Making scanning panels
The software to be used for making scanning panels is LayoutKitchen, sold with SwitchXS, but KeyStrokes users can buy it separately to make KeyStrokes panels, same thing for Proloquo users. Persons who are used to make panels with Discover, might find it complicated, but they will rapidly understand that LayoutKitchen offers much more possibilities than Discover.
There are two ways of making a new panel. Either copy an existing one and arrange it, either make it entirely.
First open LayoutKitchen application. Its icon is a blue mouse carrying a panel. Type its icon (first key, last column, last row of Keyboard and Mouse bis scanning panel). If you want to arrange an existing panel, choose the most approaching one, in the XS Panels menu (KS Panels if it is for KeyStrokes, PL Panels if it is for Proloquo). To duplicate it, choose “Save as” in the File menu, or type “Shift Command S” () keyboard shortcut, give it a name, and type Return or click Save. If you want to make it entirely new, choose “New” in the File menu, or type “Command N” () keyboard shortcut. Then give it the approximate size it should have, by dragging and dropping the little square, right bottom of the panel window.
Add new key : either click “New Button” in the Inspector window, or choose “New Button” in the Organize menu, but the fastest way for SwitchXS users, is to type “Shift Command N” () keyboard shortcut. The new key is placed top left of the panel window.
Give a key the right size : it can be done manually. Select the key by clicking it, point the mouse cursor on one of the blue points at the four corners of the key, then drag and drop to give the key the right size. In LayoutKitchen Preferences / Selection Handle Size, you can change the size of those blue points. The second way is to select the key and then write its size in pixels, in the right two fields (W and H), top of the Inspector window, then when written, type Return. The third way is to give the key the same size as another key. Select both keys (click the first and Shift-click the second), then in the Position menu choose between :
In order to have keys of same width and correctly stuck to one another, select them all, putting the two extreme ones in right position, by drag and drop, then choose “Spread Horizontally” in the Position menu.
Give a key the right position : here again, three ways. First, you can drag and drop the key, and to improve the position, move key pixel after pixel, with arrows in the four directions. The second way is to write its coordinates in the first two fields (L and T) of the Inspector window, and then type Return. The third way is to move the key to have same X-coordinate as a second key. Select the two keys (by clicking one and shift-clicking the other), then in the Position menu, choose between:
then choose another key for the Y-coordinate. Select those two keys (by clicking one and shift-clicking the other), then in the Position menu, choose between :
In order to be sure that keys are correctly stuck to one another, without space nor overlappings, select the keys, by shift-clicking them, then choose “Snap Horizontally” in the Position menu.
Give each key a task : it is such a vast problem, that I did a special chapter to treat it, click the link :
Organize scanning : on a scanning panel, each row is called group. Then each row is divided in packets of keys which are scanned together, called subgroups. The purpose of this paragraph is to show how to number these groups, subgroups and keys, so that scanning is correct. First eliminate all existing numbers, so as to see clearly by choosing “Item Numbers”, “Subgroup Numbers” and “Group Numbers” in the View menu, or by typing respectively “Command 1” (), “Command 2" () and “Command 3” () keyboard shortcuts.
Groups : we first number the rows. Type “Command 3” () to see the group numbers. Select the first row by clicking a key on the row and choosing “Select Group” in the Edit menu or typing “Option Command A” keyboard shortcut. If some keys of the first row are not selected, shift-click them to select them (a key is selected when circled in blue). If some keys of other rows are selected, command-click them to unselect them. When all keys of the first row are selected, and those only, choose “Group” in the Organize menu or type “Command G” keyboard shortcut, so that all keys of that row, have the same group number. Then bring back that group number to “1” (if it is the first row), by choosing “Bring Group Forward” in the Organize menu, or type “Shift Command ]”, until you get to the right number. To increase group number, choose “Send Group Backward” in the Organize menu, or type “Shift Command [“keyboard shortcut, until you get to the right number. Then do the same operation for all rows of the panel.
