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1st message | this message only posted: 5 Dec 2019 21:44
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from:
Tom Allen
United Kingdom

 

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Hi Martin, i see you've given space either side of the "make the control" menu/click button, which i assume has been done to make it easier to hit that button with a mouse rather than another function. Would it be possible to make the above and below space active for the "make the control" function, making the button three times the size. I know we can use the "m" key to activate this function but it always seems easier to concentrate just using the mouse.

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2nd message | this message only posted: 5 Dec 2019 23:06
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Tom Allen wrote: Hi Martin, i see you've given space either side of the "make the control" menu/click button, which i assume has been done to make it easier to hit that button with a mouse rather than another function. Would it be possible to make the above and below space active for the "make the control" function, making the button three times the size. I know we can use the "m" key to activate this function but it always seems easier to concentrate just using the mouse.Hi Tom,

Thanks for the idea, I will have a look at that. It might be a bit counter-intuitive to some users to have clickable blank menu items. I think they will need to have an M on them at least.

In the meantime you can avoid needing to click that menu item at all. If you hold down the CTRL key while clicking the template, that does make the control immediately. That was introduced in one of the recent program updates. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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3rd message | this message only posted: 5 Dec 2019 23:14
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Tom Allen
United Kingdom

 

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With the three spaces altogether for the one function it should be easier to pickup with the mouse. I'll have to give that ctrl trick a try. I guess it'll still feel like using the m key which takes my view from the screen.
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4th message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2019 13:36
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Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Tom,

The proper answer to this is to set the entire menu to "OwnerDraw" in the program code.

That means that instead of leaving Windows to draw the menu on the screen in the standard style, Templot takes over the job of drawing the menu.

Each menu item can then be anything you like -- different sizes, colours, images, icons, buttons, etc.

The snag there is that it is a massive amount of programming effort to deal with every menu item -- effort which might be better spent doing away with the menu entirely and replacing it with a normal dialog window having buttons and tickboxes in the usual way.

However, I have had a dabble and made some simple changes -- that menu item is increased in size, and changes from blue text on white to an orange background when the mouse is over it:

  
 
  

Feedback on this welcome. Anyone? It's easy to overdo this sort of thing.

cheers,

Martin.

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5th message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2019 15:14
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Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Hi Martin


I'm sure I've missed something here - as far as I can tell the only change is that the blue text has changed to an orange background.  Is it really worth the effort?  What have I missed?

Cheers,
Paul

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6th message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2019 15:41
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Paul Boyd wrote: I'm sure I've missed something here - as far as I can tell the only change is that the blue text has changed to an orange background.  Is it really worth the effort?  What have I missed?Hi Paul,

Tom suggested that the make the control menu item should be larger / more prominent / easier to hit with the mouse.

The changes I have made above just to see how it looks are:

larger font + larger rectangle
mouse not over: white background instead of grey + blue text instead of black
mouse over: orange background instead of blue + white text

I suspect the real problem that I see from screenshots is that so many folks have a tiny font size set for their menus. It beats me how they manage to hit anything with the mouse at all. They must have much better eyesight and mouse handling than me. :)

However, menu font size is a Windows setting on individual systems, there is nothing Templot can do about it. Other than the ownerdraw option above, which would be a massive programming undertaking to do the whole of Templot that way. It would also need a lot of testing on different systems to be sure it was usable. And it probably won't work under Wine.

In this actual case, you can now do CTRL+click on the template for make the control, which is much faster and easier anyway.

cheers,

Martin.
Mouse-fumbler-in-chief.

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7th message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2019 17:51
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from:
Paul Boyd
Loughborough, United Kingdom

 

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Hi Martin
Ah yes, I understand now.  I misunderstood Tom’s original post (sorry Tom).

I’m one of those “tiny font” people as you know from a previous post, but that’s how I like it!  I seem to be more dexterous with the pen/mouse than most people, with either hand, but I do accept that there are various reasons why others may have difficulty accurately moving the cursor.  For those people, I wonder if any of Window’s Accessibility tools may be of use?

Oddly, the Make function is one I very rarely use, if ever!!!  I tend to delete or copy to the control, or occasionally wipe.

Cheers,
Paul

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8th message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2019 18:38
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Phil O
Plymouth, United Kingdom



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I'm there with you on the delete and copy commands, since I started using them it has reduced my duplicate template count by a huge amount.

Phil.
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9th message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2019 21:13
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Rob Manchester
Manchester, United Kingdom



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Agree with Paul and Phil - delete or copy to control works for me.

Rob


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10th message | this message only posted: 6 Dec 2019 21:34
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: Agree with Paul and Phil - delete or copy to control works for me.Hi Rob, Paul, Phil,

Well yes, of course. make the control is merely a shorthand way of doing:

1. store & background on the control template,

and then

2. delete to the control on the background template,

saving a click.

No harm in doing them separately if you prefer, or only one of them if that is what is needed.

However, this topic isn't about what that menu item does, or whether or not to use it.

