25 Replies Latest reply on Sep 25, 2008 2:41 PM by John Summers

    ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!

    Tony Cerniglia
      CURRENTLY DIMENSION VALUES MUST BE ENTERED FROM A KEY PAD (UNLESS YOU ARE WORKING ON A LAPTOP, THEN YOU NEED TO HUNT THE TOP ROW OF THE "QWERTY" KEYBOARD). THE STEPS REQUIRED ARE REMOVING YOUR HAND FROM THE MOUSE, TAKING YOUR EYES OFF OF THE SCREEN, FOCUSING ON THE KEYPAD, KEYING IN THE VALUE, ACCEPTING THE VALUE, REPLACING YOUR HAND ON THE MOUSE, REFOCUSING ON THE SCREN...THIS IS TRUE FOR EVERY VALUE ENTERED.
      THE ENTERING OF THESE VALUES CAN BE SIMPLIFIED AND PRODUCTIVITY INCREASED WITH A SIMPLE RADIO BUTTON THAT CAN OPEN A DIALOG BOX KEYPAD. LIKE I HAVE SHOWN HERE. ACTUALLY, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THIS BE A DEFAULT. MAYBE THE BUTTON CAN BE A TOGGLE OR A SETTING IN "OPTIONS".

      I AM HAVING DIFFICULTY ATTACHING AN IMAGE OF THIS AS AN EXAMPLE, BUT WILL CONTINUE TO TRY TO ADD THIS

      OBVIOUSLY WE NEED ENHANCEMENT REQUESTS FILED FOR THIS TO TAKE PLACE.

      PLEASE SUBMIT FOR ALL OF OUR PRODUCTIVITY TO BE INCREASED
        • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
          Tom Nicholson
          Why not get a USB 10 key keypad?

          They can be had for about 10 bucks on ebay.com..
            • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
              I don't see the need for this. Clicking a radio button to open up a key pad on the screen then clicking each number with you mouse is going to take a lot longer then typing it on a ten key number pad and like Tom said you can buy a usb ten key pad.
            • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
              Scott Samborn
              I am certain I can type it faster than mousing it in...

              However, Windows has an onscreen keyboard under Start->All Programs->Accessories->Accessibility.
                • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                  Jeff Norfolk
                  Clicking on-screen keypad buttons is definitely worse than typing it in. I just tried it with the windows on-screen keyboard. I tend to be a sloppy clicker because I rush and having to click 8 times (including 'enter') to enter a number like 12.4375 would be downright annoying. If anything I would take a look at speech regonition software. Then you'll have the issue of annoying everyone within an earshot.
                • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                  Tony Cerniglia
                  Guys....I have to disagree with all of you.
                  I had this customized in Autocad 18 years ago.
                  There are factors that contribute to the efficiency of the key pad, primarily the key size. Many time studies have been done with respect to eye / head movement as well as physical dexterity. The very layout and execution of commands in solidworks is designed to reduce mouse mileage. Are all of you using the "s" key? All of the commands are available in two more places, yet solidworks has given us the "s" key and made it customizable to boot. Purpose...eliminate unecessary mouse traveling by putting the commands only a "twitch" away. This is merely an extension of that same principle. Reduce unnecessary movement by bringing what you need to the screen.

                  Yes, the windows calculator keys are too small making that not so easy...in my detailed enhancement request, I do note the key size as a critical factor to consider.
                  I also reccomend that the keypad be a toggle or an options setting to eliminate that mouse pick.

                  Not looking to agrue with all you..if you dont like it, don't use it. But I assure you it is faster, I have aproximately 20,000 hours behind a tube using an onscreen keypad. I believe you would all convert if made available.
                  • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                    Tom Nicholson
                    To each his (or her) own I guess. I was just giving a suggestion

                    I don't use a laptop so I have a full keyboard here. I don't think I would benefit from an onscreen keypad, but you never know. I might switch to a laptop some day and use it.

                    • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                      Bill Rose
                      It's highly unlikely I would use it and hopefully SWx won't spend significant time developing this option. I can think of about 237 things I'd like to see them working on before this one.......Bill
                        • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                          Steven Dinsdale
                          I used a laptop without a num-pad for many years and have to say that I prefer the top of the qwerty to an onscreen pad (I have tried both). The speed and accuracy with which I can type in a part number is greater with my left hand on the keyboard as opposed to clicking to call up an onscreen pad, and clicking them all individually.

                          I also do not use the "s" key. I have all of the commands I use mapped to specific keys; while it takes awhile to get used to it eventually saves a lot of time.

