Jump bar: add popovers examples

Use case

It’s not easy to get to know a specific popover notation that you don’t know about, without interrupting your flow and going to Dorico’s Help or the Dorico Popovers PDF.

Feature proposal

The purpose of the Jump Bar is just that: it helps you to quickly locate some specific function – without going outside of Dorico’s window – and learn about the key shortcut, but it doesn’t include information about the popovers.

I think it’s a matter of integrating there all examples the Dorico Popovers PDF. For example, if I write “transpose” in the Jump Bar I would like to see something like this (new popover entries highlighted):

Change Layout Transposition (Concert Pitch)
Transpose up by perfect fifth Shift+I, “tp5”
Transpose down by a minor second Shift+I, “t-m2”

PS: Edited after @Lillie_Harris comment, thanks!

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(The note tools popover uses the key command Shift-I, not Shift-N.)

The jump bar is not meant to be a universal popover, and there’s a fair bit of overlap between the syntax of various different popovers, so we do not intend to make it possible to enter popover commands directly in the jump bar.

The proposed feature does not ask the jump bar to enter the command, just to show the examples (you usually don’t want exactly what is in the example). The action when selecting them could be just one of:

  • Nothing (the row is disabled)
  • Open the popover

Anyway, if you don’t see it in the jump bar, that’s fair, but the problem remains: beginners are constantly finding something they want to do with popovers but they have to go elsewhere to learn what popover is the right one, the shortcut of the popover, or the syntax of what they want to do. To me, a text search tool similar to the jump bar looks like the most streamlined way of finding your way without interrupting your flow.

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I don’t think it would be particularly useful to give tips about the use of popovers via the jump bar, since you can’t then do anything with that information there.

We’ve certainly talked about providing some further help with using the popovers, e.g. providing some examples of the kind of input you can type directly in the popover itself, but it’s not something we’ve chosen to work on as yet.

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I can already imagine the absolute flood of complaints that would come in:

“The jump bar shows the command that I was looking for, but when I press enter, nothing happens!”

“That’s because the jump bad cannot execute the command; there’s a separate popover for that. The jump bar is just showing you what you could type into the other popover.”

“That’s so stupid! The jump bar can do almost anything, and it already shows me the command I want! Why not just have the jump bar do everything?! This is Byzantine.”

Rinse and repeat 80 times, on 23 different threads for 3 months.