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  #1  
Old 02-04-2008, 06:54 AM
JCWarrior JCWarrior is offline
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Default Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

I was wondering what you've found to be the best way to manage your window layout on a laptop or other smaller screen?

I seem to always have to do a lot of moving and minimizing, etc. to use the edit and mix windows along with the transport and memory location windows. There must be a better way.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2008, 01:37 PM
BryanW BryanW is offline
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

I had the same problems and questions a few years ago. Although it was frustrating at first, I learned a lot about protools and ways to make my workflow more efficient. Here was my plan of attack:

First thing's first. I always keep my mix and edit windows as big as i can (zoom on a mac, maximize on Windows). you can then use command/control = to toggle between the two. Even on a big screen this is more efficient than trying to keep them both in view.

I learned as many keyboard shortcuts as I could. Most of the controls in the transport window can be done on your keyboard. Once you learn this, you'll find yourself not needing the window open very much. For a while this confused me, since my laptop didn't have a numeric keypad, but then I realized that I could press the Fn key and access the numeric keypad that way. On your laptop it might be called Fn or Sys or something different, so check the manual. There are even keys to show/hide the transport and memory location windows (again, you need the numeric keypad, but it's not too hard to learn those and learn to use the Fn key on your keyboard).

Play around with what you have displayed on your edit window. For example, you can adjust track volume by keeping the i/o section open and cliking on the volume indicator. This will bring up a small fader that you can use to adjust the volume. When you let go, it automatically hides again. . . VERY handy when you want to make an adjustment but don't want to switch views.

When I got a little more money, I bought an external USB keyboard with a numeric keypad and a mouse. This helped GREATLY because the numeric keypad can control a lot including recalling memory locations AND window configurations. It's a lot easier than using the "fake" keypad on your laptop's keyboard. If you set up some window configurations for mixing, editing, etc, you'll feel like you own a much bigger screen.

Then I ordered a set of keyboard stickers from Editor's Keys. It cost about $20 (US) to have them shipped from the UK. They are very durable labels for your keyboard. I now use protools in "Keyboard Focus" mode so a lot of commands (cut, copy, zooming, fades, etc) can be done with just the keyboard. You'd be amazed at how much faster this can be. When your hands spend more time on the keyboard, you get used to not needing to look at the controls on screen and you don't rely on your mouse so much.

Finally, for around $200 (or less if you get a smaller size) you can buy a 20" widescreen monitor and be able to see a LOT more on the screen. I'm GUESSING that if your computer runs protools, it should have no problem driving a 20" screen. By this point, you'll already be more efficient from using the smaller screen, and instead of cluttering up the larger display with windows you don't really need to have open, you can fit more tracks on the screen or use a greater track height in your projects.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions.

-bryan w
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2008, 02:35 PM
Richard901 Richard901 is online now
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

As BryanW said - keep the mix and edit windows full screen size.

I use SteerMouse to assign a mouse click which duplicates the keyboard shortcut to toggle between them.
http://plentycom.jp/en/steermouse/download.html
A fully-working demo is available.

I use the scroll wheel button on my mouse to toggle between them. It's almost instant - I don't even have to glance at the keyboard.

If you have a mouse with several buttons they can be set up for other keyboard shortcuts.

Hope this helps.

Richard
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  #4  
Old 02-16-2008, 10:42 AM
DeNiro DeNiro is offline
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

I need to know where I can get these labels or "hot-Keys" short cuts from. Are they not available in the U.S.? |
|||
||Then I ordered a set of keyboard stickers from Editor's Keys. It cost about $20 (US) to have them shipped from the UK. They are very durable labels for your keyboard. I now use protools in "Keyboard Focus" mode so a lot of commands (cut, copy, zooming, fades, etc) can be done with just the keyboard. You'd be amazed at how much faster this can be. When your hands spend more time on the keyboard, you get used to not needing to look at the controls on screen and you don't rely on your mouse so much.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2008, 02:39 AM
andrewSF andrewSF is offline
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

You mean these labels ? Or maybe these if you're using Windows?
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2008, 01:53 PM
BryanW BryanW is offline
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

I don't know where you'd find them in stores if that's what you're asking. I'm surprised guitar center, etc. hasn't started carrying them (that I know of). When I was searching for them, this brand (which had gotten very good reviews) was only available from their website at www.editorskeys.com . I'm not sure if there are any places in the US that have started to carry them since, but they were very easy to order from the UK. There were no problems with exchange rates, and shipping was cheap because it's just a flat envelope.

As far as the digidesign stickers go, I used them in a studio once (they claimed to be the digi ones) and they seemed like they were just made from paper. The edges were wearing off from people's sweaty fingers, and the little icons on the keys were smaller than the editorskeys. You can also print your own keyboard shortcuts guide. There's a .pdf that installs with protools called protools keyboard shortcuts. I printed it (double sided) had the front and back pages laminated, and then had the whole thing bound with a plastic spiral binding. It costed about 5 dollars at kinko's and now I have a nice little book to study from.

If you find something else or want to try the digi keys, then by all means go for it. But I don't have any experience with other brands or suppliers, so I'm not sure what to tell you. Buy from the UK, wait a few days, and you'll be very happy when you get them!

Good luck!

-bryan
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  #7  
Old 03-03-2008, 07:51 AM
DIss DIss is offline
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

Well similar keyboard stickers but with much higher print quality / resolution are provided by Latkey.com ( www.latkey.com) - I'm used to use them for quite a time and find them much better than all other types of stuff out there on the market including full-blown pro keyboards that prevent you then from upgrading to a different software versions of products.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2008, 09:37 PM
GunnyT GunnyT is offline
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

DeNiro,

I use preprinted keyboard skins, from zcover. They keep out the dust and dirt, are flexible, and washable. I really like them (I have one for each of my keyboards (mac pro's plastic apple keyboard, macbook pro's keypad, and an aluminum (thin) full keyboard).
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2008, 07:40 PM
Monstadrums Monstadrums is offline
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

I use a Kensington Mouseworks which has a track ball (very good for fine adjustments during mixing and editing also means no wrist movement) It also has many programmable keys for shortcuts. I've set mine up like this. There are 4 buttons immediately around the ball I use the bottom left with my thumb as main left click the top left button with my index finger switches between edit and mix windows the top right button toggles my transport window and the bottom right button is normal right click. All without moving my hand. There is another row of buttons at the very top which I use for launching protools and my D drive which is where all my audio files are kept. I have buttons left which I havent programmed yet. This is where I bought it from. http://au.kensington.com/
It also reduces RSI which I've seen engineers suffer from with normal mouses. It's also compatible with Mac and PC.
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2008, 01:38 PM
Monstadrums Monstadrums is offline
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Default Re: Managing Window\'s Layout on laptop

Oh and I forgot...I've also set up the buttons so that when I hit the top two together it zooms in and the bottom two together zooms out.
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