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Author Topic: IDEA: Toggle Fullscreen of Control  (Read 16049 times)
murple
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« on: September 04, 2008, 01:01:40 PM »

Hey!

I would like to have a small program that will allow a user to stretch a given region of the screen (a window and/or control) to fill the entire screen and then "unstretch" it back to its original size and position. The program wouldn't need a user interface of its own, hotkeys would probably suffice. More specifically, I need to stretch a window in Autodesk Inventor which is a 3D CAD program and give the user the ability to show only the 3D model on the screen without any of toolbars, buttons, taskbars etc. that clutter the working space. This program would be of equal interest to many other 3D packages (That don't have this feature already) or other software. It's main intention is for presentation purposes where you want to clean the screen for distracting elements. I suppose this could be accomplished by hiding the regions of the screen that are not of interest, but I am looking for something that will make maximum use of the screen real estate.

I have experience with AutoHotkey but I haven't been able to find a suitable solution. I've tried a few different approaches so far:

-Set the size of the control to be equal to the screen size and set the control to be the topmost control.
This didn't work because the control is a child of the parent window (Autodesk Inventor) and I couldn't set the size of the child control to be larger than the size of the parent window. The control is stuck inside the parent window.

-Detach the control, set its parent to a new gui and set the size of the gui to be equal to the screen size
This is when I came across Skrommels DetachVideo. This seems to be very promising and a great starting point. Extending and modifying DetachVideo to detach and stretch any control would do the trick nicely. One issue with this approach is that even if all keystrokes and mouse clicks are "forwarded" to the parent window, the parent window has "lost control of the control" so the program might not function properly?

-Create a separate window which magnifies the original control
This might work as well, but I couldn't get things right and ideall I would like not to distort the image (zoom). If nothing else works then this will suffice.

Related links I've come across:
Similar request for program
SetParent function (make a gui belong to another window)
holomind's ScreenMagnifier

I've attached some pictures showing the Autodesk Inventor main window.
  • The first image shows the standard window with the window of the 3D model maximized inside the parent window.
  • The second image shows the standard window with the windows of the 3D model "restored" inside the parent window.
  • The third image shows what I want the full screen to look like. This essentially shows the entire goal of the program
  • Snapshot from WindowSpy

Can this be accomplished?


Thanks in advance.
Murple


* ControlFullscreen01.png (484.52 KB, 1280x1024 - viewed 502 times.)

* ControlFullscreen02.png (417.09 KB, 1280x1024 - viewed 449 times.)

* ControlFullscreen03.png (443.17 KB, 1054x928 - viewed 555 times.)

* WindowSpy.png (9.02 KB, 304x452 - viewed 438 times.)
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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2008, 01:09:29 PM »

I believe you are looking for ZoomIt: http://technet.microsoft....ysinternals/bb897434.aspx

Run the program, right-click on the tray icon, select zoom and then use your mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out on a region of your screen.
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murple
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 01:28:48 PM »

VideoInPicture: Thanks for your quick reply but this is slightly different to what I'm looking for. I know of Zoomit from the Sysinternals suite of applications, like the rest of the suite it is very reliable and does exactly what it says on the tin. Ideally though, I do not want to zoom anything because that will distort the image and possibly complicate user input. Ideally, I just want to be able to stretch a given control to fill the entire screen and be able to interact normally with it.
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lanux128
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2008, 08:22:48 PM »

you can combine some of Skrommel's tools such as WinWarden and UnderCover. both can monitor and makes changes to a window like display size, hiding a window's buttons and other controls.


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murple
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 02:36:58 AM »

lanux128: Thanks for the tip, I might be able to find some code I could use in one of those program's but out-of-the-box, neither had the capabilities that I'm looking for. This seems like something that nicely complement the other commands of WinWarden. If only Skrommel were here....
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skrommel
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2008, 11:00:35 AM »

 smiley I had this exact program on my old computer, shareware, but I can't remember it's name or where I found it, so I tried creating something like it myself a while back, but I never completed it. I'll go looking for either of them.

Skrommel
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2008, 02:50:30 AM »

Skrommel: It would be great if you found something on this. I hope it's your own script you wind up finding because that will give us the possibility to customize it. Takk!
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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2008, 04:01:20 PM »

http://windowextractor.wikidot.com/

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I've coded a program called Window Extractor that will allow you to extract those windows in your CAD program and make them full screen with no borders and you should still have some of the normal functionality of that window, such as rotating and zooming in objects.

