Improve Visibility of Screen Options tab
I work with a lot of people who don’t what the “Screen Options” tab does, or often that it even exists. There are many important entities there, some included by WordPress and others included by the theme.
It would be nice if this area were more prominent (i.e., is more noticeable) and had a more descriptive name. A colleague of mine recommended “Additional Options”, which I think is far more descriptive than “Screen Options.”
It would also be nice if those elements supported by WordPress were separate from those added by the theme. It might help users with debugging.
But they’re often not additional options. On the Edit Post page, for example, Screen Options controls exactly what you see (and don’t see) on the page.
Point taken. However, the problem with the name “Screen Options” is that is has something to do with brightness and contrast or color settings than what it actually does.
Even if the name is kept, it would still be nice to make it more prominent, however.
Visually. I confess I’m not quite sure what you mean by more prominent semantically.
kjodle, “sematically” basically means “in context” for want of an easier explanation. It means that whatever it is should fit in with how ever it’s used.
Changing this label sematically would mean changing it to something like “Page Display” or “Page Settings”. This might be more along the lines of you’re suggestion.
Personally, I don’t really mind how it is. The only people that I know hav eever needed to use that are the more power-users that actually knew what they were doing. Everyone else just ignored it evne if they found it becuase they just didn’t know why they’d need to do anything with it.
Changing this label sematically would mean changing it to something like “Page Display” or “Page Settings”.
Actually, I meant in terms of the markup so that different kinds of user agents give it the appropriate priority needed. 🙂
From a visual perspective, it’s always going to be comprising between making it stand out (in a pretty cluttered environment) yet ensuring that it doesn’t become too distracting. Change the wording to “Page Display” or “Page Settings” and I can absolutely guarantee that some people will think that it affects the display of their site’s front-end pages.
If it does need changing (and I have to admit that I personally don’t think it does), then I think the best approach is to look at popular software applications like Word etc and see how they handle similar situations. Then perhaps we can re-use “learnt behaviours” to make the Screen Options more obvious in terms of wording or visual presentation.
From a visual perspective, it’s always going to be comprising between making it stand out (in a pretty cluttered environment) yet ensuring that it doesn’t become too distracting.
Agreed. I wrote a plugin that will highlight it for new or unfamiliar users.
Then perhaps we can re-use “learnt behaviours”
Good idea. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. (I don’t use Word, but OpenOffice just calls them “Options”.)
Thanks for the thoughts to chew on. Always appreciated! 🙂
The suggestion is a good one. People who’ve got accustomed to a product through long use generally don’t consider those who use it infrequently or who are completely new. Most people don’t immediately grasp everything, nor wish to read a help manual for each element.
Whilst those with a longer, but scarcely intense, experience just get used to odd elements without ever considering exploring them. I once asked here how to go back to a full display on the Plugins page, rather than having it split up into many pages. A few weeks later, by luck, I found this could be set by ‘Screen Options’, which before and since, I had no need to explore.
Most people don’t immediately grasp everything
Yes. I have had to tell people where Screen Options are (and that they even exist) so many times I ended up writing a tutorial about it:
Like I said, I did write a plugin that makes it more noticeable, so I’ll upload that in a couple of days when I get more time.
Here’s the plugin:
I have been searching high and low for a way to do this.
It is apparently a rare topic, but one I think should be addressed, especially as people develop custom contextual help pages, and need to point users to the tab … users who are usually less than observant.
As administrator, I just want the ability to define what shows up under “screen options” for each user role.
Some plugins add stuff under “Screen Options” that I don’t want users to have access to. It isn’t for them.
A lot of plugin authors seem to do a good job of letting me control what ends up in the sidebar admin menu, but they forget about the Screen Options.
That’s really down to the individual plugins. Have you contacted some of the plugin developers and suggested that they incorporate a role check before outputting content to the Screen Options?
Yes, I have. Even some theme developers. But most were unresponsive and others say it could be months before they do another update.
Is it possible for a plugin to “manage” what is seen under Screen Options (for all other plugins)? I searched the repository for something to remove options, but I couldn’t find anything. If the underlying API supports the ability for a plugin to filter it, I may try to tackle it myself. But I’m not yet versed enough in the API to know if it’s even possible.
Is it possible for a plugin to “manage” what is seen under Screen Options (for all other plugins)?
I think it could be difficult to manage this on some sort of global level but I have to admit that it’s not something I’ve looked at myself. The problem you have is that screen options are stored on a per-user basis in the usermeta table.
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