It's about being able to see it and hit it with the mouse.

We seem to be going off at a tangent ... ... again. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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11th message | this message only posted: 7 Dec 2019 18:03
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Having had a day using this, I have rather grown to like it. Thanks for the idea Tom.

As I said, it is easy to overdo it, so I added 5 more. :)

These are the 6 items (in larger blue text/orange) which are probably used most often:




So as a trial, this will be in update 225b shortly.

I can't be sure how it will look on other folks' systems, so depending on the feedback, there may rapidly be a 225c without it. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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12th message | this message only posted: 10 Dec 2019 15:45
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from:
Tom Allen
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Thanks Martin, already better for me.

PS, guys i'm also using a a small text setup, but i felt the space either side of the "make the control" button could be used more effectively by enlarging the button. No problems with dexterity or sight just looking for ways to improve the already outstanding Templot.
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13th message | this message only posted: 15 Dec 2020 23:26
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from:
Tom Allen
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tonight i had another thought, could the "make the control" function also be a double click on the mouse, possibly using the fast click feature of windows.
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14th message | this message only posted: 16 Dec 2020 00:46
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Hi Tom,

Thanks for the suggestion.

There is already a double-click function on the trackpad, which can be set to provide rapid access to any one of a small range of functions, as you prefer:



I haven't looked at all that for 20 years, I can't remember how I arrived at those particular options. I could maybe increase the range of options to include make the control and others.

For myself I really dislike double-clicking -- it is one of the primary causes of wrist pain after several hours use of a mouse. I have set my computer so that I rarely if ever need to double-click on anything. The dreaded triple-clicking which is used in some Microsoft programs is even worse.

But if others would like more double-click options I'm happy to add them -- feedback welcome. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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15th message | this message only posted: 16 Dec 2020 02:20
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Rob Manchester
Manchester, United Kingdom



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Hi Martin,
Sorry. Never tried the mouse double click method but just had a quick play. I admit to normally using the on-screen buttons for things like 'ROAM' and 'SHIFT/JOIN' but being able to assign one of those to a double-click is quite nice. Yes, of course I have a function key list printed out but rarely use it - I did at one point think about making a Templot dedicated keyboard where each of the keyboard shortcuts had a single key deicated to it. You can probably guess how far that project got... :roll: I am still looking back with honour at the time I got used to using the INSERT key.....

I must ask but what does 'Adjust Paper Bunching' do ??

Rob


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16th message | this message only posted: 16 Dec 2020 03:47
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from:
Martin Wynne
West Of The Severn, United Kingdom



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Rob Manchester wrote: I must ask but what does 'Adjust Paper Bunching' do ??
Hi Rob,

"Paper bunching" is a left-over from the days when Templot had to be used on very small screens. I seem to remember everything had to fit into 640x480 in the earliest days. I haven't been very consistent with the naming -- it's also called "pad bunching" in places which makes more sense. In the early days I referred to the trackpad as the Templot "drawing paper".

Essentially it allows you to zoom in and see both ends of a long template at the same time, on a narrow screen, by bunching up the centre part of the grid into a narrow band:



This can be useful, for example when adjusting a transition curve. You might want to make adjustments at one end of the template, while watching the effect on the alignment at the far end, maybe 6ft away.

The mouse action works in both directions simultaneously. Moving left to right controls the width of trackpad which is bunched up into the middle band. Moving the mouse up and down controls the amount of vertical shear in the band, so that both ends of an angled template can be on the screen.

Paper bunching has no effect on the finished track design or printed templates, it is purely a change in the way it is displayed on the screen.

Before the mouse action will work, paper bunching must be switched on in the menu:



It's fun to try, but I doubt many folks make much practical use of it nowadays. :)

cheers,

Martin.

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17th message | this message only posted: 16 Dec 2020 18:30
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Rob Manchester
Manchester, United Kingdom



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Hi Martin,
Thanks for the explanation. Just tried it and I can see how it would have been useful a while back. With our luxury resolution screens these days it is rather unlikely to be of much use - but maybe one day.

Rob


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18th message | this message only posted: 17 Dec 2020 01:00
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from:
Tom Allen
United Kingdom

 

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that would be great, i've tried the double click feature and it works fine. The "make the control" function may well be the most used operation in the program, at least for me it feels like it.

Martin Wynne wrote: Hi Tom,

Thanks for the suggestion.

There is already a double-click function on the trackpad, which can be set to provide rapid access to any one of a small range of functions, as you prefer:



I haven't looked at all that for 20 years, I can't remember how I arrived at those particular options. I could maybe increase the range of options to include make the control and others.

For myself I really dislike double-clicking -- it is one of the primary causes of wrist pain after several hours use of a mouse. I have set my computer so that I rarely if ever need to double-click on anything. The dreaded triple-clicking which is used in some Microsoft programs is even worse.

But if others would like more double-click options I'm happy to add them -- feedback welcome. :)

cheers,

Martin.


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