Highlight active item in pop-up menu (eg: Editor Type)
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Description

Currently the only way for newcomers to learn what is the currently chosen Editor in an Area is to compare the icon in the Editor Type combo-box with the list of icons when the combo box is open (it's not something that long time users think about).

I have to say that I did not immediately notice this little dot.
I think that problem is the massive text that list represents.
IMHO, it would be better if inactive editors were greyed out.

@ronan ducluzeau (zeauro) Grayed out means "inactive", as in "not possible to activate".

It could be some sort of highlight, for instance the standard one but with 50% opacity.

Here is a mockup with a highlight by Nicolas Wirrmann:

I like the idea, general +1 from here. I even think the dot is enough, we could introduce this for all/more menus of this type, people will become used to it then.

It seems that an highlight at 50 % is counterproductive. It looks less readable as is.
It is why I wanted to say item text highlighted for active editor.
It could be simply a different color. The one mostly used for active item.


IMHO, a full item background totally colored looks too much to selection under mouse.

But I think that an horizontal symbol works better to interrupt vertical scanning.
I propose a subtil outline or a symbol doubled on right and left side to frame the item.
Sorry, I made a mistake in my mock-up. I should have capture User preferences.

Sergey Sharybin (sergey) triaged this task as Normal priority.Aug 3 2015, 6:23 PM

I'm not sure why you're re-inventing something here. We've got similar functionality in other menus: layout, scene selection and it is to be generalized for the case being discussed here (if it can't be used already).

In templateID menus, like the layout or scene menu, the active item is highlighted until another item is highlighted. This isn't a great solution either as it disappears as soon as you enter the menu with the mouse.
Instead I think we could try to find a better solution here and use it for these menus as well.

While its nice to make improvements to menu behavior, I don't think this is _that_ big a problem.
So rather than adding more UI overlay info... am leaning towards using the existing selection (a little like how other pop-ups already remember their last used values).

@Julian Eisel (Severin), While using the selection gets lots once the user interacts, I don't think users are opening menus... spending long time to select and item... then forgetting whats active?

This is at least a quick visual hint which is active so you don't need to play some icon-matching game early on before you memorize them.

Even so... can see points for & against this.

Added experimental diff, D1450 which implements highlighting-currently-selected item.

Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) renamed this task from Highlight active Editor Type. to Highlight active item in pop-up menu (eg: Editor Type).Aug 8 2015, 2:21 PM

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton)

I will. Give me 1-2 days to learn how to do it (it's about time I did).

I tested the patch right after you created it. It's doing what it's supposed to do, and IMHO it's okay as a solution.

@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) D1450 works well, although personally I find it weird. I find it weird because when I open the menu I immediately feel like my cursor has jumped, since I'm expecting the highlight to be at my cursor location. Admittedly I've never really found the original issue to be a problem, but that could simply be experience.

I should add, I'm not convinced that the core issue is actually a problem because we already change out the icon on the menu to be the current selection. In other words a new user can learn what editor is active by what icon is displayed. Seems to me this is more effective than a highlight of some kind would be.

Also not convinced this is really needed or useful enough to justify the change.

I should add, I'm not convinced that the core issue is actually a problem because we already change out the icon on the menu to be the current selection. In other words a new user can learn what editor is active by what icon is displayed.

Please keep in mind that a new user is not informed at any point what each editor is. Usually this is not a problem since usually windows have their name in a tab above them is software, and these names guide the user through the program:


(This screenshot is from Godot which is open source, so it should be okay to post it here)

Blender doesn't do that, and doesn't even indicate the editor type in the editor chooser drop-down menu (which is itself hard to find). The only way is icon-comparing mental gymnastics - it's not hard, but each such thing adds up to the general program's inaccessibility.