Chapter 3 – The Pan Tool

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I’m nearly through chapter 3 and I feel the need to take note here in the blog of a few points which I keep finding, forgetting, and finding again – which he mentions in this chapter.

The double-clicking of the Pan tool.

Far too often when I’m working on UI, I zoom in very closely on my objects to make sure that everything is lining up, every detail is perfected, and often I find the answer to the, “I’m not quite sure why, but that doesn’t look quite right – can’t put my finger on it, I just know that its not right.” by zooming in.

All of that sounds great – detail oriented being a rule of thumb of mine, however, there’s 1 issue with zooming in: It often is difficult to get to OTHER objects without zooming out, locating item, and the zooming back in.

Well Expression blend has a nifty thing with their pan tool.  When you double-click on it, your view will center on whatever object it is that you’re clicked upon in you objects bar.

When I’m not remembering that this functionality is there, it drives me nuts trying to remember what it is that I did in the past to make quick moving w/o zooming out.  Hopefully making note of it here will keep it more permanently in my mind.

Btw, if you’re lost – I’m going through Victor Gaudioso’s book on Microsoft Expression Blend and blogging as I go.

Victor's book, Chap 2 – Alert! A discrepency is spotted!

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There is no possible way to actually get through and locate every single error and discrepency in a book. The hundreds of times the author and editors comb through the book and modify things – by the end, I’m sure the entire team feels dog-tired.

However, I’m someone going through the book and using it. My job is to be snobbish, accusatory and unappreciative, as well as blissfully ignorant of the high levels of iterations and reiterations that went into said book. Oh, and I’m supposed to say things like, “I could have spotted this from a mile away” or something to that effect.  I cannot forget the most important part: I must have a high level of grammatical and spelling errors to give a level of poetic irony.

I hate doing things that I’m “supposed” to do.

But I will point out 1 mistake/discrepency here and well – I’ll likely point out the others which I come across because its fun that I spotted it and its even MORE fun to tell that I spotted it.

Anyway, in Chapter 2 you’re requested on page 35 to modify your TextBlock size to w: 400px h:100px and in the screenshot of the program where you make these changes, the comments below the screenshot example read:

“Figure 2-19. Changing the Width and Height of your [TextBlock] to 400 and 100, respectively”

Then later, after modifying the foreground colors to be nearly jab-my-eyeballs-out gradients (sorry, I’m not a fan of the standard use of green-white-red gradients for the purpose of tutorials and teaching material. I find that practice to be abhorrent and if you’re going to really go after something that is easily observed, why not go all the way towards horrible colors instead of half way? Use neon pinks or something, it would match the book’s cover too! I hate pink, but going along w/ the theme presented from the cover, let’s take it home all the way, man!! Consistency! Consistency!), you encounter on page 38 the line:

“Because you set your [TextBlock] to the Width of 600 and a Height of 100…”

Wait, I did what?

I didn’t set my text block to a width of 600 – I set it to a width of 400. *twitch*

Ok, its fairly minor, but I’ll go ahead and change my TextBlock to 600 since you said that I already did. Maybe he’s just trying to use “The Secret” on the readers?

Edit: Just after posting this, I continued and almost immediately stopped because I was trying to as closely emulate his “lab” by using the same font-type.  He has in his picture the font-type of “Segoe UI”.  At first glance, that is likely not an issue.  However, when looking through my own listing of fonts, I’m finding that I don’t have said font.  I’m going to make a guess at where this font came from: One of his recent clients!!  I could be wrong, but w/ it having the label of “UI”, I would be willing to guess that this might be the name of the font which is named to assist with quick-reference, and “UI” designates where that font is used.  Woopsy!  The image of the font looks very very similar to Verdana but with slight modifications to make it almost DIN-Medium.