34 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2008 1:05 AM by Jim Wilkinson

    Fly-Out Toolbar Modification

    Neal Rusy
      Is there a setting or a way to modify the fly-out toolbars so the most used commands are always at the top? I hate having to scroll down to my commands that I use a lot.
        • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
          Jim Wilkinson
          Hi Neal,

          This depends on which flyouts you are talking about. Under Tools, Customize, Commands, Flyouts there are 3 different types of flyout toolbars listed in the following sequential order:
          1) Flyouts linked to other toolbars - These toolbars start with "2D to 3D" and go through "Weldments". The contents of these flyouts is determined by what commands are on the standalone versions of the toolbars. So, if you want to control what is on these flyouts and in which order, turn on the related toolbar and add/remove/rearrange the icons into the order you want them to show in the flyout.
          2) Add-in toolbar flyouts - If you have any add-ins turned on and those add-ins use the appropriate APIs, the flyouts for those toolbars will be shown next. Mine is currently showing eDrawings and Fastening Features (which internally is an add-in although users wouldn't know it). The contents and order of these flyouts is like linked to the contents and order of the related standalone API toolbar.
          3) Hard coded flyouts - the rest of the flyouts starting with "New" are hard coded in their behavior, contents and order. Perhaps in a future release we can make these customizable in their behavior, contents and order, but as of SolidWorks 2008, they cannot be customized.
            • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
              Neal Rusy
              Well for instance the save all fly-out I just use the save command mostly. Then the line command in the sketch (CM) fly-out the first one is the construction line, Extend fly-out has the trim under it (I use trim more than extend). I like the option of the fly-out I just don't necessarily like the order their in. This is a odd one dim chamfer command is first and smart dim is on the bottom! I know that I can add or remove command to suit my needs. Maybe that is a call for a enhancement request.
                • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                  Jim Wilkinson
                  Hi Neal,

                  The specific examples you list are all hard coded "most commonly used" flyouts. For these, the first item in the list of the flyout is shown as the command at the top level and selecting the icon will run that top command (you don't have to use the flyout to use that most common command).
                  So, what I am seeing (and how we designed it) for your specific examples:
                  1) Save flyout - You should just be able to hit the icon portion of the button and not the flyout arrow and it will save without having to use the flyout. If you use the flyout, Save (the most commonly used command) should be the first one on the list.
                  2) Line flyout - again, picking the icon portion of the button will run the regular line command. If you use the flyout, line is first and construction line is second (again, most common command first).
                  3) Trim/Extend flyout - again, picking the graphics portion of the button will run the trim command. If you use the flyout, trim is first, extend second (trim is the more common one, so it is first).
                  4) Dimension flyout - again, picking the icon portion of the button will run the smart dimension command (most common command). If you use the flyout, smart dimension is first and chamfer dimension is last.

                  Maybe I am misunderstanding what you mean as "first"? I mean the top one in the list, closest to the mouse. For instance, the dimension flyout I get is shown in the attached image. Are you seeing something different than this?

                    • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                      Neal Rusy
                      No that is not what I'm seeing. It appears that it is not "saving" the most commonly used command
                        • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                          Jim Wilkinson

                          Neal Rusy wrote:

                           

                          No that is not what I'm seeing. It appears that it is not "saving" the most commonly used command

                          Hi Neal,

                          That is very strange. The particular flyouts that seem to be having the problem are hard coded to be "most common" flyouts, not "last used". The way "most common" flyouts are supposed to work is that the first item in the list is the one that is shown as the button icon. There is one of two things happening:
                          1) The list of commands in each of these flyouts is somehow being reversed.
                          2) The LAST item in the list is being used as the top level button instead of the FIRST item.

                          I don't know how either of these situations would occur nor have I heard of it happening before.
                          Can you post a picture of what the actual flyout looks like for dimensions? That will help me determine if it is the first problem or the second.

                          If anyone else is reading this post and has seen this before, can you post indicating that you have seen it?
                            • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                              Neal Rusy
                              Jim here is a screen shot, and it appears that most used is at the bottom. Seems that this happened when I went to sp 2.0 or at least when I noticed it. Makes me wonder if I clean my SW registry to see if that fixes the problem
                              • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                Gerald Davis
                                Jim -
                                I think the flyout functionality is working as you described it.

