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Can't deselect layer fully, stays "soft selected"


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I'm trying my hardest to deselect a layer, to not have anything selected when inserting a stock photo or making any sort of new curve/text/whatever.

After clicking outside the canvas and hitting escape repeatedly, the last used layer still has a dark blue highlight. How does one fully deselect, so any new element comes in on the "root level", not under that last used layer?

(Designer by the way)

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Yes, the "deselect" is greyed out after i hit "esc", but the layer is still partly selected - see the "diecut" layer, and select menu open. Here I've hit esc 3 times and clicked outside the canvas:

image.thumb.png.0c5249b58907e7e9fb923e0466e5affc.png

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Move Tool, ESC key? - in Windows totally unselect Layers panel.

Edit: the problem is if you use Layers (with a capital L). If the last selected item is its sublayer, this Layers will remain partially selected even after pressing ESC. This does not apply to root layers or groups, because they are completely unmarked after pressing ESC.

Edited by Pšenda

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8 minutes ago, toth said:

Yes, the "deselect" is greyed out after i hit "esc", but the layer is still partly selected - see the "diecut" layer, and select menu open. Here I've hit esc 3 times and clicked outside the canvas:

That's because it's a Layer Layer, notoriously hard to fully deselect without selecting another layer

To save time I am currently using an automated AI to reply to some posts on this forum. If any of "my" posts are wrong or appear to be total b*ll*cks they are the ones generated by the AI. If correct they were probably mine. I apologise for any mistakes made by my AI - I'm sure it will improve with time.

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19 minutes ago, carl123 said:

That's because it's a Layer Layer, notoriously hard to fully deselect without selecting another layer

Artboards also work in the same way - but keeping the selection of the last selected artboard is quite understandable. With Layers, it may also be an intention, but in my opinion it should work more like with Groups - i.e. ESC performs a complete deselect.

P.S. in version 2, I actually don't see any reason to use Layers anymore - Groups as object container suit me perfectly, and they work (deselect) as they should 🙂 

Edited by Pšenda

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Layer layers (with a capital “L”) – shown in the Layers Panel by an icon with four short blue horizontal lines – are special types of layers that I’ve never tried to get my head around as groups and clipping has always worked for me.

The Help says they are: “Vector—used for placing vector objects into.” which isn’t very helpful as you can place vector objects into most other layers.

You can create them via menu “Layer → Add Layer” or via the Layers Panel “Add Layer” button.
(In my experience, you normally don’t need to create them – I’ve used Designer for about six years now and can’t remember ever needing them.)

If you find that a layer in a Layers layer is still highlighted then you should be able to select any other layer (except another Layer layer, or child of a Layer layer) and then deselect.

I really wish Serif had called them something else.

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39 minutes ago, toth said:

Sorry guys I'm not sure what you mean - what is a Layer Layer as opposed to a Layer? I've only clicked "new layer" as normal..

You can think of it like a container layer, objects can be placed in the containers (Layers) for easy organisation of a large amount of objects

One benefit of these sort of layers is that container Layers can be collapsed or expanded to allow you to concentrate your work on one part of your design at a time

Not really necessary for small projects but some people find them invaluable for projects containing dozens to thousands of objects

To save time I am currently using an automated AI to reply to some posts on this forum. If any of "my" posts are wrong or appear to be total b*ll*cks they are the ones generated by the AI. If correct they were probably mine. I apologise for any mistakes made by my AI - I'm sure it will improve with time.

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5 minutes ago, GarryP said:

In my experience, you normally don’t need to create them – I’ve used Designer for about six years now and can’t remember ever needing them.

Previously (in version 1), Layers were the only layer type that could be changed by color in the Layers panel, which made it easier to navigate the layer hierarchy. Today, this color can be set to all layers. The only reason for Layers is to change the properties - the color, which also changes the color of the border of the object on the canvas. I don't see any other reason to use Layers.

 

47 minutes ago, toth said:

I've only clicked "new layer" as normal.

Use Groups (Ctrl+G) to grouping objects.

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2 minutes ago, carl123 said:

You can think of it like a container layer, objects can be placed in the containers (Layers) for easy organisation of a large amount of objects

One benefit of these sort of layers is that container Layers can be collapsed or expanded to allow you to concentrate your work on one part of your design at a time

I can do both of these things with Groups, unless I'm misunderstanding what you said.

Can you explain what the difference is between Layer layers and Groups?

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2 minutes ago, carl123 said:

You can think of it like a container layer, objects can be placed in the containers (Layers) for easy organisation of a large amount of objects

One benefit of these sort of layers is that container Layers can be collapsed or expanded to allow you to concentrate your work on one part of your design at a time

Not really necessary for small projects but some people find them invaluable for projects containing dozens to thousands of objects

Same as with Groups.

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17 minutes ago, carl123 said:

You can think of it like a container layer, objects can be placed in the containers (Layers) for easy organisation of a large amount of objects

 

Yeah this is how I've always thought of layers(coming from PS) - but this isn't special, that's how they're supposed to work, and should still be selectable/deselectable like normal.. So what is the other type of "layer" you guys mention?

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26 minutes ago, GarryP said:

Can you explain what the difference is between Layer layers and Groups?

Don't use Layers much so someone else will advise as to all their differences

But the question has been asked before several times in this forum

 

 

To save time I am currently using an automated AI to reply to some posts on this forum. If any of "my" posts are wrong or appear to be total b*ll*cks they are the ones generated by the AI. If correct they were probably mine. I apologise for any mistakes made by my AI - I'm sure it will improve with time.

