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feature request: Merge Layer Down would ignore hidden layers

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Would it be possible to have an option when merging layers down, hidden layers wouldn't merge? Now it's not What You See Is What You Get and hidden layers must be deleted before flattening the pile. Basically the functionality would be that when only one of the merging layers was invisible, the invisible one would be removed. If both were the same, then they would merge like now.

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If you want to merge all layers down and exclude the contents of hidden layers then you can:

1. Use 'Image | Flatten' (shortcut Ctrl+Shift+F) to flatten the current image.


2. Use 'Edit | Copy Merged' (shortcut Ctrl+Shift+C) and then 'Edit | Paste into New Image' (shortcut Ctrl+Alt+V) to create a new flattened image without touching your original layered image.

Because I always do 2 (Ctrl+Shift+C then Ctrl+Alt+V), I was unaware that Merge Layer Down does not respect the layer visibility, so as you say, the result is not What You See Is What You Get. This feels to me like a bug (or at least a mis-feature) but I can also see that one could make an argument for merging content regardless of visibility, even though I think it's wrong.

UPDATE: I think it is a bug that visibility is being ignored when merging down.

The Documentation at https://www.getpaint.net/doc/latest/WorkingWithLayers.html says:

IMO, Merging Down (like Image Flatten and Copy Merged) would be regarded by most people as equivalent to "assembling the composite image", so should exclude layers that have been deliberately set by the user as not-visible.


Edited by Tactilis
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8 minutes ago, Rick Brewster said:

It is not a bug, this is how it is designed to operate.

Understood. Thanks.

Perhaps slightly confusing as the OP found, in terms of not being WYSIWYG, but they now know the alternative commands they can use.

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38 minutes ago, Rick Brewster said:

For the Layers window, this is definitely WYSIWYG.

Got it now!  The 'Merge Layer Down' action should be thought of as acting specifically on the Layers window. 
The composite image on the canvas is then produced in the normal manner based on the updated state of the layers, taking into account layer visibility.

I will now think of Copy Merged as not 'merging' the layers (my previous mental model) - but as simply taking a copy the composite image that is visible in the canvas.


Edited by Tactilis
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