Focus Mode... skinning?

Focus mode got brought up in another thread. I have some more thoughts/questions about it, so figured I’d start a separate thread.

To me, focus mode seems potentially like a step toward fully skinning the Editor. Creating an Editor skin could be a superior alternative to creating a separate custom UI. We wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel on the parts of the UI that we want, and we’d be able to hide the parts we don’t want.

A skin could potentially include:

  • Dock panel layout
  • Menu accessibility
  • Shortcut to enter/exit the skin
  • Color scheme
  • Custom logo

So basically, I’m curious if there is a longer term plan for focus mode, and if it might look at all similar to these kinds of features.


@david-wsd great! Thanks for starting this. We have some ideas and some teams internally we are engaging, but allowing some room for community direction and steering as we always do.

I would say the first two items on your list are what is there today, and least in a basic sense. Let us know if you have ideas on what adjustments would make this valuable/user friendly.

We’ve thought of these more as “modes” currently, but I could see thinking of them as skins as well. I’d expect something to be coming around shortcuts to enter/launch these different modes. Just working out the details of how this should be done.

As for customizations around logo and color scheme, since they had mostly been used by internal teams so far it hasn’t been a need :slightly_smiling_face:. I can’t say I’ve thought much about it, but it certainly sounds interesting.

@rolf_madsen maybe you have some ideas.

Interested if others see some value here as well. Or maybe additions to David’s initial list of other area they would like to see.


Very cool @brennen_direnzo. Modes, skins, tomato, tomahto. :laughing:

For the dock panel layouts, I think it would be very cool to be able to define and restore custom layouts. Basically like the “Restore Default Layout” option, but for custom layouts as well. I think those custom layouts should be defined by the developer in our plugin code, so that all our end-users can restore the same consistent layout. Maybe that could be part of the “modes” concept.

Great! Yes, this is exactly the direction we are investigating. You can today, wrap the GUI related Settings XML files as part of a plugin to force a particular layout, but if a user were to change anything the only way to get back is to reinstall the plugin, so we are looking at ways to make that better as well as supporting the option to switch between multiple modes.

You can today, wrap the GUI related Settings XML files are part of a plugin to force a particular layout

Very cool! I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s straightforward. I might take advantage of that.


We could add support for importing user-defined WPF ResourceDictionaries. I think it may require a lot of support to replace every color/icon/style in the UI, but I guess we could have an example and then just support the things in that, adding more as needed.

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Thanks for the consideration, @rolf_madsen. Custom color schemes aren’t super important. I really like the dark theme, and have made it the default selection when my users install my plugins for the first time.

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Ah OK, sorry, I think I misunderstood. What you are suggesting is something we are planning to implement in one of the coming sprints.

Currently I am considering adding a [Layouts] menu in the View menu item, where you can add/remove new layouts. Then possibly toggle between them with alt+shift+1-9. Of course the currently used layout would be saved between startups.

This means you could have an ‘Operator View’ and a ‘Developer View’.

As for the logo, I still think it might be best to allow it through WPF resource dictionaries as it might make it easier to share styles between plugins in general.


Hi @rolf_madsen, I like your Layouts menu concept for sure.

BTW, I tried to add a custom logo using an Adorner. Got pretty close, but couldn’t make it show up on the Editor’s title bar. I’m guessing it can be done though. Like the colors, it’s not a critical feature at all, just cool to slap some familiar branding on there for the unfamiliar customers. :wink:

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