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The benefits of "Layer" layers become evident when you turn off the "edit all layers" icon at the bottom left of the layers pallet, which is usually on by default. 

If you separate your artwork into "Layers" (noted by the blue lines) - and turn off the "Edit all layers" function. It locks EVERYTHING in your entire art piece EXCEPT all objects within the currently selected layer. So if you have a super complicated vector going and you just want to edit all the content and none of the background, you would separate 2 layers, content and background, and turn OFF "edit all layers", select the content layer in the layers pallet, then you have full control to edit only the objects you want to.

It's easier and more convenient than grouping and locking all of your objects, since those steps would likely need to be undone later. 

Screenshot 2023-05-16 at 8.29.53 AM.png

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Ahh… now that seems like an explanation. I think I understand it now. Thank you.

I’ve attached a short video which I think might help others to get it too.

In my video:

  • At first I can select any layer – on the canvas – because Edit All Layers is switched ON;
  • Then I switch Edit All Layers OFF;
  • Then I select a layer in Layer1, or Layer 1 itself;
  • I can now only select layers – on the canvas – which are child layers of Layer1, while I can still select any layer from the Layers Panel;
  • Once I select a layer in Layer2 (or Layer 2 itself) I can now only select layers – on the canvas – that are child layers of Layer2;
  • Then I switch Edit All Layers back ON and I can select any layer on the canvas again.

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You got it! It's one of those hidden, but remarkably useful features that doesn't get much attention. 

If you don't know about the "edit all layers" function and the purpose of this type of layer, they have likely caused you headache, since one of the other features of these layers is they ALWAYS show up when pasting from adobe illustrator, and they also contain their own isolated layer stack, so when you arrange your layers by "sending to top" or "sending to bottom" they will only send to the top or bottom of their isolated layer stack within the layer.

It's thrown me off a few times, bashing my head on the desk wondering why one stupid object wouldn't go above the rest, haha. 

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1 hour ago, Pšenda said:

Previously (in version 1), Layers were the only layer type that could be changed by color in the Layers panel, which made it easier to navigate the layer hierarchy. Today, this color can be set to all layers.

I don't think that has changed from V1 to V2, if I understand which color you're talking about. The color list at the bottom of the right-click context menu in the Layers panel has been available to all kinds of objects, in both versions. Here's a Rectangle in V1, for example:

image.png.d0c9cb9904e0b818e83c52cec60b2134.png

 

And in both V1 and V2, only Layer objects (capital L) can have the color set via Properties which adds the other highlight in the Layers panel, and changes the highlight color in the workspace:

V2: image.png.fe252d0bffb9c5787e5900655a68b67d.png

 

V1: image.png.2440135e33fb5835f629024f50592926.png

 

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
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17 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

I don't think that has changed from V1 to V2, if I understand which color you're talking about.

Yes, it is still possible to adjust the properties - color, but compared to V1, it is also possible to set the color for differentiation in the Layers panel for all layers/objects, not only for Layers.
image.png.acc0050695154ffe281bded79231765c.png

 

Edit: I looked in V1 now, and the coloring option in the Layers panel was already added in V1. But that certainly wasn't possible in the beginning.

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27 minutes ago, Pšenda said:

but compared to V1, it is also possible to set the color for differentiation in the Layers panel for all layers/objects, not only for Layers.

That was a V1 function, too, as I showed in my first screenshot with the Rectangle object having a color on the right edge of its layer info.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
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9 minutes ago, Red Sands said:

The benefits are lost on most, and the remaining few customers come here for clarification. Shall we guess that the few make up 1-2% of customers? Tops.

Perhaps more users read the Help, or watch the Tutorials, or other videos, than you think?

I really don't think there's a way we can accurately judge how many users know about "Edit All Layers".

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
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A possible ‘fix’ for this came to me out of the blue last night.

What if:
1. The Layer layers were renamed to be called something like ‘Isolation Groups’;
2. The “Edit All Layers” button had its functionality reversed and was called something like “Edit Only Isolation Groups”.

By doing this, “Edit Only Isolation Groups” is normally switched OFF and all layers can be edited, however the user can switch it ON and then they can only work with ‘Isolation Groups’. It’s the same functionality as currently available, just reversed UI-wise.

Can anyone see a problem with this?

Note: I’m not hugely-fussed what name they are given, only that they are called something other than Layer layers and that the name gives the user some idea that they are ‘special’.

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21 hours ago, Pšenda said:

But that certainly wasn't possible in the beginning.

It's been possible since 1.7.0:

 

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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Hey there,

I didn't see this thread yesterday and created another topic, although it concerns Photo. Guess it’s universal in the suite then.

For me this behaviour becomes particularly frustrating when trying to record and play back macros that require a total deselection of basically everything as the first action (in order to remain fully non-destructive).

With layers inherited from Designer (or Layers layers as you call them here), the actions suddenly take place inside the soft selected Layer layer rather than on top of everything.

There is no solution for this, as the macro is supposed to work with any kind of starting point – Designer-Layer-layer, as well as groups, pixel layers, live filters and so on. It shouldn't matter, as the Deselect Layers operation should theoretically take care of, well, deselecting all sorts of layers. And it does, except for the Layers layers.

 That’s my two cents to this issue.

 Cheers

Dennis

2023_b.png.6eb47882072cc58253b7219526339b14.png

 

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