Desperately Seeking

Find has some serious usability problems inmost applications, particularly those that deal with complexcontent.

The general usage goes something like this: You are looking fora particular piece of text in a document or a webpage, so you pullup the handy find dialog, type in the desired textor pattern, and hit go. The text is found, hopefully, so thedocument scrolls some content into view. In amongst the reams ofcontent there is the text that you are seeking, graphicallyinverted to draw attention.

Of course in a lot of current content, with varying sized textand different backgrounds and context, the colour inversion isnext to useless. You’re left withnothing more than the hint that the desired text issomewhere on the current page (some apps, though notall, put the found text in the center of the screen, but oftenthat isn’t possible due to document bounds. Other apps don’t evenproperly scroll the found text into the view window, so you have toscroll backwards and forwards a bit to see if it’s there). We’reliving in a world of extraordinarily powerful desktop computers:Use some of that fat client power and highlight the find hitsbetter! Putting dancing angels around it. Have clippy run out andjump atop the found text (I’m only partly kidding). Dosomething to avoid the braindead functionality wehave today. And please don’t scroll the found text so that it’sright behind the modeless find dialog box.