The new version of Autoplay Menu Designer as always brings a lot of useful options. Let's take a look at what the update offers to you.

What's new in Autoplay Menu Designer 5.4

1. Insert Animated GIF Objects

Now, along with static images, you can also place animated GIFs to any window of your application. The list of possible uses is limitless:

  • Animated diagrams and graphs
  • Simple cartoons
  • Animated instructions
  • Animated characters

 To add an animated GIF to the window, select the "Animated GIF tool" on the tools panel:

AnimatedGIFtool.png

Then draw the place where the animation should be, and choose the GIF file for the animation.

Looks awesome! But a never-ending animation is not always what we need. So the new version also introduces a corresponding action to start and stop GIF:

Animation_GIF_actions_dlg.png

You can assign this action to other objects like buttons to run the animation whenever you need or even display a specific frame from it.

2. Create popup windows

With new popup window functionality you can create modal dialogs and popup windows that require user attention.

Functionally, popup windows are much like the main window object. They can have multiple pages with individual interface and design, and you can address variables and execute actions in such windows.

You can use popup windows to display confirmation dialogs, configuration windows and other modal dialogs that require some input from a user, ask him or her about settings, execution options and so on.

To add a popup window object, right-click the Project object in the Project panel and use the context menu to add a popup window :

add_popup.png

You can display a popup window as usual, using the standard "Open page" action. If you choose a page that belongs to a popup window, this popup window is displayed, and the selected page is activated.

3. Show message boxes and prompts to a user

The new version of Autoplay Menu Designer adds a new "Show Message Box" action. With it, you can ask questions to a user, show warnings, receive feedback and deliver other interaction.

show_mb_action.png

 

4. Automatically open a particular window at startup of the app

Conditional display of a certain window on startup is another long-awaited feature of Autoplay Menu Designer. You create several main windows and display one or another depending on specific conditions: screen resolution, system locale or OS version to name a few.

One of the common uses for the new option is displaying different autorun menus for different screen resolutions. Prior to the version 5.4 you already could have several main windows and show one or another. The soft spot was you had to ask a user to select the particular window manually, because there were no any ways in Autoplay Menu Designer to detect the screen resolution automatically and display the corresponding window.

Now you can determine the screen resolution and automatically show the proper main window of the application or menu.

Here is the step-by-step guide to select a starting window:

a) Create two (or more if necessary) windows. One you have by default, so you need to create the rest. To add a main window object, right-click the Project object in the Project panel and use the context menu to add a main window.

add_main_wnd.png

 

 

We want each window to show only for certain screen resolutions.

b) In each window, create one or more pages for the given screen width and height. 

c) Select the Project object in the Project panel, switch to the Properties panel, select "By condition" in the dropdown list, and in the General section click the "..." button. This will open the condition selection window:

conditions_to_start_dlg.png

 

d) Now, let's specify the condition. Select the "Main_small" in the list. We need to show this window on low resolutions, below 1280x1024 pixels. Compose the conditional expression as shown below (use the  Expression button (expression_btn.png) to paste "ScreenWidth" and "ScreenHeight" variables to the expression).

conditions_to_start_dlg2.png

 

Autoplay Menu Designer calculates conditional expressions of all windows starting from the first in the list. If an expression evaluates to True, the corresponding window is displayed. If all expressions evaluate to False, the first window is displayed. To change the order of windows in the list, drag and drop them in the Project panel.

In our case, if the expression evaluates to True, the "Main_Small" window is shown. Specifically, the "Main_Small" is displayed when the screen width is less than 1280 pixels OR the screen height is less than 1024 pixels. Otherwise the "Window_big" is displayed.

4. Quickly show or hide objects depending on their current state

The "Invert state" command in the "Show/Hide objects" action added in Autoplay Menu Designer 5.4 does just one thing: it shows an object if it's hidden, and hides it if it's visible. Not a big deal after all, but saves time when you have many of those flip/flop objects.

