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IDProjectCategoryView StatusLast Update
0003498FreeCADFeaturepublic2021-02-07 13:09
ReporterXunie Assigned To 
Status closedResolutionfixed 
Product Version0.17 
Target Version0.19Fixed in Version0.19 
Summary0003498: Preference categories not showing up if specific workbench has not been visited
DescriptionIf you haven't opened the Draft or Part work bench, these categories won't show up in your preferences category selector on the left side of the preferences window.

This may be 'intended' behavior on part of doing things "smartly" and hiding functionality until the user interacts with it, but I'll argue that even if intended this is a bug as it does not conform to the mental model of a user. Going around, scratching yourself and trying to figure out how to make a Preferences category appear is bad UX.

Expected behavior:
All the preference categories are visible from the start and you don't need to visit a particular workbench first in order to pop it into existence in an unrelated portion of the program.
Steps To Reproduce1) launch FreeCAD
2) go to Edit->Preferences
3) Observe that only the "General", "Display" and "Import-Export" categories are visible
4) Click "Cancel"
5) Switch workbench to "Draft"
6) Open Edit->Preferences again
7) Observe that now the Draft category is visible while before it wasn't.
Additional InformationOS: Windows 7
Word size of OS: 64-bit
Word size of FreeCAD: 64-bit
Version: 0.17.13522 (Git)
Build type: Release
Branch: releases/FreeCAD-0-17
Hash: 3bb5ff4e70c0c526f2d9dd69b1004155b2f527f2
Python version: 2.7.14
Qt version: 4.8.7
Coin version: 4.0.0a
OCC version: 7.2.0
Locale: English/UnitedStates (en_US)
FreeCAD Information


related to 0003517 closed File formats STL/Mesh export options only visible after first mesh import 
related to 0003704 closed FreeCAD AMF exporter preferences are not shown in Preferences 
related to 0004116 closed FreeCAD Icons on page massive and take up 80% of the work area 
related to 0004474 closedchennes FreeCAD Ghost tabs within Preferences dialog to indicate menus that are available but not activated 



2018-06-03 17:42



2018-06-04 14:32

manager   ~0011350

This is intended behavior but not for the reason you noted. FreeCAD uses 'late loading' of workbenches to minimize resource usage. So Draft functionality (including the preferences) isn't loaded unless the user goes to that workbench. The same is true for every other workbench.

The only solution to the issue is to load ALL the workbenches preemptively which would make FC a resource hog.

The behavior is well documented:

Perhaps something could be added to the preference dialog to explain this to users. May be even a 'more workbenches...' icon in the list that would trigger the loading of another workbench.


2018-06-05 02:27

reporter   ~0011351

Perhaps all the workbenches could still be listed in the preferences but only be loaded when they're either selected in the preferences window or when they're switched to in the main window?

This seems like a technical compromise but I a proper usability solution. Though it might make navigating preferences a bit slow when the workbenches aren't loaded.


2018-06-06 01:27

administrator   ~0011353

@Xunie please open a forum thread to discuss this issue with the community as a whole. Our guidelines (big yellow banner at the top of this page) are there for a reason to limit tracker bloat.


2018-07-12 12:29

administrator   ~0011518

Forum thread:


2018-10-28 02:41

administrator   ~0012106

CHange from 'Bug' to 'Feature' per chrisb in the forum thread.


2019-10-20 15:16

administrator   ~0013771

Changing status to 'Acknowledged'


2021-02-05 19:55

administrator   ~0015277

This can be closed now that PR 4181 has been merged.


2021-02-07 13:06

administrator   ~0015291

FreeCAD master bd8a3c50
FreeCAD master 13e2f93b
FreeCAD master d5b68feb


2021-02-07 13:09

administrator   ~0015292

Thanks chennes. Closing ticket. I'm sorry I can't assign to you. Having technical difficulties ATM.

Issue History

Date Modified Username Field Change
2018-06-03 17:42 Xunie New Issue
2018-06-03 17:42 Xunie Tag Attached: GUI
2018-06-03 17:42 Xunie File Added: before visiting the draft workbench.png
2018-06-03 17:42 Xunie File Added: after visiting draft workbench.png
2018-06-04 14:32 sliptonic Note Added: 0011350
2018-06-05 02:27 Xunie Note Added: 0011351
2018-06-06 01:27 Kunda1 Note Added: 0011353
2018-06-06 01:28 Kunda1 Status new => feedback
2018-06-27 10:36 Kunda1 Tag Attached: #pending
2018-07-12 12:29 Kunda1 Note Added: 0011518
2018-09-25 14:24 wmayer Relationship added related to 0003517
2018-10-28 02:41 Kunda1 Category Bug => Feature
2018-10-28 02:41 Kunda1 Note Added: 0012106
2019-03-06 11:36 Kunda1 Target Version => 0.19
2019-09-05 20:41 Kunda1 Relationship added related to 0003704
2019-10-20 15:16 Kunda1 Status feedback => acknowledged
2019-10-20 15:16 Kunda1 Note Added: 0013771
2020-01-11 13:38 Kunda1 Relationship added related to 0004116
2020-12-02 14:17 Kunda1 Relationship added related to 0004474
2021-02-05 19:55 chennes Note Added: 0015277
2021-02-06 06:49 abdullah Target Version => 0.20
2021-02-07 13:06 Kunda1 Note Added: 0015291
2021-02-07 13:08 Kunda1 Tag Detached: #pending
2021-02-07 13:09 Kunda1 Status acknowledged => closed
2021-02-07 13:09 Kunda1 Resolution open => fixed
2021-02-07 13:09 Kunda1 Note Added: 0015292
2021-02-07 13:09 Kunda1 Fixed in Version => 0.19
2021-02-07 13:09 Kunda1 Target Version 0.20 => 0.19