The R:BASE 5.0 Windows Interface
     PRODUCT:  R:BASE                  VERSION:        5.X
     AREA   :  General Information     CATEGORY:       General Information
     R:BASE 5.0 has an entirely new look. With the move to Windows, you'll 
     see a different interface. You might find yourself using old hot keys 
     and getting unexpected results, because R:BASE 5.0 uses different hot 
     key combinations. It takes some getting used to, but don't give up. 
     All the old familiar features are still there. The R> prompt is just 
     a mouse click away. Redesigning the interface to fit Windows and CUA 
     requirements allowed incorporation of many enhancements requested by 
     In R:BASE 5.0, there is generally more than one way to perform an 
     action. You can use the menus, the tool bar, or the Object Manager to 
     access your data and the various other elements of a database such as 
     forms, reports, and applications. Browsing through the menus, you'll 
     see that some items are followed by an ellipsis (...). That 
     indicates a dialog box comes up when you select that menu item. All
     menu items have a hot key_the underlined letter. A hot key is 
     accessed by pressing [Alt] and the letter. Some menu items have a 
     keyboard shortcut key which is displayed next to the menu item. 
     Review your Windows User's Guide for information about moving around 
     in Windows and the Windows-specific function keys.
     An MDI Application
     R:BASE 5.0 is a Windows MDI (Multiple Document Interface) 
     application. MDI is a standard Windows user interface technique for 
     managing applications that have multiple, related windows open at the 
     same time. The main window that you see when you start R:BASE is the 
     parent window; each window that you open within R:BASE 5.0 is a 
     child window.
     Working with Child Windows
     An MDI child window can be sized and moved, but always remains within 
     the boundaries of the parent window. The child window has it's own 
     title bar, but shares the parent window's menu bar and status bar. 
     A child window can be closed or minimized individually without 
     affecting the parent window or other child windows. You switch 
     between child windows using the mouse, the Window menu on the R:BASE
     5.0 menu bar, or the [Ctrl][F4] function key. In addition, the 
     options on the Window menu allow you to arrange and close child 
     In R:BASE 5.0, the following are all opened as child windows:
       The Form Designer
       The Report Designer
       The Label Designer 
       The text editor, RBEdit
       The R> prompt
       The Application Designer
       The Data Browser
       Query by Example
       The Object Manager
       The Database Designer. RBDefine
       Utilities: Settings
       The Import/Export utility
     The title bar for the parent window shows the name of the 
     application, R:BASE 5.0. The title bar for a child window shows the 
     name of the R:BASE element, such as "Data Browser", and if applicable 
     the name of the table being used.
     The menu bar displays the available menus. It changes dynamically as 
     different elements of R:BASE 5.0 are used. 
     The tool bar displays available buttons that start various elements of 
     R:BASE 5.0. Place the cursor on a button, and a description of the 
     action it performs displays on the status bar.
     The control menu (sometimes called the system menu) is in the upper 
     left corner of the title bar of every window and dialog box. The 
     control menu can be used instead of the mouse to resize, minimize, 
     maximize, restore, or close the window. Double click on the menu to 
     quickly close a window.
     The minimize and maximize buttons in the upper right corner of the 
     title bar of a window are used to reduce the window to an icon, or 
     to maximize it to fill the parent window. 
     The child windows can be sized, minimized as icons, or maximized. 
     Options on the Window menu can be used to manage the display of child 
     You can have many MDI child windows open at one time. As you switch 
     between windows, the R:BASE 5.0 menu bar and the File menu change in 
     relation to the database element you are working with. The different 
     menus specific to each child window are added between the File and 
     Tools menus. The File menu reflects options specific to each child 
     When a child window is maximized, its title bar and information is 
     displayed on the R:BASE 5.0 title bar. In an MDI application, when 
     one child window is maximized, all child windows are maximized. For 
     example, if you maximize an RBEdit window, after you close it, the 
     Object Manager displays maximized rather than as a window. Simply 
     click on the Restore button to return it to its previous size.
     When the Data Browser is active, the file menu has the Save answer, 
     Print data and Printer setup options added.
     The Data Browser specific menu options are added to the main menu bar 
     between File and Tools.
     The title bar for the parent window, R:BASE 5.0, displays the 
     information from the Data Browser child window.
     The restore button, used to restore a window to it's previous, 
     non-maximized size, is placed in the upper right corner of the menu 
     The control menu for a maximized child window moves to the upper left 
     corner of the menu bar.
