Introduction to the Graphical User Interface


MENUS, MOUSE Clicking and Keyboard Data Entry

PLATON (UNIX-version) attempts by default to open an X-Window Menu.

When invoked with valid data (e.g. platon squeeze.res) a menu offering a table of mouse-click selectable program functions and an option menu is brought up, otherwise the user is given the option to supply data interactively from the keyboard.

When PLATON doesn't succeed to open an X-window, it automatically switches to interactive input from the keyboard with TEK4010 graphics (useful when PLATON is run using a Tektronix emulator over a modem line; the author uses PC-PLOT for this).

A possible reasons for not bringing up the opening window can be a failure to connect to the X-Window server (check the xhost setting at the server side and the DISPLAY variable at the client side.

Keyboard input (i.e. no menu's and no graphical user interface) as default is choosen when PLATON is invoked with the '-o' option.

The PLATON Opening Window

The PLATON opening window looks like Fig. 1

The X-Window area is devided in four subwindows.

  1. The main graphics area (canvas) in the upper-left corner (also used for the main PLATON (opening)menu from which various (sub)programs can be started by left-button mouse clicks).

  2. The upper-right vertical rectangular shaped window carries various submenus with clickable options.
    Currently active options are displayed in RED. Entries in this menu with vertical bars indicate click-position sensitive options or magnitudes. Current values are shown with horizontal lines.
    The yellow top-field may be clicked to refresh the window contents. Refresh is also possible with a carriage return.

  3. The Lower-Left horizontal rectangular shaped window is used for short messages and the entry and display of optional keyboard input.

  4. The small lower-right window informs about the current input status (i.e. MenuActive when PLATON wait for input and Working when no input is possible).
    It also provides a convenient 'Exit' path by clicking on it.

Mouse and Keyboard

The display may be refreshed either by (left-button) clicking on the top-right menu button, a carriage return (Enter Key) or a CTRL-L.

Left-button clicks with the mouse on menu items invoke calculations or parameter settings.

Right-button clicks on menu items generate a help/info page on the associated items (assuming that Netscape is available) and a manual for the yellow menu headers (e.g. a manual on the available techniques for correction for absorption).

Netscape is started when not already open. The PLATON main menu carries a toggle to switch off the start-up of Netscape.

Input data and instructions may be entered with the keyboard and/or mouse-clicks on menu items.

In the MENU mode, input can be given either from the keyboard (useful for the more complex instructions as detailed in the PLATON MANUAL or PLUTON MANUAL) or via mouse clicks.


PLATON generates informative output on:

Introductory Tour through some of the Menu options

A left-button click on the ORTEP/ADP button will bring up an ORTEP presentation with associated ORTEP menu as shown in Fig. 2

A corresponding PLUTON style plot ( Fig. 3 ) can be generated by clicking on 'PLUTON-ELD' in the ORTEP-menu.

Fig. 4 is generated after clicking OFF the 'decoration' & 'labelling' followed by clicking on 'CPK'. A Postscript copy is generated by clicking on the 'EPS' button.

Clicking on POV will bring up a ray-traced POVRAY image Fig.5.

Clicking on 'END' results in a return to the PLATON main window. An additional click on END terminates to tour.


23-mar-1999 A.L.Spek