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View Full Version : Turn off menu "feature": Select Last Used Menu Item



dlwaters
06-03-2005, 06:41 PM
Okey Dokey ....

First newbie question, and it's just an issue I have with LW[8]'s menu interface. :confused:

Is there any way to turn off the interface "feature" where in a menu it automatically selects the last menu-item you used? This wouldn't be such a big deal, except that I kinda hate the way if I *don't* want to click the last used menu item I have to move up to the little triangle doohickey to get the rest of the menu items to scroll into view. As a newbie, I just want to be able to see all the menu items all of the time without having to deal with the scrolling menu stuff.

Any help? Pretty please??

DL

Snosrap
06-03-2005, 07:56 PM
Don't know anyway to change it and personally I wouldn't want to. It really works great when you need to reuse that tool. Image how aggravating it would be to always have to scroll down to repeat the use of the tool over and over again. Mostly I use keyboard shortcuts but I use the shift/ctrl key qualifiers with left, middle and right mouse buttons to get to tools I use fairly regularly, but don't have any more available keyboard keys to use.Believe me this speeds up workflow tremendously. I understand as a newbie trying to learn the software to see what all the buttons do this could be a little aggravating, but in no time you'll be moving along and you'll come to appreciate this "feature".

Cheers
Snos

dlwaters
06-04-2005, 09:18 AM
Snos,

Thanks. I was playing (in home-made college-course mode) and I can definitely see how the select-last-used-menu-item works to my advantage, because there are a lot of settings that you have to set "across the board" while configuring multiple objects.

That said, though, I feel it would still be nice to be able to have a toggle to turn the scrolling/select last-used-menu-item. I love the output of LW, but I also understand why LW has a reputation of having a challenging/peculiar interface that can turn off some new users. Personally, I've seen much worse or more peculiar interfaces (Amapi for example) and I'd rather have the power of LW over an over-simplified interface, but since there is such a steep learning curve and since the program is so menu/keyboard-shortcut heavy it can be difficult/overwhelming enough for newbies to learn without menu items being "hidden" by the scrolling feature. I spent my first few days going, 'Where the heck did they hide the selection options??" This and the lack of any robust context sensitive help make LW more difficult to learn than it really needs to be.

Just my two cents!

I'm a web-designer programmer (when I'm actually earning a living vs. dreaming about making a Cool Living in 3D) and I've seen an attitude in higher-end software that seems to be a bit pompous and arrogant: "If you are a *real* professional, you will put up with our odd interface," but I've never been a fan of that attitude. I just tried out Eovia's Hexagon (their brand-spanking new modelling program substitute for Amapi) and its interface is as intuitive and easy to use as Amapi was impenatrably difficult to use. Within ten minutes of firing it up I was already creating and I was able to knock off a model of a box-modelled spaceship within a few hours of downloading the product, and yet the feature-set is very robust. This was the first time I was able to actually use a modelling package without tearing my hair out trying to perform the simplest operations. Basically, my long-winded point is: "Software doesn't have to be hard to use in order to be powerful."

(Sheeesh .... never let me reply to a message when my morning coffee is just kicking in!)

DL

Snosrap
06-04-2005, 10:14 PM
My only complaint about these scrolling menus is that they scroll too fast. Other then that I like how they've done it. One thing that I think Newtek intended was for these tools that are in these menus to be used just on an occasional basis. If you need to use any of these tools on a regular basis just add them to the interface somewhere. I admire developers that don't use OS specific UI's and NewTek certainty did it on their own terms. I've trained a number of new LW users and they've all caught on real quick, even with the little quirks it has. Coming in the middle of June we have a intern coming on board with a 3DS Max background from the local community college. It will be interesting to see how he comes to grips with LW. I've downloaded all the latest demos of Silo, Hexagon and Modo and have given them a go and they all have things I like about their features and workflows, but after 7 years of LW it just feels more like home to me and with the current progress in the Lightwave development, I'm very encouraged about it's future. My suggestion for any newbie in 3D is to get a hold of all the available demos and spend some quality time (week or so) with them and then make a decision. After that stick with that decision and learn everything you can about that app. If your a decent artist you'll be fine with any of the current apps.

