Mac OS X Sheets still need some work

“There’s a time and a place for transparency in the user interface and Mac OS X usually is right on the mark (unlike Windows Vista). However, Sheets, the animated window that holds buttons for some modal dialogs needs work,” David Morgenstern blogs for ZDNet.

“Apple this week released an update to its developer documentation on Mac OS X’s Human Interface guidelines to cover changes in Leopard. Since, I’ve been annoyed about the behavior of the Save/Save As dialog windows (I almost called it a ‘box,’ which is the Classic Mac OS nomenclature), I decided to look at the rulebook,” Morgenstern writes.

“Mac users are familiar with Sheets, even if they don’t know the name for them. It’s the window that drops down from the title bar of the Save dialog window and holds the buttons and other relevant text,” Morgenstern writes.

“Sheets are used always for ‘document-modal’ dialogs, that stop the user from doing anything else within a particular document until the dialog is released. Unlike, application modal dialogs that stop everything in the program, these document-specific dialogs let users click to other documents in the application,” Morgenstern writes.

“My beef with them is that the Sheet covers up the document at the very moment that you might want to refer to it. Depending on the size of the document window and the content in the window, the Sheet can cover up all the content to make a decision about the name,” Morgenstern writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Print dialog Sheets also never fail to cover up FAX numbers, just when you need to see them.


  1. With the imminent release of 10.5.2, the current OS version is finally ready for the public. So, we can begin to talk about things like this.

    I’m always, always pleased when I see the Cupertino crowd working on better Mac software and hardware.

    Next way overdue step: some MacPro hardware that is good enough to run Apple’s own pro level software like Final Cut Pro. It currently takes me about 5 minutes to max out my fully maxed out MacPro when running FCP. Same thing for Photoshop.

    If Steve had been working on building a stronger, more robust, fully stable MacPro instead of fooling around with gadgets and toys so much, AAPL would be selling at $230 instead of $130 today.

  2. @Finally Ready

    Did you miss the last Mac Pro update or something?

    It has essentially the fastest hardware out there (in terms of processors at least). So new that there’s few place you can get it aside from Apple. What more do you want?

  3. I don’t know the logic behind the changed sheet position in 10.5. They moved it to the bottom of the toolbar of the curreny window, which leads users to think they can still use the toolbar buttons. Why, why, why would they make that change? It was better when sheets were attached to the bottom of the titlebar.

    Now, one solution, which perfectly fits with the term “sheet”, is they could implement the “flip up” effect that was recently added to the iPhone software. Just “flip up” the sheet to see what’s underneath.

  4. @Vlad

    You are correct, sir! the MacPro is the fastest and best personal computer on the market. It is better than the rest or, as I like to say, better than the worst.

    But, that’s my point. It could be o-so-much-better if only Steve would spin off the toy shop and leave serious computer building (both hard and soft) to serious computer builders and coders.

    Diverting precious human resources – the best of the best brain power at Cupertino – to figuring out how to pinch the touch screen or rock the tunes player is a travesty and we serious computer customers and serious investors are getting the shaft!

  5. “Since, I’ve been annoyed about the behavior…”

    “Unlike, application modal dialogs…”

    This guy’s writing is filled with de classic signs of comma overuse. Maybe because his gut is filled with de classic signs of alcohol overuse. And by de way, which one is he — de bear or de twink? Judging by that picture it’s “hard” to tell . . . yeh-heh-heh-heh-hehessssss . . .

    Now if you’ll excuse me — it’s after 3 pm and I need to go and get three sheets to the wind.

  6. @coolfactor

    I don’t know what you are talking about.

    In many cases the sheet comes out in the same place. On Safari, and Pages the toolbar buttons are above it but they are all greyed out anyway.

    Anyway, the logic behind it is that there is no longer a “line” between the window top and the toolbar, they are the same thing.

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