A week or two ago I posted about the Display Pane, where all of the hide/show, display style, appearance override, and transparency settings are. The Display Pane is, to me, one of the best additions to SolidWorks interface. It is useful for both conveying the current state and making changes. The one shortfall is that it doesn’t show the states of faces. Overall, though, its a great tool.
There is another tool called the DisplayManager. TheDisplayManager covers some of the same information that the Display Pane covers, but I don’t think it is quite as ideal as the Display Pane. I think it is also intended more for use with PhotoView.
The three icons below the Display Manager icon are Appearances, Decals, and Scenes, Lights, and Cameras.
The list under Appearances allows you to edit, delete, copy appearances, see what the appearance is attached to, or copy the appearance to a selection.
The appearances can be listed by History (first to last added), Alphabetical, or Hierarchy. Of these, I like the history best because it lists the material – oops- appearance names. I also like the Hierarchy, because it lists the items that the mater – appearance is attached to. In some ways its nice to have so many options, but frankly, I haven’t found a good way to use theDisplayManager yet. I’m not in love with it. I don’t hate it either, but I guess that its usefulness is pretty pale in comparison to the Display Pane.
To me, this Display Pane/DisplayManager combination is a great example of an interface that doesn’t have a single cohesive vision. It is fragmented, and all over the place. You’ve got these two tools that overlap in some areas, and in the overlapping areas, the one added last (DisplayManager) isn’t an improvement. Of course DisplayManager does stuff that Display Pane is not meant to do. I would guess that two different people were responsible for these two parts of the interface, and there was no collaboration. To me, since the Display Pane is a success and the DisplayManageris less successful, I would like to see the functionality of the latter reworked into the mindset of the former.
Are there any big fans of the DisplayManager out there who want to give a different perspective on things?