging and dropping files

Drag and drop with tooltip feedback.

The currently released versions of RealWorld icon or cursor editors are able to accept files dragged from Explorer or another compatible file manager and dropped on the application window. What actually happens depends on the dropped files and on the place, where the files were dropped. Here is an overview:

  • Image files dropped on a raster editor window are pasted as floating selections.
  • Icon file dropped on window showing images inside an icon will be combined with the icon in the window (blended over them).
  • Image files and static or animated cursors dropped on a window with animated cursor frames will be appended to the end of the animation.
  • .rwcommands files dropped on a toolbar will add the commands from the file as new toolbar buttons.
  • Icon and icon libraries dropped on a window showing icons in an icon library will add the icons to the library (Icon libraries will be supported in the next version of RWIE).
  • Cursor files dropping a on a cursor role panel when switched to the customize page will be activated for that role.
  • Files or folders dropped on the main window while the window is switched to the batch mode will apply active batch operation to the files.
  • Files dropped on the main window (not in batch mode) will be opened in the editor.

As you can see the list is long and it will be growing in the future. Occasional user does not have the time to memorize it and it is a shame. Hence…

Giving the proper feedback

Future versions of RW applications will not only show a preview of the dragged image as it is common in Windows Explorer, but also display a tooltip describing what happens after the mouse button is released. The previous screenshot demonstrates the feature in action while dragging a .jpg file with the famous Linux penguin. Now, the only thing to remember is to give drag and drop a try. Often.

Summary

Software with many function is a nice thing to have, but the value of a function depends on the number of people actually making use of it. Although the tooltip does not enhance the functionality, it works on the other part of the equation…

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