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ToDoList 6.8.10 Feature Release - An effective and flexible way to keep on top of your tasks

By , , 22 Feb 2014
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Latest Update (6.8.10 Feature Release)

The big new features for 6.8 are full drag'n'drop support added to the Gantt and Calendar views for modifying task dates.

The Calendar was also rewritten to add support for displaying tasks continuously between their start and due dates.

This release also contains the following new features:
  • Check for missing Outlook 2010 protocol and prompt to install
  • 'Shift+Wheel' horizontal scrolling
  • Support for setting status when completing a task
  • Support for read-only dynamic lists
  • Support for pasting text filepaths as links in comments field
  • Option to filter by 'recently modified'
  • More reminder snooze time periods
  • Week numbers added to calendar popups
  • Calendar tooltips for long task text
  • Preference to hide 0%
  • Preference to control 'recently modified' duration
  • PNG image support
  • Modeless 'per-tasklist' due task notifications
  • Tree control added to Outlook importer
  • 'Paste as Reference' added to 'Edit' menu


You know how it is - you start work on one project and halfway through, you find one or two side-projects crop up that have to be solved before you can continue on the original project.

This is one such project with the added twist that it too started its life as a side-project. Here's what happened:

<Cue wavy screen effect>

I can only imagine that the planets must have been in (mis-)alignment or something, because at one point a few months ago, I was suddenly fielding emails on four or five separate articles I had previously submitted to CodeProject, some asking for features and others for bug fixes.

Foolishly or otherwise, I largely agreed with all the points raised, and subsequently found myself with fourteen or fifteen separate issues to resolve.

The situation was also made worse because I was trying to use CodeProject to keep track of all the things I had agreed to do, meaning that I had to continuously trawl the comments section of each article to remind myself of what I was supposed to be working on.

It even got to the stage where I was worrying that I'd fail to deliver on something - silly I know, but there you are!

Keeping a list on paper was a definite step in the right direction, but since I do all my coding on the same machine, it seemed somewhat inelegant, and anyway, we all know what happens to crucial bits of paper left lying around on desks and such.

The next step was to hunt around on the web for a tool to meet the following requirements:

  • Simple interface
  • Support for hierarchical data
  • Numbered items/subitems
  • Open file format
  • Freeware

Simple, huh! not!

I will admit that I did not spend weeks searching, but I am still surprised at the general lack of software matching my needs.

On reflection, I think that the reason may be simple: people are so used to commercial software being 'feature-rich' that when they come to design software themselves, they (not unreasonably) think they too need to cram as much in as possible, often leading to software where a lot of essential functionality is hidden away in the menu bar.

So, surprise, surprise, I decided to write something myself.

However, it's fair to say that I did not originally intend to post it on CodeProject and am only really doing so because I had a heap of fun solving some very interesting problems and these are what I think make it worth it.

Using the Software

There's really very little I need to say here since every feature/function is explicitly visible in the interface.

Nevertheless, the following list of basic capabilities and omissions may go someway to answering any questions that arise:

  • Files are stored in XML format with .xml file extension.
  • Trying to load a non-tasklist file will generally fail (unless you read the code to see how to circumvent it).
  • The number of items/subitems is limited only by memory (although performance may be the deciding factor before you exhaust memory).
  • Marking a parent item as 'done' will also gray-out child items, but they are not disabled or automatically marked as 'done'.
  • An ellipsis (...) indicates that an item has sub-items.
  • All items can be expanded or collapsed (by double-clicking).
  • Top-level items and sub-items are created using different toolbar buttons.
  • There are task-specific context-menus.
  • The previously open tasklists are re-opened on startup.
  • The tasklist is automatically saved when closing the software or minimizing it to the system tray.
  • The priority of a task is shown as a grayscale box to the left of the item.

Points of Interest

Here's where we come to the side-projects I was talking about, the first two of which I intend to work up into follow-up articles.

They are:

  1. The 'ordered' tree control, which incorporates a non-client gutter for displaying the item numbers.

    The idea stemmed from research I did into alternative designs for a tree-list control, which did not solve it by creating a hybrid control incorporating a tree and a list.

    The hybrid control seems such an obvious solution that I suspect few people have stopped to question it, but it has still always struck me as looking far too much like hard work to be truly elegant ('square pegs' and 'round holes' spring to mind).

