FR: Improved tool autofocus switching

For a while, I’ve encountered a problem with automatic tool switching depending on the mouse’s cursor location. I couldn’t quite figure out why. Now that I’ve gathered my thoughts, it’s clear:

Automatic switching of tools is good if you go back and forth between the center zone and the lower zone. In a fast pace, thousands of times, you don’t have to switch between tools. Except when you actually need to. Then it can drive you crazy:

Let’s say you need to switch between three tools in the center zone and two other tools in the lower zone. What happens?

You can’t just instinctively press the keyboard shortcut of the tool you want and keep your fast pace. You have to

  • slow down
  • visually figure out which zone is highlighted (center zone, optional left zone, lower zone and right zone)
  • deduce from this highlighting which toolbar will be affected by your general keyboard shortcut
  • if it’s not the one you want, you have to switch to select it, by pressing Tab, a different number of times depending on your location
  • then switch the tool using a keyboard shortcut

If you don’t do that, you won’t affect the selection you want and mess up the one you meant to leave untouched for now. Double the work, constantly. Talk about a nightmare. Not for everyone, sure. Not for users who feel like they can afford to click with their mouse on the appropriate icon, lucky them (no irony). I’m talking about the people who encounter the necessity to edit an overwhelming amount of things as precisely and fast as possible, all day long, for weeks.

The actual request :

Remember the tool will switch automatically depending on the mouse location?
Remember the keyboard shortcuts won’t affect the right toolbar unless you visually figure it out first?

What if there was an option for the zone to be selected automatically depending on the mouse’s cursor location?

You’d be in the center zone and switch between tools super fast using your keyboard shortcuts. Then you could fly to the lower zone and do the same. And if you went back and forth between the two, you’d still have an automatic change of tool if both toolbars arbor different choices made by the user.

The tool selection keyboard shortcuts need to affect the toolbar that is located in the zone where the mouse’s cursor is when the shortcut happens.

eac04eaz56 oh, sorry, I meant, az8615xa, ah damn!! I meant… thanks!