I regularly use Planner, side-by-side with CCDNavigator, to build an evening’s observing plan. (Typical are 160 (in a row) 90-sec images of variable stars of all sorts.) I can get 3 or 4 different targets in single evening, in about 11 hours of observing.
Since you are contemplating updating Planner (Forrest Sims’ recent posting), would you consider modifying the interface in Planner for the Deep sky catalog lookup? It’s cumbersome to have to click on the “Deep sky catalog lookup” bullet, then hit “search names”, then enter the name and hit search again. Would it be possible just to enter the name in the “Add Target to Plan” window’s “Target Name” box and then select “Deep sky catalog lookup” button and hit OK, without having to go through the second search/selection window? This is how the two selectors below Deep Sky work. Alternatively, could you at least convey the Target Name entry into the name box in the Search Deep Sky Catalog window?
Is there a compelling reason for including a “starts with” function in the search? “Starts with” is a special case of “Contains” anyway. Just asking!