McIDAS User's Guide
Version 2010.1

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Chapter 5

F Key Menu System

The F Key Menu System uses menu files to predefine function keys with user commands and format display screens with menus. It is useful for creating command menus to simplify the user interface. This chapter describes how to create and test menu files.

This chapter consists of these sections:

The function key combinations described in this chapter work correctly only if the workstation is configured according to the instructions in the Configuring a New User Account.

Menus are displayed in a separate window. The text content, color and format are completely flexible. To select a menu item, simply press one of the function keys (F1 through F12) on the workstation keyboard. Use these 12 function keys alone or with one of the Ctrl, Shift or Alt keys, giving 48 combinations. You can also define the Esc key, allowing each menu to contain up to 48 items.

Each menu file can contain up to 1000 menus. Only one menu is displayed at a time. Menus may be nested, displaying a different menu (a submenu) in the window. Typically, a Main Menu refers to various submenus dealing with a cluster of related functions.

A menu file is an ordinary ASCII text file with a carriage return at the end of each line. Menu files reside in the $HOME/mcidas/data directory, or a REDIRECT or MCPATH directory. Sample menu files are provided at the end of this chapter; they are helpful for working through the following sections.

Starting and Debugging the F Key Menu System

Use the MCMENU command to start the menu system. A new window running the specified menu appears. For more information, see the MCMENU command in Chapter 3, Commands.

ASK1 and the ASK User Interface

The ASK1 command lets you prompt the user for information that can be used in a menu. See Chapter 3, Commands, for more information.

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