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10.2.10 GUI - Configuring your GUI

Some of the things that you do in the GUI are things that you want to work the same way every time that you run the GUI. For instance, in an earlier lesson, you set up the ADDE servers for the GUI. Servers do not change that often, so it's not something that you'll want to have to do every time you start the GUI. The server list is saved and will not have to be re-created every time you run the GUI. Other things that you can configure once and are automatically saved are your map preferences, your cursor preferences, and your short-cut buttons.

In this exercise, you will configure your GUI maps, cursor, and short-cut buttons.

Configuring Your Map Preferences

  1. Configure your map by selecting your map color preference. It is recommended to leave the Map Name as "Default Map", so that the command GUI that you are using can choose the best map for your application.

    Select: Display/Map

    Select: Map Color/choose your favorite color

  2. Select your preferences for the latitude/longitude lines on your maps. If you do not want lat/lon lines on your maps, do not check the "Draw LAT/LON Lines" box.

    Click: Draw LAT/LON Lines (if desired)

    Select: the color and contour interval for the lat/lon lines

  3. Check your new map settings, and when you are satisfied with them, dismiss the map configuration GUI.

    Click: Draw Map to check your settings

    Click: Draw & Dismiss

Changing Your Cursor

In McIDAS, there are four different cursor shape options: crosshairs (default), a box, a box with crosshairs, and a solid box. With the GUI, you are able to select the shape option and color, and then manually make the cursor smaller or bigger by clicking on the image and dragging the cursor. You can also change the size by moving the size scales for either the height or width. Directly below the size scales, you should see a button with a picture of a lock on it. Clicking on this button will allow you to 'unlock' the aspect ratio of the square. This means that instead of just different sized squares, you can make a rectangular shape with the cursor. The 'Restore Default Settings' button will restore the cursor to a 31 x 31 red crosshair cursor. Look below to see the difference between the locked and unlocked GUI.
Locked Unlocked

  1. Change the shape of your cursor.

    Select: Configure/Cursor Definition

    Change the size, shape, and color of your cursor, until you have a cursor that you like.

  2. Save or cancel the changes to your cursor.

    Click: OK to make this your new cursor, or

    Click: Cancel to keep the default cursor

Creating Shortcut Buttons

Shortcut buttons are located on the User-Defined Button Toolbar. They can be used to run specific commands, or a set of commands that you frequently use, without having to type in the command itself.

  1. Create a shortcut button named 'temp' which erases the frame and displays the temperatures across the United States.

    Select: Configure/Shortcut Buttons

    Click: New

    Under Button Text, type: temp

    Under Commmand String, type: erase f;sfcplot t usa

    When entering commands, they can be entered just as you would do with the text window, including the use of the semicolon. Also, your commands can be entered as lowercase. They will automatically be converted to uppercase, just as they are in the McIDAS Text and Command window.

  2. Click Okay on both editors. The second Okay will also dismiss the GUI, because it is necessary in order for the changes to take effect. You should now see your command 'temp' on the first shortcut button. It should look like this:

  3. Click on the 'temp' shortcut button to make sure it works. You should see a map of the United States with the current temperatures displayed.

  4. Create a drop-down menu button to display the latest RTNEXRAD/N0R radar image over Buffalo, New York. Plot the current temperature contours over the image and name the command 'Buffalo'. Label the drop-down menu 'Radar'.
    Display the shortcut button GUI and set it up to create a new drop-down menu button.
    Select the Button Type:  Drop-down menu
    Under Label, type:  Radar
    For the Popup Text, type:  US Radar Imagery
    Click:   Edit Menu Items
    Click:   Add New Menu Item
    Under Label, type:  Buffalo
    Under Command, type:  EG;IMGDISP MKX_N0R ID=BUF;SFCCON T
  5. Save the new button and try it out. It should work exactly like the text being entered into the text window.
    Select:  Radar/Buffalo

    You can continue to create as many shortcut buttons as you like. You can also highlight and edit existing buttons, as well as create additional menu items under the 'Radar' menu you just created. The Up and Down buttons can be used to change the order in which the buttons are displayed. When the first row of buttons is full, use the Next and Prev buttons on the GUI to switch to the next set.

Table of contents Previous: GUI - Plotting Weather Watches and Warnings Next: GUI - Recalling McIDAS Commands