Here’s an idea I thought about today whilst retyping from notepad in MS Word (yes! retyping…I had my reasons for not copying and pasting). Most of these ideas come about as a result of problems I’m having or issues that I think should be simpler. For example, if you’re reading a journal in a browser and attempting to rewrite ideas, you might need the view of the browser whilst in Word.
One way is to resize the Word window and place it at the top or bottom or even to the side. I’ve always done this but I found myself looking at Tolman’s research into cognitive mapping and it had a bit of interesting text and diagrams which were pretty relevant as well. There was only about 3 lines worth of space between the text I needed and the diagram below it. Resizing the window and placing it at a corner didn’t help. I thought it would be nice to resize it to about the same size of the screen area I didn’t need (about 3 lines worth) but all the toolbars etc padded it out. You might ask why didn’t I hide them? Well, I shouldn’t have to and then bring them up when I need them. Lets blame it on laziness.
How about an option that blurs out the entire Word window apart from the current line the cursor’s on? Well that might be a bit difficult when trying to understand what you’ve written in that sentence so far. So, one line above and one line before the current active line would suffice. I have a mental picture of it and I think it’ll work.
Now, if you use your mouse or keyboard arrows to scroll up and down, the “letterbox” view of the current line stays where it was originally positioned. That is configuration 1. Configuration 2 entails moving the letterbox with the cursor. So, if the current line is at the top of the page, the letterbox appears on top and moves downwards as the down arrow is pressed or the mouse is used to scroll down. Make sense? Well, in my head it does.
Getting the rest of the editor back in view will be implemented using the same method Word currently utilises when it blurs out the font editor after you select some text; and reveals it when you move your cursor over it. Any takers for implementing this??
Do refrain from stealing my ideas. However, if you have/do come up with something similar, let’s have a chat.