You can also use it to extract YouTube video's like with Detach Video. I'm not sure if anyone else is having a problem with Detach Video where it isn't replacing the video in the same spot that it came from, but I find that Window Extractor pops out and replaced online videos reliably and in the same place it comes from. I've tested it on IE, Firefox, and Chrome.

Window Extractor is actually able to extract any object in Windows that has a window handle. However, not all programs allow for extractions without crashing so it is best to test it out before use on a presentation.

Window Extractor is written in C# and the source code in on the website: http://windowextractor.wikidot.com. You need .Net Framework 2.0 or later to use it.

* Window Extractor is activated by using two hotkeys that can be changed in the settings panel.
* Hold your mouse over a video or window title bar and press F10 to extract it.
* Press F11 to restore the extracted object.

Eric Wong

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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2008, 05:17:01 AM »

There was a little bug in the language loader of Window Extractor 1.0 and I have released version 1.1 to fix it: http://windowextractor.wikidot.com/download

On some computers, version 1.0 may not properly load the language files because it was using a short hand version of the file paths. Version 1.1 uses the complete paths for the language files.
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2008, 05:45:31 AM »

Fantastic! Thank you so much for your efforts. I'll test this today and post the results asap.
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murple
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2008, 06:46:38 AM »

VideoInPicture: I tested your app with Excel 2003 since it seems to handle windows similarly to Autodesk Inventor. Window Extractor worked flawlessly and expanded the spreadsheet to fullscreen and back again, so your app is definetly a keeper. However, when I tested it with Inventor, the program crashed miserably right away. I'm not sure why or what could be done to workaround this. Any ideas?
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2008, 06:55:09 AM »

Did you try putting the mouse over the title bar of the window you want to extract? You could also try just putting the mouse right over top of the display area in the window and try to extract that.

If that fails, it means that your CAD program has dependencies on those windows and won't allow you to extract them no matter the method used.

Window Extractor uses the SetParent windows api function so it's success will depend on the success of this function.
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2008, 01:02:51 PM »

Hmm, I've been thinking about the third option you suggested as a possible solution and I think I will code that two and I think it would look quite nice for the idea I have....

I'll have to see if it works out in practice.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 01:05:21 PM by VideoInPicture » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2008, 11:02:20 AM »

VideoInPicture: Sorry for the delayed reply! I've tested Window Extractor a few more times and it consistently makes Autodesk Inventor crash. It probably has to do with the fact that the program is changing the parent of the window.

Today I thought of a very easy solution which doesn't involve setting the parent of the window. This solution is actually something that could be done very easily with AutoHotkey but considering your app already works very well, perhaps you could incorporate this. How about making sure the parent window isn't maximized (i.e. If the window is maximized, restore it) first, then finding the size of the given control, then resize and reposition the parent window so that the control fills the entire screen? Isn't it perfectly possible to set the size of a window to be larger than the screen size? This approach is easy, simple and would ensure that all functionality of the window and its control is kept intact. Perhaps you could incorporate several approaches and list them as option? What do you think?

Also, since this is meant to be a presentation tool. Perhaps it should be taken into account that the users might be using multiple monitors? Would that be difficult to somehow accomodate?
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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2008, 03:47:28 PM »

I don't think you can resize a Window to be larger than the size of all your monitors, even if it's not maximized. Windows imposes a limit on what the largest window size can be based on your virtual monitor size.
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« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2008, 09:29:45 AM »

VideoInPicture: Doh! That's explains quite a bit... Any progress on the magnifying approach?
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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2008, 11:48:32 AM »

Haven't had much time to work on the magnification idea since I'm busy with university classes at the moment. Actually, I haven't had much time to work on updating my other programs other than thinking about what I have to change.

