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Default layer names can get... confusing


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A new image defaults to a layer named Background.

Create a new layer, it is called Layer 2.

Create a new layer, it is called Layer 3.

Delete Layer 2 leaving Background and Layer 3

Create a new layer, it is called Layer 3.

We now have Background, Layer 3, and Layer 3.

It would appear that the new layer creation code is counting the layers and labeling the new one accordingly, which does not take into account layer names.

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This is not a bug. Therefore, it does not belong in "Bugs & Troubleshooting."

I guess I could just name all new layers "New Layer". But that would be more confusing. There will always be some confusing naming no matter what scheme you use.

Moved

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it could pop up a 'choose name' dialog upon creation of a new layer, with the default name of "Layer 3" (4,5, 712, whatever). If people don't want to use the feature they can press enter to keep the default, but it will encourage people to use named layers, which imo is good practice.

maybe it's the sort of behaviour that should be tickbox enableable in an options screen.

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Couldn't you use a sequential numbering system instead of just counting layers?

That way if the last new layer created was "Layer 3" then the next will be "Layer 4" even if you already deleted "Layer 3"...

And then you'd wonder why the 4th layer was suddenly created with the name "Layer 382". Like I said, it's going to be perceived as confusing no matter what.

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why not have a dictionary and have pdn choose a random layer name, like this:

"Layer Apple"

"Layer Fish"

"Layer Hairbrush"

Best. Idea. Ever.

Seriously.

No. Way. I've just seen Bob. And... *poof!*—just like that—he disappears into the mist again. ~Helio

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Does anyone know off hand how other applications that handle layers, label their new layers?

I'll look at Photoshop later tonight.

I believe Photoshop actually pops up a modal dialog asking you for the new name, and the default is "New Layer" or something. I'm not a big fan of modal dialogs for this type of action.

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I like the way The GIMP handles it. By default, clicking on the New Layer button creates a new layer named "New Layer #x" where x is the lowest unused number. So, if you had:

New Layer #4

New Layer #3

New Layer #2

New Layer #1

Background

,deleted New Layer #2, then added a new layer, you'd get another New Layer #2. (Again, though, this could be conceived as confusing.)

The GIMP also allows for a dialog in which you can set the Layer's name, dimensions (wouldn't be necessary in PDN due to all layers being the same size), and fill options (Foreground color, Background color, White, Transparent). To get this, hold [Ctrl] and click the the New Layer button.

Really, I don't think there is a perfect solution, but I do know that having two layers with the same name is disorienting. Perhaps if a layer name is used already, the new layer name would skip to the next number?

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While were on the subject, I think it would be nice if when you duplicate a layer, the name would add a number to it.

Example:

Shadow effect layer

*Duplicate layer*

Shadow effect layer (1)

Shadow effect layer (2)

Or better yet, the number in parentheses can be underlined or in red.

EDIT:

idea.gif

Just a few examples

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Adding rich text formatting to layer names? "Layer 2 (1)" and "Layer 2 (2)" ? I'm going to be brutally honest here and say that I seriously hope you're joking because that's the worst idea I've ever heard. And I've heard a lot of bad ideas! You're solving the wrong problem man. Please read this blog post for some guidance: http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/The_Com ... loves.aspx (you'll have to copy-paste the URL because it isn't linking right w/ phpBB)

But I will leave you with this bit of advice: the next time you find yourself designing software, be wary of The Complicators; take a good, hard look at your first revision and just say to yourself, "gloves."

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(Article summary: Some engineers went off on some huge long design discussion to figure out how to make heated handlebars for their bikes that they ride to work. Because one guy's hands were cold :cry: Then one guy came onto the e-mail discussion and said, "Umm, duh ... just use gloves." And that was the end of that.)

In any event, what CMD mentions from GIMP and what jeradc mention from Photoshop do appear to be better implementations. In the end though, is it really even worth it? Is it that much of a problem? Or does this thread keep going just because it's giving you guys something creative to vent into :)

In other unrelated news I just got back to my desk to find somebody has placed a mini Butterfinger on my keyboard. :?:

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Is it that much of a problem?

No.

d'oh, I hoped no-one had seen my post so I could safely request an equally trivial feature in another thread. ah well.. :)

EDIT: weirdness. I posted (and removed) a comment with basically the same gist. Damn, I could have got away with it!

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Adding rich text formatting to layer names? "Layer 2 (1)" and "Layer 2 (2)" ? I'm going to be brutally honest here and say that I seriously hope you're joking because that's the worst idea I've ever heard. And I've heard a lot of bad ideas! You're solving the wrong problem man. Please read this blog post for some guidance: http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/The_Com ... loves.aspx (you'll have to copy-paste the URL because it isn't linking right w/ phpBB)

Well I'm only suggesting it because Microsoft does it with copying files and folders. And I know you've heard worse ideas from me before :P

"The greatest thing about the Internet is that you can write anything you want and give it a false source." ~Ezra Pound

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The only thing I find irritating is that PdN will make new layers with the same names as other layers.

If that could be avoided I'd be happy.

I find that I usually don't look at the layer names too much unless I'm working on a difficult piece. And, in that case, I usually name my layers myself anyway.

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