improving usability of the 'recent documents' menu

Øivind Hoel oivind.hoel at
Mon Dec 19 14:36:31 GMT 2005

On 12/19/05, Ryan Lortie <desrt at> wrote:
> I realised today that I really don't use the "recent documents" feature
> of the Places menu at all.
> I think the reason for this is that the menu item is in a really
> inconvenient place and barely recognisable at all.

I actually use the recent documents menu quite a lot, and find the
bottom placement quite useful, as it's easier to point at the last
entry in a menu than somewhere deep in the middle trenches.

> I think the functionality would be a lot easier to find and use if the
> "recent documents" item were moved to the top of the places menu.  It
> might also be worth while to move the search item up there too (but not
> above recent documents).
> If it were at the top of the menu the muscle-memory value alone would be
> huge (right now muscle memory is practically useless for this item).
> The very concept of recent items is to make it as easy as possible to
> access (practically by definition) your commonly used documents.
> The "home folder" item would not be significantly impacted because it
> would still be a short distance away (just a tiny bit more).  Even if
> existing users have built up a memory for this they won't be too badly
> affected since releasing the mouse button (or clicking) on the "recent
> documents" sub-menu won't do anything unexpected.

Even if I use the recent documents item alot, I really, really don't
want to see it replace the home destination plus my bookmarks. I use
RD alot, but home and company is probably the most clicked-on items
anywhere in my panels, so it makes sense (atleast to me) to give this
more prominence at the top.

> Just a random not-particularly-developed thought :)
> Cheers.

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