Web Paint-by-Number Forum
Topic #234: Solving larger puzzles on smaller screens
By gregg licht (lgreg)

#1: gregg licht (lgreg) on Aug 13, 2010

Jan, you mentioned in #231 that you were thinking about how to design better interfaces to solve large puzzles on small screens. I've always found the numbers at the bottom and side of the puzzle to be very helpful. (The ones that indicate the length of the marked segments intersecting the cell that the pointer is hovering over). Could you display those two numbers such that they are always visible no matter how big you make the puzzle?

It could be an option to add them to the cursor; they could be in a box you could drag where needed; or these two numbers could automatically float just off the puzzle in the area that's being zoomed in to.

Another possible enhancement: an option that would magnify the clues for the row and column that the cursor is hovering over. Much easier said than done, I'm sure.
#2: Billie Patterson (bpat) on Aug 26, 2010
Jan, I've got a couple of suggestions.

1) Could the buttons be put on the left side of the puzzle? If you're solving a very tall puzzle, you have to scroll down to get to the buttons. Where they are, if you're using "undo" or "redo" you can't see whether you've cleared your error.

2) I second Gregg's request to always be able to see the length of the line segment you're working on.

3) I don't know how feasible this would be, but it would be nice if the grid could scroll under the row and column clues. On very wide or very tall puzzles, you keep having to scroll the screen to see the clues you need. I'd like to be able to position the puzzle itself so I can see the clues for the area I'm working on.

Thanks for all your work on this site -- I spend waaaay too much time here, but it's very enjoyable.
#3: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Aug 26, 2010
Billie, I have a solution for your first problem. You can use the "z" or "u" key for undo and "r" for redo.

Other keyboard shortcuts are "s" for save, "h" to fill horizontally, "v" to fill vertically, and "l" or "?" to get a (line logic) hint.

Also you can use the arrow keys to move the clues. They also change the justification of the clues. Very useful for edge logic!
#4: Billie Patterson (bpat) on Sep 24, 2010
Thanks, Joe. I knew about the 'h' and 'v' keys, but not the others, and the functions of the arrow keys. But it's helpful to know about the other keys.
#5: Mark (mark.jeronimus) on Oct 5, 2010
How do the "l" or "?" hints work? The first time I read about it here I tried it and it worked, but since then I haven't been able to get it to work anymore. I can't find it in the FAQ either to look up the conditions.
#6: Teresa K (fasstar) on Oct 5, 2010
Mark, I remember having that problem. It turned out to be my browser. I switched to Chrome, and it seems to work much better for solving puzzles. http://www.google.com/chrome
#7: Wombat (wombatilim) on Oct 5, 2010
Mark - It seems to be an issue with Firefox not loading the helper code correctly. I'd asked this question in topic #210. I've been using Safari since then and it's worked fine; IE and Chrome seem to similarly work fine for this functionality.
#8: Mark (mark.jeronimus) on Oct 6, 2010
I have one PC where i have both FF and Chrome, and chrome is very unstable, crashes (hangs) a lot. On my laptop (where I puzzle the most) I don't have the intention to install Chrome because it's almost full and I don't want to replace FF yet.
#9: Mark (mark.jeronimus) on Oct 22, 2010
I pressed 'L' in Firefox with firebug on, and got the following error:

fm[fi] is undefined
[Break on this error] if (fm[fi].length == 0) fi++;
helper_reg.js (line 99)

So now we know why it almost never works in FF. I don't feel like debugging this unformatted (and thus almost unreadable) script.

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