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Thread: The Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar is ready!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601

    The Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar is ready!

    Last updated October 3, 2013
    NOTE for existing users-- to see what's new, scroll down to "What's New?" to see improved features.

    Hi Everyone,

    So, if youíve followed a link here, from my YouTube channel, or my blog, or Tablet PC Review, or Facebook, etc, this thread is where Iíll be updating the download link to the Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar, describing just what it can do for you, and answering any questions you might have about running it. But first things first. Here's the download link to the newest version- the Artage Pen-Only Toolbar 1.0. Itís free, and it works with the new AR 4.

    Here's the link to the new Youtube video tutorial and demo as well. It goes over much of what is new, as well as some basics for the newest of users.

    I'll try and update this with some pics and other info, but for now, I just want to share the new download link and the new video tutorial. Thanks guys and gals!!

    ********************

    Old March 2013 info--
    This is what it looks like. It's got two customizable columns for tools, undo and redo buttons (with repeat undo's with a hold and press!!), a rotate button, select and transform buttons, zoom and resize buttons, etc. Many tools available to you. But why should you care when a lot of this is available in the normal UI? Because you can use all of this in the new AR 4 Workbench Mode, only needing your pen.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Setup-

    It requires a wee bit of engagement from the user (you!) to set up. Itís quite powerful and customizable. There are installation instructions in the folder you download, but in shortó The Pen-Only Toolbar uses a coding language (Auto Hotkey) to talk to Artrage and simulate keystrokes by pressing onscreen buttons that the Toolbar creates. That means you have to install Auto Hotkey first on your computer (donít worry, itís free too, and included in the download folder). Once youíve done that super quick process, Artrage and The Pen-Only Toolbar can talk to each other. Start up the included Toolbar, and away you go.

    So, how do you do that? First, lets presume you've downloaded the linked-to file. That file should have the Toolbar folder, guide to installation pdf, and the Auto Hotkey .exe in it. Just manually move the Pen-Only Toolbar folder, Auto Hotkey exe file, and instructions to your desktop. Don't try and install from the download/zipped window. Then...

    1) Read the Install pdf
    2) run the AHK exe and install Auto Hotkey, and
    3) open theToolbar folder and double click the Toolbar icon. It should then run.

    BTW, the Toolbar Startup icon has to stay in the Toolbar folder with the little sub-folder though. It's not an exe file, and has to read all the code and acquire all the icons from that sub-folder. So don't try and take the Toolbar icon and remove it from the folder and it on your desktop. That won't work. It has to stay in it's folder to work.

    So, when you're done, you should be left with Auto Hotkey (AHK) installed and the Toolbar folder on your desktop. You can place the Install instructional PDF in the folder with the Toolbar icon if you want it for future use. Inside the Toolbar folder will be the Toolbar Startup icon, which you will have to access from within the folder on your desktop each time you run the toolbar. If you want, you can also make a shortcut to the Toolbar Icon currently housed in the folder, and then place that shortcut as a normal icon on your desktop or taskbar for easier access.


    How To Videos-

    More polished How To videos will get posted on YouTube eventually, but in the meantime, if you're confused or would like to get the most you can from the toolbar, I would advise going and watching the already available YouTube tutorials to get a handle on what the Toolbar can do for you. Hereís the links to the Demo Video, and the How-To Videos- Video #1 and Video #2. Each one is about 10 minutes long, so it's about a 1/2 of your time. They go over the basics, as well as how to customize it. These videos are for an earlier version of the toolbar, but itíll give you a good sense of how to make it all work.


    So, Whatís It Do?

    The Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar is designed for those who work in Artrage butÖ
    -donít have access to a keyboard while painting
    -canít use a keyboard for various reasons
    -or want to use a keyboard less while painting.
    Instead, the toolbar provides a way to interact with Artrage entirely through the use of your pen. Thus the name.

    It also provides a very robust interface for use in the new AR 4 Workbench Mode! Thatís right, you can nowÖ
    -have super quick access to all your tools or only 7 of them (if you want to take up less space)
    -use Hover Icons to have access to all your Pods, even in Workbench Mode , so you can move them anywhere you want on screen
    -and many of the most commonly used keyboard functions...
    all while in Clear Canvas mode.

    This means thereís no need to use the general Artrage UI unless you want to. In general, itís intent is to be very useful for people with small screens (tablet pc users), physical handicaps, or for artists who just want to ďget in the flowĒ while painting.


    What's New with V. 0.4?

    For those with previous experience with the toolbar, besides the removal of some bugs, there have been some improvements since the last update. As of March 2013-

    1) Toolbar Compatability with Workbench Mode-
    To me, this is a bigee. I love the new Workbench Mode, but even so, it is missing a number of features I would have liked to have had.

