Layer visibility and colorblind accommodations

I’d love it if there was a way to toggle layer visibility On/Off so that the ignored layers don’t clutter the image in the GFUI. Variations of this request have been “in the hopper” for years but we still don’t have a solution.

In order to guarantee alignment, I sometimes create multiple layers in illustrator, each with a different color. This puts them on different layers in the GFUI and I can set all, but the one I want to engrave to “Ignore”. The problem is that the ignored layers are still displayed and it creates a mess on screen.

Add to that my being partially colorblind (like many males) and it becomes hard to distinguish what is what on the GFUI. Furthermore, I feel like whoever chose the highlight color for the current layer is playing a cruel joke on us. Software creators often make accessibility features for people with disabilities but I find that colorblindness is the one disability that is most universally ignored.

Two additional things that would help here are:

  1. The ability to name layers in the UI. Those tiny thumbnails are pretty useless in trying to distinguish what I have on a layer. Once you name a layer, you could also hide the thumbnails and make the left side of the UI more tidy.

  2. The ability to toggle on/off the laser bed image and substitute it with a solid white, black or gray background. Sometimes the latent image of the remnants still on the laser bed also contribute to making it difficult to see the deign.

I’m sure both of these have also been “in the hopper”. Maybe the hopper is more like a pasta strainer.


I agree as someone who is also colorblind I struggle to see the lines

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Just slide any images off to the side if they are blocking your view.

I’m just old, and I can’t see them either!

@karlfranz, just FYI the layers you create aren’t what’s separating your design into steps; it’s the different colors. The Glowforge UI totally ignores layers and groups in designs. :slight_smile:


I think this is just a naming convention/terminology thing. Reading over the post it’s the steps on the layout page being referenced.

ignored steps

on different steps

Definitely means the GFUI steps on the left. TBF, they are laid out like layers from design programs.

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I have great color vision and I’m not too old but I have to agree, those outlines can be almost impossible to see. A user preference to set the colors (and maybe increase the line thickness) would be a great improvement, as would be the ability to replace the background image.


That would defeat the purpose of keeping everything in perfect alignment.

I was aware of that, thanks. I was using that terminology to avoid getting into too many details.

My design uses different colors for Cut, Score and Engrave. Often, my engrave layers are sub-divided into more color groups so I can set them individually to Engrave or Ignore in the GFUI.

Example scenario:

I’m making personalized x-mas ornaments. In illustrator, I have 4 layers (colors):

  1. Red: cuts 10 ornaments 5 facing up and 5 facing down (mirror image);
  2. Blue: engraves a common holiday message on the front of 5 face up ornaments;
  3. Green: Engraves the names of individuals 1-5 on the back of the 5 face down ornaments;
  4. Teal: Engraves the names of individuals 6-10 on the back of the 5 face down ornaments;

On the first pass on the GF I set layer 4 to Ignore. Once done, I flip the ornaments on the laser bed using the scrap border material pinned down to the honeycomb as an alignment template. I then set Layers 1 and 3 to Ignore and layer 4 to Engrave and make a second pass.

This is a simplified description of the process. In reality I have many more name layers. Having them all in the same file means I only update one file to the GF and I control the entire process from there on from the GFUI by setting individual layers to Ignore or not. Doing this, I can handle all object alignment ahead of time in Illustrator instead of dealing with the clunky GFUI.

The problem is I have a tough time identifying which layers are set to ignore and which one is set to Engrave because they are all stacked and the GFUI colors are hard for me to tell apart. The camera image being displayed as the background makes it worse. The thumbnails don’t help, because they are so tiny that you can’t distinguish them either.

This is why I’m suggesting:
a) toggling layer visibility in GFUI On/Off;
b) toggling the camera image in GFUI On/Off;
c) naming layers

Hope that clears things up. :slight_smile:

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Sorry, I misunderstood what you were trying to do.

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That’s a great idea for a feature - thanks for the suggestion! We haven’t announced anything like that yet, but I’m going to send it to our product team with a note that it came from a customer request.

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