                          Like Tom said, to each his or her own. I am just adding my 2 cents.
                          • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                            Alan Stoldt
                            Tony,

                            I'll have to disagree on you about the need to take your eyes off the screen and look at the keypad.

                            I'm no typist, and I'm not using a laptop for design, and I rarely find that I need to look at the numeric keypad when typing in dimensions. This holds true left or right handed. I also don't consider myself particularly gifted nor ambidextrous.

                            Just my .02 on the subject
                              • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                Jeff Norfolk
                                If the argument is that it's more productive to never take your eyes off the screen or your hand off the mouse then why limit the on-screen buttons to just numbers? Why not a whole qwerty keyboard for annotation entry?

                                Unless it's an odd number I find myself using the up/down arrows and the scroll wheel a lot of times in the modify dimension dialog. If you set the increments to 1/32 or whatever suits you I think you'll find editing dimensions to be rather quick. You can also change the increments on the fly by pressing the +-? button. Though unpopluar, you could also use a snap/grid method. With features there is also the ruler that shows up when dragging out an extrude, for example.
                            • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                              Matthew Lorono

                              Tony Cerniglia wrote:

                               

                              CURRENTLY DIMENSION VALUES MUST BE ENTERED FROM A KEY PAD (UNLESS YOU ARE WORKING ON A LAPTOP, THEN YOU NEED TO HUNT THE TOP ROW OF THE "QWERTY" KEYBOARD). THE STEPS REQUIRED ARE REMOVING YOUR HAND FROM THE MOUSE, TAKING YOUR EYES OFF OF THE SCREEN, FOCUSING ON THE KEYPAD, KEYING IN THE VALUE, ACCEPTING THE VALUE, REPLACING YOUR HAND ON THE MOUSE, REFOCUSING ON THE SCREN...THIS IS TRUE FOR EVERY VALUE ENTERED.

                              THE ENTERING OF THESE VALUES CAN BE SIMPLIFIED AND PRODUCTIVITY INCREASED WITH A SIMPLE RADIO BUTTON THAT CAN OPEN A DIALOG BOX KEYPAD. LIKE I HAVE SHOWN HERE. ACTUALLY, I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THIS BE A DEFAULT. MAYBE THE BUTTON CAN BE A TOGGLE OR A SETTING IN "OPTIONS".

                              I AM HAVING DIFFICULTY ATTACHING AN IMAGE OF THIS AS AN EXAMPLE, BUT WILL CONTINUE TO TRY TO ADD THIS

                              OBVIOUSLY WE NEED ENHANCEMENT REQUESTS FILED FOR THIS TO TAKE PLACE.

                              PLEASE SUBMIT FOR ALL OF OUR PRODUCTIVITY TO BE INCREASED

                              Ow ouch ow!! My ears hurt from all the yelling! (please remember no CAPs when leaving messages in public forums. This is equiv to yelling at someone).

                              • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                Tony Cerniglia
                                Thanks for all of the opinions, however....until you have "data" all you have is your opinion. I know that none of you are engineering products based on opinion (industrial designers excluded). >:

                                With luck SWX will follow their commitmant to improving the user ineterface (while still working on 237 other things) and continue to persue improving the interface.

                                Best regards to all.
                                  • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                    Christopher Mueller
                                    I am going to come to Tony's rescue here. I, at first, agreed with everyone else that entering from the keypad MUST be superior to a mouse click input. It is quick, tried and true, and routine.

                                    Then, I actually tried a mouse input using microsoft on-screen keyboard. This input method was fantastic! Even with microsofts antiquated input screen, it seemed easier to input using the on-screen keyboard than going to the keyboard. I'm not going to argue that it took less time, because I don't really know. But my main argument here is that the tasks seemed to flow better. It was like the region of my brain working on editing the dimension didn't need to switch to the region of the brain for keyboard input or something. Maybe a Discovery channel narrator could explain it better.

                                    I think that the most natural input method would be to be able to speak the numbers. Matt, is there software out there that allows this with Solidworks?

                                    To those of you who want to give it a try, test the "hover" input method in the On-Screen Keyboard settings. Probably the first complaint you will have about the input method, is that the keyboard is not in a convenient location, that you wish it were closer to where you chose to edit the dimension in Solidworks. Your next line of thought will be..."Hmm maybe Solidworks could incorporate such a feature into their software" followed closely therafter by..."Hmm, does Tony have a point?"
                                      • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                        Steve Calvert
                                        I have a suggestion... I have a SummaSketch tablet that I used to use with Cadkey. I had it set up with a small mouse space and around this space was 1" squares in which I could create macros. I wonder if a tablet could be set-up so that the squares were a numeric keypad so I could pick numbers with my mouse??

