Accessibility - Single click for mixer channel effect buttons & hotkey to close plugins

I have been trying to make a case for this for numerous reasons in a separate thread, but I feel this reason deserves its own specific post, rather than being lost in a list of reasons in my other post.

The opening & closing of effect GUI windows is a VERY common action within a DAW, something that users are doing constantly, opening and closing instrument & effect windows to tweak parameters.
Ardour uses double clicking on small effect buttons in the mixer channel strips to open / close effect GUI windows. The focusing in and repetitive action of mouse double clicks for such a common action can be as mentioned a repetitive and straining thing to have to do over & over & over.
What I am suggesting is adding an OPTION in the “Preferences” that would allow user to be able to choose the ability to set this to a single click action to toggle plugin windows open / closed.
This can help those who have issues with repetitive actions like this and also might help prevent others from actually developing issues from this in the future.

The current decision for double clicks appears to be mainly for two reasons.
1.) Basing this on how typical file managers work.
But these plugin buttons are not really files.
Regardless every single file manager that I have used in Linux & Windows, always seem to have an OPTION in settings to allow user to choose single click. I personally look at plugins as being more like little programs rather than like files if you open up your panel menu / start menu you get a list of programs, when you go to launch a programs GUI window, they use single clicks to do this, which is the default for launcher menus.

2.) “This is how other DAWs do this”
but there are many DAW / audio applications that offer single click to achieve this as well, so this is not necessarily a standard for all programs that cannot be changed / offered a choice.

Another helpful accessibility item (could be helpful in general for anyone) would be something to help with closing plugin windows. It would be nice to have an option in “Keyboard shortcuts” to allow user to define a hotkey to close plugin windows with keyboard (if one does not exist in Ardour, didn’t see this at the moment).

Again this should be user defined if possible as not all users might want this / use the same hotkey.
I like the idea of using the “escape” key (may cause conflicts with certain plugins, not sure?) but regardless it would be up to the user to choose what key they want to assign.

I have seen that Ardour has recently added a feature in which developers have made it so that flashing lights within the interface can be turned off for those who are sensitive to things like this.
I feel that something like what I am mentioning in this request should also be considered to help users and is a rather easy item for such skilled programmers to fix. Ardour provides tons of custom options & hotkeys, I think this would be a great addition and helpful to those who might have issues with repetitive use case scenarios.
Again, this will just be added as an OPTION, the current default settings will remain EXACTLY the same. The user will just be given the choice to turn this on or off, but nothing else will change for other users who prefer the default Ardour setup, so everyone wins.

Hopefully something like this will be seriously considered.

Thank You

Ctrl-w (or Cmd-w for macOS) should always close a recently opened dialog/window. I’d be interested in hearing about the cases where it fails.

Hey Paul thank you for the response.
I actually didn’t think to try this, this is typically what is used to close tabbed windows.
Would be great if user could also choose shortcut for this, as mentioned escape key (if does not conflict) could be helpful to some.

I would be interested to hear your opinion on the entire post.
Ardour is not shy about offering many settings and many hotkeys / hotkey customization options, one of the things I like best about the program. I enjoy programs that offer many customizations like this because it really allows the program to be tailored to the users needs.
Would the setting & custom close hotkey mentioned in this post be considered to be added to Ardour?
Thank You again
Also thank you for Ardour itself, really great program.

Unfortunately, for a variety of rather technical reasons, the mechanism for Ctrl/Cmd-w is built in at a lower level than our regular keyboard bindings. Possibly if I were to revisit that code I might find that this is not strictly necessary but I have bigger fish to fry right now. Making it configurable at this lower level is, frankly, not worth the time it would take.

Also, this is not just customary for tabbed contexts. Most window managers and several Linux desktops use Ctrl-w to mean “close this window”.

Thanks again for the complete response.

Covering the topic you did mention, you said

I’d be interested in hearing about the cases where it fails.

In Linux I tried the Ctrl+W shortcut you suggested after opening up an Ace plugin and this shortcut did not work for me. I tried a couple different Ace plugins as well as an X42 plugin and non of them closed with this shortcut. Maybe other users could verify this, might just be my system.

Strange, I tried this shortcut again, and now it closes the effect GUI window quickly but then right after a popup shows asking if want to save, as if it is then instantly trying to close Ardour right after?
If the project is already saved, Ardour just closes right after that plugin window closes.
Can anyone else verify / replicate this behavior?

I cannot verify, all working here. Manjaro Linux, Ardour 8.2.7

This was fixed in Ardour 8.2 (took me by surprise as well)

Okay, I was using 8.1, I didn’t know this was recently fixed.

I was also going to mention maybe at least offering a modifier key + mouse option to achieve something similar and to my surprise there is one. I find it strange that after my many posts about requesting offering option for single click to open plugin windows that no one ever mentioned this?

No one has been really interested in this response wise, but I figured that just in case anyone in the future was looking to achieve this, the hotkey combination is hold Ctrl + RMB click on plugin buttons. Ardour still opens up plugin windows initially where your mouse cursor is, which is a post for another day, but once you move the plugin windows to a different location, they get remembered and when they do you can also use this Ctrl + RMB to toggle the windows closed as well.
This hotkey can be very helpful if you want to open up many effect windows at once, again the windows opening where mouse cursor ends up blocking the buttons so will only be beneficially after you move each effect window out of the way.

Anyways, hopefully this information will be helpful to someone in the future

While I am here, I recently installed version 8.2 and it appears that the Ctrl+W bug has been fixed as it was mentioned, again I was using 8.1 at the time. Hopefully this custom hotkey to close effect windows will still be considered in the future, might be nice to be able to assign “escape” so that it matches how some Ardour windows can be closed using escape, such as the “Import Window”.

For those unaware, you can also use the close hotkey used by your OS / DE, which some allow you to custom this hotkey, although in this case I don’t think I would try assigning “escape” to this action :slight_smile:

Thank You

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