1 (edited by PenPusher 2016-06-11 11:12:02)

Topic: Problems with User Interface

Great software.  big_smile I only wish it were better suited for modern high-res screens.

  • The tiny icons are cramped into the top left corner, while wasting miles of empty space on a wide screen.

  • The status bar is doing fine, it scales along nicely with Windows high-dpi settings, but for some reason none of the other fonts, not the menu  - and alas, not the object tree - won't scale their fonts or allow larger fonts via options.

The layer stack also gives me a hard time. It doesn't follow the "usual" sequence of Photoshop and Co where the stack represents the actual, visual layering. Seems like DD wedges the "top" layer #3 between the bottom (global stencil) and the rest.
Again and again, I find myself searching for the right layer to edit a certain shape. Maybe I am still missing out on something?

  • How do I know where a shape lives? Other than toggling Preview Mode (a shortcut would be nice) and clicking through the layers to spot objects popping up. A tooltip on mouse-hover over objects would be nice.

  • Is there a way to isolate the content of layer 2 and 1 without seeing the other layers as well?


Re: Problems with User Interface

Try to open the Properties dialog of the DD shortcut or executable and go to the Compatibility tab. Here you can check Disable scaling on high DPI settings. This might give larger icons on a high res screen in the latest versions of Windows (8.1/10). I'm not using DD on a high-res monitor myself so it is not something I have focused much on.

Layer 1 is always on top of the global stencil layer, layer 2 is always on top of layer 1 and so on. When one layer is active you always see the layers below, but not the ones above. So when showing layer 2 you cannot avoid seeing layer 1.

Michael Vinther

> software developer <

3 (edited by PenPusher 2016-06-13 5:29:36)

Re: Problems with User Interface

Thanks. Toggling the scaling for high DPI makes no difference, though.
Actually, even on a regular notebook screen (17" with 1600 x 900) the TB-buttons are tiny compared to other apps.

As you can see on the screenshot, the statusbar and also the layer/page popups follow the standard size of all other apps. But not the menu and sidebar. They seem to be independent in DD and don't care about Windows settings. Which wouldn't really matter, if DD had an option to set the font size for the sidebar and menu.

Layer 1 is always on top of the global stencil layer, layer 2 is always on top of layer 1 and so on.

Yes, I understand. And the help file illustrates it nicely. But the layer tabs and layer popup in the lower right corner don't match the help file, their sequence does NOT reflect 3 on top of 2 on top of 1 on top of stencil.

If 3 is on top - as the help file correclty mentions - this is not obvious in the interface. DD does indeed follow the usual sequence  (higher layer # also higher in the stack) - but the interface requires you to continuously re-think where to click.

If I read you correctly, there is no way to quickly isolate the content of a layer? Any plans for that? Say, you Ctrl-click on Layer 2 and if it is empty, the screen is empty, too. This would make it easier to hunt for shapes.



Re: Problems with User Interface

I agree the the order the layers are displayed in is a bit misleading, so I will change that. Finding a shape has never been an issue for me so I have no plans to make it possible to display a single layer alone.

Michael Vinther

> software developer <


Re: Problems with User Interface

> Is there a way to isolate the content of layer 2 and 1 without seeing the other layers as well?

The global stencil is always visible but there is another trick using Insert inherited layer (Edit menu).
You can use page 1-3 as a layer and use page 4 or more to show the combinations of page 1-3 layers.
It's a bit more complicated but it can add/show (page)layers as you like.

6 (edited by PenPusher 2016-06-26 17:24:05)

Re: Problems with User Interface

Fred wrote:

You can use page 1-3 as a layer .....

Thanks. Creative approach. But just like you indicated, it further complicates matters. Juggling so many tabs, you'd have to stick to a naming scheme - like PageA-Layer2, PageB-Layer2 etc, to tell apart "real" pages from "Edit-Helper"-pages.

mv wrote:

I agree the the order the layers are displayed in is a bit misleading, so I will change that.

Great. This alone will make things a lot easier when building up the view from bottom to top. A shortcut to PreviewMode would help to.

We're still researching alternatives. Off topic: Does anyone know of similar programs - free or commercial - to QUICKLY draw the most basic of objects. Nothing fancy, all we need are circles and boxes. Solid and dotted. 2 requirements only: support of layers + portable (running from stick). Not Java-based, if possible.


Re: Problems with User Interface

Off topic:
In the past I used Visual Thought, still a nice program but the free license expired some time ago I think.
I have tried several programs in the past but I only need something simple, not with a lot of functions that I forget where they are smile
Some of the programs I tried are CadStd, LibreCad, Draw (LibreOffice/Java), Inkscape, Dia, Dynamic Draw.
All good programs with different uses for different users.
There will be many more programs if you look on the internet smile


Re: Problems with User Interface

Thank you, Fred,

great recommendations, highly appreciated.

Dynamic Draw looks very promising after test-driving it for a few days. We tried getting in touch with the Japenese developer, but no response so far. We're not comfortable using freeware in corporate environments unless we have come to financial terms with the developer.

Wouldn't mind a commercial product, either, but none of the big shots on the market was willing to provide a portable version.

DynamicDraw didn't seem to fit the bill at first glance. Its latest version is outdated, and we had qualms about running it on our high DPI screens. But to our suprise, the interface stays very operable, icons large enough, menu dropdowns adhere to Windows scaling. No issues so far.

Custom key shortcuts, optional template selection upon startup, etc etc -

Many thanks for your feedback.  smile  smile  smile