There have been recent changes to how users create and place markups using the toolbar. These changes have been written up in the following post.
It appears to be a great change to support easier functionality when using the markups Fiducial object for registration purposes, however it comes with a side effect of additional complexity for other markups such as “Line” which are primarily used for more simple measurement tasks. I hope with this thread we can brainstorm ideas to support the new functionality for the markups Fiducial object, but help make the other markups simpler to use again.
In previous versions of Slicer, to place a line (aka ruler) node, ROI node, angle node, etc you would go to the mouse mode toolbar and click in the menu to add a new node for the object and also enter placement mode. You would then place your 2 or 3 points, maybe use your mouse to adjust a point, view your measurement or accept your ROI for cropping and then be done. A fairly simple task with not a lot of interaction involved and when interaction is needed you can just use the mouse to move a position or right-click to delete or whatever. To place a second line I could simply click on the place button which now had a default action for the line node and create and place another object.
However, now to follow the same pathway I must, toggle the markups toolbar from the mouse mode toolbar, go over to the markups toolbar, find my line node button in a large group of new widgets, then go to the slice view to place my line. First, a minor point in that the movement of the mouse across the screen is a bit annoying as default behavior to go from one toolbar to another. Yes, the toolbars can be rearranged, but by default is not as simple as before.
Second, the bigger issue is that there are all these new buttons in the new markups toolbar that are intimidating when going to just place a line node. It gives the impression as though I will need all these options for line node placement when really that is not the case. Node selection, color selector, place button, trash can to delete last placed control point or to unset control points, or other options for visibility and lock states. These are for the most part not needed at all for simple markups for measurement purposes. I do see the value for these for when dealing with Fiducial objects and manipulating/adding control points to various landmarking template lists across Fiducial objects, however they add additional complexity for simple tasks of placing a markup for quick measurement.
How can we make markups for measurement purposes simple without showing a lot of options that can be intimidating to users? There seems to be a split in the need of options between the “Fiducial” objects need for position status (unset, set, restore, skip), switching between nodes, setting colors to various groups, etc and the simple needs for less complex workflows of the other markups.