5. New system variables

Starting from the new version, you can use the following system variables in the expression editor:

  • ScreenWidth (the width in pixels of a user's screen)
  • ScreenHeight (the height in pixels of a user's screen)
  • SysLocaleName (the locale name of the operating system based on RFC 4646. Generally, the pattern <language>-<REGION> is used. Here, language is a lowercase ISO 639 language code. The codes from ISO 639-1 are used when available. Otherwise, codes from ISO 639-2/T are used. REGION specifies an uppercase ISO 3166-1 country/region identifier. For example, the locale name for English (United States) is "en-US".)
  • SysLanguageName (the lowercase ISO 639 language code , for example:  "en" - English, "fr" - French, "de" - German, "it" - Italian, "es" - Spanish and etc.)

The first two variables are already described above, so let's take a brief look at the other two. These variables allow you to detect the local language on user's computer and adjust the interface of the menu as well as to run localized versions of installers, PDF documents, Word documents, or other documents depending on the system language.

As you know, Autoplay Menu Designer supports multi-language localization of your autorun menu/app by loading corresponding language files. In the new version you can automatically switch the app to the language of user's system. Here is how you can automatically load the corresponding language file based on the SysLanguageName variable.

At first, enable localization support if you haven't done this before. Open the "Project -> Settings -> Localization" tab, and turn on the corresponding option.

localization1.png

Then, add the languages you application supports. Here you can read more about editing languages. The 2/3-character language abbreviation should be in compliance with ISO 639 language code (for example:  "en" - English, "fr" - French, "de" - German, "it" - Italian, "es" - Spanish and etc.).

Our application should automatically switch to the local language, so we need to add a new action that executes when the project starts.

 Click the "Add action" button in the Actions section of the Project properties panel. On the Event tab select the "Starting of the project" event.

localization2.png

Now switch to the Action tab and select the "Change variable" action.

localization3.png

In the "Variable name" field, click the Expression button(expression_btn.png) and select the LANGUAGE_NAME variable from the "Project variables->Localization" node. This built-in variable controls which language resource the app uses.

Then, assign a new value to this variable, specifically, a value of the new SysLanguageName system variable from the "Project variables->System info" node :

localization4.png

Save the changes.

Now, your app will automatically switch to French and load its text resources from the "fr.lng" file if the system language of a user's computer is French and, correspondingly, the value of the SysLanguageName variable is "fr".

If the value of the SysLanguageName does not match any of values in the language list (on the "Project->Settings->Localization" tab), the default language is used.

You can download the latest version here : http://www.visualdesigning.com/download/ and try it.

New 5.2 version of Autoplay Menu Designer

Autoplay Menu Designer has updated to the version 5.2 bringing in a lot of cool functions and powerful options for faster and more efficient development of interactive CD/DVD menus.

What's new in Autoplay Menu Designer 5.2

1. Page transition effects

Instant page change is fast and traditional, but sometimes we need it to be more visual. In 5.2, page transitions can be animated for truly dynamic and eye-catching presentations. With dozens of transition effects available, you can choose between business-style sliding, cinematic dissolves and much more.

To enable page transitions, select a page and in the Properties section turn on the Transition effect option. Choose the effect you prefer below.

52release_f1.png

2. Purge unused files

As you work with your project, some files are added to it, while others go away. Yet still they stay in the project file, consume disk space and add to the project size. To shrink the project and purge its folder from unused files follow these steps: Use the "Project -> Clear project folder" menu. The application builds a hierarchy of unused files in your project. Review them and remove those you don't need anymore. Autoplay Menu Designer allows you to specify files that are used indirectly, like pictures in an HTML file, that shouldn't be deleted.

52release_f2.png

 Surely, the list of files is saved for further use, so you don't have to select the excluded files again next time you purge the project.

3. Add application information

Every app you create with Autoplay Menu Designer is unique, so why not reflect this fact somewhere in the About window of your application? You can add to the app such info as company name, copyright, product version and file version to display in Windows Explorer:

52release_f3.png

So, to add some information to the app, use "Project -> Settings" menu, the "Rebranding" tab. Enable the "Add application information" option and fill in all the fields you want to display.

4. More variables for better control

Autoplay Menu Designer 5.2 adds several new inner variables to use in your expressions. The first group is for better control over position and size of objects:

 Left, Top, Width and Height variables refer to the corresponding parameters of an object and allow you to modify them in real-time.

 The second group of two self-explanatory variables helps managing a current track of the media player: CurTrackIndex, CurTrackName

5. Double-click event

Surprisingly, Autoplay Menu Designer hasn't had a double-click event. Now this is fixed, and you can assign an action to double-click on a given object.

