Layout Blocks: How to use?


I still don’t understand the philosophy behind this feature. Maybe Duncan can way in here.

How do I undo a layout block? There is no right click item to do this. When I try to move an element up out of the block, I get a blue border around the whole page. What is this?

When I move sideways, I get a blue frame around the layout block.

A single layout block on a page makes no sense, because the special functions only work between blocks. Right? So all or nothing in layout blocks, including the menu?

Because of these features, Layout Blocks are special elements that can only reside at the top level of the page.

Surely this means that they interfere with a menu (not a Layout Block) that resides at the top level.

If I enlarge a block that is not the lowest on a page, the block below it and also the bottom of the page will move down. OK.

If I enlarge the bottom block, the bottom margin is not moved. Illogical.

Mr. F.

You can drag elements out of the layout block, to the page. The blue border is a drop target, meaning you are still dragging inside the layout block.

I guess we can clean up some canvas behavior, and it is possible to reverse layout blocks, and it is true that a single layout block on a page isn’t too useful.

That said they are very useful when used like they are intended to.

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This is how I’m using layout blocks, except… it keeps my Body things separate from my Footer things.

Fiddling around with Layout Block for the first time, finding some of the possibilities helpful, but I couldn’t find, how to get rid of a layout block - like with Groups where you can group and ungroup. Is the only possibility (at the moment) copy everything that is in a Layout Block, then activate the layout block, delete it (which deletes everything within the LB) and paste the copied content back?
Most probably I’m missing something … at least there should be a simpler solution IMHO.
Duncan wrote that it is possible to reverse LBs. But how?
It would really help to have temporary Layout Blocks, e.g. to move part of a page to insert e.g. an image.

It’s a bit awkward @chrisMF, but you need to open your Layers panel in the left hand side column. Click on every element within the Layout Block and then drag it out of the Layout Block. Once done you can delete the Layout Block.

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Thanks Hendrik. Immediately tried it: taking it out of the Layout Block is easy, but where do I place those elements? They just slide into another LB or into a group. Either I do something wrong, or my “copy-delete LB-paste” method is the safer way. Still there should be a possibility like “group/ungroup”.

If I do something wrong, please let me know. I really tried several times, sliding the files into different places (or at least trying to), but they don’t remain/go back to where they were in the first place.

Edit: OK, tried again several times, moved the four text blocks and the image to the absolute top of the layers , above the Layout Blocks and above the Groups… now it worked. Thanks.

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I can only say: be aware of Layout Blocks and the side effects :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

They can be removed, what i did with all my Layout Blocks. How to do so, you can read here:

Mr. F.

I’d like to know in detail what the reasons for resisting to layout blocks are. What are the downsides? I only see the upsides but maybe I’m weird that way.

Hello @duncan.

Yeah. The most annoying thing is this: two adjacent layout blocks can also move the page end and the footer down, which affects all pages. The footer element is even pushed down past the end of the page on other pages. Only a click on the 6 dots puts the page end back below the footer. For this i sent you a video a while ago.

When i have layout blocks (except my sticky menu on the top and a footer element) and want to make some room for a new layout block, i move them with the command key pressed. Therefor i have layout blocks. And now all pages (for each device of course) are affected. I have to redo each page for each device.

With a group of elements that will not happen, because groups can not move or push other groups and of course not the “end of page line”.

I was hoping for a fix with version 4.0.8, but this update is still in the pipeline. So i decided to get rid of layout blocks.

HAPPY EASTER :rabbit2: :egg:

Mr. F.

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I see the Layout Blocks as an extra DIV tag consolidating and grouping all elements within it as one. It is a great addition and I can see further potential in it… Love it! :slight_smile:

I would love to see the following to have even better control over the Layout Blocks

  • After I have Layout Block(ed) a section of my website but change my mind I would love to be able to right-click and Remove Layout Block, without it disturbing anything that was within the Layout Block.
  • I find it easy to drop elements and grouped elements into the Layout Block, but when it comes to dragging those elements out it is very fiddly and after a number of random attempts it allows me. I feel this needs further refinement, please.
  • Still would love a “handle scrubber” allowing me to push everything on mass (all Layout Blocks, grouped elements , or individual elements, plus push the footer) down the mobile device page allowing for a quicker workflow.

As an extra I would love to be able to combine Layout Blocks (2, 3, or even maybe up to 8) as a sequential group and then allow then to horizontally scroll (with icon indicators) revealing the content (images, titles, text) from the right side of the browser… That would be neat!!! :slight_smile:


So the extent of the problem is bugs?

Well, i don’t want to say “a bug”.
For me it is an unwanted side effect (for all pages) that leads to more work.

Maybe it is the interaction of “follow footer” “show on all pages” groups and layout blocks. It may even be unavoidable and you have to live with it.

It should be up to everyone if and how he/she deals with layout blocks. Or I do something fundamentally wrong, so that all pages are affected when I push the blocks and thereby the end of the page as well.

What do the developers say about the problems I described?

One possible solution might be this:
A single layout block cannot move the end of the page. Only with the Command key pressed, when multiple blocks are moved, the end of the page can also be moved.
If you turn this off, the problem might be solved.

Mr. F.

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I think we can get around to talking about solutions once I understand the problems. What I’m looking for is understanding the problems.

Developers? That would be me and my business partner.

What I say is I don’t think I have a good understanding of what the problem is and when it happens, when you say “The footer element is even pushed down past the end of the page” well that definitely is something that shouldn’t happen and I would call a bug.

Other behaviors are a matter of choice (for us building the feature), in that when we can have different behaviors we try to build the most predictable outcome, and the clearest interface to convey the functionality that will be activated.

Layout blocks might very well become the default operating mode for Sparkle, and not just what is visible in Sparkle today. This is why I’m trying to understand what the rough edges are.

Again a short documentation:

The 2 gray wide boxes are layout blocks
The green bar is the footer, set to “show on all pages” and “follow footer”
I klick the upper layout block, press and hold CMD and start dragging downwards
You can see that the footer and the end pf page move as well
At sec 9 the green footer jumps upwards like a jack in the box
I move both layout blocks with a pressed CMD key upwards
I move the footer back downwards to the end of page
At sec 20 you see that the footer travels on all pages (look left)
That’s the pain in the a***
On the search result page the footer has disappeared
That’s more pain in the a***

I used an older MOV. I do not have the project for this anymore. [video deleted]

Mr. F.

Ok thanks we’ll look into this. Clearly bug we will fix, and rough edges are going to be addressed. I don’t see anybody else having opposition to layout blocks though, which is good.