New 5.5 version of Autoplay Menu Designer

What's new in Autoplay Menu Designer 5.5

1. Scaling of pages and windows

Now your application is not limited to just one size and can adapt to the current screen resolution automatically. Moreover, you can allow users to scale the app's window manually, in runtime.
 
The entire scaling functionality is automatic, so you don't need to develop multiple user interfaces of the application for  multiple resolutions. Here is how to make your application windows automatically scale:

First of all, enable the "Stretch to window" option for every page you want to scale:


This option basically tells the page that it should adapt its size to the size of the parent window.

Then, you need to set the size of the window. Select the parent window in the Project panel. In the Window size section select "Fullscreen mode". This will make the window automatically scale to fit the entire screen. Alternatively, you can set a specific size of the window. Select "Specific size" and set the desired window size in percent of the entire screen :


Here, we set make the window to fit 80% of the screen. Hence, regardless of the resolution the window always scale to 80% and all child pages of that window will proportionally scale to fit the size of the window.
 
The "Allow resizing" option permits changing the size of the application in runtime. This way you can allow your users to arbitrary resize windows of your application or use this option for debug purposes to make sure the application looks correctly on any screen resolution :


We recommend testing your application on various resolutions to see if it adapts to different screen sizes properly. By default, objects resize proportionally to the size of the window. You can change the default behavior and assign a different way of resizing to each object, for instance, align it to the right or do not scale :

 
2. Custom cursors

In version 5.5 you can use any static cursors from  *.cur files or any animated cursors from *.ani files for your objects.
 
Use this option to make your application look more impressive or to add an extra level of usability. Note that you can assign different cursors to different states of the object: mouse over or pressed :

 

3. "Floating" mode for workspace panels

Floating panels help you free up some screen space. By default, workspace panel s in Autoplay Menu Designer are docked to the main window. Now, you can minimize any panel using the indicated button:


This will make the panel collapse when it's not needed and unfold back when the mouse is over it.

4. Animated "Show/Hide objects" action

Now you can show and hide objects in your application with accompanying impressive animated effects:  Fly In , Fly Out, Wipe (50+ different effects), Fade.


To make objects appear with some animated effect, in the properties dialog of the "Show/Hide objects" action click the Animation button. Select an effect and speed and confirm your selection. This way you can make objects appearance or disappearance much more impressive.

5. "Debugging" mode

This mode allows you to get detailed runtime information about your application to catch bugs and test if everything works as intended.

A simple application with little or no scripted behavior does not necessarily need debugging, a preview is often more than enough. However, if you use many variables, events and actions to program the behavior of your application you will find debugging extremely helpful.
 
To enable debugging, go to Menu->Tools->Options->Debugging:


Enable debugging to receive additional information about your application next to the preview window.
 
Specifically, the runtime debugger window displays all events that occur while your app is running (1): mouse clicks, double clicks, mouse cursor entering or leaving an object and so on. The window also displays associated actions executed. For convenience, you can filter the list down to certain types of events only (2) :


Another important capability is variables watch. You can add any variables on the Variables tab to see how their values change in runtime (2). Click the Add variable (1) button to add any project variable  to the watch :


6. "Interrupt rest actions" function
 
The new "Interrupt rest of actions" option in the "Events/Actions" dialog provides more opportunities for complex algorithms. Specifically, for conditional actions. If enabled, the option can interrupt execution of all associated actions of the present event except this one.
 
For instance, let's say you want to execute action1 if condition1 == true, and actions2, 3, 4 if the condition is false. Before version 5.5 you would have to set complex conditions for actions2, 3, and 4 to make them "ignore" the even if the condition1 is not fulfilled. Now you simply enable the "Interrupt rest of actions" option for action1 in the condition1 and set the desired value to True. That way action2, 3, 4 will not be executed if condition1 == true without any additional settings.



7. Transparency of the "Subwindow" object
 
A Subwindow object with transparent background  is useful when you want to use the same interface elements on multiple pages but don't want to copy them over and over. In this case you create a "master page" that has a header, a footer and other elements that repeat on every page, and "inner pages" that contain unique elements. Insert those inner pages to a subwindow object and make this object transparent.

Such an approach simplifies development, because you can reuse the same objects on multiple pages.
 
Here is an example:


a) Create a "Master page" that should display static (non-changing) elements of the page - logo, main menu, title and so on (1).
 
b) Then, add a "Subwindow" object that should display unique (changing) elements (2,3).
 
c) Add pages inside the subwindow by right-clicking the subwindow and selecting "Add > Page object".