I have 5 things I really hate about ACL.
No, these aren’t critical issues, but I deal with them constantly, and they waste my time. All of them deal with the user interface.
1) To close a tab, you have to click on the X on the far right* (see the Welcome, sales, and Project3 tabs and the red X below). Why isn’t the X on each tab like in modern browsers? Each tab has a pin icon, and I rarely use that.
Solution: I’d put both icons on each tab, or drop the pin in favor of the X.
2) Counting the records in a file takes 2 clicks instead of 1. First, you click the Count button, and then you have to click OK on the Count screen before the records are counted (see below).
The Count screen gives you the ability to include an IF statement (or WHILE statement, which is on the MORE tab) in your count. Nice options, but when was the last time you used either one? I don’t remember either.
All I want is a simple count. Solution: change the Count button to give the count immediately, and add a CountIF button that works the same way as the current Count button.
3) Buttons are not all on the left or right, but a little of both to ensure we get enough exercise.
For example (see below), when you add a computed field, you click the Add a New Expression button (on left), define the field, then click the green checkmark (on left) to save the field, but when you close the Table Layout screen, you have to click the X on the right.
That’s too much movement between left and right*, especially when the solution is so simple. Just add a red X below the question mark (see blue below).
4) One other left-right gripe: After you enter or update a filter, you have to move to the far right* to click the filter buttons (see bel0w).
Why not move the buttons to the far left? That would reduce the constant left-to-right movements as you’re typing and editing filters (see below).
5) You can only print from ACL to the default printer. To change printers, you have to close ACL, change the defaut printer in Windows, then restart ACL and print.
How come every other application I use can change printers on the fly?
* Keep in mind that these screenshots don’t accurately represent the distance between the objects (e.g., between the tab and the X on the far right) as these screenshots are not full screen. Unlike in Jurassic Park, the distance between the objects is greater that it appears.
ACL has a product feedback page, but it’s in the ACL Support Center, which means you have to have a support agreement to access the link. The best way to access the feedback page is to go http://support.acl.com/supportcenter/aclfeedback.aspx and click on ACL Analytics.
I didn’t see any of the above items listed in the feedback page.
Please leave me a comment and respond to the following questions:
a) Did you know the feedback pages existed? I didn’t until last year, when I heard about them in the user forums.
b) What do you think of the items I ranted about? Ever notice them? Don’t care?
c) What do you wish ACL would change?