11 Replies Latest reply on May 4, 2016 8:09 AM by Jack Ulstad

    lock down toolbars

    James Holland

      I've been using SW since the 90's. In all that time the most prevalent issue I am still having is the custom placement of toolbars I manually open and locate them in the workspace margins but they will not stay put.

      If I switch windows, or to another program, then come back to the original SW window where I had the toolbars fixed they way I wanted them, they are back spread across multiple margin rows.

       

      The only solution I have ever got from my support people is to essentially reset the settings by hacking the register and renaming the key for SW. This will write a new key for SW settings. But that isn't all; I can't import my saved settings, that would be too easy. I have to remember all the minute settings I customized over the years, and manually change them back to the way I like.

       

      That runs over the course of a day because I certainly can't remember dozens of tweaks off the cuff.

       

      To SW code writers; Guys, will you please fix this once and for all. This is extremely irritating. I customize my GUI so that what I need to use is where I last put it. It serves no purpose at all if they constantly move all over the place. This is like going into a mechanics toolbox and moving his tools around to different drawers.

       

      J Holland

        • Re: lock down toolbars
          Jim Wilkinson

          Hi James.

           

          This is not a general problem that we are aware of so may have something to do with a certain workflow or setup that you are using. Can you reproduce it consistently with a certain sequence or steps? Is it random? Are you using any third party add-ins that have toolbars? The problem is, if we don't know what is causing it, we can't fix it because we don't even know where to start.

           

          I assume you are using SOLIDWORKS 2015 from your profile. We did make some changes in SOLIDWORKS 2016 that makes it MUCH harder to inadvertently move the toolbars or CommandManager (they will not move by double click and you have to drag from certain handles). We also provided an option to lock them so you can't even move them by dragging from the handles. But, all of those changes are related to the toolbars inadvertently moving when you are using the interface itself.

           

          If you are seeing problems when switching to another window and back, we would need more details on how exactly you are doing the sequence that causes this to happen. If it is easily reproducible, please post a picture of what the SOLIDWORKS application looks like before, then the list of exact steps that cause the problem and then what it looks like afterwards. If it is not easily reproducible, at least post a picture of what it looks like before it happens so we can understand the layout, and then when it happens again, post a picture of what it looks like afterwards. And then give any kind of information about what you did just before it happened. It is important to say exactly how you are switching applications because that may be the key. Are you using Alt-Tab with the keyboard only, are you using it with the keyboard and then picking the application with your mouse. Are you doing something else like minimizing SOLIDWORKS through the Minimize button in the upper left or some other method. If this is still happening to you, especially in SOLIDWORKS 2016, I would guess it is some sequence that is causing it, or some specific approach you are using that others are not, otherwise we would be getting lots of complaints about it.

           

          Thanks,

          Jim

            • Re: lock down toolbars
              James Holland

              Hi Jim and thanks for such a fast answer.

               

              The last time I reported the problem to our software support, I wound up having to do what I described above. That was about 2 yrs ago. This started happening again after updating to 2015 version and I got the same answer from them.

               

              So I said no thanks, and just lived with it.

               

              From what you are saying this is particular to me and my coworker (two different pc's), so it isn't just mine. But apparently something we do causes it and no other users have reported it in the forum. How typical for me.

               

              Since you state 2016 has some added enhancements directly related to this, especially a manual lock for toolbars, I am very interested in doing the update. But I usually wait for SP 1 to be released, and never install the virgin update for the coming year. I will check and see where this stands. If SP 1 is out, I will do the update and hopefully this can be resolved for me.

               

              Glad I posted this. My support has not followed up on my last event and told me what you have said.

               

              Thanks Jim.

               

              Jh

                • Re: lock down toolbars
                  Jim Wilkinson

                  Hi James,

                   

                  In SOLIDWORKS 2016, we have fixed the cases of interacting with the toolbars which could inadvertently cause them to move/detach like double clicking on the background, double clicking on a button in some cases, dragging on the toolbar background area by mistake, etc. Some of these things would just happen if the user was trying to single click and their mouse has some issues so it gets a double click, or the user clicked and moved their mouse fast without letting up on the button so it got a drag event. These changes, and even the option to lock the toolbars may not fix your problem because it sounds like your problem is relating to switching to another application and back.

                   

                  The one problem that we are aware of that still exists that may relate to your complaints about toolbars moving is SPR#565227. This problem has two different behaviors relating to moving toolbars, both relating to having toolbars spread out in the docking area. The behaviors are:

                  1. If you manually resize the SOLIDWORKS window to be smaller by dragging, the toolbars will push together eliminating the space between them. If you resize the window to be bigger, the toolbars will stay pushed together and the space will not appear between them.
                  2. If you minimize SOLIDWORKS or use the "show desktop" option in Windows which also minimizes the SOLIDWORKS application, all of the space between the toolbars on each row will be eliminate (all toolbars in one row on the top or bottom will be moved to the left against one another and all toolbars in one column on the left or right will be pushed to the top against one another).

