eSignal - Overview of Layouts vs Pages

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eSignal - Overview of Layouts vs Pages

You have two options in eSignal in terms of how you want to manage your desktop workspace. One is called Layouts, the other is referred to as Pages. Both of these options will work on a single or multi-monitor set-up. Check out the related articles section for more ideas on managing your workspace area.

If you ever want to back up or transfer your work to another pc, it is a lot easier to do with a Page.  A layout consists of a layout file (.lay) as well as a file for each window that makes up your workspace.  So, if you have seven charts and two quote windows, your layout will consist of ten files.  All of these files are scattered in the eSignal directory, so it is not easy to locate all the files if you want to transfer them or back them up.  However, a Page consists of just two files, a .pg and a .at file and all of the Page files are located in the Pages folder which is located in the eSignal folder (c:\program files\esignal\pages).  This makes a Page easier to locate and backup or transfer.

when you first start esignal, you are in page mode. to switch to layout mode, click on page, then layout, then simply save the current page as a layout or create a new layout.

to see a demo of pages and layouts in action, you'll find an esignal movie clip in our archive section

pages are similar to layouts in that they save the relative position of each window on the screen so when you exit and return, the screen looks the same. in pages however, each individual window is not named and saved uniquely. it only exists as a part of the page. so, in page mode, you open a series of window types and then when they are in the desired position, you simply save the entire screen as a page. pages are somewhat easier to use and a bit more intuitive.

notice in the picture above that the program will assign 'generic' names to the individual windows.

creating and saving pages

saving pages
simply open up the windows you want displayed and organize them in the desired set-up. click page, then save page and give it a name.

lock page

under the page menu is a lock page function. when checked, it will act similar to a read-only layout. you can change the contents of a window and it will save, but position and size changes will not be saved.  you can open other windows while running the page, but any new window will not save when the page is locked.  any windows that are part of a locked page cannot be closed either. if a user wants to make a change, you need to unlock the page before saving it. also by unlocking the page you can use the "save page as" to give it a new name.

page reload

you can reload your page by clicking on page, then reload page or you can set up a customized keyboard command to do this.  this will refresh your page back to its original configuration without saving any changes.

preferences options

the preferences menu offers many choices regarding the display of date in page or layout manner. users can choose to show either pages or layout from this location. click file > preferences, then choose the pages and layouts tab. if you check the first box show layout menu in top level, and click ok, you'll change the default page view to a layout view.

there's also a setting in this tab called switch pages without saving. this setting is for those users that like to set-up a variety of different looks on their screen(s) and don't really use the same format day in and day out so they want to move fast. by turning the setting on, the program won't prompt you to save each time you switch pages. on the downside, you may lose changes or settings if you forget to save before you exit.

renaming windows
esignal’s layout feature has allowed the renaming of windows for a long, long time…even before the "e" was added to esignal. when pages were introduced, one of the items of contention was that the windows themselves couldn’t be given a custom name to identify them in a unique way; that all changes with esignal 10.5.  to assign a name to any window within your workspace click file, rename window title.

layouts represent a collection of unique windows, all named and saved individually. the relative location of each of these windows to one another is saved in a format called a layout. you can create any number of layouts and either use unique windows in each layout or use some of the same windows in multiple layouts.

once you save your layout, esignal will show in the upper left hand corner esignal layout followed by the name of the layout displayed in the screen.

in our example, the layout name is advanced charting, the graph's name is adv ch 1, the quote window's name is quote 1, and the detail window (bottom right) is called detail 1. a total of four files have been created.

creating and saving layouts
when you first start esignal, your program,will open in page mode, look for esignal page followed by the name of the page, in the upper left hand corner of the page. 
to create a layout from scratch, follow the instructions below,

1. go to page and click on new page, and you will get the following page.

2. go to page in the menu bar, select layout and click on save layout as. it will open the save layout as
    window (saving the file in the esignal folder). enter the name of the file and click save.


3. The new layout will be listed under Page / Layout in the menu bar. You can create multiple layouts and 
    all of them will be listed here, allowing the user to move easily between layouts.


4.   Open the windows that will be part of your layout. Go to File / New / and select the window. 
      Once the window is open, made the necessary changes to customize the window, then go to
      File / Save As and name the window.
      Follow the same procedure to save any other window that will be part of the layout.



5. Once all the windows in the layout have been saved under individual names, go to Page / Layout and
    click Save Layout. This last step will make the new windows (filenames) part of the Layout.

You can also save the layout at the end. Open a New Page, open all the windows that will be part of your layout and save the layout at the end (Page / Layout / Save layout As).  You will be prompted to save each  individual window in the layout. (We recommend to follow the steps above in case you use multiple windows of the same kind, so you will have more control naming specific windows).

Layout Troubleshooting Tip - avoid the dreaded Blank window or Empty layout
When using Layout mode, all windows and layout files must be stored in the same directory. If not, it could result in opening up a blank window or blank layout. Just be sure to keep saving all your quote windows, chart files, portfolios, layout files, etc. in the same main eSignal sub-directory. 

Development Note:
In an upcoming release, it is expected that we will merge the strengths of both pages and layouts into one method, called perhaps a workspace. In essence, it'll work like pages but allow you to individually name a window within that page so it can be used in other pages. Best of both worlds. Stay tuned for future releases.