    One possible idea is to implement the 'list' portion entirely in the non-client area of the tree. I.e., shift the right hand client edge to the left and then render the list portion in the resulting non-client area.

    Whilst I've yet to get round to building a proof of concept, it was nevertheless this ongoing mental debate which prompted me to try to solve the requirement for numbered items and subitems by rendering the item/subitem numbers in the non-client area.

    Without going into too much detail (as this will subsequently be an article of its own), this is how I got it to work:

    • Handle TVM_INSERTITEM and TVM_DELETEITEM to know exactly when items are added and removed.
    • In these handlers recalculate the width of the gutter required to display the widest 'dotted' item/subitem number. (Note: this is not necessarily simply the deepest subitem.)
    • If the required gutter width changes, call SetWindowPos(NULL, 0, 0, 0, 0, SWP_FRAMECHANGED | SWP_NOMOVE | SWP_NOSIZE | SWP_NOZORDER) to force Windows to recalculate the non-client area of the control.
    • Handle WM_NCCALCSIZE when it does, and offset the left border by the required gutter width.
    • Handle WM_NCPAINT for painting the numbers.

    This is necessarily an over-simplification, but it captures the essence of the solution, and all that essentially remains is lots of fiddling about to ensure the non-client area gets redrawn at the the right times to stay synchronized with the client area.

  2. Embedding .RC control definition data directly in a .cpp file to break the dependency on binary resources (a.k.a. 'Runtime Dialogs').

    This is an idea that has been floating about for quite some time and which has only recently gelled into a workable solution.

    The problem, put simply, is that if you want to take advantage of the resource editor in Visual Studio (and who doesn't), then you very quickly find yourself stuck with having to load dialog templates from resources compiled into the binary file.

    This further means that if you want to make use of a dialog across multiple projects, then either you need to copy and paste the dialog template between project .RC files, or you need to build the dialog into a DLL from which it can be accessed.

    'Runtime Dialogs' (a snappy title I coined myself) is a solution that neatly sidesteps both the nuisance of copying dialog resources between resource files and the extra work (and maintenance) involved in packaging dialogs in DLLs.

    And it works like this:

    • First, you design your dialog template in the resource editor, create a CDialog derived class using class wizard, and wire up all the controls just as you normally would.
    • Next, you #include "runtimedlg.h" and change all instances of CDialog to CRuntimeDlg.
    • Then, you cut and paste the control definition section from the appropriate section in the .RC file and embed it directly in the dialog's .cpp file as a static string (with a bit of tweaking to handle double quotes and such like).
    • Finally, in the constructor of your dialog, you simply call CRuntimeDlg::AddRCControls(...) passing the control definitions as a string.
    • And CRuntimeDlg takes care of the rest including, if required, auto-sizing the dialog to suit the control layout.

    I'm certainly not suggesting that this is a 'win-win' solution for all situations but it certainly has merits in its closer coupling of dialog template to dialog code which makes sharing dialogs across multiple projects a breeze.

    P.S.: In case it's not clear here, I used CRuntimeDlg to create CToDoCtrl which encapsulates the ordered tree together with the priority, date and comments controls as a single simple-to-instantiate control.

    I'm also proposing to use them in the .NET port of my ProjectZip add-in for VC6.

  3. Embedding the XML file in a web page.

    This is possibly the most satisfying aspect of the whole project because it was completely unexpected.

    What I mean is that, until recently, my knowledge of DOM and XMLDOM was virtually non-existent, as it's only since I've become more interested in the presentation of AbstractSpoon that I've been forced to get to grips with the various implementations of DOM and XMLDOM out there.

    I'm pleased to say that the code on my site works under IE 6.0, Netscape 7.1, and Mozilla, although custom code was required to achieve this.

Generic MFC Classes that may prove Useful to You

The following table lists a wide range of utility classes written for this project. They can all be included in any MFC project provided you include any class dependencies too. Feel free to ask any questions relating to these specific classes and how to use them.

