Suggestion - half revealed toolbars

The following would be helpful:

  • Display only icons on a toolbar, but on mouse over the toolbar is expanded to display labels as well.
  • Another variation, especially for vertical text toolbars: display only n pixels wide, and expand to full text width on mouse over

I've created a visual example using html and css here:

Please note the following is my opinion based on my design experience.

As you can see in the example, when you hover over the bar the contents triple in size with a majority of the buttons no longer being visible. When a toolbar is overfilled like that in OPUS it instead adds a small arrow button that opens a submenu containing the rest of the items.

Essentially, imagine moving your mouse to an icon on your toolbar, only the instant your mouse crosses over to the toolbar that icon disappears or shifts position. That does not sound like fun for most users. You now have to relocate that item and potentially dive into the submenu to find it.

I'm not sure what advantage labels on hover would bring either. It's not space saving and you aren't getting the benefit of being able to read the labels until you actually hover over the bar. Typically you look at the toolbar first and find the item you want to click on before moving your mouse over.

I think a better solution might be a hotkey to show all tooltips for toolbar items of a specified toolbar. That would satisfy both your points without any notable drawbacks.

Maybe it would work OK for vertical toolbars (which might be the focus here, from the 2nd part), where they'd just get wider on mouse-over.

For horizontal toolbars, it might work if it only expanded the item under the mouse, but then that isn't very different to showing tooltips which is already done.

An "all labels" toggle on a toolbar might be nice, to help people learn what buttons mean but then be able to quickly turn off labels and save space once they're familiar with them. Assuming that's the kind of thing this aims to solve.

  1. I assume that revealing would be visual only, so not forcing any rearrange of underlying lister layout.
  2. DO has auto-hiding floating toolbars, so discussion about the need to move mouse after showing some content in order to select some action is already resolved.
  3. Obviously, in some layouts this could work better, and in some worse. I don't think rejecting this idea because some artificial edge cases look useless is reasonable (DO failed at deduplication 200k file set - does it mean that search for duplicates is not useful in DO?)

So basically show tooltips on toolbar mouse over correct?

Completely incorrect

I have no idea what it is that you want on this point then. You are going to have to provide an image of what the toolbar would look like on hover.

Go to customize mode, pick any toolbar and toggle Label state value.

Label state on

Label state off

Same thing demonstrated in my first example.

The demo is pretty much the worst possible case. Any other toolbar layout (label below icon or vertical toolbar in any setting) make the idea work much better.
Such toolbars are helpful in any circumstances, when you don't have your toolbars well memorized and/or have items with similar meanings and/or items are hard to describe with a single icon or short label.
The advantage in comparison to a tooltip is that it works immediately when you hover over toolbar and shows extra information for all possible choices, not just one.