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The Fontz

Issue: 3.5 (May/June 2005)
Author: Greg Fiumara
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,444
Starting Page Number: 10
RBD Number: 3507
Resource File(s): None
Related Link(s): None
Known Limitations: None

Full text of article...

One key indicator for an application's success is that its interface must be one that provides for instant user interaction. REALbasic provides developers with the tools to make this goal a reality with every project, thanks to the advancement of Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). It is through OOP that programs with great functionality and looks like The Fontz 4.1 by To?The?Point Software are rapidly released for the Mac OS.

The Fontz is a simple font management program, quite similar to the Font Book application bundled with Mac OS X 10.3. There are several enhancements in The Fontz that make it better suited than Font Book for any user. The most radical enhancement in The Fontz is speed. The code To?The?Point Software used in their application runs at least three times faster than Apple's on a G4 test machine. The Fontz also sports a more intuitive interface. The program lays out all fonts in a WYSIWYG format in one window, displaying the name of the font in the system font above. If preferred, The Fontz will also display fonts the way Font Book does, with all the fonts listed in a listbox and when selected, a preview of the font appears to the right.

The Fontz takes advantage of several features built into REALbasic, such as the drawer window frame. By simply changing the frame of the window, To?The?Point Software was able to create an interface much better suited for their application, providing advanced options and settings at the touch of a button and hiding those options just as easily.

All over The Fontz, developers can clearly point out examples of custom controls. For instance, in the Groups drawer, the developer uses what is most likely a canvas to create a unique toggle switch. In the same window, the developer uses a round button to perform a preview action. Both of these controls fit nicely with the Aqua look of Mac OS X and are not offered with REALbasic's default tools. This demonstrates the superior subclassing power of REALbasic.

To?The?Point Software again used REALbasic's OOP power to create a user-friendly interface. Using a listbox's (or perhaps a listbox subclass) cellBackgroundPaint event, areas of The Fontz Viewer are highlighted to show the name of the font, listed below in WYSIWYG format. Users instinctively catch on to this interface in a matter of moments.

The Fontz makes a unique use of a styled editfield. By dragging and dropping text from any application, The Fontz will tell you what font was used in the text. For instance, if a font installed on your computer was used on a web site and you did not know the name of the font, you could drag the text to The Fontz and it would tell you, thanks to the styledText class of an editfield.

To?The?Point Software was able to create a great interface for a great application with minimal effort as well as provide distinctive features, thanks to REALbasic.

The Fontz 4.1
To?The?Point Software
Contact Info

End of article.

Article copyrighted by REALbasic Developer magazine. All rights reserved.




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