Class Name


Class Dependencies
(apart from MFC)


Customizable "About…' dialog not requiring a dialog resource. Supports html encoded text

CRuntimeDlg, CRCCtrlParser


Adds only unique items to the drop list and shuffles the list so that the last added item is at the top



Encapsulates the setting and unsetting of a boolean variable thru the lifetime of the class instance


Non-ownerdraw button that displays the selected colour on the button face and displays the colour dialog when clicked



Owner-draw combobox for displaying and selecting user defined colours


Encapsulation of various rountines for calculating date spans and for formatting


Encapsulation of the Win32 API


Re-implementation of the CDialog DDX/DDV rountines to avoid the MFC error messages when the user clears a number edit (for instance)


Encapsulates the MapDialogRect Win32 API


Class for managing the docking of one popup window to another.

*CSubclassWnd, CHoldRedraw, CAutoFlag


Encapsulates various rountines for querying about drives, files and disk space


Adds support to CBitmap for loading non-bmp files and resources.

CEnBitmapEx, CColorReplacer, CImageBlurrer, CImageColorizer, CImageContraster, CImageEmbosser, CImageFlipper, CImageGrayer, CImageLightener, CImageNegator, CImageResizer, CImageRotator, CImageSharpener, CImageShearer, CImageSysColorMapper, CImageTinter

Adds image manipulation funationality to CEnBitmap



Adds saving and restoring of custom colours to CColorDialog


Adds functions for extracting and querying commandline switches


Adds user-defined button capabilities to CEdit

CMaskEdit, CThemed, CDlgUnits


Adds support for using alternative resource or file images


Adds buttons for browsing and displaying the file represented by the text in the edit control. Also shows the file's small icon.

CEnEdit, CFolderDialog, CMaskEdit, CDlgUnits, CThemed, CSysImageList


Encapsulates WM_SETREDRAW


Fixes a number of behavioural problems including the handling of certain keypresses


Tracks the cursor movement over user-defined windows and posts event messages as necessary



Provides simple method to detect if another instance of an app is running


Adds simple character masking to CEdit


Allows the UI of standard windows controls to be extended by supporting any number of columns to be added to the non-client area of the window. Favours tabular controls like lists, trees, etc

*CSubclassWnd, CHoldRedraw, CThemed, CDlgUnits


CTreeCtrl implementation of CNcGutter displaying a single column showing the hierarchical position of each tree item in '' notation.

CHoldRedraw, CThemed


Very simple password dialog not requiring a dialog resource

CRuntimeDlg, CRCCtrlParser


Simpler replacement for CPropertySheet allowing easier creation as a child window


Used by CRuntimeDlg for parsing dialog resource-like text


Adds support to CDialog for building dialogs at runtime ie. dialogs do not require a dialog resource



Class for handling application keyboard shortcuts.

*CSubclassWnd, CWinClasses


Spellcheck dialog not requiring a dialog resource, which interfaces with ISpellCheck (interface to Open Office dictionaries)

CRuntimeDlg, CRCCtrlParser, ISpellCheck


Encapsulates the Windows system image list (file/folder images)


Adds post rendering callback for the tabs without using owner-draw


Encapsulates themed (XP) and non-themed (the rest) drawing of windows controls


Adds a button for specifying time units and provided routines for converting time to and from different time units

CEnEdit, CMaskEdit, CThemed, CDlgUnits


Adds support for dialog toolbar tooltips, multiline tooltips and dropbuttons with menus

*CSubclassWnd, CEnBitmap, CEnBitmapEx


Encapsulates the Shell_NotifyIcon Win32 API. Also provides balloon tips and animation



Adds support for recognizing urls, clicking them and setting custom url callbacks


Encapsulates the ::GetClassName Win32 functions

CXmlFile, CXmlItem

Non-Unicode class for reading and writing xml files


Adds encryption capabilities to CXmlFile

CXmlFile, IEncryption

* CSubclassWnd was originally written by Paul DiLascia for MSJ magazine. The version I use has been heavily extended to suit my specific needs. The classes that depend on it here need this extended version.

Further Work

Whilst this tool was originally intended for my personal use only, it is now a 'community' project, so if you find it useful and want to make suggestions for enhancements or bug fixes, then post below.


