> Most of the time that I've heard of problems like this it has been when the
> wrong layer has been selected or a layer with transparency is in use and
> the user doesn't understand why you can't draw in a transparent area.
> Novice mode might be as simple as forcing users to use a single layer that
> doesn't have transparency enabled by default, allowing them to learn the
> rest of the programs features without complicating their experience with layers.

Personally, a problem I very often have is that I after I save a selection to a
channel then I cannot paint (or filter, or adjust color, etc.).  The problem
is that after a save-selection-to-channel the default channel is the one just
saved.  This is a fine default if the next thing one does is to modify the
channel but most the time I save-selection-to-channel to make a checkpoint of
the selection to go back to later.  The default channel is changed to that
channel even if the layer/channel tool box is not visible -- which I think
is *extremely* confusing for new users who would not have an obvious way to
set the channel back to RGB.  Who would guess that one needs to select "LAYER"
from the menu to get the window that manipulates channels to pop up, or even
that the setting of the channel is their problem.

I personally think that a less confusing behavior is to have save-selection-to-
channel leave the channel selection untouched.  If someone wants to further
modify the channel they will already likely have the layer/channel toolbox
available and know what they are doing.  Or if the present behaviour is really
desired, at least make save-selection-to-channel pop up the layer/channel tool
if not already visible, preferably set to show channels.

Bill Sebok      Computer Software Manager, Univ. of Maryland, Astronomy
        Internet: [EMAIL PROTECTED]     URL: http://furo.astro.umd.edu/
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