A quick design/UI review of find/replace in gedit.
Current State (3.14)
Find drop-down thingy:
- Clear button/icon moves position as you type.
- No visible way to close the drop down (not necessarily a bad thing, but worth noting).
- There's no way to switch to the find/replace dialog, which you might well want to do after performing a search.
- Dialog title should be "Find and Replace" (since that's the commonly recognised term, as is a more accurate description than replace on its own).
- Find box is labelled "Search for" - which is inconsistent with "Find".
- Doesn't show you how many matches there are. Doesn't allow you to navigate through matches. Inconsistent with the dropdown in these regards.
- Text entry drop downs sometimes don't do anything (if there is no history). Wouldn't autocomplete be better?
- Repetition of "Match" three times in the check boxes.
- "Wrap around" checkbox is ambiguous.
- Too much vertical padding between check boxes.
- The position of the close button is awkward. Would be more consistent to make this a presentation dialog, with an "X" close button.
- Why is there a find button? The drop down doesn't need one.
- Button order - shouldn't it go Find, Replace, Replace All? (Since this is the order you will often use the commands.)
- When the replace field is empty, Replace/Replace All will delete matching text. This isn't communicated though.
- No obvious way to undo. Ctrl+Z doesn't work.
Some ideas and suggestions.
This is a minor evolution of the existing find drop-down. Differences from the current one include;
- Clear button has been moved after the number of matches text, in order to keep it stable.
- New button allows you to open the find/replace dialog directly.
Another simple evolution from the existing UI. Changes:
- Kill the drop-down history in favour of autocomplete.
- Remove the Find button and do live matching.
- Add next/previous buttons, and remove the search backwards preference.
- When the replace entry field is empty, show a "Nothing" placeholder text, to communicate that the Replace and Replace All will delete the selected text.
- Change the checkbox layout to use two columns, and save vertical space.
Speculative and immature concept to replace the dialog window with a bar that doesn't obscure the text below. The main issue with this is the treatment for search options.