Data Frame and Layer Properties as dockable windows

04-26-2011 01:34 PM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor III
Please leave Dialog Boxes to Digital Stone Age and replace them with freely accessible, interactive, resizable and dockable windows – Property inspectors – available for data frame or layer/layers selected in TOC. Advantages:
  • Uninterrupted workflow – access data frame’s/layer’s properties while working with map.
  • Changes applied instantly – immediate commit use – OK or Apply buttons are unnecessary.
  • Multiple layers modification – simultaneously change properties common to selected layers.
  • Undo/Redo available – currently nearly all changes to layer or data frame are irreversible!
  • Instant access – property window is always ready when data frame/layer is selected in TOC.
  • All properties available at once listed in property window.
  • Easier customization.


Nice! I'm becoming a fan!

Do you have all these ideas on a website (besides here) where you can try and market them all together?

@aurorageomatics: Thanks. More ideas still to come, collected over years of ArcGIS's de-evolution. But only here, since it's the best way to let ESRI know. Maybe they'll listen, and some ideas will soon become reality ;)
Great idea as long as the level of customization is not lost.

It bugs me the number of dialogs I sometimes go though to "drill down" to a specific setting, however I'm thankfull for this level of customization.  For example, setting the label properties (in 9.3.1) of a Polygon Layer:
  • (Labels) Symbol
  • Scroll to & select "Bullet Leader"
  • Properties
  • (Advanced Text) (Text Background) Properties
  • (Line Callout) (Leader) Symbol
  • Properties
  • (Line Properties) (Line Decorations) Properties
  • (Line Decoration) Symbol
  • Properties
Change a setting, then close the many dialogs.  There must be a better way - using your idea.
@BruceLang: You are right, to work with millions of dialogs is horrible, especially when designing symbols. Node-based Style Manager would surely help to practically manage many levelsof settings as I commented in Change Text, Symbol Info at a top level.
Surprised this one hasn't had more hits than this by now...I fully support the Layer Properties concept introduced here (Autodesk currently uses this technique and has for quite some time and much more user-friendly)...

Maybe this needs to be reposted!
Simply said: Kill Modal Dialog Boxes
I do like the idea... I still think that there are the need for some dialog boxes, but a lot of this could be put into dockable windows!

It would be interesting to see what could be done with Labels for this...?
Yes!  This is a great idea.  If Esri will not incorporate this, I wonder if there is a programmer out there that can put together a third party extension.