Formatting Toolbars, or the lack of?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by superleccy, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. superleccy macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #1
    It's been over three years since I switched, and one of the few things still annoying me about OS X is the lack of a formatting toolbar in Mail.

    I find it tedious to have to open different "inspectors" to change font, style and colour. I've got to open them before I can use them, and then they float around obscuring the text I'm trying to write.

    And inserting a URL means faffing around in the Edit menu.

    OK, so I use keyboard shortcuts Cmd-B/I/U for Bold/Italic/Underline. And at least Leopard has introduced toolbar buttons for Lists. But, generally I did prefer composing emails in Outlook Express for Win ME (although praise for Windows ME ends right there:)).

    I have also observed that this is one thing that deters potential switchers. They try and compose an email, look for the formatting toolbar, get confused, and then go back to their Dell bemoaning Macs as "crap".

    This dislike of formatting toolbars seems to extend to other Mac applications (Apple and non-Apple) too, yet they're ubiquitous on Windows applications. Hell, even MacRumors uses a formatting toolbar (as demonstrated in this post).

    So am I, after three years, just not seeing the advantages of the Apple way? Or is this just Apple and the sofware developers being stubborn for some historical Mac reason?

    Cheers
    SL
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    You have a good point but after nearly three years on my mac (not including the time spent in countless years of school) I had not quite noticed it outside the realm of MS Word. Even, as you point out, in Word there was no real toolbar set as default but a pallet. This pallet resides on the right hand side cluttering what little screen real estate I had when I did not use an external display. I can clearly see your point. I do not use Mail but have considered moving back to it from Entourage. You will find the formatting pallet it there but not as richly as it is even in this forum.

    I'm not sure what to say other than this seems to be the Apple way. To say it would deter me from buying or enjoying my Mac would be quite the opposite but if I were perhaps less savvy and just switching I may be concerned.
     
  3. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #3
    As someone who firmly believes that e-mails should be "plain text only", I see the lack of a formatting toolbar as a positive :D
    Having said that, I do see your point that OS X apps tend to have much sparser toolbars than their Windows counterparts. Is it better or worse? I guess that's down to the personal opinion of the individual user but I can't see Apple changing it any time soon (Apple are stubborn enough to make a two button mouse that looks like a single button one: I can't see them making any of their Apps more "windows like" ;))
     
  4. TheStu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #4
    I think a lot of it has to do with Apple's mentality (at least this is what I think) about making things easy on the surface, but if you can/do dig down a little bit, you find that their stuff is quite powerful and will do most of what you are looking for. Take the Unix backbone of OS X... compare it to say... Ubuntu. I used Windows for years, and considered myself a power user. I tried installing Ubuntu onto my desktop, and after about 2 weeks, formatted it. Enter OS X... also a UNix based system, but this one I have full on switched to using.
     
  5. kostia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #5
    This drives me batty in Pages and Numbers, but those are the only places I feel that way, and it's getting better the more I use them. It doesn't bother me in Mail at all, but I hate hate hate formatted emails and never send them.
     
  6. jwkay macrumors regular

    jwkay

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #6
    Try View->Show Format bar in the latest versions of Pages & Numbers...
     
  7. superleccy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #7
    I turned the pallet of pretty sharpish and set up a formatting toolbar!
    I still prefer Mail to Entourage, formatting toolbars or otherwise. :)
    Indeed. I think stubbornness is the reason. Formatting toolbars were probably have their origin in Microsoft and/or Windows.
    I've not seen the latest iWork, but that's good if they've done that.

    SL
     
  8. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #8
    It's clearly a benefit - give a mac to an idiot, and you no longer get emails from them in red 18 point comic sans font. There's also an automatic "LOL" filter and removes that particular obscenity before it leaves your inbox.

    (More seriously, I agree with the thread starter - there should at least be the option to turn on a formatting bar, for mail yes but how about text edit where you need it much more?)
     
  9. jwkay macrumors regular

    jwkay

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #9
    Here's the formatting toolbar in the latest version of Pages. Similar toolbars are available in Numbers and Keynote.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. superleccy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    superleccy

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    That there big London
    #10
    Cheers for posting that. I may even be tempted to give the iWork trial a go now.

    Still a shame about Mail tho. Although I do agree with other posters that formatted emails can be annoying sometimes. But not as annoying as Stationery... and Apple added that to Leopard!

    SL
     

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