Automatic switch between workbenches

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jrt
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:13 pm

Automatic switch between workbenches

Postby jrt » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:47 am

Hi!

First, thank you for FreeCAD, it is really a great project.

I have been using FreeCAD a bit in the last months, and I think one possible UX improvement would be to automate a bit the transition between workbenches when working on a project and changing the currently opened element of the project. For example, my projects often contain a number of elements in the tree view, such as:

- a few 3D parts (created from the Part and Part Design workbenches)
- a few spreadsheets (created from the Spreadsheet workbench)
- a couple of sketches

I think it could be nice if clicking on a spreadsheet would not only display the spreadsheet (as is done now), but also change to the Spreadsheet workbench automatically. The same for other elements and the corresponding workbenches, such as changing to the sketcher when you bring a sketch to the main view.

A possible way to automate this behaviour in a rational way, which sounds reasonable to me, would be that bringing an element of the project tree to the main view should restore the last workbench that was used with this element. This would possibly save a lot of confusion for new users and avoid quite a bit of clicking back and forth between workbenches for experienced users. I guess it would be quite simple to implement for somebody who knows a bit how the GUI is built.

Any opinions / comments?

OS: "Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation release 7.3 (Maipo)"
Word size of OS: 64-bit
Word size of FreeCAD: 64-bit
Version: 0.16.Unknown
Build type: Release
Python version: 2.7.5
Qt version: 4.8.5
Coin version: 3.1.3
OCC version: 6.8.0.oce-0.17
efyx
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:36 pm

Re: Automatic switch between workbenches

Postby efyx » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:55 am

+1
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microelly2
Posts: 2355
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:06 pm
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Re: Automatic switch between workbenches

Postby microelly2 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:58 am

the simplest way is to create your own object tree browser.
there you can add special methods for example change workbenches/hide show extra information

i did something in this direction. in my example i do not change the workbench but change the visibility/transparency of objects

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA8INQ3900A
https://github.com/microelly2/freecad-objecttree
chrisb
Posts: 1635
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:14 am

Re: Automatic switch between workbenches

Postby chrisb » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:16 am

microelly2 wrote:the simplest way is to create your own object tree browser.
there you can add special methods for example change workbenches/hide show extra information

i did something in this direction. in my example i do not change the workbench but change the visibility/transparency of objects

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA8INQ3900A
https://github.com/microelly2/freecad-objecttree

Thanks for the workaround, but I think it would be sensible to have this as standard behaviour. Especially in sketcher it is somewhat cumbersome that I can open it for editing but there are no tools at all to actually do something except deleting and moving. It would be very sensible for me if sketcher workbench is open while editing and on closing the sketch the previous Workbench would be restored.
ickby
Posts: 2417
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:36 am

Re: Automatic switch between workbenches

Postby ickby » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:21 am

this is partially implemented in 0.17, for example as described by you with partdesign and sketches. IMHO this owuld be a good thing to extend this.