visual basic barcode printing Remember, the user s eye will flow from left to right and from top to bottom. in Java

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Remember, the user s eye will flow from left to right and from top to bottom.
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As much as possible, the standard path through the display should follow this natural flow.
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Try to make the display as visually pleasing as possible: Don t jam too many elements into a single screen. White space and
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borders help keep a display looking clean, orderly, and less overwhelming.
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Group related elements. You ll often want to place a labeled border
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around such a group.
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Imagine invisible gridlines running vertically and horizontally through
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the display and align your groups and elements along these gridlines whenever possible.
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While other arrangements are acceptable, it s almost never wrong to right-justify
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text field labels and left-justify their respective text fields around the same vertical line. (See Figure 13-3.)
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Place your menu bar and toolbar (if applicable) at the top of the screen
(more in the next section). Figure 13-3 illustrates examples of many of the concepts we ve been discussing. Notice that the name and address elements are grouped logically, and that they are aligned along a vertical line. The client preferences are accessible through a tabbed pane; this example shows a typical use for a set of radio buttons. On the lower left we ve aligned two related combo boxes, and the navigational buttons are horizontally aligned in the bottom right of the display.
5. Menus and Navigation
Just about any standard application has menus and navigation buttons to let the user make choices and move to other windows. You ll need to pay particular attention to
Creating a Usable and Extensible GUI
FIGURE 13-3
An example of design elements
your menus and navigation features; no matter how attractive and easy-to-use you believe your GUI to be, you ll still have points deducted if you don t follow standard conventions.
Menus and Menu Bars
Menus are a powerful (and necessary) part of almost all GUIs. We focus our attention on the most common implementation of menus, the menu bar. An application s main menu bar is almost always located at the top of the display sometimes directly under an application s title bar, and sometimes separate from the application s main window and docked to the top of the display. You re familiar with the standard menu bar. Several of its more consistent entries are typically located toward the left end of the bar and include File, Edit, and View. Each entry in the menu bar represents a collection of related capabilities. Clicking on one of the entries on the menu bar will cause a specially formatted widget (a menu) that resembles a list widget to appear beneath the menu bar entry. The entries
13: Designing the Graphical User Interface
in these lists each represent a system capability. The most common capabilities available through menu entries are
A navigational command such as Close (close the current document),
Print (move to the Print display to initiate a print session), or Exit (end the application)
An action command such as Spell Check (invoke the built in spell checker)
or Copy (copy the currently highlighted data to the clipboard)
Alter a system setting or parameter, such as Show Toolbar (displays the
application s toolbar by default) or View Normal (display the current data in the default mode). Within a menu, entries should be grouped in logical subsets, and each subset is typically delineated with a horizontal line or a double space. Menu commands should be left-justified, and it is common and appropriate to display keyboard shortcut commands, whenever they are available, to the right of the menu entry. Each application will have its own unique set of menus on the menu bar, but several of the menus will be very consistent from application to application. These most consistent menus are the File and the Edit. File will vary a bit from application to application, but it will almost always include commands (menu items), for New, Open, Save, Print, Close, and Exit. These commands refer to the current document or project as a whole. Edit can vary also, but will typically include commands for Undo, Redo, Cut, Copy, Paste, Clear, Select, and Find. These editing commands are used to modify portions of the active document or project. Not to give anything away here, but not having a standard menu bar with standard menus and menu items will cost you big time on your exam score.
Navigational Buttons
The second most common way to provide navigational capabilities within a GUI is through the use of navigational buttons. Navigational buttons are typically placed on the bottom (or sometimes the right side) of the active window. Navigational buttons typically act on the entire active window; examples include the Save button on a File dialog window, or the Print button on a Print dialog window. In both cases, activating the button causes a system action to take place, followed by a navigation to a different window in the application. Sometimes a navigational button will serve a solely navigational function such as Close, which closes the current window and returns the user back to the previous window.
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