  • 6.8.10 (22 Feb 2014)
    • Changed default reminder action to 'Snooze'
    • Fixed monthly recurring task reuse
    • Fixed problem with transformation of comments
  • 6.8.9 (11 Feb 2014)
    • Fixed task 'positions' not updating on 'New/Delete Task'
    • Incremented tasklist format version to protect against older versions of ToDoList
    • Fixed filtering when combining 'Hide completed tasks' and 'Show all subtasks'
  • 6.8.8 (25 Jan 2014)
    • Fixed rich-text comments not being transformed
    • Fixed reminder snooze values not being saved
    • Recalculated Burndown date range when a task's date changes
    • Removed disabled custom attributes from sort menu
    • Stabilised sorting of 'equal' tasks
  • 6.8.7 (19 Jan 2014)
    • Fixed crash opening tasklists from Explorer
  • 6.8.6 (17 Jan 2014)
    • Fixed 'Time Remaining' bug when estimates are factored by % completion
    • Fixed completion time not being assigned to tasks
    • Added a space after inserting Date/Time
    • Preferences Apply button now hidden until it works properly
    • Fixed comments changes not adding '*' to active tab on just-opened tasklists
    • Fixed rich-text formatting bug when indenting lists
    • Fixed crash with circular references
  • 6.8.5 (10 Jan 2014)
    • Fixed preferences initialisation bug
  • 6.8.4 (01 Jan 2014)
    • Set selection to first of commandline tasklists
    • Fixed toolbar visibility bug after changing theme
    • Fixed text comments not getting copied/saved
    • Prevent loss of selection when clicking outside Gantt items
  • 6.8.3 (21 Dec 2013)
    • Fixed bug in previous shortcut manager fix
    • Fixed rich-text paste bug
    • Fixed lost comments after Gantt edit
    • Fixed task pos not updating after move
    • Updated sample tasklist format
    • Fixed project name missing from .tdl export
    • Scroll to selection after un-maximising comments
    • Fixed re-entrant message box with 'Due by Now' filter
    • Added support for 'Last Mod' to tasklist
    • Due date control initialised to later of Start date and 'today'
    • Rationalised comments formats when exporting
    • Updated Russian translation
    • Fixed bug reading default list items from preferences
    • Fixed welcome wizard header translation issue
    • Fixed tasklist metadata not being saved
    • Fixed missing csv custom attribute column header
    • Fix various commandline related issues
    • Fixed readonly status droplist bug
  • 6.8.2 (07 Dec 2013)
    • Fixed 'Goto Today' in Gantt chart
    • Fixed location of DropBox and GoogleDrive user folders
    • Fixed missing XML date tags in task file
  • 6.8.1 (03 Dec 2103)
    • Fixed Preferences dialog to fit available screen work area
    • Fixed Calendar display bug with selected 'special' days
    • Fixed shortcut manager when editing task title
    • Fixed 'First day of week' bug in Calendar view
    • Fixed custom filter bug in Filter dialog
  • 6.8 Feature Release (30 Nov 2013)
    • Add check for missing Outlook 2010 protocol and prompt to install
    • Add 'Shift+Wheel' horizontal scrolling
    • Add support for setting status when completing a task
    • Add support for read-only dynamic lists
    • Add support for pasting text filepaths as links in comments field
    • Add drag'n'drop support to modify Calendar dates
    • Add option to filter by 'recently modified'
    • Add drag'n'drop support to modify Gantt dates
    • Add more snooze time periods
    • Add week numbers to calendars
    • Add Calendar tooltips for long task text
    • Add preference to hide 0%
    • Add preference to control 'recently modified' duration
    • Add PNG image support
    • Add modeless 'per-tasklist' due task notifications
    • Add tree control to Outlook importer
    • Add 'Paste as Reference' to 'Edit' menu
    • Calculate Gantt range dynamically
    • Change Calendar start of week to match Windows settings
