|Make Your Common Tools Stand Out
by Personalizing Your Workspace For Optimal Performance
One of the down sides to all the little icons in the toolbars is some of them -- some important ones you use all the
time -- can get lost in the crowd.
To make your favorite tools easy to find and quick to access, change the icon button to add a little spice.
Just a little color or an added border can do wonders.
To determine what will work best for you, observe yourself at work. When you need a tool, notice where you
look first, notice what icons catch your eye, notice what mistakes you make, and learn about your own behavior.
It's a simple study of human factors -- yours.
Several examples are shown in the included images. Try a few of these, or make your own. It's easy to
do by following the examples of our February 2002 tip.
The icons I use (those shown in the images) reflect my behaviors and habits. To start with, the "X"
and checkmark in the sketcher toolbar (and others) just don't convey to me the concept of "Quit" and
"Done". They also don't belong (for me) in the same fly-out tool, so I changed them.
The result is I don't need to think about the tool any more when I need it.
A second example is the sketcher "Modify" icon. Since Pro/E has such an insidious BUG
in the "double click to modify" function, the Modify icon has become unfortunately important for me. Since their
icon didn't speak "Modify" to me, I replaced it entirely with the "M".
Now it's easy to find -- almost without looking.
A third example is the "Mirror" icon. This is a pretty good icon as icons go, but for me it always seemed
to get lost in the mix. I added just a touch of color, and now it's easier to pick out.
An interesting side effect is that to create these new buttons you need to make a mapkey. Typing the mapkey
sequence gets you to the function even faster than finding it quickly in the toolbar.
Have a great summer! See you next month.