Semantic zooming in the file browser

The file browser illustrates what we call 'semantic zooming' - objects can render themselves differently when viewed at different sizes. So when a file is very small, it is shown only as a rectangle. A little larger and the label appears. Larger still and the contents are visible.

Through semantic zooming, many of the mode switches required in traditional windowing systems can be removed. The user does not have to double click on a file icon to switch into a mode where its contents are visible - instead they learn and reuse the simple principal that, to see more detail, you look more closely.

Lets move on to the third application in Pad++...

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