Could it work as an ‘Activated tools’ AND ‘Favorite tools’ tab? So it contains favourites, but also anything that is active?
The UI part could then be reduced to a function ‘Make the active tools stay in this tooltab, and hide the inactive tools’.
This would mean:
- This tooltab can be preconfigured with mainstream (sub)tools for fresh installs.
- A user can easily ‘lock’ these tools to the tab after using them. Perhaps a Pin icon instead of a Star.
- Any pp3/image opened will have an overview of all active functions in this tab -> convenient
- The tooltab can be called ‘Pinned items’ with a mouseover ‘Pinned and active items will be shown here’.
Example of unpinned/pinned icons:
The UI work could then (largely) be avoided, but there would be new work in automatically putting active items here (which may be impossible because it would require a restart of the program for example).
Edit: I have been thinking a bit more about this and it would make sense to have the ‘pin’ for each function that appears in the ‘Active tools’ section. (My first thoughts were about a single pin for the complete section).
Thus, the ‘Active Tools’ tab shows which tools are active. Once a tool appears here, it can be pinned to stay.