MacHouse Software

 

   Last updated: July 24, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

AskKey Pro - User's Guide

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

 

 

4-4 Symbols

Symbols is a new consept that is available only with Version 2.  It allows the user to explore AskKey Pro's list of ASCII values and HTML notations.  In order to use Symbols, choose Show Symbols under Symbols.  If you have enabled 'Show Symbols' in Preferences, the Symbols window will show up probably a couple of seconds after you launch AskKey Pro.  This delay is deliberately made in order to ensure application's stability.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-15

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-16

 

 

When Symbols shows up, its listbox is always empty.  Find a drop-down menu at the top.  Currently, 'ASCII' and 'HTML' are listed.  (See Screenshot 4-16.)  If you select HTML, as shown in Screenshot 4-17, AskKey Pro will list characters and their corresponding HTML notations.  This isn't an ordinary list.  If you want, you can mark any row so that you can give it special attention when you use Symbols.  The real beauty of Symbols is that it remembers all the marked rows even after you quit the application.  When you launch it again, AskKey Pro will bring those marked rows back.

In order to mark a symbol, right-button-click on a listbox row and choose Mark Symbol.  You can also choose Symbols > Mark Symbol for the same action.  If you want to remove an existing mark, first, select a listbox row, right-button-click and choose Unmark Symbol.  Or choose Symbol > Unmark Symbol.  (See Screenshot 4-18.)

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-17

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-18

 

 

The purpose of using Symbols may be to explore the list of ASCII values or HTML notations in a big picture.  Anyway, if you want to transfer any of the HTML notations to the output field, select a list row, right-button-click and choose Insert Symbol.  (See Screenshot 4-19.)  You can also click on the Insert button found at the top of the Symbols list.  (See Screenshot 4-20.)

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-19

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-20

 

 

Furthermore, Symbols isn't designed just for HTML notations.  Explore the drop-down menu and choose ASCII.  And Symbols will list ASCII values for all the characters.  (See Screenshot 4-21.)  Notice that when you switch to ASCII, the edit field at the bottom of the Symbols window will become accessible.  When you choose Insert Symbol while ASCII is selected, each ASCII value will be wrapped by the phrase shown in this edit field.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-21

 

 

 

 

4-5 Key A and Key M

Key A and Key M are quite similar.  Key A lets you find out the ASCII value for the key you press.  Likewise, Key M also requires your key stroke, and it will find out the Mac key code for the key you press.  You can press only one key at a time as you probably guess.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-22

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-23

 

 

4-6 Sym1 and Sym2

Unicode is a system by which a number of symbols can be referred to usually by a string consisting of several letters (or a mixture of numbers and letters).  Sym1 allows the user to find out the Unicode symbol corresponding to a value that you enter.  You can enter only one Unicode value (e. g. 2344) at a time.  (See Screenshot 4-24.)  And you will get the corresponding symbol inserted to the output field.  (See Screenshot 4-25.)

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-24

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-25

 

 

Unicode is a vast world of symbols that are quickly accessible by computers.  And Sym1 provides the user limited access to those symbols unless you memorize those values.  Instead of entering a Unicode value, you can also explore hundreds of symbols visually with AskKey Pro.  That's what Sym2 does.

If you click on Sym2's Toolbar button, you will find a drop-down menu listing more than 20 fields.  (See Screenshot 4-26.)  Select one, and all available Unicode symbols under the selected field will be listed to the right.  (See Screenshot 4-27.)  Now, you'll get the Unicode value and the Unicode name for a corresponding symbol.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-26

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-27

 

 

Notice that there are two buttons at the bottom.  If you click on Insert while a Unicode symbol is selected in the list, AskKey Pro will just append the symbol to the main output field.  (See Screenshot 4-28.)  So the symbol you pick will be treated as text.  If you click on Print (See Screenshot 4-29.), on the other hand, AskKey Pro will try to treat it as an image and open a new window.

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-28

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-29

 

 

As you see in Screenshot 4-30, now, you have a convas where the Unicode symbol you have picked is shown.  Inspector allows you to control the apsects of the selected Unicode symbol.  You can change the size, rotate or colorize the symbol.  Also, explore what's available under the Inspector menu.  (See Screenshot 4-30.)  AskKey Pro also allows you to import a graphic image so that you can draw the selected symbol on it.  (See Screenshot 4-31.)  You can also import a background image by selecting a file after choosing Import under File.  By the way, if you enable Auto adustment, AskKey Pro will automatically resize the canvas according to the dimensions of your background image.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-30

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-31

 

 

So you now have a background image.  AskKey Pro Version 1 didn't make it easy for the user to position the symbol.  Version 2 does make it easy.  When the Mouse pointer nears the Unicode symbol on the canvas, the cursor will turn itself into a hand, allowing you to grab and move the symbol.  (See Screenshot 4-32.)  Now, you can freely move the symbol around the canvas on top of controlling the position with Pan values manually.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-32

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-33

 

 

If you want to be sure where your Mouse pointer is, choose Inspector > Symbol Position > Show Position Ring.  (See Screenshot 4-33.)  And a small red ring will appear about the Unicode symbol so that you won't lose track of its position.  (See Screenshot 4-34.)  And if you keep the Mouse pointer away from the Unicode symbol, this position ring will automatically hide itself.  Furthermore, if you want to change the color of the selected Unicode symbol, click on the color button (See Screenshot 4-35.)  And the Color Picker window will appear.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-34

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-35

 

 

So, again, you have a background image with a Unicode symbol displayed on it.  And what can we do after changing the size and colorizing the symbol?  Provided that you have a background image, if you choose File > Export, you can actually export what's shown on the canvas as a graphic image.  (See Screenshot 4-36.)  The export formats that are currently supported are BMP, JPEG, PNG, SGI and PSD.  If you select an export destination and click on Save, AskKey Pro will create and save a composite image quickly.  (See Screenshot 4-38.)

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-36

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-37

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-38

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-39

 

 

If you want to remove an existing background image, simply click on the Drop button shown at the bottom of the Inspector window.  (See Screenshot 4-39.)  And the Canvas size will be resized back to 480 x 320 px without a background image.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-40

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-41

 

 

If you don't have a background image, AskKey Pro does not allow you to export just the Unicode symbol.  Instead, it allows you to send the image to Preview.  Choose Export to Preview under File.  (See Screenshot 4-40.)  Now, you can export the symbol with one of a variety of formats through Preview by just choosing Save As under File.  Furthermore, if you enable the Alpha option on Inspector, AskKey Pro will do its best in isolating the Unicode symbol.  (See Screenshot 4-42.)  It doesn't really do a good job, though.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-42

 

 

 

 

In order to pursue application's compatibility with Mac OS X Lion, we are forced to make a small change.  Version 2.1.1, which is compatible with the major OS release, does not allow the user to send the selected Unicode symbol directly to Preview.  But that's not the end of the world.  The user can still export the selected Unicode symbol to Clipboard.  Then they can use the clipboard graphics with graphic applications including Adobe Fireworks and Adobe Photoshop.

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-43

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-44

 

 

As shown in Screenshot 4-43, click on the Print button under Sym2 to switch to the next screen just as before.  When you are finished with graphic settings, choose File > Export to Clipboard.  (See Screenshot 4-44.)  Next, simply open a new document with your favorite graphic application.  Shown in Screenshot 4-45 is Adobe Fireworks where you could just choose File > New to create a new document.  Then simply press Command + V or choose Edit > Paste to paste the clipboard object on the current document.  (See Screenshots 4-46,47.)

 

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-45

 

Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-46


Mac software AskKey Pro

Screenshot 4-47

 

 

 

 

 

 

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