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Re: Layers visibility [1 Attachment]


Gabriele Oberhammer wrote:
Dear Kicad developers,

I wish to suggest a little change in the way layers visibility is managed.
I've already done some work, which you can see in the attached screenshoot.
Basically, this is what I propose:

- create a new right vertical toolbar (called LayersToolbar or whatever makes sense) to
make layers visible/invisible directly (instead of doing Preferences->Color and

- change the 'Colors and Visibility' dialog so checking/unchecking layers will chose which
layer visibilities are managed by the LayersToolbar.

- add a new tool on the left toolbar to show/hide the LayerToolbar

Obviously the proposed LayersToolbar could be extended to manage the layers 'Tech' and
'Others' and/or display a little square near the layer name painted in the layer color.

The bar will at most display 16 buttons, so it should fit for every resolution.
If not, it will be simple to display fewer buttons and a 'Next' button on the bottom which
will show the remaining layers.

I think this approach could be useful when you want to quickly hide a layer to better read a label which is overlapped with another (see cpu pin WR-132 / CLK 10 MHz in the screenshoot).
It could also give some benefits to new users because a recurring question
in the user-list is how to hide/show layers.

Do you think this change is a good idea or not?
I'll wait replays and comments before going on on e dead-end :-)

Best regards, Gabriele.

It is a start of some brainstorming that should be done. During brainstorming, it is important to not be critical until a number of ideas have been proposed.

Another idea is to simply make the color dialog, almost as is, modeless. I have a dual monitor system, and it would be no problem to park that dialog on the 2nd monitor and leave it there while I work on the other.

I also want to see the UI allow naming of the layers. The board format supports this now, but there is no way to rename layers within PCBNEW, you have to use a text editor on the board file. So with this goal in mind, it would be wise to find a way to dove tail in the layer name editing into any layer UI enhancements.

I hate the default layer names, and I do not like the order of the layers as they are displayed in the combobox. So while brainstorming, we should be asking if we want so many places to manage layers. One for color and visibility, one for layer selection, and now a potential third place. And the third place would require visiting the first place to decorate the toolbar.

So in addition to my mode-less dialog suggestion, let me suggest a completely different alternative to expand the list of options while brainstorming. That is a single cohesive dialog that lets you

1) select (make current), 2) colorize, 3) make visible (enable/disable) , and 4) rename layers. This to me would be worth some screen real estate.


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