MixWButtons

Add Up To 100 Programmable Macro Buttons to MixW


This program runs side-by-side with the digital-mode ham radio program MixW to provide an additional palette of macro buttons.  Up to 100 macro buttons may be defined, in any rectangular configuration.  You can "pull" the sides of the button palette to change its size and shape and the number of buttons displayed. 

The button titles, the title font, their associated macro text, the button colors, the size of the buttons, and their arrangement are all user selectable.  Once defined, you can drag buttons around the button palette to re-arrange their order.

Click Here to Download MixW Buttons V0.9 (Updated 30 Jan 2010, and yes... it's still free)
(see the revision history for MixWButtons at the bottom of this page)

The only reason I wrote this program was because of requests and comments from MixW users. If you like this program, thank the members of the community who took the time to help out by testing and providing me with comments, ideas, and suggestions.  To those of you who helped out: Please don't be offended if I don't list your name here to thank you personally. There have been so many helpful people, with more sending me feedback and ideas every week, it's gotten too hard to list everybody who's made an important contribution.  But THANK YOU to every single one of you.  What a great community of digimode operators we have!

Prerequsities and Installation

MixWButtons requires that you have the Microsoft .NET Framework  V2.0 (or later) installed on your computer.  Before you attempt to run MixWButtons, please read about the .NET Framework, how to determine if you have it installed, and how to install it if you don't from this page on my website.

Download the zip archive using the link above (right click and select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." depending on your browser).  Unzip the file to any directory on your computer, for example the directory named C:\MixWButtons.  Note that MixWButtons does not need to be in the MixW directory, but you can put it there if you want to.  After you've started MixW, just run MixWButtons.exe (by double-clicking it, for example).  That's all there is to it!

MixWButtons saves its settings in the file MixWButtons.ini, which it stores in the same directory as the MixWButtons.exe file.  When running MixWButtons, you can optionally choose to save your macro button definitions in a separate file, in any directory you choose.  Unless you do this, the program stores your button definitions in the MixWButtons.ini file along with other program defaults and settings.

Usage Instructions

Right click on a button to define the macro and label associated the button.  This same dialog has buttons that will let you set the button color, and the label font. There are also two check boxes: One that lets you hide a button (when checked), the other (when checked) will close any open MixW "Secondary Receive" windows when you click the macro button.

If you choose to HIDE a button, you can return the button to visibility by right-clicking in the space the button would occupy in the display (so, for example, to make visible the button that's currently hidden between "Location DX" and "NH Detail", right click in the space between "Location DX" and "NH Detail").

Just like in MixWBuddy, hovering over a button will show you the macro text associated with the button.

Click on the button to "fire" the macro.  On execution of the macro, by default focus is returned to MixW.

You can change the size of the buttons, as well as set some program-wide default by right clicking the button palette title bar (right over where it says "K1PGV's MixWButtons"), and selecting "Configure MixWButtons" from the pop-up menu that's displayed.  This dialog will also let you specify the name of a macro definition file.

Did You Get a "MixW V2 Is Not Running" Error?

So... you're trying to use MixWButtons on Windows Vista or later.  You run MixW (V2 or V3, the version doesn't matter) and then you run MixWButtons.  You immediately see the following message: MixW2 is Not Running

What's the problem and how do you fix it?

Simple!  On Windows Vista and later, you need to run both MixW and MixWButtons with Administrator privileges.  This is required to allow the two programs to find each other and "link up."  To run a program with Administrator privileges, you simply right click the program in explorer and select "Run as Administrator."  If you've never done this before, and you need step-by-step guidance, you might try this description of the procedure (note: I have no association with this linked site).

To be clear:  The reason that you need to run both MixW and MixWButtons "as Administrator" is not due to any defect in MixW or MixWButtons.  It's due to the way Windows uses privileges, starting with Windows Vista.  And, yes: The error message that says "MixW V2 is not running" also applies to MixW V3.x -- The interface that MixW publishes is still the MixW V2 interface, so MixWButtons doesn't really care if you're running MixW V2 or V3.  It'll hapily work with either one once you give it the right privileges.  And remember, you need to run both MixW and MixWButtons as Administrator.  Running only one of them will not work.

Rearranging Buttons on the Palette

This is an advanced feature of MixWButtons.  You do not need to read this section unless you want to take advantage of this feature.

Let's say you're using MixWButtons and you've defined a set of good macros.  But, after using these macros for a while, you wish you could re-arrange the buttons a bit.  In the early versions of the program you have no choice but to copy your macro definitions one at a time, from one button to another.

