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I have a tabbed program which is shown in the screenshot below which manages activities in a calendar. Activities can also contain shared documents and attachments which can be viewed selecting an activity from the tab "Shared Documents" shown on the right of the Tab "Calendar" and seeing a nice list of shared documents for each activity.

Now I have come with a consistent interface where each tab can be printed clicking on a print icon (not seen on screenshot): so the calendar can be printed with all its activities (notice there's a month view, week view and day view which can be selected with an icon not shown below) and so the Shared documents etc. etc.

Now I am asked to print the activity pop up window shown when I double click on an activity on the calendar; this because this window will show all details of the activity (time, hour, place, person, type, attachments etc etc) which are not shown all at the same time in any other print tab.

I however hate the idea of putting a print icon inside a popup window because:

  1. then I should put it in every pop up window of the program for consistency sake
  2. a print icon inside a popup window seems not elegant to me (correct me on this)
  3. a pop up window may contain not yet saved data or be empty, i.e: what would I print if one opens a new activity window which is still empty and clicks on print?

I have yet to think of other bad things but these seem enough to me. I have the impression that this requirement suffers from function creep (or better print creep :):) ) where we want to print everything possible disregarding consistency and intuitivity.

tabbed calendar program

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1 Answer 1

Having a print button in the popup dialog seems sensible to me. Information like date and location is obviously information that a user might want to print.

...then I should put it in every pop up window of the program for consistency sake

Why? You only need include a print button if the context demands it. There is no need for every interface to include the same content or controls.

a print icon inside a popup window seems not elegant to me (correct me on this)

I don't see a problem here. It's not unusual.

a pop up window may contain not yet saved data or be empty, i.e: what would I print if one opens a new activity window which is still empty and clicks on print?

Why would a user choose to print if they can see that there is nothing there? That said, you could always hide the print button in that situation.

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1. I find that giving printing ability on some windows and not others might cause confusion 2. hiding a print button seems even more odd to me –  dendini Jul 16 '13 at 10:33

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