                                As you know, I disagree with the flyout functionality as it sits now. The essence of my gripe is that this is MY workstation, not some AVERAGE workstation. I have a toaster in my kitchen. When I set it for medium, it stays there. It does not revert to light after every cycle, even though 90% of other users prefer it that way.

                                I want control over how each flyout behaves. I have yet to discover the rationale used at the factory to decide which flyout is to be "hard" or "smart".

                                For example, how does "Hole Series" icon help me remember where the "Belt/Chain" tool is? I think the entire static-helps-you-learn rationale is flawed.

                                Although the "hard" flyouts might aid new users in remembering what each flyout grouping might be, it impedes me as a proficient user. I frequently do a series of construction lines while setting up reference geometry. I want the line tool to be LUOT (last used on top)- to remember what I used last. I might feel the same way about all of the flyouts. Statistics that show the line tool is used more frequently have led UI designers down the wrong path - it is when the line tool is used that is more important then how often!

                                For the workstation where I've customized the UI (instead of using the factory default), I've replaced most of the flyouts with single click icons. I'd be happier if the flyout RMB would let me modify its behavior. For example, I hardly ever do anything other than an ellipse. I'd like to RMB on the flyout and make it into a single click tool. If, in the future, I find myself needing parabolas I would RMB and train the flyout how to behave. I might even train it to behave the way it does now. As long as my preference prevails, I'm happy (and responsible).

                                Perhaps an option to allow me to just point at a flyout and have it fly without the click would slow down my yapping. As it sits, I think the small gain in graphic window area is negatively offset by the clicky flyout nuisance.

                                Here's the way my 2.0EV flyouts "function":
                                Command Manager>Sketch
                                Line - sticks with line on top
                                Rectangle - BEHAVES CORRECTLY - remembers last used command
                                Circle - BEHAVES CORRECTLY - remembers last used command
                                Arc - BEHAVES CORRECTLY - remembers last used command
                                Chamfer - sticks with fillet on top
                                Ellipse - sticks with Ellipse on top
                                Trim - sticks with Trim on top
                                Convert Entities - sticks with Convert on top
                                Linear Pattern - sticks with Linear on top
                                Move Entities - sticks with Move on top
                                Add relation - sticks with Add Relation on top
                                  • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                    Jim Wilkinson

                                    Gerald Davis wrote:

                                     

                                    I want control over how each flyout behaves. I have yet to discover the rationale used at the factory to decide which flyout is to be "hard" or "smart".

                                    Hi Gerald,

                                    The rationale is quite simple. We simply did not have time to add customizability to the flyouts in the time frame we had to developer SolidWorks 2008. Since the majority of customers will not customize flyouts even if the ability were there, we decided it was worthwhile to deliver the flyouts without customizability. Most software that I have seen that have flyouts do not have customizability for them. That being said, we did architect the flyouts so they could be customizable in the future if we get enough requests for it.

                                    As for the three different behaviors of different flyouts, we made a design decision. We intentionally introduced the three different behaviors based on interviews, studies, and observations of users over the years. Even if we had customizability, we would still deliver the default behavior of the different flyouts as we have today. You would just be able to change the behaviors as desired.

                                    So, if you or others are interested in being able to customize the behavior of the flyouts or make other customizations (add/remove commands from flyouts, change the order of the commands in flyouts, add your own flyouts), then please submit appropriate enhancement requests.
                                      • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                        Neal Rusy
                                        Jim, I went ahead and cleaned HKEY_CURRENT_USER Reg Solidworks Key out and every thing is fine now must have been a glitch in the install.
                                          • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                            Jim Wilkinson
                                            Hi Neal,

                                            You didn't happen to save out your registry before cleaning it, did you? I had e-mailed you directly asking for that because it would perhaps help me troubleshoot how it got into that state. Perhaps you didn't get my e-mail.

                                            In any case, I am happy you now have it working properly again.
                                              • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                Neal Rusy
                                                Yes I did! I am able to reproduce the problem at will. It has something to do with my copy settings file. I've had some strange things go on to elaborate please email me directly and I will explain in more detail. neal.rusy@meyermfg.com .
                                                • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                  Jim Wilkinson

                                                  Jim Wilkinson wrote:

                                                   

                                                  You didn't happen to save out your registry before cleaning it, did you? I had e-mailed you directly asking for that because it would perhaps help me troubleshoot how it got into that state. Perhaps you didn't get my e-mail.

