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I Never Knew That About RISC OS! ]
I Never Knew That About RISC OS!
There are a number of useful tips and tricks which can be used with
RISC OS and some of its applications. Whilst many of the facilities
here have worked since RISC OS 3, others have been added more
recently by RISCOS Ltd to Select or RISC OS 6 and by
RISC OS Open to RISC OS 5. Some depend on support from
individual application developers, and so may work with some window and
dialogues but not others. Often, the best way to find out is just to
Holding down Shift when booting interrupts the normal boot sequence,
giving access to the boot menu in RISC OS Select and allowing things
to be configured. The options include the mouse type, the drive and
filing system to boot from, and the display used for booting (Vpod,
Viewfinder or VIDC). Once configuration is complete, normal boot can be
resumed or another option can be selected: a one-off boot from other
drives, entering the desktop without booting, or going to the command
line without booting.
In the desktop
- Moving the mouse to the bottom of the screen brings the iconbar to
the front, whilst the pointer remains over the bar.
- Alternatively, Shift-F12 toggles the iconbar between the front and
- F12 goes to the command line, whilst Ctrl-F12 opens a multi-tasking task
- Ctrl-Shift-F12 shuts the system down. At the “The computer is now
ready to be switched off” banner, pressing Ctrl-Shift-F12 again will
exit to the command line.
Working with windows
- Ctrl-F2 closes the window with input focus (just like clicking on the
- A Ctrl-Alt-click on the close icon closes all of the open windows on the
desktop (ie. it clicks on all the close icons for you).
- Alternatively, a Ctrl-Alt-click on the iconise icon will iconise all
of the open windows instead.
- Shift-Menu on an iconised window
will open that window’s menu rather than pinboard’s.
- An Adjust-click on the back icon moves the window to top of stack (just
like a Select-click on the title bar or resize icon).
- Adjust drags of windows don’t change the windows’ positions in
- Adjust-clicks on an action button in a dialogue will often carry out
the action but leave the dialogue open. Shift-Return will often emulate
an Adjust-click on the default action button (in Toolbox applications,
and others where the developer has followed the guidelines from
- Adjust-clicks on the Cancel button in a dialogue will often reset the
contents of the dialogue (think ‘cancel but leave open’).
Similarly, Shift-Escape will sometimes have the same effect (again in Toolbox
applications or where the developer has remembered).
Using the filer
- A Shift-double click on an open directory closes it and all of the
directories that are open down that branch of the filesystem.
- Alt-drag to a closed directory opens it and saves the dragged object(s)
inside (this works for saves, copies, moves, and so on).
- Alt-dragging objects from the filer (files, directories, applications) to
the iconbar will place them there as a ‘tinydir’ (using the left
side of the iconbar as an extra pinboard).
- Alt-click on a filename in the filer starts an ‘in-place’
- Selecting multiple objects and beginning a rename on them allows a fast
‘multi-rename’ using Shift-Return to move to the next object.
Objects are deselected as you go.
Configuring the machine
- Adjust-click on the task manager’s iconbar icon to open
- Closing the main Configure window will close all of the windows that have
been opened from it.
- Configure’s main menu allows the CMOS RAM to be saved, re-loaded or
reset to a default state.
- Ctrl-Q and Ctrl-W will perform zooming in and out of the image in
- Alt-click on a sprite name in Paint will allow it to be renamed in the
sprite file. Sprites can be dragged around within the viewer to re-order them
within the file (this is likely to be of more use to developers than users,
although setting the first sprite in a file can often be helpful).
- Paint’s choices allow you to configure which filetypes Paint will
claim and thus load. JPEG output quality can be easily adjusted, and the
snapshot tool can be made to directly output images of any Image File
Conversion type (for example PNG). The toolbars and windows which are opened
when a sprite file is loaded can be chosen. The amount of memory that Paint
can access is configurable.
- The colour depth and resolution of sprites can be quickly changed from the
sprite editing menus (Colour—Colours—).
- The RISC OS Image Viewer can often be quicker to load pictures for
preview than loading them into Paint or other image programs. This is hidden
inside the !Boot.Resources folder.
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