Pixelmator Pro’s layer-locking behavior is incorrect

Talk about Pixelmator Pro, share tips & tricks, tutorials, and other resources.
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2019-11-21 03:19:55

The problem: locked layers are severely interfering with the operation of tasks of normal layers and objects. They are getting in the way.

Example: When one attempts to create a bezier with the Pen tool near a locked layer, it wants to switch to the move tool, it wants to select that locked layer, but that locked layer, of course, doesn’t move. So, there is a dead zone on my canvas where the pen tool may not begin a bezier.

Example: Having a locked layer selected among normal layers prevents the movement of those normal layers.

Locked layers, in short, should not be selectable. (That’s the point of them.)

Solution 1—The Adobe way.
A layer or object that is locked is completely un-selectable. All clicks pass through to objects underneath. Selecting ignores locked objects. They never interfere with any and all operations of other objects. It’s like they don’t exist. One unlocks the object in Layers panel, or one can Unlock All.
This the behavior of Adobe, Sketch and Affinity (read: all graphics programs).

Solution 2—Keynote
Keynote prefers to indicate to us that an object is locked with its little × handles. Keynote is a one-layer canvas, so indicating why an object can’t be moved (perhaps) is needed. However, a locked object in Keynote does not interfere with the movement of objects around it. Say I make a selection box around all my shapes, one or two are locked, others are normal, when I go to move the objects, normal objects move, and locked objects stay put. I can begin a multiple selection box even over a locked object because Keynote knows I don’t care about that object. Keynote acts as if the object isn’t selected.

Early Keynotes behaved like Pixelmator Pro does now. Sketch, too, if I remember right.

Tl;DR Selectable locked layers are getting in the way; make un-selectable or act as if un-selectable.

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2019-11-21 15:05:26

Top-notch feedback right there!
by Teelar 2019-11-21 03:19:55 Example: When one attempts to create a bezier with the Pen tool near a locked layer, it wants to switch to the move tool, it wants to select that locked layer, but that locked layer, of course, doesn’t move. So, there is a dead zone on my canvas where the pen tool may not begin a bezier.
This is kind of a mixed issue — right now, the Pen tool (and shape tools in general) are both the Arrange tool and the respective vector tools, which leads to issues like this. The original Pixelmator behaved a little differently and, after drawing a shape, it would jump to the Move tool, but you could always choose a vector tool again and start drawing a shape/path on top of any layer. Because shape styling options were added to the Tool Options pane of the new Shape tool(/s), it didn't make sense to jump to the Arrange tool but now the tools had to cover both selecting and moving objects and drawing shapes. We know this is a problem and we plan to solve it, though we haven't yet made a firm decision on the path we'd like to take.
by Teelar 2019-11-21 03:19:55 Example: Having a locked layer selected among normal layers prevents the movement of those normal layers.
In the original Pixelmator, we basically had the Keynote way, in Pixelmator Pro we settled on more of a hybrid of other graphics apps and Keynote. It might make sense to just stick with one — we'll think about this.
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2019-11-21 17:24:56

Well, I found myself using it as you designed it. For instance, I was quite happy moving something around after I drew, and, I might have been annoyed had it switched to the Arrange tool. So the pseudo-Arrange-Pen tool hybrid might be the way to go.

Perhaps my subconscience has the answer. I found myself holding down the command key thinking it would switch back to the Pen tool.


In much the same way when one is using another tool, and holding down the command key often switches temporarily to the Arrange tool, perhaps when the program itself has switched to the Arrange tool, holding down the command key switches it back. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