    1. By using the Toolbar, you can now resize your selected Tool from 0-500 in the Workbench with only your pen (something you are currently unable to do in AR 4 natively)
    2. The size of the tool you are resizing with the Toolbar is reflected in the Workbench UI (a feature we were unable to provide, but which the AR team nicely included in AR 4 for us!)
    3. Hover Icons work in Workbench Mode- this means you can set up your Pods as you see fit in the Full AR UI, place them where you want to in the Workbench Mode, and not have to have them tied to the location that AR 4 currently locks them by default, when using the Workbench Button Shortcuts. Go about your business with full access to all your Pods, wherever you want to place them on the screen.
      NOTE- There is a known bug, as described above, if you use the Hover Icons in Workbench mode and then also try to use the AR ďPodĒ Button Shortcuts.
    4. You can now have super quick access to only those tools you want in Workbench Mode, without having to use the flyout menu
    5. You can have full access to a host of UI functions in the Workbench Mode that become fully functional while only using your pen. No keyboard needed to rotate, select, transform, use a pod, undo and redo (with repeat press possible by holding down on the key).


    2) Improved and Easier to Use Hover Icons-
    There's a new Drag and Drop method for activating the Hove Icons, which greatly simplifys the process of starting them, as well as Undo/Redo buttons on the Title Bars of all the Hover Icons. There's also now a much easier method of closing them using the "x" button on the Title Bars.

    3) Text to Voice Option-
    There's the option of using a Text to Voice Windows operation from those who are visually impaired. This works for the Tool Tips and the Basic Menu only.


    ....as of Nov 2012 the major improvements are that-
    1) you can now customize 2 columns of tools, not just 1, so you can now have super quick access to up to 14 tools
    2) Tooltips have been included for all the buttons, so if you hover over the button it will tell you what it's function is, etc.
    3) the Advanced Options pop-up window has been dramatically reworked for easier navigation and customization

    Hopefully, these things will make the toolbar much more accessible to all users.
    Last edited by Steve B; 10-04-2013 at 11:13 AM.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    I'm reserving this one for when I set down the details on how to run the toolbar.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Atlanta (Georgia) area
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    Snoopy-Dance

  4. #4
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    Dec 2011
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    Columbus/Ohio/USA
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    SOrry but i get a error when i unpack and a kind of "line not found" error in the corrupt unpacked file.Bottom line.. zip file seems to be corrupt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    That's interesting. I just downloaded it and tested it this morning. Worked like a charm, and no hang ups at all. How are you installing the toolbar? You should be able to download the linked to file. That file should have the Toolbar folder, install pdf, and ahk exe in it. Just manually move the Pen-Only Toolbar folder, Auto Hotkey exe file, and instructions to your desktop. Don't try and install from the download/zipped window-- only do it from the desktop. Then...

    1) Read the Install pdf
    2) run the AHK exe and install Auto Hotkey, and
    3) open theToolbar folder and double click the Toolbar icon. It should then run. It did for me anyways earlier today.

    BTW, the Toolbar Startup icon has to stay in the Toolbar folder with the little sub-folder though. It's not an exe file, and has to read all the code and acquire all the icons from that sub-folder. So don't try and take the Toolbar icon and remove it from the folder and it on your desktop. That won't work. It has to stay in it's folder to work.

    So, when you're done, you should be left with AHK installed and the Toolbar folder on your desktop. You can place the Install instructional PDF in the folder with the Toolbar icon if you want it for future use. Inside the Toolbar folder will be the Toolbar Startup icon, which you will have to access from within the folder on your desktop each time you run the toolbar.

    Let me know if you are still having problems. If it was the issue, then I'll put some of these instructions in the first post to help others. If its not the issue, then we should move forward from there.
    Last edited by Steve B; 11-28-2012 at 08:12 AM.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Columbus/Ohio/USA
    Posts
    1,550
    Found it after reading again and fiddling around.... thx for the help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Posts
    218
    Downloaded. Busy installing! THANKS STEVE B! (Yeah... I'm shouting... that's a joyous yell.)

    Blue skies
    Roy
    ROY BLUMENTHAL

    Visual Facilitator: http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio

    ArtRage 3.5.5 and 4.0.4 on:
    Fujitsu T901, Asus R1E

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Johannesburg, South Africa
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    Re keeping the exe file in the same folder...

    You can right click on the exe file in your Windows explorer. Click SEND TO/DESKTOP (CREATE SHORTCUT).

    This will pop a functioning shortcut on your desktop that you can drag and drop wherever you want it... on the taskbar, for instance. Cos it leaves the original file where it has to be, and contains a link to it.
    ROY BLUMENTHAL

    Visual Facilitator: http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio

    ArtRage 3.5.5 and 4.0.4 on:
    Fujitsu T901, Asus R1E

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Haha! You're thinking like I do. I thought of that after I did that post, and I put almost exactly that info in the original post. Thanks for the heads up, and I hope the toolbar functions like you need it to. Post if you have any questions or feedback. Happy painting!
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1

    Will there be a Mac version of the Pen-Only Toolbat... & if so approximately when?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    Haha! You're thinking like I do. I thought of that after I did that post, and I put almost exactly that info in the original post. Thanks for the heads up, and I hope the toolbar functions like you need it to. Post if you have any questions or feedback. Happy painting!
    Will there be a Mac version of the Pen-Only Toolbar... & if so approximately when as something to hugely look forward to -- as It will improve my creative workflow 1000X? I would help to Beta test a Mac version.

    Bill R

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