Screen configuration options
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  • Introduction

    The ShellRun retail version has a highly configurable user interface.  As described in the Retail instructions, you do the configuration by setting parameters in a plain text file called ShRun.INF - see example.

    Screen components and actions

    Before proceeding any further, here's the definition of the ShellRun screen components.

    The optional popup window contains:

  • an optional icon image
  • configurable Info information text
  • configurable Msg message text
  • if appropriate, a configurable Exit button
  • if appropriate, a configurable Install viewer button
  • an optional Reshow checkbox
    The optional splash window simply contains a splash image.
  • ShellRun retail screen components definition
    If you provide a menu of command buttons, these will appear by default below the Msg text. The appearance of all the ShellRun buttons can be configured, as described below.

    User interface

    The popup window normally appears for 15 seconds, although it stays permanently if any error occurs.  The splash window normally appears for 5 seconds, and closes on any mouse click or key press.

    If the user clicks on the Info text, then the Web parameter file is shown (configurable from the default http://www.phdcc.com).

    If ShellRun finds an error then the popup window is always shown and an Exit button appears.  If you have set up viewer checking, then an Install viewer button will also appear - clicking on this will do your specified action.  The keyboard can be used to select and move between the buttons.


    Window recommendations

    Although there are many possible ways of arranging the ShellRun windows, these are the four main options:
    No windows
    Do not show any ShellRun window.
    However if any error occurs, the popup window will be shown, so you may still wish to configure the popup window.

    Small popup window
    Always show a small popup window.
    Optionally show a menu of command options

    Maximised popup window
    Always show a popup window maximised to fill the entire screen.
    With this option you would usually centre the Icon image and place the text in the top left of the window.

    Splash window
    Always show a splash window.
    However if any error occurs, the popup window will also be shown, so you may still wish to configure the popup window.

    Splash window configuration

    If you want to show a splash window (by default centred on the user's screen) then you must set the splash parameter to the path to your splash image .BMP file.  Only .BMP files are supported.  Do not include a drive letter in the path.

    If you also want to remove the popup window then set the message parameter to -nomsg.  Remember that if any error occurs, the popup window will also be shown, so you may still wish to configure the popup window.

    To change the show time from its default of 5 seconds, set the SplashShowTime parameter to the desired number of seconds. If you want to keep the splash image topmost, ie in front of your shown file, then set the SplashOptions parameter to 1. Use the xSplash and ySplash parameters to set the position of the splash image. For example:

    [Info]
    ...
    message=-nomsg
    
    splash=intro.bmp
    SplashShowTime=10
    SplashOptions=1
    xSplash=topright

    Popup window configuration

    Window position, size and background colour

    The popup window is shown by default in the top-left of the user's screen and is sized automatically to show all the necessary text.

    Use the xPos and yPos parameters to set the position of the popup window. The following special values are available for xPoscenter, topleft, topright, bottomleft, bottomright, top, left, right, bottom

    To specify the initial window size yourself, set the xSize and ySize parameters to the pixel size desired. As a special case, set xSize to -1 to maximise the popup window to fill the entire screen, eg:

    [Info]
    ...
    xSize=-1
    BkColor=192,255,255
    By default, the background colour of the popup window is Window's default background.  To use your own colour, set the BkColor parameter to an RGB value.

    Icon image

    By default, the PHD logo image is shown in the top-left of the popup window.  To change the image, set the icon parameter to the path to your image .BMP file.  Only .BMP files are supported.  Do not include a drive letter in the path.

    To change the Icon image location specify pixel values for the xIcon and yIcon parameters, eg:

    [Info]
    ...
    icon=logo.bmp
    xIcon=10
    yIcon=10
    To remove the Icon image, set icon to none.

    Centred icon image

    As a special case, to centre the icon image in the popup window, set the xIcon parameter to -1.  This is usually only done when you maximise the popup window by setting xSize to -1, eg:
    [Info]
    ...
    xSize=-1
    
    icon=welcome.bmp
    xIcon=-1

    Text

    As described in the main retail instructions example, the Info and Msg text are set using the Display and message parameters. Note that the Msg text will change if any problems arise.

    The Title parameter lets you change the popup window titlebar text from its default of "ShellRun <version>".

    Text location and formatting

    The location and formatting of the Info and Msg text can be configured in many ways.  By default, the text is to the right of the Icon image (unless this is centred in the popup window).  The text is Arial 16pt blue with the Msg underneath an underlined Info.

    In all the following parameters, the Msg parameters default to the equivalent Info parameters (except yMsg).

    Specify the location of text using the xInfo, yInfo and yMsg parameters.
    Set the text colours using RGB values for the InfoColor and MsgColor parameters.
    To make the text italic, set the InfoItalic and MsgItalic parameters to 1.

    Change the point size of the text using the InfoSize and MsgSize parameters.  Be careful: ShellRun error messages can be long and these could overflow the right edge of a user's screen if the text is too big.

    Change the text weight by specifying a number between 1 and 9 for the InfoWeight and MsgWeight parameters.  The default normal weight is 4, while bold text is 7.  Most other weights are usually not supported by Windows fonts.

    Set the desired font name in the InfoFace and MsgFace parameters.  Only specify fonts that you know will be on your users' computers.  In practice this means sticking to standard fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman or Courier New.

    The following example changes a few of the text formatting parameters:

    [Info]
    ...
    InfoWeight=7
    InfoFace=Times New Roman
    MsgSize=14
    MsgWeight=4
    MsgColor=255,0,0

    Button style, size, weight, colours and font

    You can configure the appearance of all the buttons used by ShellRun, ie the Exit, Install Viewer and the menu buttons. The following button styles are available (with the text set to "Comic Sans MS" green bold 12 on a yellow background):

    ShellRun button styles example

    The Default style simply uses a standard Windows button - its appearance cannot be changed. The XP style is a square button and the Vista style is rounded with a background colour split.

    Set the BtnStyle parameter to Default, XP or Vista as required. The following parameters adjust the XP and Vista styles:

    Set the desired font in the BtnTextFace parameter.  Only specify a font that you know will be on your users' computers.  In practice this means sticking to standard fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman or Courier New.

    Change the point size of the text using the BtnTextPointSize parameter.  Change the text weight by specifying a number between 1 and 9 for the BtnTextWeight parameter.  The default weight is 7 ie bold text, while normal text is 4.  Most other weights are usually not supported by Windows fonts. Set the text colour using RGB values for the BtnTextColor parameter.

    To change the button background colour, set the BtnBkColor RGB parameter.

    If using the Vista style, you can change the colour of the top half of the background using the BtnBkTopColor RGB parameter, and the selected border and lower background colour using the BtnSelColor RGB parameter.

    ShellRun Home Last modified: 2 October 2008 ShellRun online