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Re: Select layer pair


I must admit that I hardly use the hotkeys for direct layer selection. I use
the VIA button a lot.
Of course you should keep layer switching to a minimum But you always have
to start at an outer layer. Now, normally, where you want to go, depends on
what you route (in 4 layer PCB): Signal: Go to Bottom, if needed. GND: Go to
GND, Power: Go to power.

I like keeping my hands where they are. Left index finger on the VIA button,
right hand on the mouse. I don't like searching for the layer hotkeys.
For two layers, everything is great. You're on the wrong layer? Hit the VIA
button and go on. Just switched layer and find out you did something wrong
and want to start all over again? Cancel, hit VIA button to get back to TOP,
start over again. This is very fast. So fast, that I don't care about the
layer toolbar.

Now there's four layers. I found that I often switch the layer pairs,
because I want to work as described above. I still don't often manually
change the layer in the manager because I want to keep this feature of just
hitting the VIA header and getting to the right layer.

But it is tedious. I found myself being reluctant in doing many such pair
changes because it's not done with a click. No big deal, I know, but it's
all soooooo easy, and this dialog just contrasts to it. And it's not very
intuive, as well, I think.

A bit more concrete, what I suggest:

If you have only two layers, nothing changes.
If you have four layers, and the active layer is a copper layer, there is a
very fine, small, discrete little triangle showing the "alternative layer".
If you're on a non-copper layer, there's only the one active layer triangle.
If you select another active copper layer, the alternative layer stays.
If you select the alternative layer as active layer (a.e. left-click on the
small triangle) the active and alternative switch vice-versa.
If you right-click on a copper layer, the alternative layer changes.
If you right click on a non-copper layer, nothing happens.
If you rigth-click on the active layer, maybe this also switches active
<---> alternative or does nothing.

I know, this sounds a bit complicated, but think about it twice. I really
think, this is intuitive and fast. The "select layer pair" dialog is neither
intuitive nor fast, I think.
And it doesn't make it more complicated. Two layer print: Nothing changes.
Four layer print: I would bet some money that the main reaction would be:
"What's this second triangle?" ...... try a bit .... and then "That's cool!

Don't you think?

About the redesign of the toolbar: I haven't heard of (I'm a freshman here).
I'll have a look at it. But I think, this would be a small thing and very

-----Ursprünliche Nachricht----- From: Lorenzo Marcantonio
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 1:07 PM
To: Kicad Developers
Subject: Re: [Kicad-developers] Select layer pair

On Wed, May 01, 2013 at 12:59:39PM +0200, Simon Huwyler wrote:
I would suggest, for example, to have another indicator at the layer
managment toolbar. Maybe another blue triangle like the one that indicates
the active layer? Maybe one that is just outlined? And right-clicking on
where you have to left-click to select the active layer selects the
“alternative” layer.

I find that the 'best' layer selectors are the hot keys. However the
layer pair is most useful with the Via key. I think that another
indicator in the layer bar would be confusing unless really clear.
Probably it would be better an hotkey to pop up the pair selector:P

However it mostly depends on your tracking style (and how your layers
are organized). I often try to keep layer transitions to a minimum (for
obvious reasons) and try to keep the same kind of signal on the same
layer (this mostly apply for more than 4 layers, of course).

A 'different click' to choose the secondary layer could be handy but
I personally don't feel is missing. It could be added to the layer bar
reworking proposed a while ago (if somebody actually want to do it)

Lorenzo Marcantonio
Logos Srl

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