I have been trying to follow some suggestions for building screens.
Some people have had good results with building a bit map with images
of all their buttons on it and then adding transparent buttons over
the top of the single jpeg in screen 4 to provide the functions.
So... I built a bit map with built-in pictures of buttons on the
background jpeg. I made up some "image buttons" with no bitmap
selected. I placed these over my jpeg on top of the buttons.
Then when I load the screen in Mach, on one page only, all the
transparent buttons allow the background to show through my jpeg so
the jpeg button image can't be seen. It all looks fine in screen 4. I
messed with the "move bitmaps to back" command with no help.
I watched Benny's excellent videos on screen building.
Any ideas what I have left out of the process or whether this really
should work like this?
If it did work, it would make life much more simple.
Wow, thanks a lot for such a detailed answer. I'll try implementing your
procedures and see how it goes.
I've designed a couple of screens before and honestly this bitmap thing is
the only real problem I've had with Scream4. Though I read about a lot of
weird things happening with it I've never experienced them.
I agree, it's a very powerful tool. I'm working on a set of screens for my
touch-screen based control and apart from the bitmap issue it's starting to
come together quite nicely.
Thanks again, I'll work on it for a while, see how it goes and let you know!
Hi Henrik, I feel your pain. I have negotiated an acceptable truce
with screen 4. I'm beginning to get a perverse enjoyment out of
working with it. I'm not sure all of this helped to fix it, but here's
is what I did:
1) Use one big background bitmap with all the button images on it.
Thats the only way to go. Then overlay in screen4 with transparent
buttons and what ever leds you need. Individual button images is
asking for pain. I think it's much easier to copy and paste between
the page bitmaps in the drawing program than to place a bitmap button
and select "display on all screens". The transparent button put OVER
those buttons on the bitmap can be selected to show on all screens
with no problems.
2) Start each page by placing the background bitmap before any buttons
(transparent or otherwise) are placed. This bitmap should be the size
of your entire mach screen but doesn't have to have everything already
figured out perfectly and in place.
In the dialog box for the bitmap set the upper left corner at 0,0 and
LOCK IT IN PLACE. NEVER, EVER UNLOCK OR REMOVE THAT BITMAP. If you
want to use a different bitmap just open the dialog box and browse to
the new one. Screen4 will then still see this as the SAME OBJECT with
a different name and file location. If you remove the first bitmap and
then install a new one, it seems to confuse screen4 and it has trouble
figuring out what is supposed to be on top. For me this stopped the
problem of transparent buttons working on only one page.
3)When adding features in screen4, I turn the images off. (Little blue
button on the toolbar with "img" on it and a red line through it.) I
place the transparent button or led somewhere on the screen and get
it's function assigned and get it roughly sized. Then I leave it
selected, turn the images back on and move it with the arrow keys
until it lines up with the background bitmap. Then I turn the image
again and right click the newly placed item and click "lock in place"
(and "display on all screens" if needed). It is often much easier to
edit button position and size in the dialog box than to unlock the
buttons position, fiddle it into place and re-lock. There is great
security in knowing you can't accidentally move of REMOVE the things
that you have so carefully placed.
4) I don't know why this makes a difference, but once in a while after
making a change, saving the set and loading the set in mach, I will
see that the "transparent" buttons are allowing the background to show
through my bitmap again. In that case I go back to screem4 and turn
off the images in screen4 and resave it with the images turned off.
That fixes the problem. I have no idea why. I can't even prove that
that is what fixes it. I just know it works after I do that.
5) I save the set after every tiny change and "save as" under a new
name every 3 or so changes. I loose a lot less work and screen4 seems
to settle down after a save. The goofy-ness seems to build between
saves. I don't give it chance.
I do have one transparent button that for some reason doesn't recover
from the button press illusion. It is still visible as my button but
just looks "pressed". Just one button of 30 or so in my set. So far. I
plan to remove the transparent button and place a new one sometime to
see if that fixes it.
Sometimes one button (random), on one page, will get "transparent" all
the way to the background or block the bitmap underneath when loaded
in Mach. If I go view\load screen and select the same screen it works
perfectly after the reload.
Since adopting these procedures, I have had almost no trouble and I
have had many hours of screen editing in the last weeks. I have no
doubt some of them have no effect but my system evolved over time and
I'm not changing anything as long as it's working.
Screen4 is a pretty powerful tool. It does amazing things and gives
Mach incredible flexibility. It has maybe just a tad too much personality.
Let me know if this helps,