Open Bug 111891 Opened 23 years ago Updated 16 years ago

Implement vertical splitter in a document-view, so we can have two panes


(SeaMonkey :: UI Design, enhancement)

Not set


(Not tracked)


(Reporter: jo.hermans, Unassigned)




(3 files)

This looks like a dup of bug 70245, but it's slightly different. Read it before
you dup it.

Since we have the tabbed browser (thanks Hyatt !), Mozilla has become much more
useful for me. By having tiled windows in a single horizontal direction (aka
tabs), it's easy to work with multiple documents. It's just not so easy to work
with different views of the same document. Sure, you can open up different tabs
of the same document, but that's not exactly the same.

Ever used a text-editor which allowed the window to be (vertically) splitted ?
For instance: Visual C, gvim, emacs ... even MS Word has it. This allows you to
use a vertical splitter to see different places of the same content, each with
its own scrollerbar. This is perfect for reading long documents like rfc's. You
can use the tabs for different documents, and the splitter for different views.
This would be very understandable for most people, since tabs (horizontal) and
splitters (vertical) have been used a lot in other applications.

I made a new RFE, to get rid of the 'window-manager' feeling of bug 70245. While
it's a good idea, I think it's a low-priority enhancement. My proposal is much
more modest, and works also for people with small screens. Documents have a more
or less fixed width (often between 700 and 1000 pixels, roughly), but the length
can be unlimited. A really long document is still a pain to work with (all that
scrolling), but this proposal for a splitter might help.

Oh yes, I got the idea when I was reading RFC's the whole weekend. I had to work
with different windows, carefully layed out on the screen, to make it a bit
Ever confirmed: true
Plat: Mac --> All   OS: Mac --> All  (because I wanna this enhancement in
Windows too =))
OS: Mac System 9.x → All
Hardware: Macintosh → All
i wrote a javascript bookmarklet that may be of interest, see my comment
attached to bug #70245  (i dont understand how exactly this bug is different).

*** Bug 130099 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 156549 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Thanks to Alan, I was able to implement 2 bookmarklets, HSplit and VSplit,
which will split the current window in 2 (horizontally and verticall) : They're
exactly the same as Alans, execpt that I removed the 2 prompts. To install,
open the attachment, and drag the 2 bookmarklets to your Toolbar.

When I applied *both* bookmarklets together, I actually got a window splitted
in 4, to my surprise. I didn't expect it to work immediately.

Note that this isn't a perfect solution, becuase it isn't possible to close one
of the views. And each window will load and store the contents separately,
they're not cloned at all. So it's useless to open it on a form for instance.
Each window will have its own data, independant from the other.

PS: there's a nasty side-effect though ... when I showed them to my collegues,
and they saw it's *much* easier to read RFC's like this, they went beserk. Now
I'll have to install Mozilla on their PC's too (most didn't want to use it, due
to bad experiences with Netscape 6.0).
very cool!
- only a horzontal split would be needed, to help with long documents. A
vertical split isn't very useful on the web (I've only used it in

- the handle (zippy ?) should be at the top right, somewhere on that 3-pixel
line that can be seen while you're using tabs (between the tabs and the content,
just below the close-button) If there's no room (when no tabs are showing), this
migth be difficult. An alternative location would be just below the right
scrollbar (above the grow-box on the Mac), a little higher than the statusbar.

- when that handle is dragged downwards, the current window be splitted in two,
and you get 2 views on the same document. This should ideally be done with a
kind of document-clone, so that we'll avoid a network-load. Maybe that can be
done by forcing the new window be load from the cache.

- when a window is splitted in 2, we'll something similar to a frame-handle, but
with the handle attached to the right. To avoid problems with real frames, maybe
we should disable this feature on a page with frames ? Normally, the bottom or
left frame would be a long document anyway, and will have its own independent
- when the handle is dragged to the top again, the top view would dissapear. The
bottom view would be the only view left. When the handle is dragged all the way
to the bottom, the bottom view would dissapear, and the top view would be the
only one left.

- shortcuts : double-click on a handle would open a splitted window, or would
return to the original 

- since real window-clones might be much too difficult, so I guess we'll have to
use them as 2 separate windows. The 2nd view might have been initialized from
the cache, but that's only a performance issue. We'll have lots of trouble with
forms (you can't edit Bugzilla in 2 different windows at once) reported to us.
Maybe we can avoid those issues, by disabling the handle on a page with

- oh yes, I'm sure that all web-developpers would die for a similar feature in
the view-source window and the composer (source-tab). Then you can view/edit in
2 locations at once !
Updating summary for easier search.
Summary: [RFE] implement vertical splitter in a document-view → [RFE] implement vertical splitter in a document-view, so we can have two panes
This seems like a reasonable idea to me. It would be useful for long documents,
it is already implemented by programs most people are familiar with (including
most Microsoft Office apps on both Windows and Mac OS), and the amount of extra
interface required is very close to zero. However, I wouldn't be *that*
surprised if more conscious module owners wontfixed it. --> XP Apps: GUI.

To avoid future RFE silliness, the following two things should be made clear.
1.  It should only ever be possible to have one or two panes open, not more.
2.  The presence of the splitter should be specific to the page in session
    history. Whenever navigating to a different page, the splitter should be
    removed, unless that page is in the session history as having a splitter.
Assignee: mpt → blaker
Component: User Interface Design → XP Apps: GUI Features
QA Contact: zach → paw
*** Bug 170051 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Summary: [RFE] implement vertical splitter in a document-view, so we can have two panes → Implement vertical splitter in a document-view, so we can have two panes
Blocks: 170051
I'd love to have this feature. 
blaker: any updates?
*** Bug 214293 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 225178 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 225206 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
See also bug 231156, same bug for Firebird.
*** Bug 253902 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Product: Core → Mozilla Application Suite
(In reply to comment #15)
> See also bug 231156, same bug for Firebird.

heh - above was WONTFIXed
*** Bug 317598 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
I would like the Horizontal Splitter control added to several windows in Mozilla, not just the browser. I think it would be particularly useful also in the Bookmark Manager window, the History window, and all three panes of the Mail and News window.

Just my thoughts,
Jim H. (aka CuriousJ)
Attachment #204191 - Attachment description: TextPad, with Horizontal Page Splitter 'Deployed' → GIF of TextPad, with Horizontal Page Splitter 'Deployed'
Assignee: bross2 → guifeatures
QA Contact: pawyskoczka
Filter "spam" on "guifeatures-nobody-20080610".
Assignee: guifeatures → nobody
QA Contact: guifeatures
Component: XP Apps: GUI Features → UI Design
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