Tree View for the left pane?

Dear Lubos, have you considered fixing the table headers and the left pane and giving the left pane its own scroll bar?

Also, it would be amazing if we have a tree view for the left pane just to keep the list shorter.


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@lubos i would also suggest splitting the tabs and form as separate tables so that they can be scrolled individually.
the reason is if are viewing a very long form and scroll to the bottom, the tabs scroll along with it and switching to another tab requires the user to scroll all the way back up.

also, the header should be frozen in place.

this would allow users to know what the column values represent even when scrolled to the bottom of the page.

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I disagree. The solution does not solve what is for me the biggest design flaw with Manager and that is the scrolling left/right. Manager is the only program that I use where I have to constantly scroll left right.

What I recommend is that when opening a form like a sales invoice for example is that this fills the screen and when you have finished editing the sales invoice you save and close and go back to the main view as it were. This would simultaneously remove the need to scroll left/right or up/down because the problem is that a lot of space is not being used when you are viewing/editing say an invoice. You don’t need back, business, support, users, preferences or any of the menu tabs on the LHS when you are viewing or editing a sales invoice or any other form for that matter.

I have seen a number of posts over the years wanting LHS bar to be minimised, buttons put at top as well as bottom, this post and many other suggestions. But I have always felt that they are addressing the symptom of the problem rather than addressing the underlying structural design view which I believe that my suggestion fixes. A lot of the viewing/editing issues in Manager I believe would disappear if you weren’t forced to view a form within the main program view where a lot of space is taken up with menus and options that are not relevant to viewing/editing a form.

Just my little thoughts on the issue!

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i am sorry but i cannot agree to any of the suggestions provided by you either.

Manager would completely fit inside the screen on all standard monitor sizes for 98% of the available forms unless you have set the monitor display to show fonts at larger sizes than normal. if it still does not fit there is an option to minimize the left navigation pane.
i personally have never found the need to scroll left/right in Manager.

that is only additional work if the user decided to cancel the form midway and navigate to another tab. the present design would simply allow the user to select any tab and the form is automatically cancelled.

the frozen left pane is necessary during up/down scrolling while viewing the transaction list and not viewing any particular document. the transactions list is comparatively longer than viewing an individual transaction.
also, when the left pane is minimized it takes up only around 5% to 6% of the total horizontal width.

true except for the Back button. but these appear on the top and not on the LHS. and i do not think vertical scrolling has ever been a difficulty in Manager.

I think that you are very lucky then. Viewing forms, I don’t have to scroll left/right, but editing most of the forms I do. Maybe it’s because I use different features in the program that you don’t? I can assure you that the constant scrolling left right is a major pain in the ass and was actually the reason for implementing a collapsible LHS menu in the first place. I am not the only one that has complained about this issue as I wasn’t the one that requested the collapsible LHS menu. In short, just because you don’t personally experience a problem doesn’t mean that there isn’t one! Trust me its a problem that has irritated me for years.

Collapsing the LHS menu bar helps but is not sufficient. In every other program that I use with my screen size 1280*1024 I don’t have this scrolling issue.

I hardly think clicking cancel is a huge problem if you decide to cancel the form midway! For me it would be preferable to constant scrolling left/right

Actually it has. One of the posters a few months back wanted buttons at the top so he doesn’t have to keep scrolling down. See post

Again I commented that I felt the problem was the design view of Manager. If the edit view was not in a portion of the screen view, he would not likely have this problem because once again the top headers of the main program take up a lot of space that is not necessary when editing a form thus forcing him to scroll down to see the buttons he wanted.

With your point about the back button, the keyboard back button is far more efficient so there really is nothing on the top menu that is relevant to editing/viewing a form.

Anyway it doesn’t matter what we think as the developer is happy with the current gui design as is and I doubt that your suggestion or mine will be implemented as the gui layout design view has been raised dozens of times in many different posts over the years.

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i can relate to this.
in sales invoices i have three line item custom fields but still i did not find the need to scroll left/right while keeping the navigation pane minimized.
we can agree needs of every individual are different.

my reply was based on your initial comment where you referred to the buttons namely Back, Businesses, Users, Preferences, Support. the topic you referred to in ideas is completely different which relates to the navigation buttons and the various buttons grouped with the batch operations.

again this has nothing to do with the header which includes the Back button which is necessary whether you personally use it or not. what we need is a sub-header accommodating all the buttons suggested in the topic you have referred.

backspace would not work with the cursor fixed inside a form.

i am sure it will happen if not immediately. there are lot more to be added and fixed than just the looks. :slightly_smiling_face:

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@lubos I own an accounting practice and I have worked with tens of accounting and ERP packages ranging from few bucks a month to $300k single fee package and I think you guys have found gold that needs to be polished with your Manager software.

Having said that, It is not the looks that matters, it is the user interaction. You my friends have a pretty solid base for an accounting system and even possibly a full ERP. I don’t know how long you have been in business but I assume not for long, and I still have you ranked higher than most established “ERP” software currently available like Sage, Tally, stupid quickbooks (mind the non-capitalization) and the rest. And though Manager is not a full fledged online ERPs like other budget options such as Ms Dynamics or Odoo, but comparing it to their financial modules you are definitely at par and considering the totality of the package (price, offline access, intuitive design, simplified facilities such as import export and update, data customizability … etc.) you should have them beaten by miles if only the user interaction was slightly more polished.