     Working with Dialog Boxes
     In addition to an MDI child window, some elements of R:BASE 5.0 are 
     displayed as dialog boxes. A dialog box cannot be maximized or 
     minimized; it must be completed or closed. A dialog box has a title 
     bar and a control menu, but no minimize or maximize buttons. A dialog 
     box also typically has OK, Cancel, and Help buttons. A dialog box 
     opens when more information is needed. The dialog box is where you 
     enter options and then proceed to execute an action. Press the [Tab] 
     key or use the mouse to move between items on a dialog box. Press 
     [Enter] or click the OK button to accept your choices, close the 
     dialog box, and execute. Press [Esc] or click the Cancel button to 
     close the dialog box without accepting the information, and without 
     executing the action. Some of the elements of R:BASE 5.0 that come up 
     as dialog boxes are:
       Printing reports and labels
       The Where Builder
       Granting access rights
       Naming form, reports, and labels
       Message boxes
     In addition, dialog boxes display additional information, warnings, 
     and error messages. Dialog boxes are modal, they must be completed or 
     closed before any other element of R:BASE 5.0 can be accessed.
     The title bar of a dialog box has no minimize, maximize buttons. It 
     has a control menu, which is used to move or close the dialog box. 
     Double click on the control menu to quickly close the dialog box.
     The command buttons initiate action from the dialog box.
     No other elements of the application are accessible until the dialog 
     box is completed or closed.
     Understanding Modal Elements
     Modal is a Windows term meaning that you must complete the current 
     process before moving elsewhere within the application. You can move 
     to other Windows applications by pressing [Alt][Tab], but you cannot 
     access the main R:BASE 5.0 menu or move to other child windows when 
     a modal element is active. The current or active window is the one in 
     front, the color of the title bar shows that it is active. A modal 
     window or dialog box requires a response_it cannot be minimized or 
     moved to the background. It must be completed or closed before focus 
     can be placed on any other window. Within R:BASE 5.0, the following 
     elements are modal:
       Entering or editing data with a form
       Running an application 
       Dialog boxes
     In addition to being modal, forms and applications automatically 
     open maximized. You cannot see or switch to other child windows. 
     However, you can open a form from the R> prompt as non-modal through 
     use of the MDI command syntax. This syntax also allows a form to come 
     up in a sizable window.
     EDIT MDI formname
     ENTER MDI formname
     Hot Key Changes
     Many of the keystrokes you used in the DOS version of R:BASE are no 
     longer applicable under Windows. Windows common user interface 
     guideline (CUA) dictates the structure of the menus and use of hot 
     keys. R:BASE 5.0 uses hot keys the same as all your other Windows 
     The underlined letters on the menus indicate the hot keys. Press 
     {Alt] and the underlined letter to open a menu. This is the same way 
     you accessed main menu items in DOS versions of R:BASE. In DOS 
     R:BASE, however, the first letter of the menu item was always the hot 
     key. In Windows, the hot key can be specified so that it is always a 
     unique letter. To access the items on the drop down menus, press the 
     hot key letter without pressing the [Alt].
     In Windows, you also have hot keys on the dialog boxes. Hot keys are 
     used throughout R:BASE 5.0. Except for the drop down menus, you 
     activate the hot key by pressing [Alt] and the underlined letter. To 
     access a list box arrow using the keyboard, press [Alt] and the down 
     arrow key. Your Windows documentation has a complete listing of 
     keyboard shortcuts_generally in the appendix.
     The biggest difference in keyboard use between DOS applications and 
     Windows applications is the use of the [Enter] key. In Windows, 
     pressing the [Enter] key indicates that you are done and to begin 
     execution. To move between fields in a dialog box, for example, you 
     must press the [Tab] key or use the mouse. In DOS, pressing [Enter] 
     was often used for moving between fields and for indicating 
     completion. Windows differentiates the two actions.
     For example, when designing a new form, don't press [Enter] 
     immediately after typing in the new form name. Pressing [Enter] 
     indicates that you are done entering information in the dialog box 
     and immediately launches the Forms Designer. Press [Tab] or use the 
     mouse to select the table name, then choose Quick or Custom. After 
     filling out all the sections of the dialog box, press [Enter] or 
     click OK. To select items on a check box menu, use the mouse or 
     press [spacebar], then press [Enter] when all items have been 
     You'll undoubtedly press [Enter] at the wrong time at first, but it 
     won't take long to get used to the new interface and keystrokes. Some 
     of the hot keys from the DOS versions of R:BASE are standard Windows 
     hot keys; those hot keys have been remapped. To see the current hot 
     keys, press [Shift][F1] then click the Hot Keys button.