                                                  Hi Everyone,

                                                  Thanks to Neal sending me his registry files, we tracked down a problem where the commands in the flyouts will be listed in reverse order if they are saved to the registry in reverse order. Unfortunately, we have no idea how they get written to the registry in reverse order, nor have we encountered it in testing or with any other users. Luckily, with each command, we store a sequence ID and just to be sure other users don't encounter this problem, starting with SolidWorks 2008 SP03, we will be ordering the flyouts based on the sequence number, not the order they are in the registry. A workaround to the problem if you encounter it in SP02 is to remove the "flyouts" section from the registry in HKEY_CURRENT_USER and it will be reset on the next startup. If you do need to do this workaround and are not that familiar with the registry, you can contact me for help.
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                                                      Devon Sowell
                                                      Hello Jim-

                                                      Thanks for following up and providing this new information.
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                                                        Wayne Tiffany
                                                        Just a thought here. Is there anything that could have put them in that order based on a previous existing installation of 2007 or 2006 or something? If that info was already there in the registry based on some previous scheme, and has been carried forward, it might help explain it.

                                                        WT
                                                          • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                            Jim Wilkinson

                                                            Wayne Tiffany wrote:

                                                             

                                                            Just a thought here. Is there anything that could have put them in that order based on a previous existing installation of 2007 or 2006 or something? If that info was already there in the registry based on some previous scheme, and has been carried forward, it might help explain it.

                                                            WT

                                                            Hi Wayne,

                                                            This particular data is new to 2008. so an older registry would not cause it. It is an interesting issue that we have not encountered before. We have other data in the registry that is stored/restored in a similar manner, but we have not encountered a similar problem. It was even a bit difficult to diagnose because when you look at the data in the registry editor, it is always sorted in alphabetical order (there is no alternate sorting order based on clicking on the title, menu picks, etc.). So there obviously is some other internal order other than the displayed order. In playing with manually making keys, they are initially listed in the order you create them (not alphabetical). Then when you exit the registry editor and bring it back up, they are listed alphabetically. However, exporting the keys to a file either before or after exiting and restarting the editor, and then viewing the resulting registry files in a text editor will show that they are actually exported in the order they were originally created (showing that there is some other internal order). Luckily, we used a numeric naming convention for the keys that allowed us to change the code to use that numeric order instead of the "mysterious" order the registry calls seem to be writing/reading them from the registry.
                                                              • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                                Charles Culp
                                                                Jim et al,

                                                                I made this a new thread, and then realized that it was previously discussed.

                                                                I am trying to use the Macro Flyout Toolbar (which Jim stated above as being controlled by the macro toolbar) to display my custom macros. I tried adding them to the macro toolbar (successfully), but upon adding the macro flyout to the Shortcut toolbar (S key), it does not work. It only shows the three commands that are standard with the macro toolbar.

                                                                Is this just my problem or are others seeing the same thing? Is there a way to add my custom macros to a flyout in the shortcut toolbar?
                                                      • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                        Matt Lombard

                                                         

                                                        We simply did not have time to add customizability to the flyouts in the time frame we had to developer SolidWorks 2008.

                                                        I'd be interested in talking to the person who decides that time frame. It seems like there are plenty of reasons to relax the pressures on you guys and give you the time you need to do the job right. I really do want you to succeed, and I completely understand the time limitation thing. The time limitation issue seems to come up a lot, and causes more than a couple problems. Could we please speak with the person or group who sets this period?
                                                          • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                            Devon Sowell
                                                            Ditto.

                                                            SolidWorks please slow down. What's the hurry?

                                                            If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere - Henry Kissenger (1923 - ), US Secretary of State

                                                            I must govern the clock, not be governed by it - Golda Meir (1889-1978), Israeli politician

                                                            matt lombard wrote:

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            We simply did not have time to add customizability to the flyouts in the time frame we had to developer SolidWorks 2008.

                                                            I'd be interested in talking to the person who decides that time frame. It seems like there are plenty of reasons to relax the pressures on you guys and give you the time you need to do the job right. I really do want you to succeed, and I completely understand the time limitation thing. The time limitation issue seems to come up a lot, and causes more than a couple problems. Could we please speak with the person or group who sets this period?

