Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The "red squiggle" and user-entered filesystem paths

Wouldn't it be nice if the "red squiggle" that appears under misspelled user-typed words in many applications these days (such as Microsoft Word and Firefox 2) would also appear under mistyped portions of a filesystem path in "Open File" dialogs and other places where the user can manually type in a path, such as the Start | Run dialog, and the address bar of a Windows Explorer window?


Look closely at the highlighted section in the above Open dialog.  The last word in the path name entered by the user, "mircosoft," is a nonexistent file/directory name, and so a "red squiggle" appears under that portion of the entered path.

The image above is just a mockup; Windows XP doesn't actually do this.  Are there any current operating systems out there that do?

This would be a nice additional UI cue to the user that they have misspelled or mistyped something.  Currently, the only such cue in Windows XP that the user gets is that intellisense suggestions (suggested path/file names) stop showing up under the input field.

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