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Menus, Toolbars, Clicks and efficiency

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Menus, Toolbars, Clicks and efficiency

rappel
Before anything else.
Thank you for creating and maintaining this program and making it freely available for those that need but can't pay much.

Brief background to my comments:
Not used CAD for years. Little requirement and got by in the interim with sized sketches in Visio and/or paper and pencil. Next couple of years I have a need, so last week with some time spare, I finally got round to learning with an early V2 version and put in quite a few hours trying to become proficient in the basics. Found the interface had a logic, wasn't completely to my taste but got used to it. Found the current version and upgraded. Lost my toolbar layouts!! Things have changed a bit. I suspect when I get into it, mainly for the better but as most people I find change in interface causes confusion, especially when the rationale is not understood. What follows therefore is comment on the changes and suggestions for further improvements. Appreciate that everyone will work differently and some of these may be viewed as too specific. That's life and I'm grateful that I have the tool at all, but if you don't ask...

NB. If it already exists and I'm just not clever enough to have found the way, please enlighten me.

Comments:
The primary toolbar being combined with menus for selection of sub function.
+ easier to read than tooltips
+ Simpler to use when learning
- No tooltips, so until you know what the top level menu icons are you have to go to the text tool menu to find out.
-- for complex drawings where you are doing multiple lines, circles ... (e.g. when creating basic construction layers) and particularly when modifying it's more clicks and less efficient.

!! How about the following, which allows both the menu and the more traditional graphical pick approach, thus giving the benefits of both:
Create a secondary toolbar (content similar to what used to be the second level) and make it's content context sensitive to the operation that's selected from the primary tools toolbar. A user can use or not and simply pick the lower level command from the second toolbar if they prefer graphical picks / speed.

Toolbar docking/positioning.
+ Love this anyway. It allows me to maximise the screen area that is important to me.
+ This seems to be much more logical and coherent than before, although I don't understand the use of some of the toolbars yet.
- There's no obvious way of knowing which toolbars are which apart from turning them on and off and looking to see what disappears and appears.

Toolbar docking Set
??Is there a way to save a toolbar docking set, i.e. what's visible and where it's docked? I will create both landscape and portrait docs and it would be great to set up 2,3 maybe more sets of toolbars layouts so that I can quickly switch.
!! Create docked toolbar layout save/load function

Main Menu
Caveat - My primary user OS is Windows but I do use others. However at this level I think most apps are fairly consistent across OS'es.

-- Separate options menu. Most folk know to go to File options/prefs, Edit options/prefs or in certain specific use cases Tools options/prefs. It's weird and inconsistent like this.
--Drawings instead of Windows. I kind of get where you are coming from, but again, this is a pretty long in the tooth standard and when people think how do I make these tabbed windows, they would look for the window menu, not the drawing menu.

?? Ordering is very much preference, but as your tools menu is drawing tools, not add on tools, utility functions etc. then I would put it after edit. Plugins and Widgets I don't know enough about, but if these are as the name suggests utilities and add-ons, then these are more aligned to interface than core function. so...
!! Set main menu to File, Edit, Tools, View, Plugins, Widgets, Windows, Help
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Re: Menus, Toolbars, Clicks and efficiency

ravas
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- No tooltips, so until you know what the top level menu icons are you have to go to the text tool menu to find out.

I never thought about that, and it was never suggested in the testing phase.

-- for complex drawings where you are doing multiple lines, circles ... (e.g. when creating basic construction layers) and particularly when modifying it's more clicks and less efficient.

The categories toolbar (in my mind) is for tools we don't use often.
The primary aspect of the update is the custom toolbar / menu system.
With custom menus you don't even need to leave the drawing area.
https://github.com/LibreCAD/LibreCAD/wiki/Widgets

!! Create docked toolbar layout save/load function

I considered doing this... but couldn't find the motivation.

Caveat - My primary user OS is Windows but I do use others. However at this level I think most apps are fairly consistent across OS'es.
-- Separate options menu. Most folk know to go to File options/prefs, Edit options/prefs or in certain specific use cases Tools options/prefs. It's weird and inconsistent like this.


I disagree. It's not consistent among other programs, as you actually point out...
is it in File? is it in Edit? is it called Preferences? is it called Options? is it called Settings?
You can't miss the top level Options menu.

--Drawings instead of Windows. I kind of get where you are coming from, but again, this is a pretty long in the tooth standard and when people think how do I make these tabbed windows, they would look for the window menu, not the drawing menu.

It was actually "Window" (singular) which bothered me.
I thought Drawings was more specific.
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Re: Menus, Toolbars, Clicks and efficiency

rappel
ravas wrote
- No tooltips, so until you know what the top level menu icons are you have to go to the text tool menu to find out.

I never thought about that, and it was never suggested in the testing phase.
Guess, it's just I am a newcomer. After a while the icons will be known anyway, so it's only an issue during early use.

ravas wrote
-- for complex drawings where you are doing multiple lines, circles ... (e.g. when creating basic construction layers) and particularly when modifying it's more clicks and less efficient.

The categories toolbar (in my mind) is for tools we don't use often.
The primary aspect of the update is the custom toolbar / menu system.
With custom menus you don't even need to leave the drawing area.
https://github.com/LibreCAD/LibreCAD/wiki/Widgets

!! Create docked toolbar layout save/load function

I considered doing this... but couldn't find the motivation.
Hadn't spotted these. Been and had a quick play. Custom toolbars is slightly odd, in that they appear but you can't hide/view them as you can built ins.  That said, If I wanted to generate the second level toolbars, I could do it this way and it would be close. - If you had a load of them it would be like back in the 80's where you had loads of picks on the digitising tablet (Think Pr1me Medusa or even CADDS). Yes, sad to say, I've been around IT that long.

The custom menus shows a lot more promise for me tho'. While it doesn't reduce the no of clicks per se. it feels a lot more natural and it's speedier because as you say it is in situ. I really like this and for the commands I'll use a lot I can construct something appropriate.
If that's your way forward I guess that the challenge is how to add more so that you can get to them with one command (and how many do people really need).
Submenus would be one way, but not that efficient I think as it's actually two selections.
k/b mouse combo is the way you're currently using.
I guess mouse buttons is another either
purely top of mouse buttons
e.g. middle button (a lot of mouse drivers can be made to simulate this with left//right together or click of the scroll wheel), right double click (if that can be trapped) etc.
or side buttons if they can be distinguished from k/b keys.
How many - I can see use for 2, possibly 3 but more would probably just become confusing anyway.


So thank you for coming back to me swiftly and custom menus will work for me.


re. main menu stuff, just my ten-pennth view. I can learn something new like that as it's infrequently used and doesn't affect the detail functions. At least it's not an Office Ribbon
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Re: Menus, Toolbars, Clicks and efficiency

ravas
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This post was updated on .
The custom toolbars can be shown/hidden after you restart the application.

In case you didn't notice, if right-click isn't assigned to a custom menu,
then it is a tool history menu (commands will not be added).

Also there is the left dock area, but that's probably too much space for you.
Application Preferences has 'Enable CAD dockwidgets'
if you won't use those and prefer to use that dock area for any of the other dockwidgets.
You can also uncheck 'Enable CAD toolbars' (line, circle, etc) if you won't use them.
That cleans up the visibility menus.

If you can remember two character commands,
'Keycode mode' automatically accepts them (Enter is not required).

If you really want a "workspace" feature (saving/loading layouts),
then I recommend describing exactly how you imagine it,
and create an issue https://github.com/LibreCAD/LibreCAD/issues


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