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This page documents a number of settings you make when you begin to use Guiguts, and change rarely afterward. The Prefs menu is covered first, then the External menu, then advice on monitor calibration and finally the setting.rc file.

Setting Preferences

Use the Prefs (preferences) menu to access a number of Guiguts parameters:

Guiguts PR menu.png

Each menu item is discussed below in menu sequence.

Set Rewrap Margins

Rewrap margins are the widths to which Guiguts will wrap paragraphs and block quotes. The settings are discussed on this page. Generally the default values are correct and should only be changed for specific needs.


Guiguts PR font.png

Prefs> Font opens a dialog for choosing a font family for the document window, setting the font size, and optionally using the bold variation for all text. The drop-down list at the top shows all the font families available to Guiguts. It will include DPCustomMono2 if you have installed it; otherwise Courier and Century Gothic are good choices for proofing. Click the Bigger and Smaller buttons to change the displayed size. Setting the Bold switch makes all text display with the bold weight of the chosen font.

Your font choice is global; it is not saved with the file. Changing the font does not modify the file, as it might in some editors.

Browser Start Command

There are times when Guiguts needs to call a web browser to display a URL. For example, when you select Help> Manual, Guiguts calls a browser to open the manual html file. When you want to send a message to a proofer (described here), Guiguts calls a web browser to display the PG private-message page.

Prefs> Browser Start Command opens the following self-explanatory dialog:

Guiguts PR browser.png

What you enter is an executable command that, with a URL appended, will start a browser and display the page. If you want to use the default browser for your system, enter either "start" (for Windows) or "open" (for Linux and OS X). To use a browser other than the default, you must enter the complete path to the browser program, for example C:\Windows\Program Files\Firefox\firefox.exe.

Set File Paths

The Set File Paths item and its sub-menu are discussed with the installation process.

Leave Bookmarks Highlighted

Bookmarks are points in the document to which you can easily jump; they are discussed here. Ordinarily when you set a bookmark or jump to a bookmark, the character at that location is highlighted green temporarily. The highlight is cleared as soon as you move the insertion point away from the bookmark.

If you want a green highlight to remain at every bookmarked location permanently, set the Prefs> Leave Bookmarks Highlighted option.

Disable Quotes Highlighting

Normally, whenever you place the insertion point, Guiguts highlights any single or double quotes that surround the insertion point on the same line. If you find this annoying, use Prefs> Disable Quotes Highlighting to turn it off.

Keep Pop-ups On Top

Ordinarily, non-modal dialogs such as the Search & Replace window are ordinary windows—if you click in the document window, it can move in front of the dialog and partially or wholly cover it.

If you set the Prefs> Keep Pop-ups On Top switch, Guiguts causes all its non-modal dialogs to stay in front of the document window, even when you click in the document window. This might help you keep track of small dialog windows on a small screen.

Disable Bell

Guiguts sounds the system default bell note at certain times, notably when a Search fails. If this sound is annoying, use the Prefs> Disable Bell switch.

Auto Set Page Markers on File Open

Normally, when Guiguts opens a file, it scans for page separator lines. Page separators and this scan are discussed here. If you find that this scan slows down the file-open process too much, you can disable it by setting this preference switch off. If needed, you can initiate a scan for page separators from the File menu.

Toolbar Prefs

The toolbar is discussed here. The Prefs sub-menu for Toolbar Prefs offers five choices for the location of the tool bar. Or you can use it to hide the toolbar entirely—useful for a small monitor, as all Toolbar buttons are also available as menu choices.

Set Button Highlight Color

The button and switch icons in the various dialogs that Guiguts presents use a highlighting color—by default a bright primrose yellow. When you choose this item, Guiguts brings up a standard color-picker dialog for this operating system. The color you choose is used in place of yellow to highlight selected buttons and switches.

Spellcheck Dictionary Select

The spellcheck process is discussed here. The dictionary used for spellchecking can be changed either with the Options button in the spellcheck dialog, or with this Prefs> Spellcheck Dictionary Select option. Both bring up the same dialog.

Toggle Autosave and Autosave Interval

Autosave is a feature that causes Guiguts to automatically perform a save operation at a regular interval. File saving and Autosave are discussed here. You use Prefs> Auto Save Interval to set the interval in minutes. You use Prefs> Toggle Auto Save to turn autosaving on and off.

Auto Backups

Automatic backup files are discussed here. You use Prefs> Toggle Auto Backups to turn the feature on and off.