If I was in your shoes, I know Manager has a solid foundations in accounts, database and functionality; I would work on those things that bugs users the most: navigation, shortcuts and the little chores like having to scroll or use the mouse every so often when its really not needed.

Only then I would work on security/access rights and lastly on Full ERP modules starting with a POS and inventory/purchases coding and tracking, which I am not really concerned with at this point in time. If I may suggest some medium term projects like getting some API from email online apps and have an integrated chat, calendar/scheduler with task assignments.

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I don’t think you’ll ever see 90% of what you are suggesting… you are quite new to the forum. You better read the proposals that have become ideas to understand where manager will get in the future… it will never be an ERP, a POS

How do I find those proposals?

Choose the ideas category at the top of the forum index:


I couldn’t agree with you more. I tried a number of different accounting programs in 2015 when I first started using Manager and in this year, I reviewed whether I should continue to use Manager when it become apparent that Manager not only did not support MTD internally, but also at the time had no ability to export VAT return in a MTD manner despite the developer promising for months that this would be in place and ready in time which it was not.

After reviewing different accounting programs in 2015 and again this year, I fully appreciate how simple Manager is to use, but also how flexible and customisable the program actually is. In addition, I fully agree that the program has been developed with a clear understanding of accounting concepts making it a very well designed program as the logic of the program has been fully thought out. The program is very consistent throughout which makes the program easier to use. It is this focus on consistency and planned integrated accounting concepts which in my opinion makes this program absolute gold. It really is one of the best designed programs (from a logical, modular, well designed data-wise point of view).

A lot of accounting programs are a mess in that features are added adhoc, it’s hard to find things because it’s not well thought out. I also think a lot of them are designed by people who are artistic, not logical - ie it looks pretty, but very difficult to find things in the program. So this is where Manager really shines like a star, but I also think this is ironically Manager’s biggest failing!

The developer is like me. A very logical person who focuses on things like consistency, simplicity, modular designs etc. But I suspect that he is also like me in that I can’t draw a straight line as it were and it shows in the gui design concept of Manager in terms of Layout and placement of buttons, menus etc for a user navigation point of view when viewing on a mobile, ipad, small monitor, large monitor, laptop etc. The gui look is logical but basic (not slick).

While the Gui in and of itself should not be important, the reality is that a slick gui does attract more users and it does sell. Refusing to ackowledge this basic marketing point has never made sense to me, but the developer just doesn’t see it. The same issue with the navigation. Despite dozens of posts over the years complaining about unnecessary scrolling, minimising LHS bars, buttons at the top/bottom, wasted space at the top and many other points raised in posts, there seems to be no interest by the developer in reviewing the layout/gui design to a: address the issues raised in these points (most of which I believe can be solved as described in my earlier post) and b: also to improve the appeal of Manager from a marketing point of view by making the program gui look more aesthetically appealing. Whether he likes it or not, a slick gui design does appeal to the mass market.

Even I (who has no gui design skills) can see that Manager’s gui looks a bit basic and simplistic which does count as a negative against a program regardless of what the developer chooses to believe.

I think that your word - polished - is the word that I am looking for. Manager does not look polished and unfortunately it doesn’t matter how good the program is from an accounting point of view, the gui layout and design and definitely the navigation do matter to prospective new clients. Polish does matter. For me though, the irriration is with the navigation issues as mentioned earlier.

It is my hope that eventually the developer will come round to seeing that Manager’s gui layout design concept does need an overhaul. Some columns are too wide, others are too narrow, scrolling up/down causes a screen refresh problem and has for years and simple screen navigation is unwieldy because of sizing issues causing scrolling left/right etc. I personally feel that the frame within a frame contributes to most of the problems. But there are other ways to solve the issue.

The developer has done a fantastic job with the accounting design concept, I just hope that he will recognise that he is logical and that he needs someone who is artistically minded to help him design a polished interface which addresses navigation issues. It seems such a shame that this is constantly a missed opportunity to address - a blind spot of the developer as it were.

Oh well there is my rant for the day. Fantastic accounting program and I really do love Manager for its consistency, modular design, simplicity and well grounded accounting concepts as well as incredible customisability. Just wish the gui would be given a complete overhaul to address dozens of topics covering the navigational frustrations and to make the program look more polished.

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Efficient use of screen real estate I support. The problem is constant parts of the screen consume screen real estate but also provide a constant path out of all screens, valuable when a novice find themselves where they don’t want to be.

As such I find uniform visibility to Back, support, and business navigation tabs (Summary, Bank Accounts, etc) valuable. I’m less convinced about login buttons (Businesses, Users, preferences buttons), or the real estate dedicated to Business name display (Window title and wide full horizontal area (except backup).

