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Unisolate command for Layers

Unisolate command for Layers

You can Isolate a Layer, primarily in assemblies, so you only see the objects you are working on. However, there is no "Unisolate" command. In order to bring everything back, you have to either Reset Status or Hide the isolated layer. This is not intuitive. I would suggest either making an Unisolate command available from the Layers icon above the Layer Tree, or have the Isolate command from the Layers drop-down icon checked, and selecting the Isolate command would make that layer no longer isolated.


The Unhide command will also bring everything back, but as mentioned in the initial details, it is not an obvious thing.

21-Topaz II

I voted no because "isolate" is one of 3 states for layers, "unisolate" would create a 4th state.  I don't think a 4th state is needed and would only add confusion to what is already an overly complex layering system.

I use isolate and hide exclusively, in both parts & assemblies. I rarely use unhide.  Using hide & isolate makes it easy to control what's visible, even if items are on more than one layer.


There needs to be something more intuitive and obvious to users (especially new users - I fight with the lack of intuitiveness in the UI every day here at Amazon).

Here's the problem with the lack of intuition in the current functionality: I isolate a layer so I only see that layer. Now I want to see everything else as well. I click on the layer. I can hide that layer; but that's not what I want. I want to see everything now. Oh wait, there's also an Unhide command. Since I have right clicked on a layer, my assumption is that invoking that command will unhide that layer. But I can already see that layer; I don't need to unhide it. But it turns out that the Unhide command unhides everything that was hidden by the Isolate command.

I know it's difficult re-engineering software that is 27 years old and still needs to be able to open models created in version 1, but we need 21st century intuitive functionality and UX.

Btw Doug, if you use Isolate, what do you do when you want to make everything else visible? Reset Status? I need some advice for my users.

23-Emerald II

I don't use layers much anymore but unhide is the "undo" of isolate and hide.

So you would select the layer isolated, right-click unhide, that turns off isolate without messing up visibility of anything else.

21-Topaz II

[Long winded response alert]

Hide, Unhide & Isolate are 3 distinct states with a set of rules that guide their behavior.  One doesn't really undo the others, although it may seem that way.

David, I absolutely agree with you on UI, and not just in layers.  but here, for some reason they've chosen to present Hide / Unhide in the RMB menu, but bury Isolate in the layer dialog drop down.  It's unfortunate as I find it valuable to use only two of the states - either hide / unhide or hide / isolate and for me isolate much more useful than Unhide.

Regarding making everything visible, i select the top of the layer tree and then select Isolate.  That sets all to isolate, making all visible.  I don't often do that, however.  I typically set and save my layers all to hidden and isolate individual layers as I need to see things.

Our start parts have pretty much everything that can be turned off on layers by type.  I then also create other layers and put mixed things on them (a layer might have plane, point, CS, surface and curve features on it) that are from a common part of the model.  This lets me hide everything and then use Isolate to see only the things I want to see.  It's not perfect, but it works pretty well.

The two big guidelines to understand are:

  1. The Visibility Rule - Lots of different object types can be put on layers - Parts, features and feature entities. If an object is put on a layer, say a part, and that layer is hidden, then any sub-object within it cannot be made visible.  This is especially important when thinking about features and entities.  Put a sketch feature on a layer and an individual line in the sketch on another, if the feature layer is hidden you can't make the line visible.  The upshot of this is only put features on layers.
  2. Layer Status Hierarchy - If a feature is on two layers and one i hidden and one unhidden, the feature will be shown (hide beats unhide).  If a feature is on two layers and one is hidden and one isolated, the feature will be visible (isolate beats hidden).  So, if you want to see everything and hide what you don't want to see, use hide / unhide.  If you want to hide everything and show only the things you need to see now, use hide / isolate (my preference).

There's a lot of good info on the underlying guidelines driving layers in this thread at MCAD Central.  I've also got a PPT that I can send you that might help (I've spent way too much time playing with layers).  I was going to attach it here, but the option isn't available, maybe because this is a product idea vs. a discussion.


A related idea to solve part of this with the 'shown items' fuctionality in Creo 4 / 5;

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