Select tool mouse pointer usability

Bug #325145 reported by Guillermo Espertino (Gez)
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Fix Released

Bug Description

Every tool has a custom mouse pointer, but the select tool uses the Gnome's default pointer.
When an object is selected, the pointer changes to a hand icon (without crosshair), making it almost impossible to select objects near the selected object with precision.
In my opinion, a crosshair icon would be much better for the select tool in most of the situations, but just keeping the arrow and not changing to the hand icon would suffice.

Inkscape SVN
Ubuntu 8.10
Gnome Desktop

Revision history for this message
Guillermo Espertino (Gez) (gespertino-gmail) wrote :

In Windows it changes to a four-way arrow.
It's evident that the system pointers are used.

Anyway, the hotspot of the tool when it changes to the hand/arrows icon should be more evident. In both cases is really hard to see where the hotspot is.

Revision history for this message
Guillermo Espertino (Gez) (gespertino-gmail) wrote :

I did some tests and I think the problem is mostly the lack of a precise hotspot in the selection tool and its strange behavior.
It has some kind of threshold, an area of influence that it's not precise (one would expect that the point of the arrow icon would be a precise hotspot, but all the icon and apparently an area of 2 or 3 pixels around it are considered).
Besides, it changes to a hand/four-arrow icon when you roll over any object (selected or not).
This makes extremely difficult to select multiple small objects that are near other small objects. It's very likely that you'll select the wrong object that is near when you start to drag.

The selection tool doesn't seem to be precise at all, and in its two functions (selecting and moving) the lack of a precise hotspot is a problem.

I think the pointers should be unified.
Now we have several different behaviors:
- an arrow with a strange behavior in the selection tool
- precise arrows in the node editor and connector tool.
- crosshair in the rest of the tools
- The paint bucket pointer, that has the hotspot on the bottom left, on the paint drip.

In my opinion, this should be changed in this way:

- add a crosshair to the bucket fill and connector tools pointers, keeping the icons.
- make the selection tool pointer to have a precise hotspot and change to a move pointer ONLY when the mouse button is kept pressed on an already selected object (applying a little delay to the icon swap). That would keep the ability of precise selection (both in single or multiple objects).
- Revise the size of the pointer icons. Some are pretty large and others are tiny. That should be unified.

Revision history for this message
Guillermo Espertino (Gez) (gespertino-gmail) wrote :

I made some adjustments to some icons.
- Tweaked the appearance of 3dbox and eraser
- added crosshairs to connector and bucket fill
- new icon for bucket fill
- Unified the appearance of pen and pencil tools
- Unified the size and position of the color dropper icon

The icons had different sizes and positions relative to the crosshairs, so I tried to unify that.
Now the modified icons fit in a 26x26 square at the upper left of the total area (32x32) so there is space in the bottom left for potential modified versions (for instance adding a + sign for addition, like the gradient tool has).
Some icons (bucket fill, color dropper and connector) have a slightly different hotspots now, so they'll have to be adjusted.

There are others that can be adjusted, but with these changes at least the set is more homogenous in size and style.

The pen icon for the bezier tool is in my opinion confusing, since the pen icon in the UI is assigned to the calligraphic tool. Nobody seems to matter, though.

Revision history for this message
Guillermo Espertino (Gez) (gespertino-gmail) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Guillermo Espertino (Gez) (gespertino-gmail) wrote :

I could improve the precision situation a little changing the hotspot distance from the preferences.
It's still confusing because the icon changes just hovering over *any* object, though.

I wonder if the default distance isn't too large.

Revision history for this message
Diederik van Lierop (mail-diedenrezi) wrote :

Excellent work!

bbyak (buliabyak)
Changed in inkscape:
assignee: nobody → bbyak (buliabyak)
Revision history for this message
bbyak (buliabyak) wrote :

Thanks, I finally committed the new cursors - except the paintbucket though, because it looks like its Tango icon, but we're not switching default to tango yet, so I left the old cursor which matches the old icon.

Changed in inkscape:
status: New → Fix Released
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