Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Why I Disable Most Application Toolbars

I've decided toolbars in nearly all applications are pointless. The buttons hardly ever do what I want them to do. Take the print button as an example. This button has been the bane of my existence for some time. Press this button in most applications and off the printer goes. This might work fine for some people, but for me something always goes horribly wrong and I'm always better off going to File | Print to get the print dialog. The reason for this; I have two printers connected to my computer. All applications default to the last printer a job was sent to. Why oh why can't applications remember the last printer I printed from this application and use that printer? The last thing I need is to print a document with archival ink and heavy weight cotton rag paper at 16" x 24".

When writing your applications there are two things to learn from this:

1. Applications need to remember the last printer they printed to and default to that printer. Not the last printer printed to from the computer.
2. Toolbar buttons need to be configurable. They are meant to be a shortcut.

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