Re: Add overflow indicator to text

Alex Zavatone

On Nov 9, 2017, at 12:28 PM, Quincey Morris <quinceymorris@...> wrote:

On Nov 9, 2017, at 09:41 , Steve Mills <sjmills@...> wrote:

drawing something in a new layer at the overflow location

In text layout apps that I’ve used, which can flow text through multiple containers, there’s typically a small box outside the top-left and bottom-right corners of the container frame. The boxes contain some indicator if the container is linked to another preceding or following container, and if the last container is overset, the bottom-right box typically shows a red plus sign, which you can click on to go into an add-new-container mode.

Given all that, I think drawing an overflow icon over the bottom corner would be a familiar choice. If you draw an ellipsis in a capsule, you could put it just outside the frame, or float it centered over the frame edge.

Putting it inside the frame inline with the text doesn’t seem like a terrible idea, but it might be easier for the user to miss, and it leaves you open to subtle layout problems where the indicator doesn’t show at all.

Quincy, your observation reminds me of how Quark Xpress handled this in circa 1989.  It was a surprisingly nice indicator that “there is more to this text box”.  I think they may have put a small bottom-right box indicator and then added a chain link graphic in the box it the text container was linked to another text container.

Thinking of Steve’s original problem and ideas solution, I am wondering about the red ellipsis as well and thinking just how much of this will already be solved by the NSTextContainer or UITextView.   

What I mean is that a UILabel will display an ellipsis at the end when it has the following settings:

myLabel.adjustsFontSizeToFitWidth = NO;
myLabel.lineBreakMode = NSLineBreakByTruncatingTail;
In that case, the text is already properly truncated for you.  The only thing would be needed would be to change the color of the ellipsis that is displayed at the end or find the position of the last character and draw your own ellipsis over it…

Of course, that’s on iOS with a UILabel.  I’m not sure how a NSTextContainer or UITextView would handle this.  

Thinking about how this might look to the user, a red color often is associated with something being wrong, or a destructive action, like deleting data, as we all know.  

The trick might be getting it to work first, then once you are able to get the character position of the ellipsis, simply figuring out what you want to display there.  

Quincy’s suggestions seem to be pretty user friendly and also more straightforward to implement though.

Good luck.
Alex Zavatone

Join to automatically receive all group messages.