    • Display accumulated values for 'float' type custom attributes
    • Expand parent tasks when dragging over from 'outside' TDL
    • Fix date control to not change the date until the calendar closes
    • Implement milestones in Gantt view
    • Implement 'narrow months' as 01/13 etc in Gantt view
    • Improve Welcome Wizard
    • Rewrite Calendar plugin to support continuous date ranges
    • Restore preference to disable column header sorting
    • More than 50 bug fixes
  • 6.7.8 (24 Aug 2013)
    • Gantt title column width now automatically calculated
    • Fixed filtering on custom attributes
    • Fixed display bugs when moving 'Find Tasks' rules up/down
    • Fixed GanttProject export problem
    • Fixed minor display bugs in 'Preferences' dialog
    • Fixed 'Started Today' colour update bug
  • 6.7.7 (17 Aug 2013)
    • Fixed exporting of 'Categories', 'Tags', 'Dependencies', 'Allocated to'
    • Fixed resorting of 'Remaining Time' attribute when dates/times change
    • Fixed icon/checkbox placement in list view
  • 6.7.6 (10 Aug 2013)
    • Fixed task ID renumbering on cut'n'paste
    • Fixed bug with incomplete subtask warning
    • Fixed CSV import bug
    • Disable QuickFind if toolbar is hidden
  • 6.7.5 (06 Aug 2013)
    • Added 'Ctrl+Shift+P' shortcut for 'Paste Simple' in rich-text comments
    • Only update recurring tasks when switching from 'not-done' to 'done'
    • Don't use black for Gantt task background colour
    • Ignore implicitly complete tasks when testing for incomplete subtasks
    • Fixed bug updating colours when parent task is completed
  • 6.7.4 (31 Jul 2013)
    • Fixed auto-refiltering bug on due date change
    • Fixed non-indenting of task titles in csv export
    • Fixed due column not updating after task dates are offset
    • Fixed undo not restoring custom attributes
  • 6.7.3 (29 July 2013)
    • Restored default separator for existing task time logs
    • Right aligned task ID column
    • Fixed right/middle alignment issues with custom icon attributes
    • Added numerals for custom filters > 9
    • Fixed Alt+B shortcut requiring 2 key-presses
  • 6.7.2 (26 July 2013)
    • Fixed disappearing new task when filter is active (major)
    • Fixed tasklist array format conversions (major)
    • Fixed missing empty attributes when exporting to csv
    • Fixed check-combo return key handling
    • Fixed extra linefeed in Excel when exporting to csv
    • Fixed colouring of parent tasks which inherit started subtasks
    • Added support to specify character to be used for custom flag attributes
    • Added support to Gantt view for using task colour as background
  • 6.7.1 (17 Jul 2013)
    • Restored dynamic droplist checkbox selection to entire item
    • Fixed upper-casing of Turkish/Azeri languages
    • Fixed 'Time Tracking' stealing focus when filter is active
    • Fixed new text entered in comments appearing as url
    • Fixed task added in list not appearing
  • 6.7 Feature Release (06 Jul 2013)
    • Gantt Chart plugin
    • Task references/aliases
    • Support added for setting/clearing multiple reminders at one time
    • Support added to custom attributes for icon lists
    • Support added for Google Drive, SkyDrive and DropBox
    • Start and Due dates moved to their own droplists on the filter bar
    • Support added to use Stickies for reminders.
    • Support added to cut/paste between separate instances of TDL
    • Fixed bug in CSV importer
    • Added date/time to language file backups
    • Handled clicking custom lists of icons in list view
    • Tweaked filter handling of parent tasks with no matching subtasks
    • Updated default 'YourLanguage.csv' language file
    • Fixed 'Expand Tasks' to expand all tasks and subtasks
    • Fixed problem opening word doc embedded in richtext comments
    • Fixed missing CSV delimiter after Cost attribute
    • Fixed default task tags not appearing in new tasks
    • Fixed custom date filter issue
