gedit Find/Replace

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.

Replace dialog:

  • 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.

Design Ideas

Some ideas and suggestions.

Find Drop-Down


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.

Find/Replace Dialog


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.

Find/Replace Bar


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.


Design/Whiteboards/GeditFindReplace (last edited 2015-01-15 16:18:18 by AllanDay)