Section B7: Working With ProntoEdit: Designing Layouts
B7-01 Why won't my panels or buttons show? (or How can I preview my CCF file without learning any IR codes?)
Buttons will not show in the emulator or on the Pronto without a valid action (which
can be an IR code, a jump command, a delay or an alias). Entire panels will not show without
at least one active button. This is due to the "template" feature in the Pronto that allows
users to customize their remotes without a computer, and hide buttons and panels they do
not wish to see.
You must first add something to each button before you can see what the panels look like.
If you just want to preview the CCF this can be easily done by adding a 0.1 second delay
as your action. Later, if you learn your IR codes using the Pronto, it will overwrite the
delay action with the new code. Remember, even if your panels appear blank in regular "USE"
mode, you will still be able to see everything in the "LABEL" or "LEARN" modes.
B7-02 Why doesn't my home panel look or act like I designed it to?
You must disable automatic aliases by renaming the first home panel to something
other than 'home' (such as 'Home' -- note the capital) or by removing the "HOME
panels are write protected" option under the System Properties screen in ProntoEdit.
Note the following:
Renaming the home panel to "Home" and leaving the "write protected" option enabled will
force the Pronto to boot up to the first home panel each time. NOT renaming the panel will
force the Pronto to generate it's own home panels based on your buttons -- not a good thing
if you have a custom panel.
Removing the "write protection" option will force the Pronto to boot up to the first
panel of the first device, no matter what the home panel is labeled. The Pronto will not
generate its own aliases.
In the default Pronto configuration, home panel buttons link to a device's action list then
jump to a page in that device. To duplicate this with your own home panel buttons you must
manually add both an alias to the device (it's action list), then add a page jump
to any panel in the device.
B7-03 How do I copy a device, panel or button from one file to another?
ProntoEdit uses its own clipboard. This means that you cannot copy items between two
concurrent sessions of ProntoEdit. However, you can still copy between multiple files in
a single instance, even though the software only allows you to have one file open at a time.
In ProntoEdit, open the CCF file that contains the device, panel or button you want
Highlight the device or panel in the left "Configuration View" window, or the button or
frame in the right "Panel View" window.
Press CTRL-C to copy.
Open your CCF file and select "replace" when prompted.
Click once where you would like to paste the item you copied.
Hit CTRL-V on your keyboard to paste. If it did not end up exactly where you
wanted you can drag it to a new location.
Note that you will have to perform all of these steps for each device, panel or button you
want to copy. If you are planning on moving a lot of material, look at the section earlier
in this FAQ that describes how to merge files.
B7-04 How can I design my CCF so when I make changes I don't need to relearn my remotes?
If you plan on radically redesigning your CCF at any point in the future, you may want to
design your CCF file so you never have to re-learn infrared signals. For that, you should
create a "dummy" device that is comprised of nothing but plain buttons. You can learn your
infrared panels there. Then, when designing your main interface, alias those buttons to
the real codes as stored in the dummy device. That way the actual IR codes are always
available when you change or add new buttons.
One caveat: this method uses more memory than storing each infrared code directly on the
B7-05 How do I add plain text to panels?
The best way to do this is to add a frame and double click the frame to enter "label" mode.
Any text you enter will be placed in the center of the frame, which you may then resize to
the proper width and height. Once you're done you may move the frame around as you wish. Ensure
that when you enter text you also select a font size, otherwise nothing will show. Currently
there is no line break option to easily enter multiple lines of text, so for now you will
need to use multiple frames -- one per line.
B7-06 Can I add more fonts to the Pronto?
No, you can't add new type styles to the Pronto. You could instead create a custom
BMP file using the font you want and import that -- but be warned that full-screen
bitmaps use a lot of memory.
Although new typefaces aren't available, there are hidden font sizes that can be
enabled. By default, ProntoEdit has 10, 14, and 18 point sizes available. But the
remote actually contains 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 point versions. To enable them,
edit the file pronto.ini (which is located in your root Windows directory -- typically
c:\windows). Currently, it will look like this:
There are two limitations. First, symbols are ONLY available for 10, 14 and 18 point sizes.
