Feature Overview

As a developer, one of the first things you are probably going to want to know is what features/options are available to you so you can determine how much you can control or customize the DropTool you want to make. Here's the basic feature list:

  • DropTools will automatically handle custom controls that are
    (all the code to drive it is built into it),
    use a behavior button
    , or
    require a library
    . (If your control needs a library that has substacks, you can specify those as well and DropTools will take care of installing them.)
  • If you need other objects installed, you can simply include them on your DropTool stack and they'll be copied over for you (you can also set a property to prevent an object from being copied if you want to).
  • If you need other stacks installed, front or back scripts loaded, or if you need to perform other actions, you can do that by trapping a custom message sent by the DropTools Palette.
  • You can optionally provide an icon for your control in the DropTools Palette; if you don't provide one, one will be created for you on the fly.
  • You can optionally provide a custom "inspector" palette for your control that will let the user set properties or manipulate your custom control instance. (You even get a message to trap when the user selects/deselects controls with the pointer tool so you can update your interface accordingly.)
  • You can optionally provide a custom "About Box" for your control that can provide whatever information you want to the user (about info, documentation, links out, etc.)
  • You can have the DropTools Palette generate a simple "about box" with an answer dialog by setting one or more specific custom properties.
  • You can have DropTools manage any kind of preferences for your control if you want (there's an API to get and set preferences, both for the DropTool type as a whole or for the specific instance of the DropTool that's on a user's stack).
  • You can respond to custom messages that are sent when your control is loaded into the DropTools palette, when an instance of your control has been dropped onto the user's stack, or when an instance of the control is selected.
  • You can use the API to get information about the DropTools environment, such as where the DropTools folder is located, what the path is to the DropTool stack for a specific instance of your control, the DropTool "type" for a selected object on the user's stack, etc.

Information on how to implement each of these features is discussed on other pages, but is summarized in the Quick Reference page.

© 2015 Sons of Thunder Software, Inc.