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Just a random thought, and if I wasn't asking the question myself I'd probably down vote it, but... are screenshots the best way to show printer settings, or would a text version be better?

Ok, yes, a screenshot is probably easier to do and post, and will show a familiar UI and be easy on the eye and make it easy to notice errors/improvements.

However, having a (standardised) text format would make it searchable. After all, other sites always say, "please copy and paste the error rather than post a screenshot" - because the text in a screenshot is not searchable.

Yes, it could/would be a pain to enforce this rule (is it possible to easily export printer settings as a file file?) and/or edit the text version of the settings into the post.

This is probably a daft "thought experiment" of an idea... but I thought I'd float it anyway.

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Text would probably be best because it is searchable, so things can be found faster then by just looking at the long list of settings available in any slicer/printer/device available with your own eyes.

However, as far as I'm aware, exporting settings in text format from a slicer/printer is still wishful thinking due to many factors.

I remember a long conversation on the Ultimaker forums a few months ago about this very proposal: being able to export settings in some form, to make it easier for people who are experimenting to follow the various iterations of settings more easily.

Some people asked for text format, csv, odt, etc, but the people of Ultimaker ultimately crushed the hopes of everyone by explaining, in technical terms that I did not completely understood, that it wasn't possible without rebuilding the whole thing from scratch.

Thus why we're stuck with screenshots for the foreseeable future.

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  • $\begingroup$ What does being searchable actually add? Questions and answers are usually not that long to spot certain text when you are on a page, what does it add if it is searchable for the site? E.g. if I would search for combing, you now get some hits, if everyone posts the settings in text you suddenly have many more you need to scroll through. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Nov 8 '18 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ I was more thinking along the line of posting the searchable settings as an attachment to the question, to avoid the very problem you're describing. $\endgroup$ – Sava Nov 8 '18 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I don't understand what you mean with an "attachment to a question" (we cannot add files, we can add links to files, but that is only allowed if the linked file is not essential to the question). If it is in the question body it means it is searchable. Please explain attachment. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Nov 8 '18 at 20:04
  • $\begingroup$ My mistake then, I thought that we could add files or links to files. $\endgroup$ – Sava Nov 8 '18 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ No prob, the problem of the internet is that links die over time, therefore a question or an answer needs to contain all information, a link can be added, but should not be essential for the question, a link to the settings would contain essential information and would therefore not be allowed. Linking to websites is OK as long as you also post a summary. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Nov 8 '18 at 21:28
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The problem with settings is that there are so much settings, if OP's are asked to post certain settings the OP or the one that helps might miss some other parameters that would be visible in a screenshot. I was able to spot a few problems already using the screenshots.

Another thought: "What would you gain by searchable settings?". In case of error messages I am absolutely convinced that you should, but I do not see the advantage for searching/indexing.

What does being searchable actually add? Questions and answers are usually not that long to spot certain text when you are on a page, what does it add if it is searchable for the site? E.g. if I would search for combing, you now get some hits, if everyone posts the settings in text you suddenly have many more you need to scroll through...

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