                                        Another point here, from the other side, might be that with an on-screen keypad input device you might also get more wrist strain and for some time now I've been trying to get SW to allow alpha charcters to be entered in the dialog boxes along with numbers for feature creation.

                                        Steve
                                        • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                          Tony Cerniglia
                                          Thanks Chris for taking it a step further..if I could get the keypad image to load you would see that I am suggesting it be "attached" to the modify box (again, only if the engineer chooses to use this method).

                                          Steve...This originated from my use of a CalComp dig pad with a 16 button puck. The menu and number pad layout were locked in under the "skin" and we were constantly shifting focus from screen to tablet...and I was 18 years younger then!!! What we did was bring the menu right to the screen (autocad with "lignthnig zoom") and my engineering department became 25% more efficient in an instant. I do not recall any wrist issues. I have actaully tried to talk to Calcomp about making a "cad mouse" with, you guessed it, 16 buttons. It takes about 1 week and then you drive by reflex!

                                          Anyway, thanks for the positive feedback.

                                          My VAR is submitting ehancement requests...they like it as well.

                                          Hopefully you guys can find time to submit them also.
                                            • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                              Matt McKendrick
                                              A left handed keypad, keyboard or macro gaming pad would serve you better and would be a heck of a lot faster. (Unless you're left handed) Try using the windows calculator with the mouse and compare it to typing numbers on the keypad. Not comparable IMHO. Plus, its another annoying graphical feature to muck up the works. If anything, make it a user selectable option, so that you can make it go away permanently if you don't want it.
                                                • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                                  Tony Cerniglia
                                                  Everyone...I believe the file attached as a ".zip".
                                                  Enclosed is a PDF showing the concept....there is a bit more to the keypad than just numbers. Please take a look, hopefully you can all see the value in this.

                                                  The enhancement reference number is below.

                                                  Reference Number: 192785
                                                    • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                                      Steven Dinsdale
                                                      Nice demonstration. I do not think I would use it, but I can see how it would be valuable to those that would.
                                                      • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                                        Philippe Keirse

                                                        Tony Cerniglia wrote:

                                                         

                                                        The enhancement reference number is below.
                                                        Reference Number: 192785

                                                        Looks nice !
                                                        A question :
                                                        how can I subscribe with this number to the enhancement request?
                                                        I can only follow the 5 steps in the form of the enhancement page.
                                                        Or do I missing something?


                                                          • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                                            Tony Cerniglia
                                                            Philippe,
                                                            The path I used was...User Interface - Other (next step)
                                                            If it is not shown there select the orange box that reads "None of these match my request"
                                                            After entering your information, (step 4), check the appropriate boxes and in the Problem Description area add text Onscreen keypad and the reference number 192785... I included the same PDF that you see here with my request. I think that SWX will be able to go back to the reference number and evaluate provided there is enough ER's submitted to raise awareness.

                                                            Please, if anyone knows of an easier way (or the proper way?) to generate attention to the enhancement request let us know.

                                                            Best regards to all!
                                                              • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                                                Paul Hickman
                                                                It seems like a good idea to me although I probably wouldn't use. I can believe it would work out quicker than searching the top row keys, especially if you're using arthmetic ops too.

                                                                I'm right handed but since I started using 3D CAD, I've driven the mouse with my left hand, leaving my right hand free to do all the inputing on the keyboard. After a while, you don't even look down at the keyboard as you learn where the keys are.
                                                                  • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                                                    John Summers
                                                                    I think it is a great suggestion and added to Tony's enhancement request.

                                                                    We recently installed 3dConnexion Spacepilots (which includes many programmable keys). With the new SW 2008 context toolbars and the programmable keys in the Spacepilot, we have modified our layout to eliminate about 95% of the keyboard use. I now do all my commands (except number entry) on screen using the mouse and the Spacepilot. An onscreen numeric entry would really enhance the use of the Spacepilot and virtually eliminate all keyboard use.
                                                    • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                                      Roland Schwarz
                                                      Perhaps you can add a button to your keypad that turns caps lock off.
                                                      • ONSCREEN KEYPAD!!!!
                                                        Mahir Abrahim
                                                        I don't think the time saved moving your hand from mouse to numpad and back is more than the time spent hunt & pecking the numbers, but I wouldn't mind having it as an option.