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The Unofficial XaAES Page
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Chapter 2 - The Unofficial XaAES Documentation 2. Input devices

Like other graphical user interfaces XaAES mainly uses two devices to allow for user input, a pointing device (usually a mouse) and a keyboard. The user interface utilizes icons and controls to provide means for user input and the pointing device is used to manipulate these objects on screen. The keyboard is essentially just offering shortcuts to some of the functions offered through the graphical interface and to allow for text input.
2.1 Mouse
XaAES supports mice with two buttons and can also handle scroll wheel input. Even older GEM applications may respond to the mouse wheel, since XaAES translates wheel movements into simulated mouse clicks to arrow widgets (See
5.3.2). Scroll wheel mice are supported directly by XaAES, without the need for external software. Just make sure that you have the right version of the mouse driver installed. (See installation notes in 7.2)
2.1.1 Mouse operations
Mouse eventAction
Single click The left mouse button is clicked and immediately released.
Right click Same as a single click, but using the right mouse button.
Double click A normal single click, immediately followed by a second click. If nothing else is noted, the left mouse button is assumed.
Click-hold The mouse button is clicked and then held down.
Drag A click-hold operation followed by mouse movement, often used to move objects on screen.
Drag&drop Basically the same as drag, but normally meaning the situation where an object is picked up and placed on top of another object or the desktop.
Shift-click This operation involves both the mouse and keyboard. A single click is performed while the keyboards SHIFT key is pressed down
Ctrl+alt-click This operation involves both the mouse and keyboard. A single click is performed while the keyboards CTRL and ALT keys are pressed down
Mouse wheel •Rotating the vertical mouse wheel towards you triggers a downwards scrolling operation if there is an active scroll area present.
•Rotating the vertical mouse wheel towards the screen triggers a downwards scrolling operation if there is an active scroll area present.
You will find scrollable areas in GEM windows with sliders (See 5.3) as well as in scroll lists (See chapter 4.)

2.2 Keyboard
Since there can be a plethora of windows open at a time, there has to be a way to decide which window should receive user input from the keyboard. In the past, graphical user interfaces on the Atari has directed keyboard input to the window that is currently on top. XaAES offers a different solution, where keyboard input is directed to the window that is beneath the mouse pointer. This approach is sometimes called point-to-type.
2.2.1 Keyboard shortcuts
Key comboAction
CTRL+ALT+CLRHOME Redraw screen
CTRL+ALT+A Terminates all applications (A list of exceptions can be specified)
CTRL+ALT+D Open the screenshot dialog (XAAESNAP.PRG is required. See 6.6.2)
CTRL+ALT+H Halt the system
CTRL+ALT+L Open task manager
CTRL+ALT+P Restore palette in colour depth of 8-bits or less
CTRL+ALT+R Change resolution
CTRL+ALT+V Unhide all applications
CTRL+ALT+W Global window cycling
CTRL+ALT+X Hide all except the currently focused application
CTRL+ALT+Y Hide currently focused application
CTRL+ALT+DELETE Reboot computer
CTRL+ALT+SPACE Open main menu bar
CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+SPACE Open menu in current window if it has one, else open main menu bar
CTRL+ALT+TAB Cycle open applications
ESC Clear text input field
Cancel menu
UNDO Same as pressing CANCEL in Alerts and File Selector
ALT+<X> When file selector is open, this shortcut will change current drive to the drive identified with letter
ALT+<ARROW KEYS> Move the mouse pointer 16 pixels
ALT+SHIFT+<ARROW KEYS> Move the mouse pointer 1 pixel
ALT+INSERT Simulate a click on the left mouse button
ALT+CLRHOME Simulate a click on the right mouse button

2.2.2 Keyboard navigation
As the first and so far only AES on the Atari platform, XaAES introduces a thorough concept for manoeuvring GEM dialogs by using strictly the keyboard. While some of the old Atari OS’s have offered limited possibilities to control some things, users have sooner or later had to resort to using the mouse to toggle a setting in a checkbox or a radio button. As seen on other platforms, XaAES now indicates the active/focused object of a dialog by surrounding it with a red rectangle, using a dotted line type. This rectangle is referred to as the focus caret. The object currently owning the focus can be selected/unselected through the SPACE button, which means that any object in a GEM dialog now is accessible without the need to learn ALT+<key> combinations.
NOTE: The keyboard navigation should work with any application that makes proper use of the calls form_button() and form_keybd(), which are the proper functions to use when building a custom form_do() function for non-modal GEM dialogs.
Moving the focus caret
Key comboAction
ARROW-UP Go to object above current focus
ARROW-DOWN Go to object below current focus
ARROW-LEFT (+CTRL) Go to object to the left of current focus
ARROW-RIGHT (+CTRL) Go to object to the right of current focus
TAB Go to the next object
TAB+SHIFT Go to previous object
CTRL+CLRHOME Go to topmost editable field
CTRL+SHIFT+CLRHOME Go to bottommost editable field

If the left or right arrow key is targeted when a text input field has focus, this will of course affect the text cursor, not the focus caret. To move the focus caret in such a case, hold down CTRL when navigating the focus caret with the arrow keys.
Sending input to the GEM dialog
Key comboAction
SPACE Simulating a mouse click to the focused object
RETURN Simulates a mouse click to the default object
ALT+<key> Simulates a mouse click to the button/check box where the <key> character is underlined


The Unofficial XaAES Page © Joakim Högberg 2003-2015