Hi, I mocked up a few ideas that I think would improve the functionality of the Photo merge tools by making it easier to switch between them and add images directly.
Say you drag a few images into one of Photo's merging tools, only to realize you opened the wrong one. The commands are grouped in the menu, two have keyboard shortcuts right next to one another, and the tools have similar layouts, making this a fairly easy mistake to make.
Rather than having to hit Cancel, open the intended merge tool, then relocate the images you want to merge, what if you could just switch to it, with the images you added still in place?
The functionality of the Batch tool seems different enough to warrant it remaining separate.
To keep the various merging options visible to the user, it might be best to keep their individual items in the File menu. Each would just open the unified interface to the appropriate tool.
It would be great to be able to drag-and-drop directly to the Images pane rather than having to open the file picker, then drop to it, then click OK.
The visual styling of the window widgets is a bit confusing; the brighter widgets are disabled. This is contrary to most GUI conventions, including how the OK button is disabled in the tools themselves.
If the Panorama tool isn’t resizable because the panorama previews would have to be re-rendered (a processor-intensive task), just fix the width of the preview pane while allowing the Images pane to expand.
There is some ambiguity in the Panorama tool when you have stitched multiple panoramas together. If you don't explicitly select all of them in the preview pane before you hit OK, only the last selected one will build. A different button label or counter tallying how many panoramas will be rendered (Render 2 Panoramas) might be sufficient.
NTH: a way to tell which images constitute which panorama after the panorama preview is generated. This could look something like the mockup below. Ideally, the number displays next to the panorama preview would handle discontiguous stitches nicely, so if you used three of 4 images out of sequence, something like “1 – 2, 4” would appear next to the thumbnail.
Originally posted to my weblog.