User interface review update

the user interface for seamly has some usability issues. Some could be best addressed through documentation and tutorials and some would be better addressed through changes to the software.

some guidelines:

  • it is not good to make sweeping changes that force existing users to learn new ways of working
  • it is good to simplify and clarify which options to use to accomplish a task

suggested tasks:

  • create a “cheat sheet” that is less than a page, perhaps suitable to be printed and used as a physical laminated “bookmark”
  • this cheat sheet would cover a complete list of tools in each mode (draw, detail, layout)
  • perhaps a “poster” that is designed to be used with the “cheat sheet” could provide a quick overview of the seamly tool, workflow, and usability
  • use KISS principle, this is not intended to replace a user manual

This thread might be a good place to discuss what, if any, changes need to be made to tool placement.

This discussion was triggered by this thread: Union tool, or Combine Tool


I will have lots to say… or show on this topic, as I’ve already drastically changed the GUI in my ver. All the menus have been rearranged to conform to Windows standards including add all the tools in a menu with key shortcuts. I’ve also added a tools toolbar while putting the current tools into a dock which can be closed if desired. Also a “pen” toolbar has been added to set defaults for color, linetype, and lineweight… anytime a new object is created it acquires the default pen unless overridden. Also adding/ editing groups has been drastically changed, while providing a group pen so that if selected an object can take on the group’s attributes. One can hide or show all groups and/or lock/ unlock all groups. Objects in a group are shown in a list when that group is selected in the dock. All the tool dialogs have been redesigned to be uniform and intuitive. The “seam allowance” ( or pattern piece) dialog has been refactored to eliminate the “fancy tabber” (which is just added junk) to be consistent with the preferences dialogs. Also in this dialog the misnamed “passmarks” is properly named notches… and also converted in the schema and val files. One can also select a choice of background color. New options are in the zoom toolbar… mainly the ability to zoom to a rubberbanded area. A utilties menu with a pop up calculator and inch fractions to decimal table has been added. Grammar has been corrected in the increments table and to be consistant… for ex: Lines Angles is bad English… it should be Line Angles. Pattern pieces can now be colored (eventually by fabric type) as well as selecting a hatch pattern. Some corrections have been made to tooltips… like the flip tool is really a mirror tool. Flipping flips a piece, while mirroring makes a mirror copy. Also the “Operation” tool button button is more appropriately named “Modify” to reflect the fact those tools modify an object.

I could go on… but it will be easier to just make a short vid to show.


I made a cheat sheet last year. It’s about 3 x A4 pages long in landscape:


If you tell me what’s wrong with it, I’ll change it.


Wow!!! @Douglas, you have been busy :slight_smile: if I could’ve clicked the :heart: 10x, I would’ve. Where have you been hiding all this?


@Grace, I love this!! I just printed it out to see if I have any comments. My first comment on initial glance is this is really valuable just the way it is. I also would like to see an abbreviated version that would fig on a “bookmark” format and I have no idea at the moment how I would abbreviate it.

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@Douglas you have done a lot of work. When you say “your version” is this a version that is publicly available? I would love to take a look at it. Are you open to the idea of helping to merge some or all of the improvements into the Seamly2D project? Please feel free to respond privately if you have issues that are not of general interest

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Thanks. I’ve changed it to portrait, changed the pitch to 9px and now it all fits onto 2 pages. I think it is still perfectly legible.

Tools Cheat Sheet.pdf (651.4 KB)

So it could be printed on 2 pages and laminated back-to-back.


Just Merci for this sheet!

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