Why do Editors and Viewers see the Inspect panel differently?

Why is it that if I’m editor in a file and I use the inspect panel, I can select things differently than if I’m view-only?

As a viewer your selections start at the innermost point, but as an editor your selections start at the outside. In the attached, if a viewer clicks on the “X” here it selects the vector element inside the component, while if an editor clicks the X it selects its topmost container element - #navigation-content, which contains #trailingAction, which contains the component we need, ◇grv-close. In both cases we can eventually select what we need - as an editor by doubleclicking a few times, and as a viewer by clicking the crosshairs in the inspect panel to see the parent component. But …why?

Am I going about this the wrong way, or missing something? Shouldn’t the Inspect panel be a neutral zone where everyone has the same abilities and views, so that I (as a designer) have visibility into exactly what a developer is going to receive for handoff? The way we structure designs has a big impact on how developers use them, but without the same view I don’t see how we can adjust for that.


Also, the Inspect panel should be view-only for everyone. Many developers have edit access, and with all the selecting and doubleclicking it’s easy to bump or nudge something.

So to sum up, in my view the Inspect panel:

  • should function exactly the same no matter your status
  • should be read-only, no editing possible