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CIGAL Reference Manual, Chapter 1 (Topics): menus

CIGAL has 4 different types of menus: pull-down, function, screen, and tablet menus. Pulldown menus appear as names on a bar across the top of the screen (the toolbar). Activate a menu by selecting one of the names on the bar. A function menu defines the commands assigned to the function keys on the keyboard (F1-F10), the Escape key (ESC), and the buttons on the mouse or tablet cursors. Screen menus are fixed on the screen and can appear in any format. Within the screen menu display, certain regions are designated as cursor selectable “active zones”. Selecting an active zone causes the associated command sequence to be executed. Tablet menus function just like screen menus except that nothing is displayed on the screen. A tablet menu is intended to be used with a template placed on the surface of a digitizing tablet, where the template indicates the position of the “active zones”. Thus any position on the tablet can be assigned any combination of CIGAL command sequences.

Pulldown and Screen Menus

Using the pulldown menus and screen menus should be self-explanatory. The display presents a list of choices and you simply move the cursor to the one you want and press a button. You can move around the displayed menus either by using the mouse or the arrow keys on the keyboard. You choose a particular command by moving the cursor down with the mouse, or by pressing the down or up arrows on the keyboard. For the pulldown menus you execute a command by moving the cursor until the desired entry is highlighted and then left-clicking to execute. For the screen menus you execute an entry by moving the cursor and then clicking on the desired entry. If a screen menu entry is highlighted by a dark border it can be executed simply by pressing the <RETURN> key. For help information about a particular menu item, move the cursor to that item and press the right mouse button – or if there is only one mouse button you can get help by pressing the mouse button while holding down the <SHIFT> key on the keyboard. This causes a description of the command to appear (if help information was included within the menu).

Note: Occasionally the menu display disappears completely from the screen. If this happens, you can get the menus back by typing the one word command:


Usually when a menu is displayed and CIGAL is waiting for input you can enter a command either by selecting a command from a menu or by typing on the keyboard. As soon as you start typing a command on the keyboard, however, the menus become unavailable. You cannot issue menu commands while there are any typed characters on the command line. There are also some menus that temporarily inactivate the keyboard in order to limit your options to only those provided by the menu itself; the keyboard is reactivated when that menu is closed.

The Function Menu

The function menu is somewhat different from the other menu types in that you select a function menu command by typing one of the special function keys on the terminal keyboard. The meaning of the function keys is not normally displayed on the screen but the F1 key is generally reserved as a help key for the function menu, so to see a description of the function keys just type F1. For more information on how to use the function menu see the help listing under FUNCMENU(1).

Manipulating Menus

All four types of menus are controlled via the MENU command. The MENU command keeps track of all known menus in an internal table, which is capable of holding up to 319 different menus simultaneously. MENU is used to load new menus, to select which menus are currently active, and to display the active menu(s) on the screen. Creating a new menu involves making a text file to specify the menu commands (see MENUFILES(1)) and then using the MENU command to read that file and load it into the menu table. See MENU(2) for help on how to use the MENU command.

After using the menus for awhile and developing a feel for how they work, you might want to examine the menus themselves to see what is actually going on when you select a menu item. You will also then discover just how easy it is to create new menus appropriate for your particular applications.

See Also:
CIGAL Home, CIGAL Manual, Topics List, Manual Help

jvs/cigal/manual/chapter1/menus.txt · Last modified: 2023/02/23 18:43 (external edit)