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Textlets: Supporting Constraints and Consistency in Text Documents

Han Han 1 Miguel Renom 1 Wendy Mackay 1 Michel Beaudouin-Lafon 1
1 EX-SITU - Extreme Interaction
LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, Inria Saclay - Ile de France
Abstract : Writing technical documents frequently requires following constraints and consistently using domain-specific terms. We interviewed 12 legal professionals and found that they all use a standard word processor, but must rely on their memory to manage dependencies and maintain consistent vocabulary within their documents. We introduce Textlets, interactive objects that reify text selections into persistent items. We show how Textlets help manage consistency and constraints within the document, including selective search and replace, word count, and alternative wording. Eight participants tested a search-and-replace Textlet as a technology probe. All successfully interacted directly with the Textlet to perform advanced tasks; and most (6/8) spontaneously generated a novel replace-all-then-correct strategy. Participants suggested additional ideas, such as supporting collaborative editing over time by embedding a Textlet into the document to flag forbidden words. We argue that Textlets serve as a generative concept for creating powerful new tools for document editing.
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Submitted on : Saturday, June 13, 2020 - 11:52:41 PM
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Han Han, Miguel Renom, Wendy Mackay, Michel Beaudouin-Lafon. Textlets: Supporting Constraints and Consistency in Text Documents. CHI '20: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Apr 2020, Honolulu, HI, USA, United States. pp.1-13, ⟨10.1145/3313831.3376804⟩. ⟨hal-02867300⟩

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