                                                        • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                          Roy Potter

                                                          Gerald Davis wrote:

                                                           

                                                          Although the "hard" flyouts might aid new users in remembering what each flyout grouping might be, it impedes me as a proficient user. I frequently do a series of construction lines while setting up reference geometry. I want the line tool to be LUOT (last used on top)- to remember what I used last. I might feel the same way about all of the flyouts. Statistics that show the line tool is used more frequently have led UI designers down the wrong path - it is when the line tool is used that is more important then how often!

                                                          Totally agree
                                              • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                Brian Cayer
                                                Gerald, If you submit an enhancement request for this issue let us know when it is posted on the site. I and I'm sure many others agree with your position.
                                                Jim, Thanks for the candid response.

                                                Regards,
                                                  • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                    Gerald Davis
                                                    Brian -
                                                    Here's the enhancement request I submitted. One thing I didn't add to the submitted request was that the default behavior for all flyouts should be LUOT / Auto flyout.

                                                    Category: User Interface
                                                    Subcategory: Menus
                                                    Title: Allow customization of flyout menu behavior
                                                    Description: Individual flyouts should be customizable via RMB (right mouse button options dialog) to:
                                                    1) include or exclude action icons in the flyout group; shortest list = 1 which whould be the same as a single click icon.
                                                    2) set behavior of flyout summary icon (LUOT - last used on top or GIOT - group icon on top.
                                                    3) set tool tip for flyout - allow the user to type in a tool tip when mouse hovers over summary icon.
                                                    4) Auto flyout - when enabled, passing the mouse over the group icon causes the flyout to fly - when disabled, the flyout requires a click to expand.
                                                    5) Direction of flyout - horizontal or vertical

                                                    This enhancement request was written with the "hard coded" flyouts in mind, however similar behaviors should be allowed for the other types of flyouts as well.

                                                    Is this problem solved in another CAD system: Other (I think it was Corel Draw that does this - might have been OrCAD or something else).

                                                    How often do you experience this problem or need? Many times per day

                                                    How much time will an enhancement that resolves this problem save you (per usage)? 10 minutes or less
                                                  • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                    Larry Kutcher
                                                    Ummm, you guys...-Kinda' pushing someone into a corner here huh...?

                                                    I'm quite sure that you'd have to climb quite high up the pole to get to THE person/ and or group -that sets that goal.
                                                    ...(Seeing how this issue has come up before..."Equating more releases to more $")...
                                                      • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                        Devon Sowell
                                                        Hi Larry-

                                                        Let's say you just won your last Motocross race.

                                                        Then, without checking with you the following parameters were changed on your bike, for the next race;

                                                        Gearing
                                                        Tire Pressures
                                                        Rebound/Compresssion Damping
                                                        Spring Rates Front and Rear
                                                        Sag Height
                                                        Handlebar Height

                                                        After riding practice and discovering this your mechanic said; "Well, you can always change it back."

                                                        The next race starts in 10 minutes.
                                                        • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                          Matt Lombard
                                                          Larry,

                                                          It doesn't matter how high, there is no one at SW that's too scary to talk to. Someone is responsible, and I would like them to step up and tell users why these short release cycles are the best decision for us. Maybe we're all wrong, and what they decided was really the best thing. We can give them the benefit of the doubt before they explain themselves.

                                                          On the other hand, if it is some reason that doesn't benefit existing dues-paying users, then that person/s should be held accountable by users for the half baked releases and partial measures. I don't care who it is. They don't have anybody (much) scarier than me.
                                                            • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                              Eddie Cyganik
                                                              Matt,

                                                              You stated: "Someone is responsible, and I would like them to step up and tell users why these short release cycles are the best decision for us."

                                                              IMHO:
                                                              Short release cycles are not the best decision for us. (I believe "us" is the current user base.)

                                                              Short release cycles are the best decision for $ales. (I believe we could make a good arguemnet against this but we'll never change their thinking.)

                                                              In the end, I believe you're asking a "Marketing" person to step up to the plate and we all know that isn't going to happen.
                                                                • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                                  Matt Lombard
                                                                  Eddie,

                                                                  Yes, you're right. I agree 100%. I want to give them the opportunity to address the discontent head on. In the lack of a credible answer from SW, I'm going with your assessment of the situation.
                                                                  • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                                    Brian Cayer
                                                                    Ladies & Gentlemen, Please educate and inform me on what I may not know about this subject.

