I often find it useful to have a layout set to table view for each table that lists all the fields for that table. I then keep this layout off the layouts menu so my users can't get to them.
I originally did this just to have a quick overview of a table's data, but now am finding them increasingly useful as a way to establish a table context (to perform a find or create a new record for example) in a script without triggering any layout based script triggers emplaced on the public layouts that might otherwise interfere with correct script execution.
Excellent point and suggestion.
I would like to block the layouts from the Layout Menu as well as the Layout Menu that's on the left hand side.
I'm guessing that I can hide those layouts from everyone except for my dbadmin account which would give me full access to everything for development purposes.
That's the basic idea. Clearing the "include in layout menus" check box in layout setup drops the layout off the list while in browse mode, but still appears while in layout mode. So any password that permits the user to enter layout mode will be able to get to the layout, but any user who can't enter layout mode will be blocked from accessing such a layout.
Your question can best be answered by creating a separate developer's layout and shows everything and use dedicated layouts for your clients. This developer only layout eliminates the many problems you will encounter trying to use just one layout for everything.
I work in the developer's layout and adjust fields and objects to fit an iPhone 4". I can then move them onto other layouts for iPad and desktops as needed. Selecting many fields, etc and grouping them makes copying fast and easy. I can create these objects for iphone, ipad and various desktops on one layout.