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Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox /

Preface - About This Book

This book, Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox, together with the book Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Toolbox Essentials, describes features you can build into your Macintosh application and documents the system software routines for implementing those features.

For information about events, windows, menus, controls, alert boxes, and dialog boxes and about how your application interacts with the Finder, see Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Toolbox Essentials.

This book, More Macintosh Toolbox, describes how you can enhance your application by supporting copy and paste and providing messages for help balloons. In addition, it describes other features you may want to use in your application, such as scrolling lists in dialog boxes and icons in windows. It also explains how to create resources, components, translation extensions, and control panels.

To read and write resources, see the chapter "Resource Manager." This chapter describes how you can use resources to store the descriptions of user interface elements such as menus, windows, controls, dialog boxes, and icons. You can also use resources to store variable settings, such as the location of the window at the time the user closes it. When the user opens the document again, your application can read the information in the resource and restore the window to its previous location.

To support copy-and-paste operations in your application, see the chapter "Scrap Manager." By using the Scrap Manager, you can allow users to copy and paste data between documents created by your application and documents created by other applications.

To provide messages for help balloons for elements of your application, see the chapter "Help Manager." Help balloons are rounded-rectangle windows that contain explanatory information for the user. With tips pointing at the objects they annotate, help balloons look like the bubbles used for dialog in comic strips. Help balloons are turned on by the user from the Help menu; when Balloon Help assistance is on, a help balloon appears whenever the user moves the cursor over the balloon's hot rectangle.

To create lists in your application's dialog boxes, including lists that contain scroll bars, see the chapter "List Manager." You can use the List Manager to create one-column or multicolumn lists. Lists are useful for allowing the user to select one or more items from a group of items.

To display icons in a window or dialog box of your application, see the chapter "Icon Utilities." By using Icon Utilities routines, you can automatically draw the icon from an icon family that is best suited for the current bit depth of the monitor.

To use or create components, see the chapter "Component Manager." Components can provide your application with various services such as image compression or decompression services. You can also provide services to other applications by creating your own component.

To direct the translation of documents from one format to another, see the chapter "Translation Manager." Macintosh Easy Open uses the Translation Manager to automatically provide some translation services for your application. Optionally, you can enhance your application's interaction with Macintosh Easy Open or provide your own translation services.

To create a control panel or an extension to the Monitors control panel, see the chapter "Control Panels." Control panels allow the user to set preferences for systemwide features, such as the the speaker volume, desktop pattern, or picture displayed by a screen saver. Extensions to the Monitors control panel should be created only by the manufacturer of a video device.

To get information from the desktop database, see the chapter "Desktop Manager." The desktop database contains information used by the Finder, such as icon definitions and their associated file types, as well as any comments that the user has added to the information window for desktop objects.

Some related topics can be found in other Inside Macintosh books. For information on how to read and write to the data fork of a file, see the chapter "Introduction to File Management" in Inside Macintosh: Files. For information about drawing into a window or other graphics port, see Inside Macintosh: Imaging with QuickDraw. For information on handling text in your application, see Inside Macintosh: Text. For information on communicating with other applications, see Inside Macintosh: Interapplication Communication.

Preface Contents
Format of a Typical Chapter
Conventions Used in This Book
Special Fonts
Types of Notes
Empty Strings
Assembly-Language Information
The Development Environment

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
6 JUL 1996