                                                                    My questions are:

                                                                    We are required to renew the subscription annually. With that renewal we are entitled to upgrade to the next release. Correct?

                                                                    If SolidWorks did not offer a new release every year would the subscription renewal requirements be extended until they made a new release available? Say every two years?

                                                                    If in your opinion they would not extend the subscription requirements to 2 years then what is the benefit of withholding the release until everything is perfect?

                                                                    I think that much of what is conveyed in these forums, be it Beta, pre release, or this forum, helps to keep things moving forward and improves the overall experience.

                                                                    "Every thing that is, is the sum of its parts" bjc 1/7/08
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                                                                Brian Cayer
                                                                Wasn't it Dick Cheney who said "The farther up the ladder you go the more people it is that can see your (backside)? Or something to that effect. I kind of like the idea of pushing the envelope to get things out there and in use. As far as I'm concerned if production is jeopardized I will produce in the version I'm familiar with and if someone needs it in the current version then I will haul it up for them.

                                                                JMHO
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                                                                  Larry Kutcher
                                                                  Hey Devon, shoot me an email...

                                                                  solid3dmodeler@gmail.com

                                                                  • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                                    Brian Cayer
                                                                    Jerald,
                                                                    Thanks for submitting this ER. It isn't up on the ER system in the Customer Portal yet but as soon as it gets posted I'm on board. I hope others will as well.
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                                                                      Brian Cayer
                                                                      Gerald, Done. Quoted verbatim.
                                                                      • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                                        Ted Griebling
                                                                        Please please please, help me encourage hotkey functionality for all commands, toolbars, context sensitive menus...etc. I don't care what's in a toolbar or menu as long as it's
                                                                        1) hotkey-able
                                                                        2) consistent

                                                                        (customizable is nice too but the first two are a must, and should be easy. If a command has a hot key, or is macro-able, then I can customize keystrokes to my heart's desire.)

                                                                        Remember back in the early days of SolidWorks when you couldn't open a part from an assembly by right clicking and selecting "open". The addition of that feature was a godsend. Well the 2008 right mouse button context sensitive toobars are a step back to the dark ages. No longer can you simply right mouse click and then press "o"

                                                                        Worse are the "hide" and "show" (of just about anything). No options as simple as "h" or "s" Maddening! More Worse because their icons' (Chinese characters) change their appearance and position based on mode -- near impossible to use efficiently.

                                                                        They aren't macro-able either. I tried writing a universal macro to do the above but, sadly, different commands are required for hiding or showing of reference geometries, solid bodies, surfaces, parts, assemblies, sketches etc...

                                                                        It's exactly like being forced to click a graphical keyboard to use the letters "q","w","e","t" and "y" instead of just typing them.

                                                                        IMHO keyboard hotkeys are, by far, the most efficient way to go. If a function is used often enough (more than three times a day) then a hotkey (and if need, a macro) should be used.

                                                                        SW uses the "fewer mouse clicks" sales pitch to pump their interface philosophy. If fewer mouse clicks is good then ZERO mouse clicks must best. And it is.

                                                                        Seriously, I fly at 2007 - I turn heads. I'm struggling to come to grips with the functionality that we've LOST in SW2008. I'm especially frustrated because most of the interface "improvements" in 2008 are eye-candy only.

                                                                        I click my mouse many-many times more than ever now.
                                                                        Thanks SolidWorks 2008!

                                                                        (Update. I'm sticking with 2007 as there is no new CAD functionality in sw2008 worth dealing with the new interface.)
                                                                          • Fly-Out Toolbar Modification
                                                                            Jim Wilkinson

                                                                            Ted Griebling wrote:

                                                                             

                                                                            Worse are the "hide" and "show" (of just about anything). No options as simple as "h" or "s" Maddening! More Worse because their icons' (Chinese characters) change their appearance and position based on mode -- near impossible to use efficiently.

                                                                            Hi Ted,

                                                                            If you do not like the context toolbar portion of the RMB menu added in SolidWorks 2008, you can turn it off and the RMB menus will work just like they did in SolidWorks 2007. Simply go to Tools, Customize, Toolbars and look on the right hand side for the "Context toolbar settings" section. We realize some people like the context toolbars and some do not, hence why we provided the ability to turn them off.

                                                                            I hope this helps,
                                                                            Jim