13 December 2008

Gimp 2.6: Order drawing tools by keyboard accelerators

It may be easier to remember keyboard accelerators (or shortcuts) if an application's tools follow the arrangement of the keys in the keyboard. Here's how to apply that idea to the Gimp 2.6 Toolbox.

The default arrangement of tools has this key order: E (ellipse select), R (rectangle select), F (free select), U (fuzzy select), Shift+O (select by colour) …

Gimp Default Toolbox

The new arrangement follows the QWERTY layout: Q (align), E (ellipse select), R (rectangle select), T (text), U (fuzzy select) …

Gimp Rearranged Toolbox

Here's how to find and move Gimp's drawing tools:

    Gimp Tool Dialog
  1. Open the Tools dialog (see picture on the right) by select menu item Windows / Dockable Dialogs / Tools.
  2. When you type a key, Gimp will highlight the tool in the Toolbox. For example, Q highlights the Align tool.
  3. Press the up or down arrow button in bottom of the Tools dialog to move the required tool to the desired position.

It's easier to customize Gimp's toolbox than Visio's toolbar because you can find a tool by typing its keyboard accelerator, while in Visio you have to browse through the tools in the Command menu until you find the required one.

See Also

12 December 2008

Visio 2003: Order drawing tools by shortcut keys

By default, Visio 2003's drawing tools are in divided between two toolbars, Standard and Drawing, and the tools are ordered by importance or frequency.

Julian W. and I worked out that it's easier to remember the tools' shortcut keys if you move all of them into a single toolbar and arrange them by the shortcut keys, i.e. from Ctrl+1 (Pointer) to Ctrl+9 (Ellipse). Drawing tools which use Ctrl+Shift go into another group and drawing tools which don't have any shortcut keys go into a third group. Another advantage of this arrangement is that you get visual feedback when a tool is selected using its keyboard shortcut (it's highlighted); in the default arrangement, the tool selected by the keyboard shortcut is not shown if it is not the first tool in a drop-down control.

See Also

04 December 2008

Microsoft Project 2007 print time scale problem

It seemed like a simple job: print Gantt Chart of my project such that the time scale fits on one page in Microsoft Project 2007. Below is a picture of what I wanted to do:

+------+
|Page 1|
+------+
|Page 2|
+------+
|Page n|
+------+

Yet MS Project 2007 always printed the final milestone on an even page, so that I ended with twice the number of pages:

+---------+-------+
|Page 1   |Page 2 |
+---------+-------+
|Page 3   |Page 4 |
+---------+-------+
|Page 2n-1|Page 2n|
+---------+-------+

A hack by Pak K. was to shrink the view such that the scale in the top tier of dates in the Gantt Chart is in quarters. A related hack I found is to specify only one tier in the Timescale dialog (select menu item Format / Timescale).

The notes in Print a view on-line help suggests that when printing, the timescale should be scaled down little to fit a small amount of overflow, but that is not the case.

01 December 2008

Microsoft Word 2003 extra find next and find previous keyboard shortcuts

Unexpectedly found some extra keyboard shortcuts for Find Next and Find Previous functions in Microsoft Word 2003. The online help only lists Alt+Ctrl+Y for Find Next and no shortcut for Find Previous. You can also use Ctrl+PgDn for Find Next and Ctrl+PgUp for Find Previous. Bonus!

Later … Julian W. pointed out that this is part of the Browse Object feature. Press the circle icon below the page's scroll bar or type Atl+Ctrl+Home and Word displays the Browse Object panel. Select the object type you want to browse, e.g. Browse by Heading, then press the double-up or double-down arrowheads in the scrollbar to go to the previous or next object (in this case, heading). The tooltip displays the keyboard shortcuts, which are Ctrl+PgUp and Ctrl+PgDn, respectively.

Even later … Found Microsoft reference.

See Also