I tend to model in wireframe and use SetObjectDisplayMode to set to Shaded or Ghosted frequently to check before moving on. I would find this much more convenient if the display mode for the selected object would appear in the Properties window. But currently unless I am missing something I think I need to use the button on the Display toolbar or command line to change this setting. Is it possible to make this adjustment in the Properties window available?
Have you tried using the Shade command? It sounds like it would do what you want to do.
It is designed to be a quick temporary switch to shaded mode (or Ghosted or Rendered mode) for either all objects or just selected objects (see the command line options).
Thanks for the tip Jim. This can achieve the shading change I am after but from a workflow point of view I would still prefer to see the control in the Properties panel. I always keep a tabbed window docked on the right side and use it constantly to tune up the appearance of my workspace, layer assignments, check object details and more.
I agree that the attributes shown under the properties tab should be determined and set by the user. I would like to get rid of some of the stuff that is useless to me