That means you cannot use arrow keys, transport icons or other special characters with
these newly added sizes. Secondly, you cannot create new font sizes not already listed in
this file. Some users have tried adding 6 and 20 point typefaces. While this will work in
the emulator it will not work on the physical remote.
B7-07 How can I group buttons together?
First, you need to "Add Frame" (ALT-A) while on a panel. Then, you may either:
a) While the new frame is selected, "Add Button" (ALT-K). This will add a
button to the frame, but it will of course have no icon. You can also hold down "Alt"
and drag an existing button on top of another to copy just the icon.
b) Copy/Cut (CTRL-C/CTRL-X) an existing button from a panel, select
the frame you want to copy to, then paste (CTRL-V). Repeat until finished.
Once you have all buttons in the frame and the frame is resized to encompass them,
you may change the background color if desired.
Grouping buttons like this will make moving groups -- such as transport or menu controls
-- far easier. You may also copy and paste the entire frame intact with all included
buttons in a single motion rather than manually performing the same step on multiple
objects. Remember that you must leave some frame "white space" to click on to move,
otherwise you will move the contents of the frame rather than the frame itself.
B7-08 Can I create a "back" button to return to the last page accessed?
For the RC5000, yes -- see the section later in the FAQ that describes how to use the "Page
History" feature. But for all Pronto users, the quick answer is no -- there is no way to
assign that function to a button. However, there is a workaround you can try.
The Pronto is divided up into three sections: Macro, Home and Device. Each time you switch
between those sections you go back to the last page accessed -- so, using this, you can
simulate a back function for commonly used commands. For instance, take a "Lighting" button.
From each panel under the Device side of the remote, jump to a new panel on the Macro side.
From there, you can press the Device button to return back to the page you came from. There
is no way to create this on a user-customized button; you must press the Device menu.
One other method you can try is using the brute-force technique. Create a Lighting panel
for each and every panel you call it from. The only difference between these panels would
be the "back" button, which returns only to the panel it was called from. This requires a
lot of time to configure and is very memory wasteful, so it should only be used as a last
resort of if you only need to create a small number of panels.
B7-09 Can I create multiple text lines on a single button or otherwise position text?
Unfortunately the answer is no on both points - a single button or frame cannot hold more than one line of text, and all text must be positioned dead center.
Multiple lines can be simulated using several stacked frames or buttons, and horizontal positioning can be roughly tailored by adding blank spaces before or after the characters. Otherwise, customized text will have to be created in a bitmap editing mode and exported in a "hard" state - meaning that ProntoEdit wouldn't be able to edit it. In addition, creating text as a bitmap will occupy much more memory than the same text in a frame or button. Remember that the Pronto's default font is available as "Pronto" on a system with ProntoEdit or RC5000 Setup installed.
B7-10 How do I define a custom grid?
Create your own special grid for a single panel. Remember that you must first display
a grid (ALT-D) before you may edit it. To begin with you may wish to use the "Auto Grid"
Save your grid to one of the 10 available slots by going to the SETTINGS menu and
selecting "Set Default Grid". Grid 0 is always the default shown.
Any options set under the SETTINGS menu -- such as "snap to grid" will be
the program defaults. Any options set via right-clicking over a panel or using
the keyboard shortcuts will only be active for that panel while it is open.
B7-11 What keyboard shortcuts are there?
A number of quick keyboard action are available:
Copy an image from one button to another by holding down the ALT key. This only copies images, not
actions, text or colors.
Copy an image, colors and text size from one button to another by holding down the SHIFT and ALT keys. This does not
Copy actions from one button to another by holding down the SHIFT key. This copies the entire action list,
including codes, aliases and delays.
Duplicate a button by holding down the CTRL key. This copies everything, including actions, text and colors.
Hold the SHIFT key to create a blank panel instead of one with the default design.
Move buttons with the cursor keys. This is much easier than trying to align buttons with the mouse.
You can hold the the SPACEBAR when moving to jump in 10-pixel increments. Hold SHIFT to expand/contract the
top-left of a frame, or CTRL for the bottom right.
Move items around the action list by holding CTRL and using the keyboard's cursor keys.