But, good news!  Starting with MixWButtons V0.6, you can drag buttons around the palette to rearrange them.  To do this, first position the mouse cursor over the button that you want to move.  Next, hold down the left mouse button (for almost a full second) until you see the cursor change to a "resize" cursor (a cross with arrows at each of the 4 points, assuming you're using the standard Windows cursors).  Continue to hold down the left mouse button, and without releasing the left mouse button, move the cursor to the point on the palette where you want the selected button to appear.  Then release the left mouse button.  Note that the button itself will not be "dragged" along with the cursor.

During the process of re-arranging buttons using this new feature, when you drag a button on top of another button, the button you are dragging will always be inserted before the button onto which you dragged it, and buttons are always move from horizontally.  For example, take a look at the picture of the MixWButtons button palette that's at the top of this page.  If I wanted to move the purpose "Feld Hell" button before the red "RTTY" button, I would hold down the left mouse button over the button labeled "Feld Hell" until the cursor changed, and (keeping the left mouse button held down) I'd move the mouse over the button labeled RTTY.  As a result, the RTTY button would be moved one place to the right.  Of course, all the buttons after the RTTY button would also be moved one place to the right and the gray button labeled "NH Detail" would be moved into the spot formerly occupied by the "Feld Hell" button.

Like most things, I think it's easier to play with and figure out than to describe.  Or, at least Ihope it's easier to use than it sounds.

Using Alternate Macro Definition Files

You don't need to read this section to use MixWButtons.  This section is only important if you want to create multiple macro button definition files.  This lets you have, for example, one set of buttons for everyday rag-chewing and another, different, palette for contests.

MixWButtons always saves its global program settings in the file MixWButtons.ini, which is located in the same directory and MixWButtons.exe -- By default, this is also the location that the program uses to store your macro definitions.  This keeps everything simple and tidy for those folks who want to have just a single set of macro button definitions.

For those of you who want to have multiple macro button definition files, here's how you do it:  To save your button definitions and load a different macro definition file, start MixWButtons, and right click in the button palette title bar as described above to invoke the "Configure MixWButtons" dialog.  Enter the name of the new macro file that you want to load (or create) in the Macro File text box and click OK to close the "Configure MixWButtons" dialog.  After you click OK, MixWButtons will then display two dialog boxes:

1. A "Save Current Macros" dialog will appear.  This dialog asks you if you want to save the current macro definitions (including colors, styles, etc) to your old macro file.  Click Yes if you've made any changes that you want to save since starting MixWButtons.  Otherwise, click No.

2. A "Load New Macros" dialog will appear.  This dialog asks if you want to discard your current macro button definitions, and load the macro button definitions from the new macro file you specified.

Clicking No in this dialog will result in the current macro button definitions that you have loaded into MixWButtons being retained.  This allows you to start with your current macro button set, alter it, and save it in a different file.  When you exit from the program, MixWButtons will automatically save your macro button definitions in the file name you specified, and make that file the default to load when you next start MixWButtons.

Clicking Yes in this dialog will result in MixWButtons overwriting the current set of definitions you have loaded with those in the file name you specified.  This is how you will typically load a specific set of button definitions (such as for a contest).  If the new macro file you specified does not exist (because you're creating a new one) MixWButtons will load the button palette with defaults.  Either way, when you exit from the program MixWButtons will automatically save your macro button definitions in the file name you specified, and make that file the default to load when you next start MixWButtons.

Another thing you should know is that MixWButtons default behavior is to store your macro definitions directly in the MixWButtons.ini file.

It probably sounds more confusing than it is.  Play around with it, and you should "get the hang" of how the program works.

Comments/Complaints/Questions/Compliments/Suggestions?

I sincerely need you to send me your experiences and suggestions, both good and bad, with this program.  Send them via email to:

email

 

MixWButtons Revision History

Version Number  Changes Implemented
 V0.5 Initial public release (in non "early beta" format)
 V0.6 Fix a few small bugs, including properly restarting when the program has been shut down while minimized \ Add "drag buttons to rearrange" feature
 V0.7
Get MixWButtons to exit when MixW exits \ Fix a bug in config dialog processing \ Change window title bar from skinny to "normal" so the minimize icon appears (per user request)
 V0.8 Add ability to set background color of palette to desktop background \ Add option to let a button close MixW SubRX windows \ Fix bug that stripped leading and trailing spaces in macro definitions.
V0.9 Fix long-standing "Always on top" bug \ Fixed resizing problem on Win7 \ Manifested to require admin privs to run \ Added custom icon \ Put a File Open dialog for choosing INI file \ Hopefully fixed the tool tips problem, so that they will now show up even if MixWButons doesn't have the focus.

Software License and Terms of Use

This software is provided to the community for non-commercial use at no cost, but subject to the terms of the license agreement shown on the downloads page of this web site. Do not download or use any software from this web site unless you fully agree to these terms and conditions.