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There is now a secondary (auxiliary) toolbar which goes horizontally at the top of the document window and whose contents change as you switch tools. So for each tool, this toolbar should presents options, buttons, adjustments, etc. that are relevant for this tool. Users of Xara X will recognize this layout immediately, and it's indeed very convenient. Adobe Photoshop also uses a similar horizontal tool-specific toolbar in recent versions.

At the moment, the secondary toolbar only contains buttons from the former main toolbox. This page is where we work out a specification of what needs to be put in that toolbar for each tool.

  • Selector:
    • The "tool options" for selector actually belong in program's preferences, not in the secondary toolbar because they are unlikely to be changed as you work.
    • Instead, the entire "size and position" dialog can be moved into the secondary dialog for selector and eliminated as a separate dialog.
      • "Units" list should ideally be put into drop-down list of the spinbuttons, instead of being a separate widget.
      • There must be a way to lock W and H so the object is scaled uniformly.
      • (TODO) Sticky button (toggle? checkbox?) for switching scale/rotation handles.
    • Toggle button for switching between scaling and not scaling:
      • the stroke width when an object is scaled.
      • the radii of rounded corner.
    • Toggle button for switching between transform and not transform:
      • the gradient.
      • the pattern.
  • Node edit:
    • X and Y spinbuttons reflecting the position of the (first of) selected node(s)
    • Left and Right spinbuttons for the angles and lengths of control handles; empty but editable if more than one node is selected, so you can align all selected nodes' controls by specifying a value
  • Freehand:
    • a slider or spinbutton for adjusting how closely/freely it tracks your drawing [tools.freehand.pencil tolerance].
    • A switch for adding to shape or drawing new shape (now toggled by pressing "a").
    • stroke width; possibly arrowheads and patterns
  • Bezier:
    • A switch for adding to shape or drawing new shape (now toggled by pressing "a").
    • A switch for a mode where it only creates straight lines, not beziers.
    • stroke width; possibly arrowheads and patterns
  • Star, rectangle, ellipse, calligraphic:
    • contents of the "tool options" dialog for the corresponding tools. The dialog itself can be then eliminated.
  • Zoom: the bottom zoom field should be made not a spinbutton but just a display (gray), instead an editable zoom spinbutton must be added to the secondary toolbar for zoom.
  • Text: a few basic settings such as font, size, alignment should be duplicated in the secondary toolbar, but the text properties dialog is not to be removed because it has much more.
  • Dropper: displays for the RGBA values at mouse cursor, a copy to clipboard button, copy color as hex button (for web development).


  • (DONE) all top-level menus must have hot-keys and be activated by alt-hotkey, e.g. alt-f must open the File menu
  • all text labels next to spinbuttons and textfields in the secondary toolbars must also have hotkeys (underscored letters), and:
    • either we make sure that these hotkeys never clash with the top menu hotkeys, and both are called by alt-hotkey
    • or we can use independent hotkeys for the aux toolbar and use a different modifier (e.g. alt-shift-hotkey) for them