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Tech Tip

by Gary Rogers, Director of Training, APPX Software, Inc.

As you migrate your users to the Appx Desktop Client you will find that one advantage you gain is the ability to run APPX with a larger display area to take advantage of larger screens. We have found that using a display with 28 columns and 110 rows creates a nice screen size for 17” monitors running at a resolution of 1024x768. The screen is clear and readable and fits nicely in the display area of the monitor, plus it adds a good bit of extra room for your design needs.

So, how do you change the client’s default size? All you have to do is add the command line options to the icon for starting the client to tell APPX how many rows and how many columns to use. On Windows desktops you can right-click on the desktop icon and select Properties. Click on the target line and add a space and the following to the line:

-rows=28 –cols=110

Make sure there is a space before the – and that the arguments are lower case. Spelling is also important.

For the Gnome desktop used in most current Linux installations the process is pretty much the same. Right-click on the desktop icon, then select Properties, then Launcher. Add the commands above to the Command line for the icon. There might be slight differences between the myriad variations of the X desktops, but most should be similar and fairly easy to figure out. Some older versions of the X environment were not quite so easy to change and the command line properties had to be set up when the icon was created. If you have and older version it may be time to consider upgrading to a more current desktop.

Mac users will need to edit the arguments to set the rows and columns. On our office Mac the file for the icon is
Locate a similar file on your desktop, edit it, and look for the line <key>Arguments. Just below that line you can add a line:

<string>-row=28 –cols=110</string>

If you have any other desktop options you would like to set you can add those to the above as well. Also see "Additional Information" on http://wiki.appx.com/wiki/bin/view/Main/APPXADCMacInstallation for an alternative way to set parameters & run the client on a Mac.

If you have users that need to run at a lower resolution, like 800x600, one problem that you will most likely encounter running a larger screen is the status line. While the Appx screen set for 28 rows and 110 columns fits on the desktop nicely at a resolution of 1024x768, the same screen run at 800x600 will be a little bit too big and the status line may be hidden by the desktop’s taskbar. It is almost a given that you will get a call from a user complaining of a locked up screen when the real problem may be that an error message on the status line is hidden.

There are two ways to handle this issue. A simple way is to right-click on the taskbar, select Properties, and set the “Auto-hide the taskbar” option. When the cursor is not in the area of the bottom line of the screen the taskbar will disappear and the Appx Desktop Client’s status line will be visible.

Another way is to set one of two (or both) options in the Client Preferences for the desktop client. We have found that setting screenAspect in the Startup section of the options to 2.5 will adjust the cell size so that the screen will be completely visible at 800x600. The screen aspect adjusts the height to width ratio of the cells making them slightly shorter, so the screen is also slightly shorter, but the font size remains the same.

You can also set the initialFontSize from the default value of 14 to 13 or 12. This option starts the client with a smaller font, which may also affect the user’s ability to read the characters. You may want to experiment with both of these options to find which works best for your environment.

Both of these options can be set from the client start up by selection the Options tab, then the Advanced button. The options will be remembered between sessions. The options can also be added to the command line in the same manner as setting the –rows and –cols options above.

Dynamically Changing Client Window Size

One issue you may encounter when running at a larger screen size is that you have older programs that were designed for 21 x 80, and will show a lot of blank space when run in a size of 28 x 110. You can set -resizeMainWindowPane=true in the client options, and the client window will resize automatically. It will shrink for a 21 x 80 image, and expand for larger images (up to the original rows & columns you set).

Checking the Client Window Size

You can use the .ENV GET SCREEN SIZE API to determine the current row & column setting. If this is not large enough for your image, you can issue an error message, or use the $newsession: parameter of .CLIENT LOAD URL to open a new session with the required rows and columns.


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Topic revision: r5 - 2020-05-12 - JeanNeron
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