Application Tips

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Seeing and Finding Panel Locations

Your computer monitor is much smaller than real dispatching panels. Therefore, it is important that you are able to quickly see or navigate to where you need to go on the panel, in order to make your dispatching decisions.

Toggling Magnets and Zoom Options

The icons at the top left of the signalling panel expand when clicked. The arrow-shaped icon offers panel magnets which can be placed as reminders on the panel. The magnifying glass icon provides some buttons useful for controlling how tiles are displayed and enlarged when your mouse cursor hovers over them. These two icons can be toggled by using the Panel > Magnets and Panel > Zoom Options menu items.

Easy Clicking

Many of the buttons on the signalling panel are smaller than buttons you are used to in traditional computer programs. To make it easier to click on these buttons, use the Panel > Easy Clicking menu item. This allows you to be less precise with your mouse clicks. In cases where there are two buttons close together, clicking between these buttons is not advised. In such cases it is not difficult to click the wrong button, so be careful!

Use CTRL When Panning

When using the mouse to click and drag the panel to move yourself about the signalling panel, it is sometimes possible to inadvertently click a panel button. To avoid this, turn on the Panel > Use CTRL to Pan menu option. This requires you to press and hold the CTRL key while clicking and dragging the signalling panel. While doing so, any button presses are ignored.

Panel Brightness

Some panels have buttons that alter the brightness of some of the lights on the panel. Where supported, use these buttons to control the brightness (and thus, the contrast) of the signalling panel. This will make the red and yellow lights (for example, track occupations) much easier to see. An example of the panel brightness control buttons are shown below. In this example, the brightness is set at 2 (out of a total of 4, where 4 is maximum brightness).

Panel Brightness Controls

Panel Navigation

While it's possible to navigate to the different parts of the dispatching panel using the mouse buttons and mouse wheel, this can be cumbersome. Instead, press the numbers 1, 2, 3 .. 8, 9, or 0 on your keyboard. Each number is programmed to take you to a different area of the panel. You can view these shortcuts by choosing Panel > Navigation from the menu. You do not need the Panel Navigation window open to use the shortcuts.

Viewing preset #2 "Eastside".
Defining a custom preset.

You can also define your own navigation short cuts. If you have a particular view that you like, right-click on a navigation shortcut, and choose Set as Current to bind your current view to the selected number. Give your binding a name, if desired, and then press the green checkmark finish.

The slider at the bottom of the Panel Navigation window controls the zoom level, as do the buttons to the left and right of it. If you want to have fine-grained control of the zoom, first select the track bar, then use the arrow keys (Left and Right) to finely zoom in and out.

Window Management

Signalsoft's computer simulations use a large number of windows to allow interaction with what's going on in a simulation. It is easy for a beginner to miss out on some of the more advanced features designed to make dispatching less about using a computer program, and more about dispatching.

Multiple Monitors

If you have several monitors side-by-side, you normally have to un-maximise the window, and resize it manually to fill multiple screens. Instead, try View > Fill Multiple Monitors. This will attempt to resize the main application window (and the signalling panel within) to fill multiple screens. This option may not work if you have an unusual multi-monitor setup where your screens are not aligned.

Finding Lost Windows

In rare cases, a window can be hard to find, especially if it is off-screen. The View > Reset Windows menu item will nicely cascade your open windows within view so that you can see them again.

Panel Resizing

It is of course possible to manually resize the panel window, although in some cases it is easier to use the Panel > Auto Size Panel menu item. This attempts to make the simulation panel window larger, if possible.

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