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Create a grid for a specific program in The Grid 2

Launching the program

You can make your program launch (or regain focus if already launched), change to your keyboard and dock with the keyboard all from the same cell. Typically, a cell that does this contains a sequence of commands. For example, a cell that launch and controls Windows WordPad contains the following commands in the Edit Cell window:

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  • Run a program
  • Jump to a grid designed to support the WordPad functions, in this case an on-screen keyboard
  • Dock a dock command that sits the Grid beneath the application that has been launched

Set the ‘Run a program…’ property to the .exe program for the file. These are usually found in ‘C:Program Files…’, but if you are having trouble finding a program’s .exe you can right-click on the entry in the start menu and choose ‘Properties’ to find the location. In the example above for WordPad, the path might be: C:Program FilesWindows NTAccessorieswordpad.exe.

Where it says “Check first for programs with titlebar text:” under the Run programcommand, type ‘WordPad’ or ‘Word’, depending on which you are using. The Grid 2 will look in the title bar of applications currently running for this text, and switch to a program that is already running rather than running it again.

Choose the Dock command to resize the window to your current keyboard. If the program takes a while to load, the dock command may fail because the program has not finished loading. If so, try adding a Wait command in front. The wait time is in seconds – experiment to see how long it needs.

Use shortcut keys

Most commands in a program can be replicated with shortcut keys. Have a look in the help files for a list of shortcut keys, and allocate these to cells. This is a great way to duplicate the functionality of toolbar buttons and menu options for easy access. You can also use the ‘capture picture’ button to copy the buttons from your program.

Provide links to useful grids

There are grids designed for uses common to all programs, so don’t reinvent the wheel! You can use the same keyboard to type into all text programs, and there are also grids designed for entering numbers, moving the cursor keys, manipulating menus and moving the mouse. By making jumps to these grids rather than replicating their functions, the user needs to learn fewer layouts, and the grid designer has less work to do.

Clicking on the screen

If there is no keyboard access to a program option or button, there are plenty of options to move the mouse around.

  • The Radar mouse command can be a very fast and efficient way of moving the mouse pointer around the screen, via your switches.
  • An alternative command Move the mouse will move the mouse pointer to the specified coordinates x and y from the corner of the screen. You can determine x and y by trial and error, but it helps if you know your screen resolution.
  • There is also the Scan mouse command, which will move the mouse pointer vertically or horizontally across the screen.
  • You can also have a cell for each mouse action, eg. Left click, right click, double click, and mouse drag.

Look at the samples!

There are sample grids for accessing common functions in Word, Internet Explorer, Outlook, Skype and a few other programs supplied with The Grid 2. Take a look at these for ideas.

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