Option to automatically open context menu on selection



  • This is an alternative to "Search / Copy" Pop-up Feature and is equally inspired by the modern Opera pop-up:
    Opera pop-up screenshot

    And partially an alternative to Quick Selection Bubble for Search Engine and Panel.

    When a user is selecting some text on a page, they most likely want to perform some action on this selection. The most used actions are copying and searching, but there may be other actions that a particular user performs. And these actions require either using an action hotkey, opening the context menu, or using an extension that reacts to selection. The exception is if the user wants to change selection to include more text or exclude some text from the selection.

    So providing users with the ability to quickly visually select an action to perform saves them the time that is currently being spent on either reaching the keyboard and pressing the context menu key or aiming the pointer at the selection and pressing the context menu button on the pointer device (mouse / touchpad / etc.).

    The pop-up alternative is somewhat implemented by extensions:

    But using the context menu instead of a custom pop-up is a bit different:

    Pros:

    • A search / copy pop-up is limited to search and copy, just like other pop-ups are limited by their implementation.
      The context menu, however, is more flexible in that it is extendable by extensions, so that users can perform custom actions on the selection.
      For example, here is a proof-of-concept (at the time of the post) extension that converts currency of the selected text and shows the result in the context menu.
    • Also, when Allow editing of menus (including selection menu) lands, we will be able to customize the context menu to our specific needs (as much as context menus allow; for instance, I just need-need-need the "Search" and "Search with..." at the top of the menu, not the middle).

    Cons:

    1. An opened context menu steals the focus, so that navigations keys navigate the menu instead of the page text, and hotkeys like Ctrl+C are not working while context menu is open. Because of this, auto-opening of context menu only makes sense when selecting with a pointer device at the known end of selection, and perhaps with a customizable timeout, to differentiate between double clicks (word selection) and triple clicks (paragraph selection).
      But actually, alternative pop-up implementation are equally pretty much useless when working with something other than a pointer device, as these pop-ups are hardly navigatable with a keyboard / screenreader / etc. (they are fine for things they display like currency conversion). They win with their ability to show up during selection not just the end, though.
    2. Context menus are far less flexible design-wise than pop-ups.

    Also positioning of the newly opened context menu is a thing to discuss (or customize), if this feature request is gonna be considered.

    Wrapping up, it would nice to have an option to automatically open context menu on selection [finished with a pointer], for those who are into this sort of thing.



  • Besides search, copy, maybe translating, this selection solution is also about opening link as text into tab (this is very useful).

    According to me (I defend bubble solution mind), the bubble is a quick solution and should stay like this : I mean that the bubble (with icons preferably) is a quick reading solution, a small graphical solution and more, a set of selected direct-called functions from context menu. Those user-selected functions are these that the user uses the more commonly and that he expected to get them quickest and easily, without reading all the context menu, and without dealing with submenu levels that extensions enjoy to add.

    The bubble doesn't replace the context menu, I see it only as a pre-contextmenu, a digest. And when functions are easier to get access, you use them more (instead of forgetting it).
    The bubble divises features from contextmenu which become more and more heavy today : the bubble for the common and quick functions, the context menu for all stuff linked to selection (included also those of the bubble as doubloons) and their settings. I dropped images into this message about the bubble that have a digest from my search engines, and the context menus that has all search engines as icons.

    Using directly the contextmenu seems to me an heavy and less and less used solution. Preferably, the bubble could be improved still according to users, adding one and only one subbubble level, using only colored icons, tooltips for adding text info for the name of the function but also for dynamic text info like currency converter or quick traduction.

    Extension should stay into contextmenu but we can make a special icon into the bubble that emulates the click of the extension menus into the contextmenu.


 

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