Using the space tool to remove space

Hi all.

I waited with this discussion for too long actually - I see this happening all the time: users want to remove space by using the space tool. However, when trying to do it by just moving the space tool to the left (or to the top when trying to remove vertical space), it does not work - they create even more space instead of less.

However, after a certain time they discover the “trick” - which causes some smiles then, too: move the space tool to the right (or to the bottom) for a small way, then move it to the left (or to the top) and remove as much space as you want…

Are there users out there who experience this behavior as a feature? My users don’t!

Would be really interesting to get a broader feedback on this one.

What is the background of your users? Just a simple (different) modeling tool or diverse?

Diverse, mainly users new to BPMN. Almost nobody knows other modeling tools - also not that other one you probably have in mind. :slightly_smiling:

The main complaint I hear is that it is unintuitive that the space tool behaves “differently” (from a user perspective) just depending on the direction with which you start to use it in the first place. There are some users who see it as a feature (it’s a space tool after all). But those users are then asked by the critical majority, how they should now remove the superfluous space without having to fiddle with the symbols…

Obviously I emotionally support this majority. :wink:

I feel like we could just try that out and see if anyone complains. It is not a big change.

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I’m a developer using modeling tools and BPMN for the first time. I probably have noticed the space removal behavior in the past when adding space and adjusting, but when I intentionally wanted to only remove existing whitespace I had no idea how to, so I found this thread.

I tried right-click & drag, alt & drag, to no avail. :slight_smile:

Maybe having an additional remove tool that works the same way but in opposite starting direction would be nice.

Hi @fdelgado - just to make sure you know: currently you need to add a little bit space (in space tool mode click and move right for a bit) in order to be able to remove space (after having added a bit space, without releasing the mouse button you move to the left as much as you want to remove space). This way you can remove space with the space tool.

This is obviously a workaround. Therefore my suggestion for the future is that the space tool simply always adds space when moving right or down and always removes space when moving left or up.

Another case where the remove space to the left behavior would be more intuitive.

I added an issue for trying it out. We will see if anyone complains.

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