Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How do I Zoom thee? Let me count the ways...

Okay, I am a day late for my Valentine's Day title, but here it is anyway. :)

I like to add blog postings on topics that not only show the features of the GTViewer product family, but I also like share answers to commonly asked questions that I get from days to day from the users base.

Today’s topic is about all of the different was to zoom in and out of your data. This list has grown over the years because everyone seems to have a different way they want to zoom, so here goes:

  • The obvious number one option is the Zoom command on the toolbar or View/Zoom. The Zoom command allows the user to zoom out by dragging the cursor up and right and to zoom in by dragging the cursor down and right. The zoom command also provides previous view functionality (drag up and left) and and Center View with a click (which can also be used to pan and will be described in a future blog posting "How do I Pan thee? Let me count the ways...".
  • The number two option is the Attribute Info command? What? Yes, the Attribute Info command. The Attribute Info command uses the same gestures as the Zoom command except the click with no drag will review a feature (under the click) instead of a Center View on the click.
  • The number three option (and my personal favorite) is the Mouse Wheel. Roll the mouse wheel away from you, and the view zooms out. Roll the mouse wheel toward you, and the view zooms in. It does not matter which mode you are in except for Magnify where the mouse wheel changes the size of the magnify box (for this case use the keyboard----see option 5 and 6 below).
  • Hold the boat! Option 3 sounds like the deal for you and could potentially be your favorite Zooming method, but the logic seems all backwards to you. You may want to roll the mouse wheel away to zoom in and vice versa. Well, that is okay (wrong, ha ha, but okay), you just have to change the direction of the zoom for the mouse wheel under Options/Settings/Mouse Wheel Increment. Making the increment negative will reverse the direction of the zoom. You can also change how much it zooms here too as its name implies.
  • The next option is for the keyboard fans out there. The '+' and '-' keys on the top of the keyboard and on the number pad both provide zoom in and zoom out functionality in any mode. Again, a ways to zoom in and out without changing modes (see previous 2 options for more methods that don’t change the mode).
  • Ack!!! My computer doesn't have a Plus and Minus Key!!!! And I want to use the keyboard! I don’t have a mouse and that pad thingee is too difficult to use!!! (This is me mocking myself; I am not making fun of any users out there). Most laptops actually do have the plus and minus keys, but it takes a function key or some additional key to get to it to work (thus defeating the ease of use option and usually making it a two-handed job). So I agree, the plus and minus keys are not the best choice for laptops (and GTViewer is supposed to be a mobile application isn't it???). There is a nice alternate solution here, the Comma ',' and Period '.' keys can also be used to zoom in and out. They share with the '<' and '>' keys, which makes the key functionality easier to remember, but they work if the shift is pressed or not.
  • This is probably enough for the zoom list, but there are yet even more ways to zoom in and out. The Fit will zoom all the way out. The Magify mode will zoom in to the magnified zoom level if you double click the mouse (very nice feature if you haven’t tried it). And last but not least, the Good Ol' Locate XY will let you set the zoom level to whatever you want. O, I guess I forgot that Queries will zoom into a predefined zoom level too. I am sure there are more, but I won’t go any farther.

How do I Zoom thee? Let me count the ways...

I zoom thee to the depth and breadth and height

My data can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of a View are an ideal time to Fit.

I zoom thee to the level of everyday's

Most queried need, by sun and laptop.

Thanks Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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