When an application displays multiple toolbars on one line, it starts to look cluttered, especially if windows are not maximized. This is because each toolbar eats some width on its left to show its handle, and when there is not enough horizontal space, it eats some width on its right to show its extender.

There are two complementary solutions to reduce clutter:

First solution is to ship with toolbars locked by default. Most users do not move toolbars around, and those who do are probably sufficiently tech savy to unlock the toolbar to be able to move them.

Second solution is to go through applications and merge some of their toolbars. The next section lists a few applications which would look less cluttered if some of their toolbars were merged.

Applications which could merge some of their toolbars

  • Konqueror: Main bar (navigation buttons) and Location bar (url lineedit) should be merged
  • Dolphin: Main bar and Search bar should be merged (but this needs support for aligning toolbar elements to the right)
  • Kopete:
    • Main window: Main bar and Quick Search bar should be merged
    • Chat window: Main bar and Status bar should be merged, Format toolbar should be on its own line, and text position should be set to "Icons Only"
  • Akregator: Either Main bar and Browser bar should be merged, or Browser bar should be moved inside the browser tabs.
  • KOrganizer: Main bar and Views bar should be merged

Note: this list is not exhaustive, I just ran a few of the applications I have installed on my machine.

Aligning toolbar elements to the right

Some applications would benefit from being able to align toolbar elements on the right. For example it has become a de-facto standard that search lineedit fields are right aligned. This is common in most web browsers and has started to spread in other applications (Finder or System Preferences on Mac OS X, Thunderbird, Evolution)

Arguably, adding search functionality directly into KMainWindow might make sense. This would mean adding it in 4.3, but a lot of other refinements seem to be going into that version, so this would just be one more, really :) ~ leinir

This page was last edited on 18 March 2009, at 20:41. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.