“Polish” ie flashy first impression means almost nothing to me. A clean efficient user interface is much more valuable as users do not “see” the flashy appearance once they have started to use it. Also beauty is in the eye of the beholder so a lot of effort could be wasted producing a prettier but less functional interface.

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I agree. Addressing efficient use of screen real estate is the one that most people want resolved. You are absolutely right, this is the priority. I hear what you are saying about about helping novices get out of a screen as this is a problem in other accounting programs, where you struggle to get back to the homepage. But this can be resolved in other ways.

In principle I agree with you, flash should not matter, but unfortunately it does matter as a lot of prospective new clients want it look “nice”. It shouldn’t be a case of one or the other. We can have both and it will attract more clients.

I also agree with you that what pleases one person another person will not like. True, but Manager does look a little bit too basic and it can be improved without creating a marmite result - you either love it or hate it. Anyway, hopefully the developer reads these posts and might consider overhauling the gui design which I think is from 2013.

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Try to make a mock-up of what you would change and submit to Lubos. I personally like the interface so much. Better than all the other web software I use.

If the developer requests it, I will happily do it. Unfortunately he has expressed no interest in changing the gui despite loads of posts over the years.

I apologize for not being clear in my earlier posts; what I meant by “Polished” is not flashiness since I was referring to user interaction and not graphical design, it is more about smoothing the rough edges of the interactions.

I, like yourself, couldn’t care any less about how it looks as long as I it is fast and effective. My main points are:

  1. The scrolling of the screen does not make sense at all:
  • the page and form headers should be fixed on top, this should include any action buttons, page nav., totals … etc;

  • the navigation pane/buttons to the left should have their own scroll bar (this one is easy, standard html class); and

  • table column headers should be fixed (this is not as easy as the other two)

  1. The layout and order of the left pane should be more logical: there should be a hierarchical structure displayed in tree form, or menu form or whatever just to enable:
  • the grouping of similar items together (i.e. quotes, orders, invoices under “Sales” … etc.); and

  • being able to collapse and expand groups reducing the clutter, eliminating the need for unnecessary scrolling and generally making using the left navigation pain less of a pain.This takes around 15 short lines in html including code (10 min avg. 1 hour max)

  1. Tab index orders; just assign “-1” to whatever is not in the main form (i.e. headers and navigation pane items should be kept out of the tab cycle) and assign “1” the first item in the form and so forth. There are benefits to limiting yourself sometimes, and this is one of those times.

  2. Shortcuts which is a complex one, but at least use for Save [Ctrl+Enter] , Save and New [Ctrl+Shift+Enter] as they seem to work with gmail on every browser on both Linux and Windows (replace Ctrl with command for Mac). For other things you can use built-in browser functions and just make a list of them (e.g. to clear form use refresh page shortcut … etc.)

It’s not much guys

I find it sometime difficult to navigate and no efficient. It always nice to see suggestion get put up to improve the design. Any (at least for me) improvement is good enough.

But when it come to these thing, a mockup of the design (even if it crudely drawn) will help visualize your request and it will capture support quicker that way.

In particularly, I do like some shortcut to be available but from other topic, it seem like “Clone it” seem to be the way-to-go.

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I too want to throw my comments in here. I think it’s a great program, we use it on 3 computers and an iPad. Here is my biggest gripe:

I run a pair of 24” monitors at my desk. I have to scroll left and right to adjust tracking code because it doesn’t fit on the screen.

I just purchased a brand new iPad Pro 12.9 thinking maybe a higher resolution will allow it all to fit. If I want to see the menu I cannot see the tax or tracking code on the iPad which is 2048 pixels wide. If I flip it to landscape then everything fits, but then I have to scroll to fit the check box options at the bottom. I would prefer to use the iPad in portrait mode.

This comment isn’t specifically about iPads, but just general screen resolution. I also use a retina macbook and I have to scroll quite a bit there as well to use the invoice section of the software. Nowhere else on the internet do I have to scroll side to side. I definitely think there is room for improvement on the layout of the system.

Then you just have not been to enough web sites. It is quite common, especially on devices where the common viewing option is portrait.

When you keep adding features, every one takes a little screen space. Eventually, you run out of room. Manager maintains line items on a single horizontal line, because otherwise, the display would be incomprehensible. If you use tax codes, tracking codes, line item custom fields, item codes, and so forth, you are going to need to scroll horizontally at some point, no matter what your monitor is. And with all the capabilities now available for sales invoices, you are almost assuredly going to need to scroll vertically some times.

The same is true in all but the simplest spreadsheets, word processing documents, other databases, airline reservation screens, and so on.

I think there has been enough discussion here to at least warrant putting this into the ideas and letting people vote unless I am missing something.

I make a living online, I visit plenty of websites. Never have I had to scroll left to right on any financial website, any social media site, any e-commerce website where I am placing an order.

Tracking codes, accounts, items, description QTY and tax codes are all features of quickbooks and it doesn’t require a horizontal scroll bar. I think the point here is there definitely is a way to do it. If it means making invoice lines two rows, or changing the navigation panel to designate more of the real estate to the actual tab you are in, I do not know.

I am aware you can shrink the menu.