Understanding Multifunction commands

Last update: April 2021

In v.2 and 2.5 of EDAP Tools we’ve had a few mul­ti­func­tion com­mands, but they were the excep­tion rather than the norm. Prac­tice has shown that this is a good flex­i­ble solu­tion to deliv­er­ing rich­er func­tion­al­i­ty in a small­er footprint.

Since v.3 mul­ti­func­tion com­mands have become our pre­ferred method of bundling log­i­cal­ly relat­ed actions.

This arti­cle is intend­ed to remove all con­fu­sion about what can be done by the end user to cus­tomize these com­mands to bet­ter suit their needs and how.

Types of EDAPT commands

There are gen­er­al­ly two types:

Type 1
A com­mand which per­forms dif­fer­ent actions depend­ing on user selection.
(Time­line Block To Sym­bol is such an exam­ple – if the time­line selec­tion spans across only one frame, it behaves in one way; if the selec­tion is a block of frames, it does some­thing else.)
In this case the user calls the func­tion with the same short­cut and depend­ing on their selec­tion one or the oth­er block of code is executed.

Type 2
A com­mand which has mul­ti­ple func­tions built into it and they can be trig­gered by call­ing the com­mand with dif­fer­ent shortcuts.
(Cre­ate Mag­net Tar­get Or Cen­ter Mark­er (SMR) is an exam­ple. Shift+‘(tilda/~ key) cre­ates Mag­net Tar­gets and Alt+‘(tilda/~ key) cre­ates Cen­ter Mark­ers.)

Modifier keys

Type 1 com­mands can be run from the Com­mands menu and don’t need key­board input to access their full range of func­tion­al­i­ty.

Type 2 com­mands, how­ev­er, would only per­form the default action if called by click­ing on their menu entry in the Com­mands menu. All oth­er func­tions need addi­tion­al key­board input, i.e. a mod­i­fi­er key to be pressed dur­ing com­mand execution.

If we use Cre­ate Mag­net Tar­get Or Cen­ter Mark­er (SMR) again as an exam­ple, select­ing the com­mand from the menu will result in the cre­ation of a Mag­net Tar­get, but to be able to cre­ate a Cen­ter Mark­er we need to hold down Alt. This can be done before click­ing on the menu item (i.e. hold­ing down Alt at the same time as you choose the com­mand from the menu) or ide­al­ly via an assigned shortcut.

Type 2 com­mands lis­ten for a mod­i­fi­er key.
Cre­ate Mag­net Tar­get Or Cen­ter Mark­er (SMR) lis­tens for [ Alt+AssignedKey ] to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between the two modes.

Customizing your shortcuts

If for some rea­son you are not hap­py or com­fort­able using the EDAPT Key­board Short­cuts, you can assign your own, keep­ing in mind this sim­ple rule:
You can use any key as long as the mod­i­fiers stay the same.

For exam­ple:
Cre­ate Mag­net Tar­get can work with AnyKey or com­bi­na­tion – for exam­ple [ Shift+9 ]
Cre­ate Cen­ter Mark­er can work with [ Alt+AnyKey ] – for exam­ple [ Alt+B ]
Both of these short­cuts have to be assigned to the same com­mand, i.e. Cre­ate Mag­net Tar­get Or Cen­ter Mark­er (SMR) should be asso­ci­at­ed with two sep­a­rate short­cut com­bi­na­tions.

In Ani­mate you can do this via the pro­gram’s dia­log. (See below…)
In Flash 8‑CS this can only be done by edit­ing the short­cuts file in a text edi­tor as described in this arti­cle.

Some of the com­mands com­bine Type 1 and Type 2 to achieve even more com­plex and flex­i­ble interaction.
Smart Trans­form (SMR) is one such exam­ple. There are 3 dif­fer­ent short­cuts assigned to the com­mand, but depend­ing on user selec­tion each of these trig­ger slight­ly dif­fer­ent func­tion­al­i­ty as described here.

Assigning multiple shortcuts per command in Animate

It may not be instant­ly obvi­ous, but you can assign mul­ti­ple short­cuts to any menu entry in Animate.
For exam­ple, you can assign both [ D ] and [ I ] to call the Eye­drop­per tool, or [ Ctrl+- ] and [ Ctrl+A ] to zoom out.

It is very impor­tant to under­stand that mul­ti­func­tion com­mands need to have mul­ti­ple short­cuts assigned to each com­mand – one for each of the mul­ti­ple modes and functions.

If we take Cre­ate And Man­age IK Objects as an exam­ple and look at its entry, we will see that there are 5 short­cuts assigned to this one command.

If you would like to change these so that they are not all F1-based, you will have to edit each one of these 5 entries.
You can change F1 to what­ev­er you like, but the mod­i­fiers will have to stay as they are and the com­mand will still need to have 5 short­cuts assigned to it.

[ Ctrl+Shift+F1 ] can become [ Ctrl+Shift+H ] or [ Ctrl+Shift+8 ], but to cre­ate an FK Exten­der we need the [ Ctrl+Shift+AnyKey ] assigned to this command.

[ Shift+F1 ] can become [ Shift+F6 ] or [ Shift+\ ] or [ Shift+R ], but to cre­ate a SMR IK Effec­tor you will need to have a [ Shift+AnyKey ] assigned to this command.

If you start with a blank short­cut set instead of edit­ing the EDAPT Short­cuts, it is very easy to assign mul­ti­ple entries per com­mand. Just select the desired com­mand and press the Add but­ton.
Go to each com­mand entry and check what mod­i­fi­er keys it needs. Then cre­ate your own shortcuts.

More infor­ma­tion regard­ing Flash / Ani­mate short­cuts can be found across var­i­ous arti­cles on this site.

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