Bug 127283 - Add option to layers, to prevent selecting objects on inactive Layers, also if the layers are not locked
Summary: Add option to layers, to prevent selecting objects on inactive Layers, also i...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Draw (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Layers
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2019-09-02 12:24 UTC by pedro.silva
Modified: 2020-12-20 21:22 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

Example of another software, Scribus, using the Selectable feature (24.73 KB, image/png)
2019-09-03 12:30 UTC, pedro.silva
Example of another software, GIMP, using the similar concept (16.21 KB, image/png)
2019-09-03 12:31 UTC, pedro.silva

Note You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.
Description pedro.silva 2019-09-02 12:24:35 UTC
In the layers (bottom tabs) of Draw there are a couple of options (visible, printed, locked).

Right now if the user wants to avoid miss-selecting an object from any other layer but the current one, he needs to go one by one, double click and activate “Locked” and every single time he wants to change to another layer he needs to do the same.

I would like to purpose to add one more checkbox: “Selectable”. This would be by default unchecked which means that elements would be only selectable when in the current active layer, making any other element from other layers impossible to select. To select those the user would need to switch to that layer (by clicking in the respective tab)

If the user chooses to check “Selectable” then any element regardless of its layer location would be selectable (of course provided that its layer is not “Locked”)

This would required less clicks a better workflow when working with diagrams, flyers or infographics with multiple layers.
Comment 1 Regina Henschel 2019-09-02 23:17:15 UTC
What you describe is the purpose of "locked". Keep the layer locked and only toggle that, if you want to work on that layer.
You need not open the layer modify dialog. You can toggle the status by clicking on the tab:
Ctrl+Shift Click --> toggle printable
Ctrl Click  --> toggle locked
Shift Click --> toggle visible
Comment 2 pedro.silva 2019-09-03 12:29:34 UTC
Thanks Regina for your comment but it's not that. What I mean is a "Selectable" feature where the objects are not locked they are simply not selectable if you are not in their layer (tab).

Similar to what happens with GIMP or Scribus (I have enclosed screenshots), specially in the case of latter. This allows working with many layers without need to be always locking/unlocking.
Comment 3 pedro.silva 2019-09-03 12:30:22 UTC
Created attachment 153835 [details]
Example of another software, Scribus, using the Selectable feature
Comment 4 pedro.silva 2019-09-03 12:31:03 UTC
Created attachment 153836 [details]
Example of another software, GIMP, using the similar concept
Comment 5 Heiko Tietze 2020-04-20 12:07:46 UTC
How about a "Lock all but this" option to the layer context menu? Locked means not being able to select.
Comment 6 Regina Henschel 2020-04-22 14:10:19 UTC
I'm not against a "Lock all but this", but you need to be careful in defining such command:

The Normal mode shows the default layers "Layout", "Controls", "Dimension Lines". The Master mode shows the default layer "Background objects". (both translated EN names as shown in UI)
A user defined layer is shown in Normal mode and Master mode as well, independent where it was created. But objects, which are added to a user defined layer in Normal mode are not visible in Master mode; and objects, which are added in Master mode, are visible but not selectable in Normal mode. That is not connected to layer status "Locked".
The layer "background" exists, but is never shown in the UI.

Measure lines are automatically inserted on layer "Dimension Lines". Locking that layer makes it impossible to add a measure line.

Controls are automatically inserted on layer "Controls". Locking that layer makes it impossible to add a control.

Groups can group objects from different layers. In that case the group itself belongs to layer "Layout", but the group members remain on their layers. To be able to select, move and resize the group, at least one layer of its members needs to be unlocked, not the layer "Layout". To select the group, you need to click a member, which is on a layer, which is not locked. The action then is applied to the whole group independent whether the layer of a member is locked or not.

The alternative, a command "Select all on current layer" in addition to command "Select all", needs to be clear about treating groups too.
Comment 7 Heiko Tietze 2020-04-23 13:18:51 UTC
We discussed the topic in the design meeting.

On the one hand, this would allow to switch to and work on layers in complex files, with many layers, without having to lock, or unlock the layers on each time you switch layer. And it's know from different applications. Drawback is the unclear relation with Lock (if locked the selection is not possible as well).

On the other hand, you may have a per-object option in mind. This is kinda WFM as every object could be placed on one layer. Locking a layer makes objects not selectable and that's likely the most common workflow when you have a couple of static objects or done drawings and some pieces are under review. Putting those on a dedicated layer works well for me. 

The idea with "Lock all but this" (and similar changes) is questionable as commented by Regina in c6.