52release_f4.png

6. Plugin enhancements

In addition, in Autoplay Menu Designer 5.2 a number of plugins were improved featuring the following changes:

The Image List plugin now has Forward/Back navigation buttons in the Preview mode, while the Image Preview plugin allows scaling images using the mouse wheel.

The Slideshow plugin features a long-awaited slide delay option, and the File List plugin now supports ".." literals for easier navigation to a parent folder.

7. Full Windows 10 compatibility

Autoplay Menu Designer has been verified to work with Windows 10.
Internal testing examined both Autoplay Menu Designer Version 5.0 and Version 5.2 and both passed successfully. This means upgrading Autoplay Menu Designer to Version 5.2 and later - although attractive for its new feature additions and improvements - is not necessary for use of Windows 10. But we added some specific features to the version 5.2 for full Windows 10 compatibility and recommend to use it.

You can download the new version here :
http://www.visualdesigning.com/download/autorunmenu.exe and try it.

 

New 5.1 version of Autoplay Menu Designer

We glad to notify you that the new version 5.1 of the Autoplay Menu Designer has been released.
 
What's new in Autoplay Menu Designer 5.1

Niew objects :
  • Curve object is added.
  • Simple Text object is added.
  • Formatted Text Box object is added(Formatted text with a scroll and with a transparency).
  • List Box control is added.
  • Combo Box control is added.

Functions are added :
  • New styles for the begin/end of the line(for Line, Polyline and Curve objects) is added.
  • Support of embedded hyperlinks in the RTF viewer object.
  • Sort of objects function in the Show/Hide object action dialog.
  • The copying function of properties between states is added.

Plug-ins :
  • Embedded back/forward buttons for Slideshow are added.
  • Support of Image Preview, Image list, Slideshow plugins in the Web App.

You can download the new version here :
http://www.visualdesigning.com/download/autorunmenu.exe and try it.
 

It is hard to underestimate the convenience a standalone menu executable gives. Whether you want to distribute the app on a CD/DVD disk or on a USB stick, you only have to take one file that envelops all the data your autorun application requires.

 

However, there was a glitch, and those of you who often pack big files into a self-executable are already aware of it. The issue was long starting time of an application generated by Autoplay Menu Designer if a large-volume media was attached to it. It took long time for Windows to load the executable into the memory, so a user of the app didn't have a visual confirmation that the menu is really running.

 

Needles to say how irritating and counter-intuitive such behavior could be. And not only loading time is the problem here. Resident antivirus protection most of us have on the computer always checks running executables, and big ones may take forever to check for viruses, even despite you know for sure they are clean.

 

New 5.0 version of Autoplay Menu Designer

We glad to notify you that the new major version (5.0) of the Autoplay Menu Designer has been released.

You can download the new version here : http://www.visualdesigning.com/download/autorunmenu.exe and try it. Not necessary to remove the old version.

 Autoplay Menu Designer 5 has some revolutional changes and that's why is not fully compatible with 4.xx projects.  Nevertheless you can use the "Create a new from existing project" function in the "Create a new project wizard" to convert your 4.xx projects. But please test the created project in more details before publishing because some functions can work incorrectly.

What's new in Autoplay Menu Designer 5

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You have an Internet shop and would like to promote your brand and product to even more people without too much money. Using specialized software, you quickly write an eBook with interesting information and advice related to the product that you sell. Each page would have the layout, corporate colors and logo of the website where you sell and also the link back to your website. Interesting continent can encourage people to pass your eBook over to other people, driving traffic to your shop and making it more visible across the Web. Cool, isn't it?

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Making a portfolio is one of the essential things for anyone who works in the world of images. These people are photographers, designers and artists. A portfolio showcases best examples of your work, skills, experience and your potential for future clients. The more attractive and professional it looks, the higher chances you have for getting hired. Portfolios can be made in the digital form with CD menu. This offers some benefits. Firstly, digital portfolios are good because you can take them with you to an interview, trade show or some event that attracts your target audience and show on a laptop in full color using powerful multimedia abilities. Secondly, a digital CD menu portfolio can be distributed on disks to prospective clients in other cities and even abroad. Thirdly, professionally designed digital portfolios impress people and leave a more lasting impression than traditional ones.

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