I have a dual screen set up where I have my editor window on one screen.
On my second screen I have another window divided into 4 subviews which contain content browser, world outliner, details, and modes. (Not sure if it matters really what I have there.)
This was never an issue until what seems like some new features in 4.7. Now when I open an asset like a blueprint or static mesh, it adds it as a tab to the main editor window. Now my second window with all of my tools is gone. If I minimize and unminimize on windows, I see the second window show up again in my start bar. I click to open that second window but it only shows up with one label of the tab for the first tool in the window and no actual window contents.
If I switch back to the editor tab in the main window, my second window shows up again.
Also if I drag the asset tab off into its own window my second window comes back. This is pretty much how things were before 4.7 added the auto opening in another tab in the main window.
Overall, I like this, and I’m pretty sure the second window disappearing is just a bug that can be fixed.
One issue though is I’m still not used to the fact that my asset is opened in the main window rather than a new window. So I keep hitting the close button on the window closing the entire editor instead of the asset I was just done working on. It asks me if I want to save my changes to the asset and naturally I hit yes without realizing I’m actually closing the editor. Maybe there should be a confirmation asking if I want to close. Restarting the editor is a pretty long and painful process.
I was able to reproduce this, however, it is not directly related to 4.7 as I could get the same behavior in 4.6. I’ve submitted a ticket for this to be addressed. UE-11257. Once there is any relevant update I will post here.
@Bychop There is no way to bring back the old functionality, but this is being discussed internally at the moment.
You are seeing the intended behavior that has been in UE4 since the very first moment when I wrote that tab-management system. In 4.7 we automatically open new assets in the main tab-well. This made the behavior much more noticeable.
The side-effect of opening assets in the main tab-well is that the moment you open the asset, the Level tab is no longer in foreground. Whenever a major tab is backgrounded we hide all the other tabs that are its “children”. If we did not do this, things would get confusing pretty quickly. For example, you could pull a details panel out of your Level Editor and then open a material in the same tab well. Now you would be looking at a material, and you would have an orphaned details panel that lets you change properties of something you cannot even see!
Making design decisions about this is really tough. There are so many valid workflows, after all.
To get a workflow more similar to 4.6, just pull out the asset into a new window. We will then spawn other assets next to the one you moved, and the Level tab will never be backgrounded. That way you can still see all of its child tabs.
This new behavior is a major problem if one can very easily and accidentally close an entire program that takes a very long time to load complex levels. I have accidentally closed three large levels that I am reviewing over ten times today after upgrading to 4.7 this weekend. This is a major productivity loss for someone who reviews the levels and assets made by other artists, rather than work on one specific level with a consistent set of assets.
While one can drag the window out after it has opened, it does not make this behavior default for other newly-opened assets, and different assets of the same type again default to tabbed behavior if I close all the editor windows of the same asset type. For this reason, the proposed fix that Nick stated does seem like an effective alternative.
Many people do not use full screen tabs in their creative programs (like Photoshop, the major 3D packages). For example, while PS does have tab behavior as their default, this can be changed in the program settings so that multiple images can be edited and reviewed all at the same time.
For myself in particular, if you have two very large resolution monitors, having three open asset viewers (static, texture, and material) open and visible all at one one time is a major speed benefit that is lost with this new behavior.
As 4.6 and earlier behaved differently, an option to disable this new and unexpected default behavior would be greatly appreciated.
The problem you’re describing is completely different than the issue that was reported by the OP.
What you’re describing is the usability factor of not having new tabs open in the main viewport window. This will go back to the original way with 4.6 and previous version when 4.8 releases. There will now be a settings preference for this behavior to enable it if you like it.