I'll see if I can code something soon.
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2008, 07:20:28 PM »

Got the second program coded: Present This Window. This one will take a static screenshot of an embedded or standalone window and present it to the screen. This one won't crash since it doesn't change anything about the original windows.
http://presentthiswindow.wikidot.com/

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Present Embedded & Standalone Windows From Programs

  • Present This Window allows you to quickly take a screenshot of embedded or standalone windows and present them in a pleasing manor. The screenshots are shown without title bars or borders and is automatically sized to fill up as much of your screen as possible.
  • Places a translucent background behind the screenshot to provide better contrast. The color and opacity of this background can be changed.
  • Great for presentations where you want to show off a CAD drawing, accounting spreadsheet, or other software that don't support a fullscreen mode.
  • Can be used in conjunction with ZoomIt from Windows Sysinternals for a very professional and complete presentation system.
  • It is open source and the code is available for download.
  • Present This Window is activated by using two hotkeys that can be changed in the settings panel.
  • Hold your mouse over a window or window title bar and press F10 to present it.
  • Press F11 to close the screenshot of the presented window. Alternatively, you can right-click on the screenshot or press ESC to close it.


« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 12:59:19 AM by VideoInPicture » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2008, 11:05:42 PM »

That is pretty darn cool.. I can see how that would be very useful for a presentation.. sort of a smart zoom.
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mouser
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2008, 07:57:51 AM »

Martin wrote about Window Extractor on ghacks today:
http://www.ghacks.net/200...dows-extractor/#more-7439
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« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2008, 08:33:42 AM »

Cool! I just hope people test Window Extractor out before using it for presentations or they may find out that some programs don't like having their elements extracted.

I left a note on Martin's page just in case and noted that they can try out Present This Window instead, which doesn't have the risk of crashing.
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« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2008, 03:09:19 AM »

VideoInPicture: Am I the only person that refers to you by your nick? In any case I wanted to congratulate you on both "Window Extractor" and "Present This Window", I'm very pleased that others have realised their usefulness.

Unfortunately, neither seem to do the trick for Autodesk Inventor: Window Extractor makes it crash, and Present This Window creates a "static" fullscreen presentation, whereas I hoped to be able to continue to interact with the window and its controls and make it a "live" fullscreen presentation. Window Extractor really was perfect for this purpose and it might also be that it works with older versions of Autodesk Inventor.

On another note, since these programs are almost identical in use and function wouldn't be completely natural to combine the two into a single Fullscreen Presentation program with two different "modes"?
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« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2008, 02:50:25 AM »

You can call me either name, I'll respond to both.  cheesy

I don't know if I can get Autodesk Inventor to display it like in your OP because of that crashing issue. I think we should get Skrommel in on this and see if he has any ideas that can help. Perhaps we could make the static image click through to the original application?

Also, can you post a screenshot of Autodesk Inventor with all the toolbars hidden and try to get the window you want to display as large as you can?

It would make sense to combine Window Extractor and Present This Window, but I found it easier just to program Present This Window separately from Window Extractor so I didn't have to worry about the settings. However, I will combine them in the future.
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« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2008, 05:09:16 AM »

 smiley I found it!

It's called FullScreen by Fanix Software, and it's just brilliant!

Just Alt-Leftclick in the control you want to maximize, and it fills the screen. But if you move the mouse outside of the control, it automatically shrinks back down to show what's hiding outside! Magic!

Example:
- In Internet Explorer, if you Alt-Leftclick in the main window, it is maximized.
- Now move the mouse to the top of the screen, and it shrinks to show the caption, menu, button bar and address bar!
- Move it to the bottom of the screen, and it shrinks to show the status bar!
- When you're done, just Alt-Leftclick to restore it again.

Video:
http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/AHK/FullScreen.swf

You really don't need that 48 inch monitor after all!

Skrommel
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 05:48:17 AM by skrommel » Logged

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VideoInPicture
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« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2008, 05:44:46 AM »

I've just downloaded FullScreen and I have to say, I'm impressed that it works!

However, I have encountered a problem with it. Each time I use it to make a window fullscreen, it makes my CPU utilization go up to 100% and doesn't really fall back down even when I close the program or the window I'm using. I have a dual-core CPU so it seems to be making the fullscreen window use up 50% of the CPU and then Explorer.exe takes the other 50% of the CPU. I had to restart Explorer in order to bring the CPU back down. I'm on Vista 32-bit and I tested it out using Microsoft Word, Notepad, and Calculator.

Skrommel, do you have the same problem? Do you have an idea of how they made the fullscreen windows larger than the monitor size?
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