Cheers Snos

Lightwolf
06-05-2005, 04:05 AM
I'm a web-designer programmer (when I'm actually earning a living vs. dreaming about making a Cool Living in 3D) and I've seen an attitude in higher-end software that seems to be a bit pompous and arrogant: "If you are a *real* professional, you will put up with our odd interface," but I've never been a fan of that attitude.
Lol, you mean odd interfaces like MM Flash or Dreamweaver? Slow and not productive at the same time ;)

I think it does make a lot of sense for the "larger" apps (I mean in terms of complexity) to have their own, more streamlined philosophy on how the ui works, because it does make you faster and more productive in the long run (as long as the ui is consistent across the app, something that is arguable looking at LW).
After all, 3D isn't something you pick up in a month or two (not if you intend to work in the area "seriously" - no arrogant attitude intended !).
Quite comparable to web design actually. In the end you'd rather write HTML by hand than rely on any fancy GUI that ends up getting in the way (at least that is my experience on web projects - use Dreamweaver whatever for the initial layout, and then move over to a simple editor).

And some of those "pro" apps are a dream to use once you got around to the way the ui works (XSI being a prime example).

I still find that using the new default shortcuts in LW, that are so much more "standardized" makes my productivity drop. Not because I haven't remembered them yet, but because some are just more awkward to use in terms of positioning on the keyboard.
BTW, I hope you know that you can do a quick click on any pop-up and it stays open without you having to keep the mouse button pressed. This makes it a lot easier to select items in those long scrolling lists.

I agree with Snos though, the speed can be a bit to high (then again, also to slow for some lists). I think some structuring for larger lists, as well as scroll bars could help a long way.

Cheers,
Mike

dlwaters
06-05-2005, 02:34 PM
Snos -- I'm sure I will adjust to the LW interface. It will indeed be interesting to see someone from MAX coming into your workflow. That seems to be where I here the most beefs, people trying to migrate from one interface to another.

Mike -- Again, I liked Dreamweaver as a newbie, because it allowed me to create immediately (if sloppily), allowed me to click on a piece of the design in the design window and immediately show me the code. I still think that is a great feature (although DW's "WYSIWYG" is incredibly outdated and doesn't handle CSS for beans).

I'll have to try that quick-click thing you were talking about. (I'm on the wrong machine to try it at the moment). I'm really enjoying this learning experience, well, er ... when I'm not tearing my hair out! I guess I'm a very visual learner and am great at learning icons on an interface by their design/placement. I think that this makes me a mouse-heavy user. This means that keyboard shortcuts (initially) slow me down, and I get this feeling that I am learning a foreign language and using the menus (since there are so incredibly many of them) feels like translating ancient greek as far as the pace goes. Even having the different "tabs" with their individual menu set is just plain overwhelming. I know there are other lists of shortcut-keys, but I've even resorted to creating my own spreadsheet of what I personally need to remember.

But, when it is all said and done, I think that once I face these hurdles I will be able to accomplish what I want to do, which I haven't been able to say about any of the (no offense) "hobby" products such as Bryce, Poser, etc. There has always been the urge to manifest some vision I have in my head and not being able to do it, because of the limited tool set. So far, LW seems to satisfy this beyond most of my dreams. Yeaaay!

DL

Matt
06-07-2005, 09:58 AM
Having the last item used from a menu be under the mouse on the next activation is quite useful when using the popup menus (CTRL + Shift + Left/Right Mouse) in the main viewport.

I have all the modelling tools I ever use in there and I can work quite quickly by accessing them without going to any of the toolbars. Works even better if I have to say 'Bandsaw' a few polys in a row.

On the flipside, it can be annoying if you have popup menus at the top of the toolbar near the top of the main window, and you use an option near the bottom of the menu, then, when you activate it again to select an item at the top - you need to scroll up to reveal the whole menu before you can select the item you want.

That's why I asked for this ...

Intelligent popup menus:
http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=16745

Cheers
Matt

dlwaters
06-07-2005, 10:34 AM
On the flipside, it can be annoying if you have popup menus at the top of the toolbar near the top of the main window, and you use an option near the bottom of the menu, then, when you activate it again to select an item at the top - you need to scroll up to reveal the whole menu before you can select the item you want.


Matt,

I guess I wasn't entirely clear of what was bothering me, but your description above is *exactly* what was bothering me. When menus are opened near the top of the screen, the scrolling just seemed very counter-intuitive and almost "broken" in its functionality. None of this is a huge deal, but enough of an annoyance to make me speak up.

Dean