Simple Select/Cut/Copy/Paste Implementation

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by nutthick, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. nutthick macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2007
    #1
    I read that article the other day, about an alleged Apple employee saying that copy and paste was too hard to implement. For what it's worth this is how I would do it. It doesn't use fancy gestures, but it would get the functionality working.
     

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  2. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a

    BrownManUPS

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    #2
    Would you like, hold with one finger to bring up the glass and then like quick tap after with that same finger? Or use your ring finger?

    A "menu" style is a lot of clicks to get what you want, and something the community may not like. Myself I think I'd get used to it, but maybe there is a simpler way.

    In Trillian, if you highlight any text, it automatically copies it. This type of implementation should be put in the iTouch, but maybe with a 2 second delay, so people just selecting can show what they are selecting. After that, its stored in the cache. Then a copy menu with a list of strings could be accessed via a multi touch gesture or a combination of home button.

    But, it is an interesting idea.
     
  3. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #3
    I don't like the idea of a menu like that but I can't really think of any better way, either. I'm sure they'll eventually get it, I just hope it's simple and non-intrusive.
     
  4. nutthick thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I use my index finger to touch the screen, so the second tap would be with my middle finger. It has to be one handed, as your other hand will probably be holding the touch. Lefty and rightys would be catered for as the menu would pop up on the correct side. The problem you get to is when, for a RH user, you have the cursor at the right edge of the screen and want to bring up the menu. There is nowhere for you to touch or for the menu to appear. In this case I would use my thumb for the second tap and the menu would appear to the left, meaning I have to take my hand off the screen, hence the zoom bubble dropping down onto the text.

    I agree it's clicky and there doesn't seem to be much menu driven stuff on the interface. It looks like Apple wants to avoid it at all costs, too backward looking I guess. The only popup I could find was when I double click my home button, so the principle isn't totally new.
     
  5. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

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    #5
    Why not just double tap on some text to bring up a text editor with a menu, then place your cursor where you want to start selecting, then tap the "select" button, then drag, then deactivate the "select" button and then tap the copy button. It could be like a separate TextEdit app. That would be more handy. There could be other options too.... just thinking...
     
  6. Syph macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #6
    I always figured the copy paste thing to work like this; you hold down until a menu scroll comes out on the bottom. It has the 3 surrounding words to show, you hold wherever you want to start with one finger and shift to the side you want with another finger. You stop shifting when you want to stop and then gradually get to the very end and then once you let go it asks you copy paste so on and so forth . You click copy and then it saves to cache. One you go back to paste, you hold down until the menu comes up but now it has a button to shift the menu to a paste version (which would look the same only changes to make simplier) and u hold down where u want to start your paste and let go, press paste and tada.

    Step by step

    See text, hold down with one finger
    scroll menu comes up, you hold down where you start copy
    you shift other finger while still holding until you reach end
    Slowly make sure its at the very end
    let go both fingers
    touch asks you copy paste whatever
    you click copy and it saves
    -to paste
    You hold down with one finger until scroll menu comes up
    this time choose paste
    same text scroll appears and you click where you want to start
    let go and press paste

    What you guys think?
     
  7. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a

    BrownManUPS

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    #7
    Please explain what this "scroll menu" is, and where it appears and where your fingers go to press the menu. In fact if you drew it and posted it would be clearer. Currently the part that I have highlighted in italics is the pinch option, unless the menu is activated?

    I just mused another idea while reading yours, though. If you are looking at text and you hold your finger down and pinched on the text, then that would be your select "tool". Then, if you double tap the selected text, it would copy.

    Now it is on your clipboard. To paste in a text field, double tap in the field. To paste in a word document, double tap after placing the cursor where it needs to be. This seems the most intuitive.

    Oh, and the ultimate conclusion, to cut, you would do the pinching of the text, then instead of double tapping you would effectively slice through the text (that's a joke, or is it?).
     
  8. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a

    BrownManUPS

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    #8
    I think if it works for you that's cool, but I think the menu thing is going to be a real pain in the ass. I already hate it when I have to click a 123 button to get symbols to pop up, and then I have to click ABC to go back. Although i have no idea how this "problem" would be solved, it is a slight hinderance for me.
     
  9. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #9
    How about this:
    1. Put down finger to get magnifying glass as usual, lets you place cursor.
    2. With first finger still down, put down second finger somewhere else for a brief period of time, maybe a second or less, to get second magnifying glass/cursor. This is the end point of the selection. Drag it to where you want your selection to end. (First finger doesn't need to stay where that cursor is, just stay down long enough to summon the second cursor, in case you need to select more than a screen's worth of stuff). Once both are up, they'd stay there as the beginning and end points of the selection and you could scroll if necessary and move them around to tweak the range of selection.
    3. Once you've placed your second cursor (completing the selection), some buttons appear attached to the magnifying glass, for cut, copy, or delete based on context (i.e. if you're selecting stuff on a webpage, only copy would appear, but if you were selecting in Mail or in a text input area, all three options would appear). Press the one you want to perform that action.
    4. For Paste, I'm not sure. That requires a button somewhere. But the rest is pretty solid!

    I see this being done with two thumbs, since that's also the most efficient way to type. Also, maybe when typing the cut/copy/paste buttons could appear at the top of the keyboard (like the "Done" button appears in Safari) and delete could be handled by the regular "delete" key, instead of appearing on the second magnifying glass. I see the "buttons attached to magnifying glass" being used when selecting stuff in a non-typing context, i.e. reading an e-mail or web page.
     
  10. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a

    BrownManUPS

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    #10
    This is pretty intuitive in that it uses the pinching option like I said, and uses a psuedo-menu option. I think the paste option could be implemented in the same way, just that instead of on your second magnifying glass it would appear on the first one first, and if you ignored it, you could replace the text you then highlight by it appearing on the second glass and clicking that paste button.
     
