Saturday, 11 April 2015

Modernising the client application - icons in the menu

A lot of the Uniface development that I do these days is actually web development, which means I spend a lot of time with Javascript and JQuery, and less time with Uniface procscript.  However, we still have client applications as well, and they can look tired and dated, so anything we can do to make them look more modern, can be a big win!

This is a simple little trick that appeared in Uniface 9.6.  It's actually been around for a while in dropdown menus, first as an undocumented feature, and then documented in Uniface 9.5 - I wrote a blog post on this almost three years ago.  However, the same trick now works in menus.

You can reference images in the menu items like this...

You might not be able to read the image clearly, so the three menu items are...

  1. ^U_REM_SELECT·!Cu%t
  2. ^U_SAVE·!Copy
  3. ^U_INS_SELECT·!Paste

In this case, the image is at the start, with a gold-not (or gold-exclamation-mark) as a delimiter, and the menu item text after that.

This appears in the client application this this...

As you can see - lovely icons!  Please note that you would need these glyphs in your system for it to work, these are not provided as part of Uniface itself.  

You can include icons in one of two ways...

  • ^glyph - glyphs need to be compiled into UOBJ (always available and performs well).
  • @filename - images loaded from a fileserver (not always available and performs badly).

I would recommend the glyph option though, for performance and reliability.

You may also note that the percent character (%) can be used to denote which character should work when traversing the menu using the "Alt" key.  If you do not explicitly denote this, the first character will be used.

This is documented in the "Defining and Using Menus" section of the manuals, but can be hard to find unless you know what you're looking for!  It's worth reading this for more information though.

Summary:  It's possible to make the client application look a little more modern now by including icons in the menu bars.

1 comment:

  1. Well, for those of us who like to play a bit more, there is an older gem

    Uniface Sample: Menus

    Uniface 9.6.01
    Sample Version: 1.0
    July 2013