I was busy hacking a cool new feature the last weeks... and that I would like to show and will land in LibreOffice Writer 3.5: headers and footers editing has been greatly improved. The history of that feature is pretty simple: it all started with a customer document with a huge background picture that was selected every now and then instead of the main text over it. That lead me to a new header/footer editing mode in Writer, but Christoph Noack and a few others on the UX-advise mailing list pointed me to a few problems and helped me to make it even better.
Among the cool changes in the headers footers:
- Headers, footers and the body text are clearly separated by a dashed line and a label showing the page style name.
- This separation hides when editing the text body.
- The popup menu of the label give quick access to header/footer edition and removal: no need any more to go through the Format > Page Style menu.
- Leave the mouse over the area of a header or footer and it will show the header/footer indicators: this is convenient to quickly add a new header or footer.
The main body, header, footer, footnotes bounds indicators have been changed as well and are now indicating which area is being edited. Due to these changes, I also changed the way the manual page breaks are indicated (this is still not perfect any may change soon):
- The default color is now red
- A small text explains what that red line is meaning
- It's shown only with the non-printing characters (which are shown by default now)
As usual, here are a few screenshots for you to see what happens, but you can also grab a daily build from the master branch (note that there were still some important fixes on Sept. 16th).
Mouse over header area
Popup menu on header/footer separator
New page break indicator
I would like to thank all the ones who helped me on that feature. First the customer for triggering this but also Christoph Noack and Astron for the UI improvements ideas and Cor Nouws and Jean-Baptiste Faure for their continuous testing and bug reporting.