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Those toolboxes, the little scamps...


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My fix for it is to close those Tools:F5|History:F6|Layers:F7|Colors:F8 windows(toolbars) until they're needed.

For example, if you needed Layers and Colors, but not History or Tools:

Click the "x" in History and Tools upper right-hand corners. (alternate: hit F5 and F6) If Layers and Colors are open, leave alone. If not, hit F7 and F8.

That should at least move them out of your way. Just remember: F5, F6, F7, F8.

ACSound, wondering about transparent drawings on another thread....

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Umm, on a related note, workspace sharing real estate with toolbars and palettes in Paint.net (2.6RC1) is detracting from my experience with the program. (I'm talking more about floating palettes than toolbars, though it would be nice to be able to switch the toolbars between horizontal and vertical orientations--I often use my monitor in "portrait" mode, and some documents are obviously taller than wide.)

I don't think the fix is huge. Personally, I prefer toolbars that crop workspace (you can't paint under them anyway!) to floating palettes, but given that design decision, floating palettes are a problem here because Paint.net does not permit one to scroll off the document proper. (Limited scrolling is not a problem in Paint, for example, because all toolbars and palettes are always clear of the workspace.)

For example, without the ability to scroll into "no man's land", the left edge of a large document (or a small doc at high mag), will never leave the left edge of the workspace, requiring the user to move any floating palettes there to access those pixels. (Then, move them back to access the right edge.) This requires two operations (scrolling doc and dragging palette) where one should suffice (scrolling only). For this reason, I think floating palette implementations ought to include the ability to scroll off the document area.

I think I recently saw unlimited scrolling in a drawing program, maybe OpenOffice Draw. Something to avoid: scrolling away from the document altogether, which can be disorienting. A clever program might stop the document edge from scrolling past the middle of the window.

Besides that, hey, the -LMB panning shortcut is cool--so is the two-way scrolling via -mouse wheel.

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The floating toolbars go all the way back to Paint.NET v1.0. I'm currently tossing around a lot of ideas for improving this, including "collapsing" the Colors window into a bottom-row toolbar.

The Paint.NET Blog: https://blog.getpaint.net/

Donations are always appreciated! https://www.getpaint.net/donate.html

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I didn't mean to be too down on "floaters"--they are, after all, very flexible--but in this case, the ability to scroll beyond the document edge seems important to keep them from getting in the way.

That said, I look forward to your re-think of the color palette. (I'm thinking of MacOS or Painter X, and Alias Sketchbook [or MS Word :)], at extremes of the completeness/simplicity continuum. I'm personally partial to HSL colorspace, because of it's light-dark symmetry, but users are undoubtedly more familiar with RGB and HSV.)

Thanks for all your hard work!

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The "floaters" (or "toolforms") were implemented when one of our primary target platforms was the Tablet PC. The resolution was mostly limited to about 1024x768 or 768x1024 and so we couldn't just clip out half the usable screen area.

The floaters were initially opaque. After doing some simple usability testing ("here, try this ... draw something"), we found that people would not draw in the areas of the canvas that were covered by the floaters. It was like they "forgot" about those areas. I think we got a few test drawings that were fairly intricate but where the four corners were totally blank. So I implemented the transparency effect and *presto* the problem was solved.

Nowadays, Paint.NET is not really targeting the Tablet PC as a primary platform, and so it makes sense to rethink the UI design decisions that were based on that.

The Paint.NET Blog: https://blog.getpaint.net/

Donations are always appreciated! https://www.getpaint.net/donate.html

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Translucent windows--forgot all about that...hey, you can draw under the "toolforms"...but it creeps me out so I'm turning it off again. :P I guess the idea is not to have folks draw under the toolforms but just be aware of the space, right? Hmm, that must be the reason Sketchbook (and KPT, Bryce, etc.) use annoyingly irregular shapes for UI widgets. (A shadow effect might work, too.)

Hmm, just got a crazy idea trying to think of a real-world parallel to floating toolforms: Maybe you could integrate all the tools in a single "super toolform", (expanding tool options? cycle/swap toolforms by keyboard shortcut?) THEN, get the toolform to follow the brush/pencil around the canvas at a respectful distance. (Some kind of flocking behavior: Attraction to brush--aversion to "wet paint", recently painted pixels.) (This is supposed to be like an artist having a brush in one hand and a palette, brush holder, etc. in the other.) Hmm, probably need a modifier key to get the thing to stay put when you want something off it. It would probably drive your users nuts, but it would keep the tools close at hand, and you could whip it out of the way without clicking-dragging anything. (Hehehe, it's now an inertial palette, with friction :) (Don't forget the clickable "anchor", and so on and so forth....)

Well, don't mind me--just brainstorming here. Thanks for sharing some "behind-the-scenes footage"--sounds like a fun project, (in addition to lots of work). Of course, we can tell that from the fine app your team has put together.

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There is only one answer when it comes to menus or floating boxes: Go to your local used computer shop and buy a pci vid card for $15, and a cheap 17" monitor. Windows will help you configuer them after you install the hardware (real easy). Now you have multple monitors with lots of space!

President of the World Wide Web

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