Manipulating the Screen in the Screen Designer

After converting your screens with the Character-to-GUI Wizard, you can use the AcuBench Screen Designer and all of its features to modify the screens to your liking. You can add graphical controls, define control properties, modify grid behavior, and perform any other function that you might if you were designing the screens from scratch in AcuBench. You can make changes all at once, or over time, as needed. For more information about modifying your screens, see Working with Screens.

You may want to move your newly imported screens into their host programs in the workspace Structure view.

Be sure to review the characteristics of each screen that you converted. As you review, you can make minor modifications to the look and feel of the screen and resize the screen as necessary. (Be aware that in Windows, the size of an initial screen is different than it might be in a character-based application.) Use the alignment functions to position and size controls, lock controls, and verify the tab order. In addition, you may want to change the names of your screens or rename individual controls in the Property window to give them meaningful names. If your original screens were constructed from a Screen section, we suggest that you name the screens with the same name that you used previously.

In many cases, you should replace consecutive singular entry fields with multi-line entry fields. You should also check the window type of your screens. Remember that there can be only one standard window. Subsequent windows are either floating windows or associated with pre-existing window handles. After you've performed these functions, you should verify that font, title, value, and other variables are set correctly.

Finally, if you want your menu to be associated with the screen (and have code generated to show it), be sure to update the Main Menu in your screen's Property window.

Any other changes that you want to make to your screens can be made now if you like. How far you take your screens is up to you. We have provided a list of guidelines you may follow for modifying your newly converted screen, if you like. How far you take your screens is up to you.

The following list offers some guidelines for modifying your newly converted screen:

  1. Examine the window properties of the imported screen. Set the following properties:

    Title: If the window in question is to be displayed on another Window’s handle, the title is just documentation. It is useful when working on a screen to have a quick visual cue of the name of the screen when it is not a primary screen.

    Screen Name: If the original screen came from a Screen section, preserve the screen’s name to facilitate integration of code.

    Window Type: This always defaults to Standard. However, there can be only one standard window in a program. If the window in question is to be displayed on another window’s handle, this is not an issue. If not, select another window type. Size / Lines: We suggest that you conform to some basic window size/lines measurements, and set all windows to those measurements.

  2. Examine the control properties of the imported screen.
    1. Set Control Name.
    2. Verify that Value-Variable and Title-Variable have been correctly preserved by the import process.
    3. Verify that embedded procedures have been correctly preserved by the import process.
    4. Align the controls. Conform alignments to preserve application look and feel. Conform the line number on which status messages appear (typically, line 24 in a character-based application).
  3. Examine the screen’s ACCEPT statement. ACCEPT Screen-Name does not require modification. ACCEPT Variable-Name does, because variable-name is now part of a screen. See Integrating Code Back into Your Program for more information.
  4. Right-click the screen and select the Change Prefix command. This action is in preparation for moving the screen to the host program, where all screen prefixes must be unique. Select Change Prefix Only. Assign a unique prefix to the screen.
  5. Drag-and-drop the screen in the host program. Delete the program structure file when it contains no more screens.
  6. Examine the screen’s window-handle. If the screen is to be displayed on another screen, then change the window handle to the handle of that screen. If the screen is a floating window (derived from a pop-up window), make sure it shares the same handle as the original pop-up window.
  7. Save.