Some programs such like Solidworks etc offer auto-hide function for certain GUI panels. I think that Rhino 7 could hugely benefit from a further improved implementation of the idea by making it possible to auto-hide the Properties panel depending on which of its tabs is active at the moment. The user should be able to choose which tabs will trigger the auto-hide function and which won’t. That setting should offer a quick access so that it could be changed conveniently when needed (maybe by a right-click on the desired tab to put or remove a tick to “Auto-hide”?).
Here is an example of how the smart auto-hide function will work. Lets say that the active tab is “Layers” and the user set it to auto-hide. Once the mouse pointer is moved away from the perimeter of the entire Properties panel, the latter will auto-hide couple of seconds after that. However, if the “Properties” tab is active and the user set is as permanent, then moving the mouse pointer somewhere in the viewport will not cause auto-hide of the Properties panel.
That way, the Properties panel will not disrupt the work by requiring often opening and closing when maximum work space is required. Many times the Properties window is needed just for a few seconds, but some people are forced to keep it permanently docked as they got tired of constantly opening and closing it. As a result, they also work on a smaller viewport, which also forces them use the Zoom-in, Zoom-out and Pan camera more often, which further makes their work slower.
What do you think, “McNeal” guys and gals? Could you implement this in Rhino 7?