  11. nutthick thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2007
    #11
    I was thinking about the three finger pinch to grab the selected text, it's a really nice way to work. I think Apple have got that in a patent. The problem is that you don't know if it has been cut or copied (a menu maybe).? To paste the text, the intuitive and consistent method would be to perform a three fingered reverse pinch. But, every time I try, it feels awkward and my 'cursor' finger keeps moving.

    If I understand the two finger select method from Syph correctly, you would end up tying your fingers in knots on all but simple selects. Maybe I misunderstood.
     
  12. Syph macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #12
    What i meant was this. Lets say you click an option that has multiple choices, when you click that on the touch, a menu comes out that scrolls up and down on a wheel with all the choices. On this format, the options would instead be the whole document as a whole but what you see first is the part you chose.
    (it could be the whole document as to avoid going back to start over, you can just slide up and go a sentence up or a paragraph up)


    You hold down the part you want to start the cut/copy/paste (as you would to bring up the zoom bubble but just 3 seconds longer)
    That Scrolling options menu comes up, and on the bottom it says paste (if you previously copied or cut something)
    To copy, you put ur finger on the beginning of the desired text and with your other finger u slide to the right until you reach the end. You gradually keep going to the right for precision (Same format as when you have a text field and you are sliding to go to the right or left/ except this time it highlights it)
    Then one you are done, you simply let go and it says cut/copy
    You then press your choice and it saves it
    Then you go to the place where you want to paste
    Hold it for 5 seconds with one finger (the letter)
    The same scroll option thing comes up with the option to paste... you make sure with one finger you put the blinking text scroll where you want to start it and then press paste.
     
  13. Syph macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #13
    Or for a less "menu-ish" idea..

    To copy, you put one finger where you want to start the copy and with the other you slide to the left/down/up
    Then it says copied to confirm you copied
    To cut, you put two fingers down (the zoom bubble comes out so you can precisely start the cut) and it locks in then you slide to the left/right/up/down to wherever you want to stop and it says Cut to clipboard or whatever to confirm
    To paste you hold down one finger wherever you want to start and just double tap that to paste

    What do you guys think is so "hard to implement" about something like this?
     
  14. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

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    Jun 20, 2005
    #14
    I think a simple text editor would be the answer. I don't wanna be messing with hold one finger down, scroll with another finger/hand... too much stuff going on at once to make it convenient. Just have a button that says "Open in TextEdit" and then edit your text, copy, paste, cut, and so on. Then hit "Done" and go and paste it by bringing up the menu again and hitting "Paste". Kinda like the "Email Link to This Page" thing in Safari but, instead would be "Open Text in TextEdit"... I dunno... all seems difficult to me.
     
  15. Syph macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2008
    #15
    Isnt that what you would be doing if you have a text edit button? you still have to press and drag with your fingers. I think you can have a select all gesture and then a button shows up telling you to send to notes or whatever else, but I think the gestures would be the best idea given its a multi-touch device.
     
  16. nutthick thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2007
    #16
    Version 2

    How about this one? Mainly gesture based, but the paste I wasn't sure about, so I've put two options (I did have a third, but I've forgotten it). Option one I thought was too tricky to use, but I've got used to it now and Option two is clunky. This version does seem much easier to use.

    Apple have got a patent on some three fingered stuff, have a look here;

    http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/02/apple-exploring-multitouch-interface-gestures/
     

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  17. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #17
    Maybe, but it's a very small screen. That's a small area to try and be making complicated gestures on. Plus, I don't think we've seen any indication that the iPhone can do a decent job tracking more than two points at once.

    I still think a "button-based" interface makes the most sense. Remember, gestures may be chic and cool, but they're not particularly intuitive. Invoking my selection method might take some figuring out, but the appearance of buttons that say what they do are a lot better than "weird gestures," at least as far as I'm concerned.
     
  18. capiendo macrumors newbie

    capiendo

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    California, baby!
    #18
    from the ny times:

    ... in the above spirit of directly acting on objects, how bout using a "hi-liter" to make the selection, which creates a "text clipping" object, then dragging and dropping the clipping wherever we want.

    1. not exactly sure how to implement the hi-liter, maybe a button on a button bar? click it to enter hi-lite mode?
    2. then nutthick's verb menu could pop up, select a verb, and the selection zooms to the button bar as a clipping icon?
    3. then just drag and drop the clipping wherever with your finger? (why are these list items all questions? damn it, again!)

    thoughts? bueller? bueller?
     
  19. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a

    BrownManUPS

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    #19
    This seems EXCELLENT except that three fingered pinch probably isn't necessary. The alternation of selection and unselection every 2 seconds is a good idea though. And menu's really aren't bad, but this pinch is kinda weird. How about just a two fingered pinch, since you have things selected anyway?
     
  20. nutthick thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2007
    #20
    I went with the three-finger as the two-finger seems to be established as a zoom gesture. Saying that though, you are right in that the UI would be in 'select' mode, so a two-fingered pinch could be used. I would have thought all zooming would be complete before you start selecting.

    A two-fingered pinch would make it cleaner, but I bet Apple have some rule against it ;).
     
  21. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

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    #21
    this is why tablet pc's are good.

    as bill gates would say
     
  22. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a

    BrownManUPS

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    #22
    Revival

    I'm gonna revive this thread and say that I think the three fingered pinch is so awkward of a gesture that I really hope Apple doesn't actually use it. It's so hard to not end up putting to fingers down first and having the third finger "there" but also move back in a way that you think the touch could distinguish it.

    The update is coming really soon...just thought I'd voice my op. on it.
     

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