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whiteglint

Optimize Cura for smaller screens

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Hi all, 

 

I use Cura 2.6.2 and just tried 3.2. I have a small 13" laptop which makes every square centimeter of area very valuable but I noticed Cura 3.2 has changed the Print Settings Recommended <-> Custom selector from a switch to a button then added a "check compatibility" link. These changes waste a lot of space to see my settings. Is it possible to write a plug in (or even compile from source!) that will undo these changes? 

 

Thanks!

Cura32.png

Cura26.png

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18 hours ago, nallath said:

You can change the theme file so use smaller margins. Cura uses theme packages (located in resources). The theme.json defines a bunch of margins & sizes.

THANK YOU^1000 I edited the "sidebar" region of theme.json (attached, just change the extension to .json or open in a text editor) and almost doubled the size AND inadvertently covered up that stupid "check compatibility" link that takes up a ton of precious screen real estate. Now I can actually use 3.2 if I can get it to stop changing my filament diameter to 2.85 :'D

theme.gcode

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 10.30.28 PM.png

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You don't have to wait for the next release. I have created a theme based on @whiteglint's tinkering that is (fairly) easy to add to your current install, and should survive future installations of Cura (unless you remove your configuration folder).

 

* Go to https://gist.github.com/fieldOfView/6313ca39f5e3a57b35a676fc5fd2ef63 and use the "raw" button to download the theme.json file

* Launch Cura and go to Help -> Show configuration folder

* Navigate to the folder named "themes" and create a new folder inside that folder named "compact-sidebar" (or similar)

* Place the downloaded theme.json file inside that new folder

* Restart Cura and open the preferences; there should now be a theme named "Compact sidebar"

* Select "Compact sidebar" and restart Cura one last time

 

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I don't think this theme will (or should?) be merged in its current state, with the overlapping interface elements. As has been suggested before, it could be nice to have a plugin-browser-like interface to install themes like this (and other resource types).

Edited by ahoeben

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2 hours ago, ahoeben said:

I don't think this theme will (or should?) be merged in its current state, with the overlapping interface elements. As has been suggested before, it could be nice to have a plugin-browser-like interface to install themes like this (and other resource types).

 

 

Yes, I agree, the theme with overlapping elements should not be placed into production software.

 

If it were up to me, I would eliminate the "recommended/custom" part completely or convert "recommended" to a "frequently used" section. I would remove "check compatibility". Then I would create three side by side drop down boxes for: Printer - Profile - Material so there is no wasted space without making things too dense.

 

If someone points me in the right direction in the cura source/tools needed, I would make the changes. I do modeling software and not GUI type software though so it will be a learning experience. 

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I already proposed some of these changes (see https://github.com/Ultimaker/Cura/issues/2678, also linked above), but for example removing the compatibility link is a controversial change. Things like that can not be changed in a theme alone, but it should now be possible in a plugin (it was not at the time, but functionality has been added that can be abused to alter the interface in more creative ways).

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I have created another small plugin:

https://github.com/fieldOfView/PrepareStageCompactor

This plugin replaces the sidebar with a more compact variation of the original sidebar:

  • Nozzle & material dropdowns are combined to a single line
  • "Check compatibility" link is removed
  • Extruder selection buttons are downsized

Easiest way to install the plugin is to download the curaplugin here: http://files.fieldofview.com/temp/PrepareStageCompactor.curaplugin

Drop the file onto Cura, restart Cura, and rejoice the regained space.

 

The plugin has only been tested with Cura 3.2, but could also work with 3.1. Feedback is welcomed.

 

As a sideeffect, installing the plugin probably also fixes the broken font rendering in the sidebar on OS X.

 

image.thumb.png.251d1ac49e3377354bebd9a7fa30a9cf.png 

 

Left-to-right: Current Cura 3.2, with the plugin, with the plugin and the theme.

 

 

Edited by ahoeben

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8 hours ago, ahoeben said:

I have created another small plugin:

https://github.com/fieldOfView/PrepareStageCompactor

This plugin replaces the sidebar with a more compact variation of the original sidebar:

  • Nozzle & material dropdowns are combined to a single line
  • "Check compatibility" link is removed
  • Extruder selection buttons are downsized

Easiest way to install the plugin is to download the curaplugin here: http://files.fieldofview.com/temp/PrepareStageCompactor.curaplugin

Drop the file onto Cura, restart Cura, and rejoice the regained space.

 

The plugin has only been tested with Cura 3.2, but could also work with 3.1. Feedback is welcomed.