                  I didn't think this would be your issue because you specifically said they come back spread across multiple rows. We had that problem LONG ago (10 years or more) before we added the ability for toolbars to become truncated with the chevron to access truncated commands. Back then, if the row got too short to fit the toolbars, it would push them down a row and they wouldn't go back to the original row when you resized the window. And if you used minimize, each toolbar would go on its own row. But again, that problem was solved long ago. So, if you are still having toolbars jumping rows/columns, I am VERY interested in at least seeing a screenshot of your layout because just knowing what toolbars you have where may help troubleshoot it.

                   

                  Thanks,

                  Jim

                    • Re: lock down toolbars
                      James Holland

                      Hmm. I have already begun the 2016 SP 1 update. So I can't make a screen shot. Sorry.

                       

                      I keep the GUI full screen. When I need to I use the window menu of SW to switch between other SW panels I have open. Just moving between SW panels does this.

                      Another thing I do is minimize the SW window so I can see my desktop and open something else. Sometimes I don't and just open the new app or window I need that is already running from the task bar.

                      So it sounds like any of these transitions may be contributing to it, although no exclusively.

                      What really got me was switching from one SW panel to another, such as a part file then to a Drawing file for it.

                      As long as the "lock" toolbars works, I am good. I looked for that first thing when I installed version 2015 in the customize screens, and did not see it.

                      If the problem persists after I have installed the update, and I use the controls to lock the toolbars, I will resume the topic.

                      Thanks again.

                       

                      jh

                        • Re: lock down toolbars
                          Jim Wilkinson

                          Hi James,

                           

                          I don't have hopes that the locking is going to do much for you because again, the intent of that functionality is to stop you from inadvertently moving a toolbar by mistake. If the software is moving it due to some sequence, the locking isn't going to make a difference.

                           

                          Now that you say it is happening switching between document types, I wonder if you are attempting to have the same toolbar in a different location between document types. That is not possible. You can only make a toolbar visible or hidden between the different document types. If you change the position of a toolbar in one document type, when you switch to the other document type, it will be in that same position on the other document type. If there is a toolbar already visible in the other document type in the same position, then one or the other toolbar is going to be pushed to make room for the other toolbar. Perhaps this relates to the behavior you are seeing?

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Jim

                            • Re: lock down toolbars
                              James Holland

                              Oh contraire my friend. My problem seems to be solved, jeez its about time.

                               

                              I opened 4 applications, different programs, after I opened 3 files in SW.

                               

                              Switching between any of them my bars stay put. That lock works.

                               

                              Thank all of you for your assistance.

                               

                              If this recurs over time, I will return to the topic. Could be degradation in the registry after months of use can bring this about. We will see.

                               

                              That's a bland color scheme though. Will be looking into a different color scheme for sure.

                               

                              J Holland (cadman013)

                                • Re: lock down toolbars
                                  Jim Wilkinson

                                  Strange. Maybe it is something in the registry as I wouldn't expect any of the code changes we made to fix what you are talking about. Try running it without the lock option on also since that doesn't do anything but lock the dragging/moving interface (it doesn't change anything about how the software may move the toolbars).

                                   

                                  On the color scheme, there are three different background brightnesses available (light which is default, medium, and dark) so you may want to try the others out. We are also going to be introducing a choice of icons, targeted for SOLIDWORKS 2016 SP03, so you can choose between what you are seeing now and ones that are similar in color to SOLIDWORKS 2015 and previous.

                                   

                                  Can you still post screenshots of how you have the toolbars laid out in parts, assemblies, and drawings? It may give me a clue as to what to look at to see if there may still be a problem lurking.

                                   

                                  Thanks,

                                  Jim

                                    • Re: lock down toolbars
                                      James Holland

                                      Here you go.

                                       

                                      I gotta tell you, SW 2016 is working sweet Jim. All the little bugs I dealt with before are gone. Could be just because its a fresh install.

                                       

                                      But I am really pleased with it right now.

                                       

                                      What you see below is as close as I can get it for the moment. But locked down they have not moved one bit.

                                       

                                      Used to be, when I had SW minimized doing something else and I was ready to switch back to SW, I moused over the icon in the taskbar. Then had to mouse on the preview window image that popped up and hold the mouse on it until it appeared on my desktop screen.

                                       

                                      If I just clicked the taskbar icon, there was a fast flash, and it remained minimized. Now, I can click the taskbar icon and the full screen window restores just like I left it.

