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Panel Preferences Menu Not Available When Selecting Colors

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I have some feedback about discoverability for new and infrequent users.

The issue is with the color selector, the tool that consists of the Color, Swatches, and Gradients panels.

As those three panels appear inside the color selector, they look but aren't identical to their studio instances in that they're missing the Panel Preferences menu.
The Panel Preferences menu is the only way to access certain options, such as adding new palettes in the case of the Swatches panel.

I've found myself searching for ways to add a new palette when using the color selector, only to resort to the forums because searching the same panel elsewhere never occurred to me, as have others:

Custom Swatches

How to create a Swatch?

The documentation isn't clear on this distinction. In fact, the chapter on selecting colors seems to imply that the Panel Preferences menu is also present when using the color selector:


Click Panel Preferences Panel Preferences menu on the Color panel to select color via RGB, HSL, CMYK, LAB, or Grayscale sliders; in 8 bit, 16 bit or percentage modes where applicable; or use Hue, Saturation, or Lightness boxes.


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  • 3 months later...
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Hey Megnusin,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
The "color selector" you are referring to, accessible trough the context toolbar in various tools (for Fill, Stroke etc) gives you access to popups to quickly pick solid colours, gradients and swatches. These are just contextual controls not "full" Studio panels as you find on the right of the interface. The Help does actually refer to the Color panel, not the contextual options from the context toolbar. Only the panels offer a menu on the top right and a few additional options not present on the contextual pop-ups.

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Thank you, and thanks for responding.

You're right about the Help page. I didn't read that well enough.

I do realize the context color options is not the fully-fledged thing, but they're so close in appearance and feature set that I expected to also be able to manage the swatches which are displayed in both. I should've been more clear about that when writing the post.

My point was that in the process of discovering, it's not immediately obvious which of the two is the primary way to reach a feature—the gradient options are buried inside the appearance panel in the studio, for instance. Including the few remaining features only found in the studio panels seemed like a simple solution. Fortunately, it's all pretty clear once you understand that distinction.

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The Studio panels are indeed the primary way to access the functionality for a specific feature. The context toolbar offers common controls related to a specific tool or a quick way to access the panels when applicable (text tools for example regarding Paragraph, Character panels).

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And once you've learned that, it's not an issue. Getting there just requires stepping around the ambiguity. This post is just feedback on that tiny journey and a suggestion on how to mitigate it, arguably not ideal, arguably not required.

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