Establishing Screen and Control Defaults

In the Tools > Options > Screen Designer interface, the Default and Visibility screens let you determine not only the default properties given to any new screen or control created in the Screen Designer window, but also which properties appear in the Property window for each screen item. This means that if you want all entry fields to show only uppercase text, and you don't want anyone to change that setting, you can set the default case in the property sheet to Upper, then remove the Case property from the property window entirely.

Certain properties that appear in the property sheet cannot have default values assigned. Location properties, for example, cannot have a default value, because they are dependent on where you position a control on the screen form.

Some properties do not appear on the property sheet at all. For the most part, these properties are not part of the initial state of the control, and therefore cannot be described in the Screen Section. Such properties include the SELECTION-TEXT property, used to determine what text the user has selected within an entry field, and the RESET-LIST property, used to delete the items that currently exist within a list box. Because a user selection occurs after the creation of the control, and a list is cleared only after it has both been created and loaded with data, it wouldn't make sense to set either of these properties as part of the control's Screen Section definition.

For each control property that does appear in the Screen Designer Property window, you can determine the default value as follows:

  1. Open the Tools > Options interface, expand the Screen Designer tree, and select the Default category.
  2. Select an item from the Controls list. This list contains all of the screen items to which properties can be assigned. This includes the screen itself, menus, and toolbars, as well as each of the standard ACUCOBOL-GT controls. In some instances, control sections (such as menu items and tree view items) also have their own configurable property defaults.

    The Properties list (to the right of the Controls list) is updated to show the properties associated with your selection.

  3. To change the default value assigned to a property, select the property from the Properties list, then click in the Value column next to the property name.

    Depending on the property, clicking in the Value column may enable an entry field, reveal a drop list, or enable a push button used to invoke a configuration interface. A push button marked with three dots (“...”) is used to indicate that you can launch an additional interface to help you make your selection.

Note that changes to the default properties in the Tools > Options interface do not affect existing screens or controls, whose properties have already been established and generated into code. Any new screen or control that is created, however, will take on the default characteristics that you specify.

To determine which of the available screen and control properties appears in the Screen Designer Property window, do the following:

  1. Open the Tools > Options interface, expand the Screen Designer tree, and select the Visibility category.

    This interface lists all available control properties (rather than just properties for a single control type) in alphabetical order.

  2. By default, all properties in the list are displayed in the Property window. To remove a property from the list, clear the check box next to the property description, or select the property and click Clear.

    To add a property to the list that had previously been removed, mark the corresponding check box or select the property description and click Set.

  3. In addition to adding or removing properties from the list one at a time, you can add or remove an entire category of properties. The check boxes that appear directly under the Set and Clear buttons list the available property categories. When you clear one of these check boxes, the check boxes corresponding to all of the properties in that category are likewise cleared. When you mark one of these check boxes, all of the properties in that category are likewise marked.

The changes that you make in this interface are saved in your personal acubench.ini file when you click OK. If you want to save your changes to another file, you must click Save. To abort all changes, click Cancel.