Request for a Layers Panel

I have encountered a few situations in which it would be helpful to have a layers panel in the inspector.

For example, my homepage is made up of an array of project images. Layered over each image, I have two buttons: one for the desktop layout, and one for the mobile layout. I show/hide the respective buttons as appropriate to each device layout. When the button is clicked/tapped, the user is taken to a corresponding project page.

The trouble is that when I need to edit the respective buttons (especially as their normal state is transparent) It is difficult to select the correct object within the stack. If there were a layers panel in the inspector, one could target and select the correct layered object with accuracy, and without having to move or reposition objects to get at the intended object.

This would also be useful for selecting and controlling the visibility of alternate footer designs. It would be useful for selecting any layered object or group.

Thank you for your consideration.


@mOehlschlager, I know what you mean and it would be a nifty visual feature! For now Sparkle does have a way where you can select the layer you want when it comes to a multi-layered group of elements. You just place your mouse in the area and right-click and you’ll see what is there, the elements (select box, select wide-box, select text box, select image, etc…). All depends what you have laid down on the canvas.

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Hey @mOehlschlager,

as you might imagine we have received many feature requests over Sparkle’s life, and a layer list has come up a few times already.

This is the consideration: a layer list solves complexity, and by solving it and making it more manageable, it effectively encourages it.

A complex layering unlike photoshop or sketch directly translates to complexity of the final page, making it slower.

Not saying it can’t or won’t be done, just that it’s not as clear cut as it might seem. We definitely are thinking about ways to improve canvas usability and editing.

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@FlaminFig mentions the ability to right-click on a stack of layered objects to get a contextual menu with Select commands for each object. This is somewhat helpful, but the objects are generically named (e.g., box, button).

I can appreciate your argument against introducing features that would introduce unintended complexity. Maybe a layers panel does that. What about being able to name objects in the inspector so that one could easily target a layered object when invoking the contextual menu with a right-click?

Every design decision has tradeoffs, we haven’t finalized this yet.

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I wasn’t aware of this. Very useful! You need to select a distinct element in a group to use this, selecting just the group does not reveal these options.