The resource editor is Winteracter‘s core GUI design tool, combining menu, dialog, toolbar and icon/bitmap/cursor editors in a single easy-to-use program.
The resource editor saves user interface definitons as a resource script. The resulting file is incorporated into Winteracter based applications, via the resource compiler and linker. Importantly, the resource script can be reloaded into the editor, allowing your user interface to be edited and maintained by this tool throughout the life of your application.
A Fortran source file is also saved by the resource editor. This contains PARAMETER statements defining identifiers for each item in the resource file. This file is USE’d or INCLUDE’d by a Winteracter program to enable it to refer to items in the resource using meaningful names.
The resource editor can optionally generate Fortran source code to perform message processing or dialog data assignment/retrieval. Both options are sensitive to the identifiers assigned in the resource and provide full control over the messages types or dialog fields to be processed.
The entire contents of your program’s resource are accessible via a simple treeview window.
The menu editor allows menus to be created in the conventional horizontal+pop-up format or as vertical floating menus. Each menu is edited via a WYSIWYG mimic of the runtime menu, as illustrated above.
The initial state of each option (enabled/disabled, checked/unchecked) can be specified. Keyboard shortcuts for menu options can be specified without requiring any additional code.
Various field types and controls are supported including:
- String fields (single line and multi-line)
- Menus (list-boxes and combo-boxes)
- Push buttons
- Progress bars
- Group boxes
- Radio buttons
- Numeric fields (integer, real and double precision)
- Spinners on numeric fields
- Independent foreground/background colours for each field
- Tab controls (to create multi-part tabbed dialogs)
- Grid controls (see below)
Grids are a particularly powerful spreadsheet-like field type. These are invaluable when entering array based data. Grid controls designed in the resource editor can be used both in dialogs and in resizable dedicated ‘grid windows. Grid controls incorporate row/column cut+paste features allowing easy data transfer to/from 3rd party applications such as Excel or Word.
A set of alignment tools help to simplify dialog layout.
A ‘test drive’ option is also provided allowing developers to quickly try out their dialogs without having to recompile/relink their application.
Toolbars can be created from the supplied bitmap buttons or from customised buttons created using the built-in image editor (see below).
Each toolbar is edited via a WYSIWYG mimic of the runtime toolbar, as illustrated above.
Where a toolbar is used to provide shortcuts to options in a conventional menu, such a toolbar can be added to your program with only a single line of code. Your existing menu handling code will then automatically process toolbar selections too.
Tooltips (or bubble help) can also be specified for each button. Adding these tooltips requires no extra coding.
Images for toolbar buttons can be created using the built-in image editor (see below) or 3rd party tools. Alternatively a selection of 256-colour toolbar button images are supplied with Winteracter, in 16×16, 24×24 and 32×32 pixel resolutions. A set of 16-colour 16×16 buttons are also provided.
The resource editor includes a built-in image editor which can be used to create icons, bitmap buttons and cursors. Colour images with 16, 256 or 16 million colours can be created at any size between 8×8 and 128×128 pixels. Pixel, line, rectangle, ellipse, text, fill, rotate and mirror/flip drawing tools are included plus cut, copy and paste facilities. Multi-level undo and full colour control are also provided.
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