  • 6.6.7 (03 May 2013)
    • Very important fix for 'malformed xml' on loading
  • 6.6.6 (13 Apr 2013)
    • Fixed problem using AltGr key in rich text comments
    • Fixed problem with auto-restoration of tasklist backups
    • Fixed tasks being removed even if archiving fails
    • Fixed completed tasks not being searched
    • Fixed lower-casing of archive filenames
  • 6.6.5 (29 Mar 2013)
    • Fixed icon bug exporting to tdl
    • Fixed percent done not updating when time spent changes
    • Fixed import of Freemind 'rich content' comments
    • Fixed erroneous reload messages when daylight saving changes
    • Fixed various translation bugs
    • Fixed various HTML export formatting issues
    • Fixed tab order bug in 'Offset Task Dates' dialog
  • 6.6.4 (09 Mar 2013)
    • Fixed input bug with dropped-down category combo
    • Fixed bug formatting file links in HTML
    • Fixed yearly recurring task bug
    • Fixed recurring task date visibility bug
  • 6.6.3 (02 Mar 2013)
    • Remove 'Hide Parent Tasks' from Filter Bar options combo when this duplicates the related preference
    • Replace Gantt message with static text to avoid (annoying) popup
    • Fix Due Date bug introduced in 6.6.2
  • 6.6.2 (23 Feb 2013)
    • Fix incorrectly hidden columns
    • Fix 'Earliest Due Date' not being saved correctly to task file
  • 6.6.1 (19 Feb 2013)
    • Fixed bug with disabled text color option
    • Fixed bug with recurring reminders
    • Fixed 'red ring' around checkboxes with themes turned off
  • 6.6 Feature Release (16 Feb 2013)
    • Added 'Ctrl+Mousewheel' zooming in calendar
    • Turned off bold attribute in calendar fonts
    • Added recurring task support to iCal export
    • Added 'Icon' attribute type to custom attribute setup
    • Added more options to searching by 'Relative' dates, including 'End of Week/Month/Year'.
    • Added 'Alloc to' to 'To' line of email
    • Added checkbox to task selection dialog to allow comments to be selected for 'Visible Columns'
    • Added preference to always hide parent tasks in list-view
    • Added task dependents to info-tip
    • Added ability to copy and paste RTF formatting
    • Added preference to control 'Percent Done' increments
    • Added preference to locate 'Comments' and 'Fields' to left of tasklist
    • Added support recurring reminders for recurring tasks
    • Added checkboxes to allow custom attributes to be disabled in addition to being deleted
    • Added button to allow custom attributes to be imported from another tasklist
    • Added new visual styles for printing: Wrapped, Tabular and Paragraph.
    • Added a preference has been added to calculate a parent task's due date as being the latest of its subtasks' due dates
    • Added preferences to calculate a parent task's start date as being the earliest/latest of its subtasks' start dates
    • Added a button to the custom attribute dialog to allow symbols to be used for column titles
    • Added a button to allow custom attributes to be imported from another tasklist
    • Added support for relative custom dates.
    • Allow 'flag' custom attributes to be settable via clicking the tasklist column
    • Allow searching on all tasks even if in filtered view
    • Improved task caching performance
    • Extended 'Recurrence' dialog to support 'First <weekday> in Month' etc
    • Auto-save preferences have been changed to be entirely user-specified
    • Fixed copy/paste of background colour in RTF control
    • Fixed relative date calculations
    • Fixed reminder dialog to remember its last state
    • Fixed copying simple text comments such that font formatting is no longer copied
    • Fixed task icon dialog to be resizable
    • Saved 'finds' automatically added to filter droplist.
  • 1.1-6.5 (removed by .dan.g.)
  • 1.0 (4 Nov 2003)
    • Initial release.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Eclipse Public License 1.0

