EW4 SP2 Snippets Panel RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I am soliciting opinions about the new Snippets panel. I'm hoping to collect as many as possible in one place for Microsoft's benefit.

    My observations:

    • A monospace font is needed for code snippets.
    • The snippets facility should not be a panel but rather a dialog.

    Regarding panel vs dialog, my objection to the panel is that it won't go away. I can't see a good reason for it to be persistent.

    Baltimore, MD USA - www.fastie.com
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:15 PM

All replies

  • Hi Will,

    Whether the Snippets should be a dialog or the present panel I dunno...I just shut mine off from view by the Panels menu option. Or is this not what you meant?

    #1 bullet. Not sure what is meant.

    Take care, Mike

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:27 PM
  • #1 - the current font used by the snippets panel is a variable pitch font (e.g., m is wider than i). A monospace font (like Courier or Consolas) has all characters the same width.

    #2 - when you press Ctrl-Enter, the snippets panel is displayed. When you are finished selecting a snippet, it persists. The original snippets dialog went away as soon as you inserted the selected snippet.

    Baltimore, MD USA - www.fastie.com
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:32 PM
  • Hi Will--I knew what a monospace font is...I guess I was not understanding why it is necessary. Sorry.

    #2. I see now. Even with it set to Autohide, it has a short memory. It is also the active panel when finished. I guess MS decided we needed that...

    Really, at least as a panel, it is acting as per the rest. In that, if I use a particular panel it is active until I switch to another. In my case (the default I think) it is beside the Toolbox.

    I just drug it off its docked position. While it remains on-screen, it is easily closed once not needed. Next ctrl-enter brings it back onto the screen in that position. Which I think is a good behavior. If I need one snippet, I might need another--and it would bug me if it disappeared after a single insert.

    Take care, Mike

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 2:46 PM
  • Mike:

    I wasn't sure what you meant by "#1 bullet. Not sure what is meant." For me, a monospace font for code is just a question of readability.

    I try to set up the snippets so using them is a heads down operation - I don't want to look at the panel if I don't have to. The more I have to look at the panel and navigate it, the longer the operation gets.

    So, for example, I type "Ctrl-Enter php b Enter" to access my PHP block insertion snippet that is named PHP BLOCK and "Ctrl-Enter php l enter" to access my PHP line insertion snippet. I'm finding that reasonably fast, although using it effectively will require creative spelling of all the names.

    I find that visually navigating the panel as designed is tedious. It was much faster to run down the list in the old dialog.

    Meanwhile, the panel is taking up valuable space in my workspace, cramping the available space for the persistent panels I really need (Apply Styles, Manage Styles, CSS Properties, Tag Properties). I've taken to dragging the panel until all that is visible is the tab, pin, and x. But I'd still like it to go all the way away.

    Baltimore, MD USA - www.fastie.com
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:11 PM
  • Personally I wanted the Snippets Panel and made it a request early on. I do not want it to be a dialog box. Sorry but you won't get any support from me. My Snippets Panel is docked with the Toolbox so it "goes away" whenever I have the tab for the Toolbox set to display.

    If I remove the checkbox from Panels > Snippets it goes away completely so I'm not following your "persistent" statement.

    Edit: I read further down and saw what you mean about persisting.  That only happens when the Snippet panel is closed and set to float. I had never encountered the issue because as I said mine is docked with the Toolbox. If the Snippets Panel is set as docked instead of floated even if closed it will not stay on top of the workspace when you trigger it with control + enter.

    So I'd say this is a workflow difference.

    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    • Edited by Cheryl D Wise Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:32 PM found Will's explaination of his persistent problem
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:27 PM
  • I think persistent = showing at all


    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:30 PM
  • Sorry I can't join you on this one, Will, but it's pretty much "meh... so, what?" to me. Regarding the persistence of the panel, if it bothered me I would dock it in place of (or beside) one of the styles panels, which I don't use anyway, preferring to hand code all of my CSS. Docked alongside Apply/Manage Styles (in the same panel tab group), it automatically comes to the fore when Ctrl-Enter is pressed, with focus set to the panel. When you're done, just ignore it. It's out of the way, and you've got your desired behavior.

    Regarding the snippet font, again, so what? I don't really care a hoot in hell what font the snippet appears in, as long as it's readable, and as long as it comes into the editor in the same font my code editor uses, which it does.

    So, you'll have to put me down on the side of putting the effort to something more important, such as the still-missing code folding. These particular issues with the Snippets panel amount to a tempest in a teapot, as far as I am concerned.


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:32 PM
  • Cheryl:

    I hadn't thought of putting it with one of the other panels. That's a decent idea. My only reservation is that with the width I've set for my right stack of panels, more than two tabs per panel gets messy.

    I'm all for an improved snippets capability because I use it all the time. I do think this one needs some refinements.


    Baltimore, MD USA - www.fastie.com
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 3:37 PM
  • I have my snippets panel docked with the main toolbox as well and it works a treat. Always available without getting in the way.
    Ian Haynes

    EW V4 Add-Ins
    EW resources, hints and tips
    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 5:42 PM
  • I am curious as to what happened to all my custom snippets I built over the past two years?

    I did the SP2 update afew days ago, and just went to use the Snippets (CTRL + ENTER) and bam! A new tab with none of my codes.



    Thursday, August 4, 2011 6:32 PM
  • Any snippets you created yourself will be in a snippet folder labelled 'Legacy'.
    Ian Haynes

    EW V4 Add-Ins
    EW resources, hints and tips
    Thursday, August 4, 2011 6:36 PM
  • Ian, Cheryl - I've been working with the snippets panel docked for a couple of weeks as you suggested.

    There may be something I don't understand about how others use the panel. I'm interested in a heads-down usage most of the time, a way to use it without having to look at it. If I'm not heads down, I like the old way it popped up at the cursor because that put it exactly where I was looking. So what is it about the panel's persistence that you like?

    I've also noticed that it is a bit broken. If I type Ctrl-Enter style Enter, the snippet just before the style block gets inserted. If I type Ctrl-Enter style (space) Enter, I get the style block.

    The biggest annoyance is the fact that the panel doesn't reset. If I type Ctrl-Enter php b Enter to get my PHP block snippet, the next time I type Ctrl-Enter "php b" is still in the filter. If I hit delete or backspace, it goes away but the snippets list is completely expanded. That turns it in to a list rather than an outline, which makes visual navigation no better than the original FP snippets dialog.

    I've never seen a folder called Legacy. Perhaps in all the interations of the product my original, custom snippets got lost in the shuffle.

    The snippets panel is an improvement in some respects but it is not yet sufficiently refined.

    Baltimore, MD USA - www.fastie.com
    Thursday, August 4, 2011 7:17 PM
  • Mine is also docked with the toolbox and hidden until i need it. Type face is fine like it is.


    Pat Geary - Microsoft MVP

    Expression  Web Tutorials & Templates | Expression Web Blog | Migrating from FrontPage to Expression
     - Free EW Community Toolbar - Free Site Templates

    Thursday, August 4, 2011 7:48 PM