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Pre-select -highlight color change



Simple change that would make learning VW easier for novices. I think this could just be a factory setting preferences change.


Can the pre-select color when the cursor hovers over an object before it is actually selected be a different color than the orange color that an object takes on when it it selected?


Perhaps the hover color is pink or teal or something and turns orange when selected?  I see my beginner students struggle with this all the time when they think they have two things selected for a Boolean or array or something but only one is selected and their cursor is just hovering over the second. They get confused and frustrated. If one object was orange and the other pink they could clearly see how many objects they have selected.  I know users can do this themselves in the interactive appearance settings but that's a pretty advanced preference setting for new users.  




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Ok I guess its slightly more than just a change in the Interactive Appearance settings. I went in and set "Object Highlighting - Pre-Selection - Active Layer" to magenta.  

But the Pre-select color, in this case magenta, stays there even after you have selected the object as long as the cursor stays over the object so just changing the color doesn't solve the problem.  The color seems linked to cursor position not selection status. 


What needs to happen is a selected object's highlight is orange no mater where the cursor is. So if I have 2 rectangles on the screen and one is selected it should be highlighted in orange. If I hover my cursor over the other rectangle it should highlight in magenta (or whatever) but as soon as I Shift-Click the magenta should change to orange to indicate that the 2nd rectangle has been added to the selection. So both rects are orange no matter where the cursor is.  As it is, you have to physically move the cursor off the objects to check they are both selected. 

I've played around with the Highlighting settings on the Interactive Tab and can't seem to find a combination that does what I'm hoping for here. '


This may seem like a silly thing for experienced users but it is a major point of frustration and confusion for beginners. I see it each time I start a new class.


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On 12/2/2019 at 8:23 AM, SeanOSkea said:

What needs to happen is a selected object's highlight is orange no mater where the cursor is.


But what about the following scenario. While I agree with the need for a better implementation I see a problem that would need to be handled at the same time: 


When you have multiple objects selected (highlighted orange) and you want to deselect one of the two objects…

If your proposal is implemented, when passing your cursor over the object you're about to Shift-click to deselect, there would be no preselection highlighting because the object will be showing the 'selected' highlighting colour. There would need to be a third mode of display to differentiate this scenario and I think it might be possible using current settings. 


I've started experimenting with contrasting colours and opacities and figure contrasting widths, which - alone or combined - might be an appropriate solution. When the two differing-but-translucent colours of 'pre-selection' and 'selected' overlay, they produce a mixed colour indicating an object is already selected. What I haven't found is a set of colours I like. 

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I agree with the comments here. In my beginners class for professionals, within the first 90 minutes, I get them to change the selection colour to a light blue and the pre-selection to a light green with a delay timer of a few seconds. Jeremy's use of the thicker width to overlap the preselection colour is a good idea without a delay. However having a timer delay mostly avoids the issue. I find working for a long time that the blue and green are easier on the eyes than the orange.




Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 5.04.01 pm.png

Edited by Peter Neufeld
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@Jeremy Best Yeah but I think I could live with that. 3rd color is a good idea too but I'd prefer the highlight pulse in that situation rather than a 3rd color. It would be helpful for colorblind folks too. 

So: if not selected then attribute line color no highlight 

If pre-select (hover): pulse pink (or whatever) 

If Selected: turns static orange 

If Pre-select (hover) of selected object: pulse or pink (or both) 


Or even if it is the "less good" scenario that you're worried about I still think the important thing is selected/not selected. The pre-select is handy but leads to a lot of confusion. Even for me whose been at this for 15 years. The only time I really de-select is when I'm removing something out of a marques select or I miss-clicked. And in that case the pre select seems less important because you'll know immediately if you got the right object because it would turn pink as soon as you clicked on it. If you missed just click again to add it back because your cursor is right there. 

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3 hours ago, SeanOSkea said:

How do you get both colors at the same time to make the brown(?) on hover over selected object?


By reducing the opacity of the respective colours, enabling them to combine [when overlapping]. - The Pre-Selection Highlighting one primarily - because it's on top - but making both Selection Highlighting and Pre-Selection Highlighting translucent enables a wider variety of display possibilities, including if you have multiple objects with overlapping edges. Notice the deepening shades of the selection colour of overlapping edges of selected objects in the video. 

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6 hours ago, bcd said:

I'm starting to think that a Selected Object should always be immune to Pre-Selection Highlighting. Any thoughts?


I don't think so because I know that when I have a collection of objects selected, I want to be able to tell what I'm about to de-select. Especially important when they're overlapping and have similar profiles. I can also see how having no-preselection highlighting would create uncertainty about the selectability of objects that are visible but aren't selectable when Layer or Class Options are set to any option other than Show/Snap/Modify. 

Edited by Jeremy Best
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@tshelton Well, that's actually what it is now if you look close. There are two different shades of orange by default but they are so close its hard to tell the difference.  But of course that's the pre-highlight and the highlight. We need three clear visual states. If hover pre-select was the pulse then colorblind people could tell the difference too. 

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