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Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Toolbox Essentials /

Preface - About This Book

This book, Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Toolbox Essentials, describes the essential elements of a Macintosh application and the system software routines that you can use to implement them.

If you are new to programming on the Macintosh computer, you should also read Macintosh Human Interface Guidelines for a complete discussion of user interface guidelines and principles that every Macintosh application should follow.

This book describes events, windows, menus, controls, alert boxes, and dialog boxes. It also discusses how your application interacts with the Finder.

Macintosh applications respond to user actions and to other hardware- and software-related events. To design your application so that it can respond to events (such as keyboard input, mouse input, changes in the appearance of windows on the screen, and changes in your application's processing status), see the chapter "Event Manager" in this book.

To create menus and set up your application's menu bar, see the chapter "Menu Manager." This chapter describes how to define the items in your menus, how to enable and disable menus, how to allow the user to choose
a menu item, and how to respond once the user chooses a menu item.

To create windows in which the user can view or edit information, see the chapter "Window Manager." This chapter describes the basic types of windows and discusses how your application can work together with the Window Manager to support the standard user interface conventions associated with manipulating a window, such as moving a window, zooming a window, and resizing a window.

To create controls in your application's windows--such as scroll bars--or to create controls in dialog boxes--such as buttons or checkboxes--see the chapter "Control Manager."

To create dialog boxes or alert boxes--windows that your application uses to communicate with or solicit information from the user--see the chapter "Dialog Manager."

To create icons for your applications and the documents it creates, see the chapter "Finder Interface." This chapter also introduces file types and
creators and describes the various kinds of resources (icons, file references, and bundles) that the Finder needs to display your application and the documents it creates.

After implementing the basic elements of a Macintosh application as described in this book, you can add additional features, such as help balloons and support for copy and paste, as described in Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox. You can also find detailed information about the Resource Manager in Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox.

Once you understand how to create menus, windows, and dialog boxes, you can save information that the user enters in a window by writing the data to a file. You can also open a previously saved file and read the information from the file into a window. You use the File Manager to open, read, write, and close files. See the chapter "Introduction to File Management" in Inside Macintosh: Files for information on how to read and write files.

For information about drawing into a window or other graphics port, see Inside Macintosh: Imaging.

For information on handling text in your application, see Inside
Macintosh: Text

For information on communicating with other applications, see Inside Macintosh: Interapplication Communication.

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
11 JUL 1996