Tablet Friend - the ultimate on-screen toolbar is out!

Discussion in 'Software' started by Martenfur, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. Martenfur

    Martenfur Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    6
    upload_2021-9-26_16-28-38.png
    Hey there! Working without a keyboard is hard. When you are on a tablet, you realize how much you miss certain key combinations. Well, no more! Tablet Friend will make your life on Surface Pro or any other Windows tablet easier by providing a highly customizable set of on-screen toolbars.

    Whether you are an artist, a casual Windows tablet fan or simply a touchscreen enjoyer, Tablet Friend is the perfect companion for getting stuff done.

    [​IMG]


    Here's what Tablet Friend can do:

    • Press buttons and button combinations.
    • Toggle buttons.
    • Type.
    • Press and hold buttons.
    • Execute command line commands - this allows you to launch any programs you wish or make custom scripts that do exactly what you want. Batch, Powershell - the sky is the limit.
    • Swap and link layouts seamlessly.
    • Chain any number of actions.
    • Use over 4000 built-in vector icons from https://materialdesignicons.com or arbitrary png icons.
    • Dock the toolbar to the side or on top.
    • Simply look nice. : - )
    Moreover, you can easily create your own toolbars, color schemes, styles, and do pretty much whatever you want with it! For free!

    DOWNLOAD v1.1: https://github.com/Martenfur/TabletFriend



     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2021
    WillAdams, Tams and Marty like this.
  2. Tams

    Tams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    530
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Love to see it. I'll give it a proper spin tomorrow.
     
  3. Tams

    Tams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    530
    Trophy Points:
    106
    So, I've had a play around.

    The toolbar UI itself is very sleek. Moving it around is really easy.

    But as @lblb mentioned, user-friendly UI settings is important. Creating different layouts through some code is not as sleek as a WYSIWYG editor. And it does take up more memory than Toolbar Creator (around 30MB compared to around 5MB).
     
  4. Martenfur

    Martenfur Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Problem is, I only have a finite amount of time and I am only one man. Writing a layout editor is a task several times more time-consuming than the layouts themselves, so instead of 20 days I'd spend 3 months to get it up and running. So I opted out for the next best option. Seriously, tho, give "some code" a chance, it's really simple, autoupdates the layout every time you save the layout and is way more efficient than UI will ever be.


    The price you have to pay for the looks. : )
    30 MB is not that bad nowadays anyway.
     
    Eltos likes this.
  5. Martenfur

    Martenfur Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    6
    In fact, this is why it's opensource. I can't really do everything alone and relying on the community to build upon the base I've created. If someone decides to make the UI, that's great. If not, well, text-based editing is not that scary. : D
    I am also making a video tutorial where I show how it works.
     
    Eltos likes this.
  6. lblb

    lblb Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,202
    Likes Received:
    250
    Trophy Points:
    101
    I'm glad your toolbar is out. I wish you all the best with this project.

    I played with it a bit and it works well and looks very good. Nice work. Here are a few suggestions that I hope you will take constructively (despite me making the effort to be positive instead of using my "straightforwardness" to not "sugarcoat" anything...):

    - I read on Reddit what you wrote about the .NET dependency and how you have changed that. It might be better for your users if you increased the version number when you do something like this. As it is, version 1.0.0 is two versions, one that didn't work for me because of the .NET issue, and one that works because you have now made substantial changes. If I hadn't read on Reddit, I wouldn't have bothered re-downloading it since the version number hadn't changed. Also, it might be better to put the version number in the name of the .zip file.
    - Putting all these dll's in the main folder is inviting trouble... You gotta make it as user proof as possible. It might be better to put them in a subfolder or something like that.
    - I personally don't think it's a good thing to force on your users an installation in the startup folder by default. It seems to me that the default behavior should be not to add the toolbar to the startup, and then let the user add it through the options.
    - It would be much easier to use if there was a visual indicator of the state of the toggles. As it is, you can't know from looking at the toolbar if any of the toggles are on or off, which can get quite confusing once you use the toolbar for a while.
    - When the toolbar quits, it should release all toggles. Otherwise, it can become very problematic for users that modifiers like Shift and Ctrl can stay in a pressed state when the toolbar quits.

    Just my two cents as someone who spent a lot of time tailoring my ancient Toolbar Creator to users' needs. Feel free to ignore anything I wrote. Keep up the good work! This looks very sleek.
     
    Tams and Marty like this.
  7. Tams

    Tams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    781
    Likes Received:
    530
    Trophy Points:
    106
    I was just giving you a bit of smack for being quite rude to @lblb.

    And yes, it's not much RAM by today's standards, but waste is waste.

    Please don't take this badly though, it's a great little program and works very well!
     
  8. Martenfur

    Martenfur Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    6
    No worries, I welcome criticism - especially if it's honest.


    Be as harsh and/or salty as you need to be, I can take it. : - )


    I don't really consider it a change. It's the same build only packed with different libraries. But ye, I definitely forgot to notify people here, my bad.


    My original idea was to have a single exe, but when packing self-contained, dotnet put a bunch of **** into the directory. I don't have any control over it.


    "Why does this thing start up? Oh, here's a toggle" is better than "Why does this thing NOT start up? Gosh, where the hell did it put itself even?".

    Believe it or not, this has proven to be surprisingly hard. : D
    I may try it again, since now I think I have some new ideas, but we'll see.
     
  9. Martenfur

    Martenfur Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I have actually looked at what could be optimized in terms of memory use. And, well, it's 4000 icons and a bunch of buttons, nothing really to trim there. I could go ham and remove the unused styles, but that'd shave off several megabytes, not worth it.
     
  10. Martenfur

    Martenfur Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Took some effort, but managed to make visual toggle buttons.
     

    Attached Files:

    Marty and JoeS like this.
Loading...

Share This Page