Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Top Toolbar Compromise.

If you have upgraded your software in July, one of the key changes you will notice is that the majority of ACS Control Screens now have a top toolbar on which the regular function keys reside.

You may be asking yourself, "Why did they change it?".   Well, below is how it evolved and why we have settled on a top toolbar as the best compromise to make everyone the happiest.

First, after observing many new users looking to the top of the screen to find the menu, we decided to add a top menu to our screens similar to many other windows programs.   The font with which windows displayed its top menu was very small however so we also left the function keys at the bottom which were easier to read.

The problem with using the top menu is that the menu items automatically had hot keys.  If the menu item's name was Recalc then you could access it by hitting Alt-R.   This created a problem with the embedded hot keys in our system.    This fact, along with the small font, made using a top menu a poor choice.

So we created our own top menu using a tool bar and adding the function keys that were on the bottom of the screen to it.   This allowed us to pick a font that was easy to read and key the same functions that existed before.   These functions were now at the top of the screen where windows user's look for them by default.  

I hope this helps you understand why the change was made and the process used to select the most user-friendly solution.



Service Invoice Printing Update.

Joseph at Harris Hankins requested that we remove the shading from the service invoice headers and footers  because when they faxed copies to warranty companies they were hard to read.  

Since I didn't think everyone wanted the shading removed from their service invoices, I setup a prompt on the service defaults screen which says "Shade SI Headers".  If this is checked, the Service Invoices will continue to print just like before.  If it is not checked, the Service Invoices will have a clear header and summary areas.