Re: Modifying properties of several objects at the same time

Hi everybody,

On Fri, 10 Oct 2003 14:24:19 +0200, Daniele Pighin wrote:

I was wondering whether it was possible to introduce a way to be able to modify several objects' properties at the very same time, as it would be very useful and time saving, especially for large diagrams.

I suddenly got this idea to how a solution for a GUI for this could behave in a very flexible way IMO. I just share the idea so we all can elaborate on it or spawn better ideas... :-)

The idea is perhaps a variant of the following proposal:

method 3 - popup oriented: when selecting several objects and then clicking on "properties", present a popup with the appropriate widgets to edit any property which is common to all selected objects. All of these widget would initially be disabled (each would be enabled by an appropriate checkbox): when enabling one or more fields, editing and applying, all of the selected objects would have the corresponding property changed.

Instead of being able to edit only the common properties, which is merely the intersection set of the all sets of properties for the individually selected object, one could present a popup dialog having a selector at the top (e.g., combo box or tabbed dialog widget). The selection available here would be the type names of all kinds of objects included in the current selection.

The rest of the dialog box would be the same dialog as the Properties dialog for the selected object type in the selector. The size of the dialog window could either re-adjust itself on every selector change, or it could simply be the maximum size required to fit in the windows below the selector.

This would now enable us to manipulate the _union_ set of all properties.

But if for example "Standard - Line" was selected, its property sheet would be displayed. Consider now that there happened to be several such objects included in the selection:

Now, some of the properties have the same settings in all objects; Those fields can just be enabled and the common setting shown.

If the property in question does NOT have the same value in all selected objects, however, then the field should still be enabled (i.e. modifiable), but doesn't show any real value. It could also be "dimmed down" or something to visually aid in the concept that there are really multiple values around. If the user does not touch this setting at all, then the properties should remain unchanged in all objects. But if the user sets a different value, then that will be set in all objects of that type.

This solution is the most flexible, I think, and it also handles the case where different kinds of objects happen to share a property name which isn't really the same property. But I'm not sure that it really handles the situation that some common property among different object types might be better handled if it's only displayed at one [common] place (and not repeated on every type's property sheet).



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