New Preferences GUI

The latest version of TKE contains a new preferences GUI which allows users to more intuitively find and accurately change preference values within the tool.  The layout of the preferences GUI is shown below.

The preferences window contains three main panels.

Top Panel

Along the top, you can specify the session to change preferences for as well as which language that you want to edit preferences for.  A session name of “None” modifies the general preferences which are used when you are not within a session and newly created session preferences will be based on these preferences.  Changing the session value to another value allows you to modify preference settings for any of the available named sessions.  A language value of “All” modifies the preferences that are used for all languages unless a language has specific preferences setting saved for it.  Changing the language name will allow you to modify the language-specific settings for the selected language.

The search bar on the right of the top panel allows you to quickly search for a preference item within the entire preference GUI.  As you type, TKE will display a dropdown list of matching preferences to the search string.  Selecting a listed preference item in the dropdown will bring you right to the preference panel containing that preference item.

Sidebar Panel

Along the left side of the window is the preference sidebar.  This area allow you to quickly change the displayed preference panel associated with the selected category.  The currently displayed preference panel is indicated with a subtle background color difference.  To change the preference pane, simply left-click the desired category.

If the search bar is being used, the sidebar will highlight the items that contain the currently displayed search matches.  This is meant to help you find the preference faster in the future.

If you are modifying session preferences, the General and Advanced categories will be removed from view since the options contained in these categories are not applicable to sessions.  Additionally, if you modifying preferences for a specific languages, the sidebar will be removed from view while the Editor preferences panel will be displayed.

Preference Panel

The main panel in the window is the preference panel which displays the currently selected category from the sidebar.  In some cases, the preference panel will contain a tab bar across the top.  Clicking on a tab displays the subcategory of preferences associated with that tab.  If the search bar is being used, if the user selects a preference item that is embedded in a tab within the associated preference category, TKE will not only switch the view to the category, but it will alow select the tab to show you the preference item immediately.

Any changes to preference settings made in this panel are immediately applied (i.e., no need to perform a preferences save).

Using the Original Preference Editing Mode

By default, starting in TKE 2.6 the new preferences GUI will be displayed when the user chooses one of the “Edit / Preferences” menu options.  However, if you would rather continue to use TKE’s original text editing mode for changing preferences, that function has not gone away.  Simply bring up the user preference window (session = “None” and language = “All”), go to the General tab and deselect the “Edit preferences using GUI”, and close the preferences window.  Any further preference settings will work as it did before version 2.6.  If you would like to switch back, just change the value of the General/EditPreferencesUsingGUI back to a value of 1, save and close the preferences file.

We will cover some of the preferences in more detail in future posts.

To see more information and download your copy of the TKE code editor, visit http://tke.sourceforge.net

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New Preferences GUI