GUI ScreenIO for Windows

Creating your first panel

You'll find that the GUI ScreenIO panel editor is very similar to a word processing application.  Here's a quick tour to create your first panel.

You'll find more detailed instructions in the sections that pertain to individual controls.

Create your Main Panel

Don't forget that you have to create one Main Panel for each application.  The Main must be the first panel you call.  To create a main, simply select "Standard Main" from the list of panel types in the editor.  Step through the creation process selecting all the defaults, but remember to put in your Company Name and your Application name.  You can set these at run time as well if you want.

Create a panel

To create your first application panel, either select File/New from the menu or click on the New button on the toolbar.

Youíll be presented with a wizard asking you for the properties of your new panel.  Type a description of your panel, which will be placed in your panel copybook. This description is displayed when you select File/Panel Index from the main menu.

Under "Type of panel" select Base.

Press Next, and on the next page, enter the text you want in the title bar when this window is displayed. Other options are available, but you can take the defaults, so press Finish.

A blank panel will be displayed in the client area of the panel editor. Drag it where you want it by grabbing the title bar with the mouse, and resize it by dragging its borders.

Add controls

To add a control Ė a radiobutton, say Ė press the button on the toolbar that looks like a radiobutton.

Now, when you move the mouse over your panel, the mouse cursor changes to look like a radiobutton.  Put it where you want the button, press and hold the left mouse button, and drag the button to the size you want it.

A popup panel will appear asking you to define your radiobutton.  Enter the COBOL name you will use to refer to the button, the text you want for labeling the button, and how you want the button to look.

The default, incidentally, is the standard Windows appearance for the control.

Press OK.

The button will appear on your panel, exactly as it will appear when your panel is run by your program.

The statusbar

If you now move the mouse pointer over your control, you will see that the statusbar at the bottom of the editor displays information about your control; its origin, size, type of control, COBOL name, PICTURE clause, and whether you have enabled Tools/Snap Fine or Snap Coarse. This is handy when youíre positioning controls to get them properly aligned.

Modifying controls

Move the mouse cursor over the control you want to change, and press the right mouse button to display a context menu for the control.  Select Properties from the menu.

Move the control by positioning the mouse cursor over it, then hold the left button down and drag the control.*

Resize the control by positioning the mouse cursor over the controlís border, then dragging it.*

Select the control by clicking it (if it isnít already selected). A colored, dotted line will appear around the control.*

Change the label of the control by clicking it again after you have selected it. An edit control will appear over the control where you can modify its contents.

You can also use standard Windows editing commands here Ė click the right mouse button in the control to see your options.

Press Enter when youíre finished to keep your changes, or Escape to cancel them.

Double click the control to call up its properties so you can change them.* Right click the control to get a context menu of more things you can do to the control; you can invoke its properties, define a context menu that will appear if a user right-clicks on the control in your application, enter the text that will appear if a user pauses with the mouse pointer above the field in your application, and more. 

You can also lock the field so it cannot be moved, or bind it with other selected controls so they all stay in the same relative position.

* Note: There are keyboard methods of moving, resizing, selecting, and calling up the properties of the selected controls. These are Tab to select the next control, Arrow keys to move up, down, left, right, and Shift+Arrow key to make wider, narrower, taller, shorter, and Enter Key to edit the properties of the first selected control.

Save your panel

Save your panel by clicking on the diskette icon on the toolbar, or chose File/Save from the menu. Pick the subdirectory where you want to save your panel, give it a name, and press Enter.

Close the panel by selecting File/Close or clicking the "X" box in the upper right corner of the panel.

Re-edit the panel by selecting File/Panel Index or File/Open from the main menu, or click the file folder icon on the toolbar.

Find your panel copybook and select it, then press Open. 

Note: You can open more than one panel at once, which is handy for comparing them or copying fields from one to the other.

Run your panel (inside the editor)

In the editor, after you open the panel, either select Panel/Execute from the menu, or right click on the panel and select Execute.

The editor will pass your panel to GUI ScreenIO to be run exactly as it will under control of your application (except it wonít have your data in it). To close the panel, press the Close Test Panel button in the little Test Control window (with yellow background) that popped up.  Sometimes this window pops under your test window and you have to look for it by dragging your test panel out of the way.

Run your panel with a test program

Find the sample program TESTPAN.COB in the Samples\Testpan directory installed with GUI ScreenIO. Edit the program with your programming editor, and substitute the name of your panel for the text string "panel".

Compile and run TESTPAN.

If you followed the compiler-specific instructions correctly, your panel will be displayed. Thatís all there is to it.

Helpful hints

Now that you have a taste of it, here are a few things you should know.

The panel editor, which was written using GUI ScreenIO, displays many of the niftier features of GUI ScreenIO.


If you place the mouse pointer over a toolbar button or a field, in most cases a ToolTip help window will pop up to give you a little more information about the item youíre pointing at.

Context menus:

If you press the right mouse button, a context menu will appear that offers functionality appropriate to the item you were pointing at when you pressed the mouse button.

Selecting an item:

Once you have defined a control, you can select it by clicking on it once. When selected, the item will be outlined with a dashed, colored border. Select more than one item by holding Ctrl and left-clicking the ones you want.

To deselect one of them, just hold Ctrl and left click it again.

Deleting an item:

Select it, then click the red X on the toolbar.

Moving items:

Just move the mouse until the four-way arrow mouse pointer appears, then press the left button and drag it where you want it.

 If you have selected more than one item, all of them will be moved.

You can nudge selected a single unit at a time by pressing the white and gray arrows on the toolbar. If you want to make it easier to line up controls when you move them, select Tools/Snap Fine or Snap Coarse from the menu. This causes items to move in larger steps, and snap to a coarser grid when you position them. It works very well.

You can also use the Arrow keys to move an item when it is selected.

Resizing an item:

Similar to moving an item; just move around until you get a double-headed arrow and then press the left mouse button to drag the border where you want it.

You can also use the Shift+Arrow keys to resize an item when it is selected.

Lock and Bind:

Locking controls fixes their position on the panel so that you canít move them accidentally. You can still modify the properties of a locked control, however.

Binding will glue controls together so that all of them are selected and moved if any one of the bound controls is moved or selected. Itís useful to keep things like the contents of a groupbox together.

Copying and Pasting:

You can copy selected controls to the clipboard and paste them onto a different panel. If a group of controls is used on many panels, you can copy them to a file and paste them from that file another day.

Trying your panel:

You can see how your panel would work by selecting Panel/Execute from the main menu or by right-clicking on the panel (while not in a control) and selecting Execute.

GUI ScreenIO will load your panel and run it, just as it would under control of your program. A small window will display the events that are returned if you tab from a hot field or press a button, so you can see what really happens.

Mass Changes:  

The editor includes a powerful mass change facility to assist in changes to many panels at once.  

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