                                       

                                      That is another bug that is fixed now. Good stuff. Thank you SW for that one too. SW is really working good.

                                       

                                      jh

                                       

                                      jhFull Scr Assy.jpgFull Scr Dwg.jpgFull Scr Part.jpg

                                        • Re: lock down toolbars
                                          Jim Wilkinson

                                          Thanks for the positive feedback James.

                                          I just did a test on my own machine emulating your layout with the lock turned on. The two cases I would expect to potentially have problems are the tools toolbar in the middle of the top of the drawing layout and the configuration toolbar that is over to the right on the assembly layout (there is a gap there because in the part layout, you have the Fastening Features toolbar there).

                                          The behavior of SPR#565227 that I mentioned earlier is that if you minimize SOLIDWORKS when a document type is open that has gaps between the toolbars, then the gaps will be eliminated when SOLIDWORKS is minimized. So, if I have your assembly layout and I minimize SOLIDWORKS (using minimize in the upper right or Show desktop in the bottom right of the Windows start bar) and then I open SOLIDWORKS back up to the assembly document, I will see the gap has been removed. However, if I then switch to a part and the Fastening Features toolbar appears, then the configuration toolbar will move back to the right. And if you switch to the assembly document, now it is back to its original location with the gap. This is not happening because it knows it should be there but because the Fastening Feature toolbar in the part is also trying to occupy that space and pushes it out of the way. As I posted earlier, toolbars only store one location across all document types not a different position per document type. Theoretically, depending on how these two toolbars are positioned, they may even swap positions or one may even bump to another row.

                                          Similarly, if I minimize SOLIDWORKS when I have a drawing active with your layout, then I bring SOLIDWORKS back up, the next time I go to a drawing document, the Tools toolbar will be pushed all the way to the left. This will happen regardless of whether when I bring SOLIDWORKS back up I first open to a part, assembly or drawing. So, maximize SOLIDWORKS up to a part and then switch to a drawing, the same behavior will happen. The key is what document type was active when SOLIDWORKS minimized, not what type you open when you maximize SOLIDWORKS.

                                           

                                          So, while this may seem quite random, in reality, it is actually quite predictable. I'm guessing you just haven't minimized when you were on a drawing or assembly or you haven't noticed the configuration toolbar moving slightly (or have moved between documents after minimizing in an order where you wouldn't have even seen it moving).

                                           

                                          What I would recommend is to try to setup your toolbar so you never have gaps such as these. Otherwise, you will see the toolbars moving at some point. The two recommendations I would recommend for your layout are:

                                          1. Swap the position of the Fastening Features toolbar and the configuration toolbar in parts. Then there will be no gap in either parts or assemblies. The Fastening Features toolbar will simply appear/disappear between the two document types.
                                          2. Move your Tools toolbar in drawings to be docked to the right of the CommandManager with no gap. Then it will be positioned similarly in the middle of the top, but won't have any docking gaps.

                                           

                                          Let me know if this all makes sense and seems like the behavior you might have been seeing.

                                          I wish SPR#565227 were easy to fix or we would have fixed it long ago. It is something we do want to look at fixing, but it will take a project that is big enough that it has to wait for a major release, not a bug fix in a service pack.

                                           

                                          Thanks,

                                          Jim

                          • Re: lock down toolbars
                            Jamie Barber

                            in 2016 there is now a check box to "lock command manager and toolbars" In the customise menu.

                            • Re: lock down toolbars
                              Jack Ulstad

                              Sorry for restarting an old thread, but I came across this forum post by James while trying to figure out what is going on with one of the most commonly used features in SW (the close, minimize, and maximize buttons that are normally up in the right hand side of the screen), that keeps disappearing on me now that we have upgraded to SW 2016. Why is it doing that? Never had this particular problem before, although it does not surprise me one bit because I always have to hunt for things after upgrading to a new version. That's why I absolutely LOVE how James put it when he said ..."This is like going into a mechanics toolbox and moving his tools around to different drawers." -I agree with that statement 100%!!!

                               

                              And I was shocked when I read Jim W.'s response that "This is not a general problem that we are aware of so may have something to do with a certain workflow or setup that you are using...." -Are you serious? I hear this complaint all the time from other SW users. If you're saying that this sort of thing happens because we customize something, I'm afraid in my case, that is not correct. I just came on to this new job 4 months ago and installed 2014 SW on my work pc with default settings. So why do things change now that we've upgraded to 2016 a couple of weeks ago? Here's another example, the measure tool use to be right under "Tools". Now you go down under Tools, and then to "Evaluate" in order to find it.

                               

                              What I would like to see is a way of SW giving us an option to keep settings the same when doing an upgrade... is that so much to ask? That way we don't have to feel like someone's been in our toolbox screwing things up.