Docking Windows

by Nate Hekman on June 6, 2012

Let’s look at some of the new features in GeoStudio 2012 in more depth, and see what “insider information” I can give you that will make your day a little bit brigher.

I’ll start with the new “docking windows”, because you’ll find several of them already and I expect more will be showing up over time.  They should “just work”, but I’ll point out some hidden features along the way.

What is a Docking Window?

Docking windows are simply windows that can be “stuck” (or “docked”) to one side of the GeoStudio application.  They stay where you put them, but they are aware of whatever else is going on with the current file, so their content may change–the “Slip Surface” window, for example, will update with new factors of safety if you pick a new time step in the “Result Times” window.

By introducing docking windows in GeoStudio 2012, we hope to put more information about your analysis at your fingertips, and reducing the number of times you have to click through windows and menus and dialog boxes, so you can focus on your analysis.

Closing and Re-opening a Window

Closing a docked window is easy, just click the red ‘x’ in its corner.  Getting it back isn’t so obvious, but it’s just as easy:  use the Window menu.  (Or right-click in the empty space around the toolbars.)  The list of windows available under the Window menu will changed based on whether you’re in Define or Results view, and what type of analysis you’re working with.

Unpinning a Window

Next to the red ‘x’ is a “pin” icon.  Click the pin to toggle between “pinned” and “unpinned” states.  When a window is unpinned and you move your mouse away from it, it will slide out of view until you need it again, leaving only a small tab on the side of the screen.  Hover over this tab, and it slides out again.

Here’s the Analysis Explorer after it has slid out of the way:

Moving, Docking, and Tabbing a Window

You may want to move a docked window.  The Solve Manager window, for example, often reads better docked to the bottom of the screen instead the side.

To move a window, just click and drag its title bar.  (Note that the window must be pinned before you will be able to drag it.)  As you drag a window, you’ll see some markers overlaid on the GeoStudio window, to help in docking to another part of the screen.  As you move your mouse over these markers, more shading will appear, giving you an idea of where your window will go when you release the mouse button.

Near the edges of the main GeoStudio window you’ll see markers like this, which let you dock to the edge of GeoStudio.

In the middle of the main view you’ll see a marker like this, which lets you dock to the edge of the window you’re over.  Compare that to what we just tried above: in the former case the window would dock across the entire top of the GeoStudio window; in the latter, it only goes as wide as the Define view.  (The difference may be more obvious if you click on these images to see the whole screen.)


In the middle of another docking window you get a similar marker but with an additional target in the middle.  Drop on that middle target and the two docking windows will take up the same space, with tabs.

If you want to drag a window around without docking it, you can hold down the Ctrl key as you drag.

Floating a Window

Docking windows can also “float”–that is, they can be moved around independent of the main GeoStudio window.  Useful if you have two monitors, for example.

To float a window, you can double-click its title bar, or just drag it without dropping onto one of the targets.

Keyboard Access

Some people (like myself) prefer to use the keyboard as much as possible instead of a mouse.  You can switch focus to a docking window by using the Window menu.  To solve an analysis without reaching for your mouse, for example, you could use these keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Alt-W, S (for “Window” – “Solve Manager”; we just switched focus to the Solve Manager)
  2. Down-arrow / up-arrow to scroll to the analysis you want to solve, then spacebar to select or clear the checkbox (or use Ctrl-A to select all analyses)
  3. Alt-R to Start

Watch the Movie

One of our engineers has made a short movie clip demonstrating some of these techniques, which you can watch here.

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