 

As a sideeffect, installing the plugin probably also fixes the broken font rendering in the sidebar on OS X.

 

image.thumb.png.251d1ac49e3377354bebd9a7fa30a9cf.png 

 

Left-to-right: Current Cura 3.2, with the plugin, with the plugin and the theme.

 

 

 

Installed and works great! Thank you

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@ctbeke told me about this plugin and I ❤️ it as the settings menu was annoyingly small on my 13" notebook screen! 

 

Reccomended-Custom.png.e00ac873a06382b80258d2257d426aac.png

 

May it be possible to move the Custom/Recommended tab into the settings field? IMHO this would make the interface look "cleaner" as the current dropdown looks somewhat out of place. I also know that I probably only use use recommended view 2% of the time. 

 

In the settings menu I would probably create the following structure:

---------------------------------

Interface                       <- Main Menu

---------------------------------

- View  | Custom             v  |

            | Recommended     |

 

As everyone has his own preferences maybe an option in the settings menu may be a more universal way:

---------------------------------

Interface                       <- Main Menu

---------------------------------

- Hide Print Setup         [ X ]

- View  | Custom             v  |

            | Recommended     |

 

While the View Menu behaves like the following settings: 

Cura-Enable-Settings.gif.e9a7538c050e0afa7c384e73805b0b81.gif

 

What do you think about it?

How difficult/time intensive is it to implement this? 

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Thanks for the suggestion. It is “not possible” for a plugin to add options to the general preferences page*.

 

I needed to put that switch somewhere, and this is where it ended up. I may tweak how it looks in a future version, but for now it is going to stay there.

 

 

*: Nothing is 100% impossible, but it would involve replacing the entire general preferences pane with a version that has the extra option in a similar way that the plugin replaces the entire sidebar, and I am not going to do that)

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7 minutes ago, ahoeben said:

*: Nothing is 100% impossible, but it would involve replacing the entire general preferences pane with a version that has the extra option in a similar way that the plugin replaces the entire sidebar, and I am not going to do that)

 

Ok. That's why I was asking as I didn't know how much effort it would be to do such. Just wanted to share my idea for "improvement". Thought it wouldn't be to difficult as other plugins also add a setting to the preference pane. 

Thank you @ahoeben for taking the time to program this great plugin! 

 

10 minutes ago, ahoeben said:

I may tweak how it looks in a future version, but for now it is going to stay there.

What about changing the background of the dropdown to be dark like the other items in the line and the Text to be white (Same color,size etc. like the Printer Name) ? 

Can we find another/shorter Name for Recommended or find symbols? This way we could reduce the width of the button. Recommended isn't a good name anyway IMHO. 

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For the record, my design rationale was to mirror the Solid/Xray/Layer view dropdown aesthetics that is right next to the sidebar. I do agree though that that dropdown also stands out a bit (if anything I think I made that view dropdown look less out of place by echoing it...)

 

I may hide the Custom/Recommended mode behind a hamburger-style menu dropdown. I don't think changing terminology in this plugin is a good idea, because then documentation, forum posts etc no longer apply. The current width of the dropdown aligns with the width of the material dropdown.

 

Options in the general preferences that apply to plugins (eg the privacy options) are hardcoded there, they are not actually put there by the plugin.

Edited by ahoeben

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1 hour ago, ahoeben said:

For the record, my design rationale was to mirror the Solid/Xray/Layer view dropdown aesthetics that is right next to the sidebar. I do agree though that that dropdown also stands out a bit (if anything I think I made that view dropdown look less out of place by echoing it...)

 

Good point. Didn't think about that. I might try to create a mockup of the black version to compare it as it is hard to imagine how it may fit in. Maybe a UI/UX designer from Ultimaker can help us / has some Ideas to make it look more inline.

 

1 hour ago, ahoeben said:

I don't think changing terminology in this plugin is a good idea, because then documentation, forum posts etc no longer apply.

I think this could be worked out, but for the time being I agree it's best to not change it.

 

1 hour ago, ahoeben said:

I may hide the Custom/Recommended mode behind a hamburger-style menu dropdown.

What do you mean by hamburger-style menu dropdown?

 

Different Idea: What about putting the dropdown into the dropdown next to the search or maybe into cura preferences next to the dark theme?

 

 

Search Side Menu.png

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Those 3 horizontal lines are colloquially known as a “hamburger” menu (two buns and a patty).

 

Note that the search... does not exist in Recommended mode, and neither does the hamburger menu (because it is all about setting visibility)

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