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Author Topic: Display Issues  (Read 7699 times)

JohnFredC

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Display Issues
« on: August 02, 2006, 12:42:18 PM »
Just downloaded D&DR.  Nice functionality.

Two comments: 

1. The font and or size chosen for form captions is inappropriate for my display (1920x1200, large font).  The D&DR control captions are cut off on both the right and the bottom.

For example: "Invoke on Leaf-Recursed fol" and "Redirecte" and "Reuse last file lis"

2. Furthermore the "license Key Saved" dialog cuts off the (I assume) "OK" button ABOVE the button caption.  There is enough of the button visible to click on, but only just.  I have a dialog-resizer utility that does not help expose the button.  Perhaps the "anchors" for the button control were set incorrectly in the form design.

These issues do not impair the functionality, but certainly reduced my initial impression of the quality of the software.

mouser

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Re: Display Issues
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 02:12:15 AM »
thanks for this post john.. i really have to start addressing these issue - i tend to like to design the user interfaces quite "tight" in terms of free space, and the large font modes cause havok in my forms..

NeilS

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Re: Display Issues
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2006, 04:11:00 AM »
To be fair, a lot of apps suffer from this problem on Windows. I had to stop using large fonts on my laptop (1680x1050 on a 15" screen) because so many programs' dialogs were clipping and overlapping text all over the place.

I suspect the real problem is that Windows encourages people to use statically-sized dialogs, whereas some other systems are more geared towards dynamic layout schemes, which can easily adapt to varying font sizes. Obviously you can do dynamic layouts within Windows, but it's not quite as easy as firing up a resource editor and drawing what you want. I also seem to remember reading that Vista solved the non-standard font size issue, but I don't know if that means they are doing some "magic" to statically-sized dialogs, or if it just means that WinFX makes dynamic layouts easier to work with.

Speaking of which - Mouser, what do you normally use for your GUIs? Do you use a framework, or good old Win32 calls?

mouser

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Re: Display Issues
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2006, 08:10:30 AM »
Quote
Speaking of which - Mouser, what do you normally use for your GUIs? Do you use a framework, or good old Win32 calls?

Actually I use Borland's C++ Builder on all my programs with big GUI's.  I love it.

For things that have to be lean and mean I use standard win32 or mfc; but i much prefer c++ builder when working with GUI stuff.

JohnFredC

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Re: Display Issues
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2006, 09:22:01 AM »
Is the C++ Builder RAD environment like Delphi's?  The Delphi object inspector for forms exposes AutoScroll, AutoSize, and Scaled properties.  Also, the inspector exposes Anchor properties for controls.  They work great.

When designing GUIs it is often helpful to consider a mouse selection "circle of confusion"... the area around the control which represents the mouse cursor placement error of the typical user... and size/space controls accordingly.

Also, my own method of design is to assume that the user interacts with my software via a touch screen (no one actually does, yet).  This causes me to scale and place controls according to "fingertip" width. 

But how to estimate fingertip widths on a display whose physical dimensions you can't know in advance?

Most people run their displays at or near their native resolutions, so one can make some approximate DPI assumptions based on calls to GetDeviceCaps.  For instance, the native resolution of a 17" display is typically 1024x768... few users run at 640x480 on 17" displays.  So if the vertical dimension is, say, 768, and you design for a 15"-19" display at that resolution (and always assume large display fonts and slightly oversized fingertips), your design won't be off by much in most circumstances.

Or skip all of this and use a third party scaler.  There are several VCL versions.

My 2 cents.