Palette Controls

There is a big difference from the Windows to the Mac versions of the same software.

One that bugs me that I would like to see brought to the Mac is the control of the palettes.If you look at the far right of each palette there is an arrow that allows you to manipulate that particular palette. I want that kind of control on a Mac.

On Mac you can dock the palettes together and collapse or open them by clicking on their title bars. In fact on Windows the arrows are really necessary because clicking on the title bars there does the same thing.

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I know that but I like the fact that they never get separated in Windows but they can in Mac.

It is possible to tear them apart on Mac more easily than you can create separate trays on Windows. If you used the Mac palettes in the same way you use Trays, the effect would be the same as in Dave’s Windows screen recording.

Windows does have the advantage of being able to scroll through a lot of expanded trays, on Mac you would need to collapse the upper ones to be sure of seeing the expanded off screen lower ones.

It’s important to use the right terminology here.

On a Mac, “palettes” are the toolbars created by individual Tools or for some built-in palettes from multiple built-in Tools. You open or close these via the View->Palettes menu item (and can also close them by clicking the red button in their top stripe). They cannot be resized and have no collapsed state on the screen; they are either completely open or completely gone. They float independently on the screen, perfectly happy to overlap each other.

Inspector windows are the things equivalent to what you find in the default Tray on Windows. You can open or close them via the Window menu. You can also close them by clicking the button in their top stripe. In addition, you can collapse or expand them by clicking their top stripe. Unlike palettes, they remain visible as a single bar when collapsed.

On Mac the inspector windows are individual dialogs that happen to stick to each other when brought together vertically and if their widths are compatible. Unless stuck together, they are happy to float atop each other. There are some idiosyncratic aspects of “compatible”. For example, if a narrower inspector is brought against the bottom of another, it will snap to it and adjust to match width. But if a wider one is brought up the same way, the one above won’t adjust and they won’t snap together.

Once snapped together:

  • They can be moved about the screen as if a single unit.
  • They will snap en-mass to an edge of the screen.
  • Clicking the name bar to expand or collapse an inspector shoves the others out of the way or pulls them back up.
  • When open, each has its own little triangular resize handle at the lower right corner, which also shoves others out of the way or pulls them up. On some inspectors, e.g. Entity Info, the resize handles don’t work.
  • Dragging the top stripe will pull an inspector out of the “stack” along with any others attached to its bottom edge.

There is no way to make them into a single combined object analogous to a Windows tray. If you open too many so that some get pushed off the bottom of the screen, there is no way to scroll the assembly. You must close some or detach them by moving them away from the stack.

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