About the Authors

Software Developer Maptek
Australia Australia
.dan.g. is a naturalised Australian and has been developing commercial windows software since 1998.
For all his latest freeware visit AbstractSpoon.


United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: TDL Aggregator v0.5 (requires AHK_L) (Merge TDL files, filters by due date) PinmemberTCP_JM19-Apr-12 2:43 
NewsToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.9-Apr-12 2:31 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmemberalexanderino9-Apr-12 9:37 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 PinmemberTCP_JM9-Apr-12 19:54 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.11-Apr-12 0:55 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 PinmemberTCP_JM11-Apr-12 1:18 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.11-Apr-12 1:39 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 --> UPDATED <-- [modified] PinmemberTCP_JM11-Apr-12 3:04 
Hi Dan,
.dan.g. wrote:
could you comment on this thread[^] wrt small displays?
Yes, of course.
Here you are:
You asked the right person since I'm working a lot with a netbook (1024x600).
The "result" at the beginning:
I like the the labels above the editing fields better. It's very easy on the eyes.
Whether it's good on small screens is another story. But I think it is.
The reasons:
Working with a small screen always means to make compromises.
On the one hand you want to have a lot of informations on the screen, on the other hand the informations should be presented in a reasonable size.
An example for that is: the more columns a user wants to have in front of the task name the less he can open the comments field in 'Task tree View'.
I like to see colums, taskname (with only [...]), and the 'comments field at the same time (at least big enough to see important infos).
To have an overview (regarding a project or a parent task and it's subtasks) is always very important but one single person can only work on one single task at the same time.
Therefore it is very important to see all the necessary informations regarding one single task at a glance. And therefore it is very important to have enough space horizontally. The amount of space that is offered vertically is not so important in this regard.
'Position edit field right of tasklist' is more or less not possible on a netbook without loosing an enormous amount of space that the user needs to see important columns, taskname and comments. Makes more sense on bigger screens even on one with "only" 1280x768.
And here it is an advantage that the labels are above the edit fields: it saves space horizontally and a lot of that (!); especially if the user has chosen to see all the editing fields.
Now this leads to the next question: It putting the labels above the edit fields a "a big waste of space vertically" as Robbson wrote?
Let's assume for a moment that Robbson is right. What can be done about it without loosing important space horizontally? Answer: Not much.
There are only two options to solve the vertical "problem" IMHO:
a) Changing the layout of ToDoList a little.
b) Changing the way a user works with ToDoList.
Robbson wrote that the filter bar fields now take "an" additional line. That consumes a lot of space and even more if the filter bar controls need to be shown in two rows on a small screen, because then we have 4 lines (two with labels and two with controls. In addition to a view that doesn't 'maximize tasklist' there is not much left of the tasklist (optically).
Solution 1 (= changing the layout of ToDoList a little):
1. If the editing fields and their labels are shown in more than one row it seems to me that the distance between an editing field in the first row and the label of another editing field in the second row could be reduced. A change here would save useful space vertically. The distance between the label and it's editing field can't be reduced IMO.
2. As I said it's always necessary to make compromises. I do not think that it's necessary to see the filter bar all the time. It's the same with the editing controls ('due date' etc.) It's very easy to 'maximze the tasklist' by using the button or a shortcut. It might help those users who are using the filter bar a lot to implement a button 'filter bar' next to the button 'maximize tasklist' and offer this command in the shortcut prefs too
Solution 2 (The way a user works with ToDoList)
I love to have an overview about what has to be done. I'm getting this overview by filtering the tasklist. I have to admit that I have "automated" the filtering by using Ahutohotkey but still: I do not think that it's necessary to see the 'filter bar' and the 'editing controls' all the time. If the user switches them off if he wants to get an overview there will be enough space vertically to gather the necessary informations. The new filter 'w) Selected tasks + show all subtasks' is very useful here, too.
The editing controls are useful for me when I'm planning, when I'm structuring my work. Not if I'm working to complete my tasks.
I'm using the button/the command 'maximize tasklist all the time. If I work to complete my tasks I like to have an overview what tasks are uncompleted (e.g. filter 'due by tomorrow'). If I want to complete a task I can use the checkbox in front of the tasks title. I do not need the editing controls.

Last but not least: the labels above the edit fields are offering to see more information in e.g. the 'file link field' if I'm enlarging the comments field by using the mouse.


1.) ToDoList offers to see the editing controls 'below tasklist' and 'right of tasklist'. It might be heplful to offer one more view:
'Left of tasklist' would be a real asset. 'Right of tasklist' "disturbes" the workflow a little if the user wants to switch between the taskname and the comments. Editing the comments field happens more often than editing 'due date' etc.
2.) The new filter 'w) Selected tasks + show all subtasks' is really helpful but it's lacking one important thing: It can't be combined with filters like 'due by tomorrow'.

modified 12-Apr-12 3:23am.

GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 --> UPDATED <-- Pinmember.dan.g.11-Apr-12 23:45 
BugToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4: Calendar bug PinmemberTCP_JM9-Apr-12 23:12 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmemberzajchapp10-Apr-12 1:11 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.11-Apr-12 1:35 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.11-Apr-12 18:08 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmemberzajchapp12-Apr-12 1:01 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmemberzajchapp10-Apr-12 1:19 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmemberzajchapp10-Apr-12 1:41 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.11-Apr-12 1:36 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmemberzajchapp15-Apr-12 0:26 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.15-Apr-12 1:51 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 PinmemberJorus HDK10-Apr-12 3:01 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.11-Apr-12 1:36 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmemberrobbson10-Apr-12 15:22 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.11-Apr-12 1:37 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 [modified] Pinmemberlaurentbosc13-Apr-12 10:55 
GeneralRe: ToDoList 6.5 Development Release 4 Pinmember.dan.g.13-Apr-12 16:25 

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