Subgroups : in order to see clearly, type “Command 3” () keyboard shortcut to eliminate group numbers and type “Command 2” () keyboard shortcut to see subgroup numbers. To number subgroups on a row, click the first key of the row, then shift-click the second key, and so on until all keys of the first subgroup are selected. Then choose Subgroup in the Organize menu or type “Option Command G” keyboard shortcut, so that all keys of that first subgroup have “1” as subgroup number. Then do the same operation for the second subgroup and so on for all subgroups on the panel. Normally, if you do things in the right order, subgroups should be numbered correctly, otherwise you can change subgroup numeration. Select the subgroup by clicking the first key, then type “Shift Command E” keyboard shortcut, which selects the first two keys ; do it again until all keys of that subgroup are selected ; another way to select a subgroup, is to click one of its keys, then choose “Select Subgroup” in the Edit menu, or type “Shift Command A” () keyboard shortcut. When subgroup is selected, in order to increase numbering, choose in the Organize menu “Send Subgroup Backward”, or type “Option Shift Command [“ keyboard shortcut ; to decrease numbering, in the Organize menu, choose “Bring Subgroup Forward”, or type “Option Shift Command ]“ keyboard shortcut.
Keys : in order to see clearly, type “Command 2” () keyboard shortcut to eliminate subgroup numbers, and type “Command 1” () keyboard shortcut to see key numbers. Normally, if you do things in the right order, keys should be numbered correctly, otherwise you can change key numeration. Select the key by clicking it, then to increase numbering, choose in the Organize menu: “Send Backward”, or type “Command [“ keyboard shortcut ; to decrease numbering, choose in the Organize menu : “Bring Forward”, or type “Command ]“ keyboard shortcut.
Colours : If you want to colour keys, you need to colour them at least in two states : “Normal State” and “Highlighted State”, otherwise without the highlighted state, you cannot see scanning and your panel becomes useless. The other two states are “On State” and “On and Highlighted State”, but they only concern keys that stay active for a time, as mouse action keys, auto-repeat keys and modifier keys.
Normal State : is the state that you see when the panel is not active. To colour a key in normal state, select it by clicking, then click the “Design”popup menu in Inspector window, and choose between:
Then in Inspector window, click “Button”, a colour chart window appears, select the desired colour with up and down arrows, and click “OK”.
Note: you can give the same colour to several keys at the same time, by selecting them before clicking on “Button”.
Highlighted State : for the next three states, click the little triangle before “Normal” in Inspector window, then click the little popup menu in the Button column. Select “2” if you only want to colour the highlighted state, or “4” if you want to colour all states. Then click the case in the Button column and Highlighted line, select desired colour and click “OK”. I recommend the same colour for all keys in highlighted state, so as to have a clear scanning.
On State, and On and Highlighted State : for these two states, the little popup menu in the Button column of the Inspector window, must be in the “4” position. The method is the same as the one to colour in highlighted state. Here again, I recommend the same colour for all keys, a colour for the On State and another colour for the On and Highlighted State.
Pictures : Mouse action keys, and keys to launch applications have their own pictures, that come out automatically when you define the key’s task (see chapter “Give each key a task”), apart from the Finder, which is not an application and which is not in the Application folder. To have the picture on a key, select the key by clicking it, then in Inspector window, click the “Display” popup menu and choose between:
For other keys, there are plenty of pictures inside LayoutKitchen, that you find in
But you can also make your own pictures, either with Photoshop application, or by screen capture, with the Grab application which you find in Applications / Utilities / Grab. Then you put the picture in the “Images to experiment with” folder, and you drag and drop it on the key.
Label colouration. Instead of colouring keys, you can colour the letters on the keys. The method is exactly the same, but instead of clicking Button in the Inspector window, you click Label. This time, you do not need to colour highlighted state to see scanning.