Toggle Scanno Highlighting and Scanno Highlight Color

Automatic scanno highlighting is discussed here. You can initiate it using Prefs> Toggle Scanno Highlighting or from the H button in the toolbar.

Use Prefs> Set Scanno Highlight Color to set the color used to highlight suspect words. When you choose this item, Guiguts brings up a standard color-picker dialog for this operating system. The color you choose replaces the default pale-violet used to highlight scannos.

External Commands

The External menu is a menu filled with commands that you design. You can use it to quickly go to the HTML validation page of WC3, to go to an online dictionary, to use a different spellcheck program, or for quick preview in different browsers. If you keep a standard log file for each project, you can also use a command to open this file.

The items in the External menu are entirely under your control. You specify the text of each menu item; and you specify an operating system command to carry out that menu action. When you select an item from the External menu, Guiguts invokes the command, optionally passing it parameters such as the name of the current file.

To configure the menu, select External> Setup External Operations. The following large dialog opens (much reduced here):

Guiguts PR extern.png

Each row of the table corresponds to one External menu choice. The text of the menu item is on the left, and the command to execute is on the right. The usage summary at the top of the window is quite complete. When composing your commands you can use symbols that Guiguts will replace with file names or file paths:

$d The full path to the current document
$f The filename of the current document
$e The file extension including the dot (e.g. .txt) of the current document; thus $f$e is replaced by the complete filename, and $d$f$e represents the filename with its path.
$i The full path to the page-image directory
$p The page-image number currently shown in the status bar; thus $p.png would be the page-image filename and $i$p.png the image with its full path.

Windows Commands

The first part of an external command must specify an executable program. You can do this by spelling out the full path, for example "C:\Program Files\XnView\xnview.exe" (quotes are needed because of the space in "Program Files"). However, you can often use the generic command start to avoid having to learn and code the full path to a command. The start command can open any file or URL in its default handler. The command can be used in the following ways:

start url Open url in default browser: start http://validator.w3.org/
start file Open file in the handler for its file extension: start $d$f$e opens current file in default handler, e.g. Notepad for .txt.
start cmd parameters Start registered program cmd passing it the parameters: start wordpad $d$f$e opens wordpad passing it the full path of the current file.

Open file in Internet Explorer: start iexplore "$d$f$e"

Linux and OS X Commands

The first part of an external command must specify an executable program. You can do this by spelling out the full path, for example /dp/viewer/xnview or /usr/bin/qiv.

You do not need to specify the full path for programs that are located in directories listed in your $PATH variable, for example programs in /usr/bin. Test this with the which command in a terminal window. If which command produces a positive response, you can use command without specifying its full path.

In OS X and at least some Linux systems, you can use the generic command open to launch a URL or file in its default handler. In OS X the command has these forms:

open url Open url in default browser: open http://validator.w3.org/
open file Open file in the handler for its file extension: open $d$f$e opens current file in the default handler, e.g. TextEdit for .txt in OS X.
open -a cmd parameters Start application cmd passing it the parameters: open -a bbedit $d$f$e, open -a preview $i$p.png, or open -a firefox $d$f$e

If you are using Linux, check to see if you have a command named open, and read its man page (man 1 open) to see how to use it. If your Linux does not have such a command, you need to use specific command names.

Calibrate Your Monitor

When you work with a book that has photographic illustrations, you take on added responsibility. Besides delivering text that is correct and readable, you also undertake to deliver accurate illustrations.

In order to do this, you need to calibrate your monitor. If you work on illustrations with an uncalibrated monitor, it is likely you will deliver images that are too dark, too light, or have a color cast, and never know you have done so.

Calibrating a monitor for proper grayscale is quite easy; it can usually be done with nothing but the monitor's brightness and constrast controls. There are many websites that have instructions and test images:

If the above links are broken, type the three words grayscale monitor calibration (separate words, not a quoted phrase) into a search engine.

The Setting.rc File

The setting.rc file in the guiguts folder contains all the preference settings you have made, including your external command definitions. The file is frequently rewritten while Guiguts is running; for example, it is rewritten each time you close the Setup External Commands dialog.

You can examine the settings file at any time; indeed, you can open it in Guiguts. The syntax of the file is executable Perl code to set different global variables. You can see the names of recently opened files and the definitions of external commands.

You should not attempt to modify the settings file at all if Guiguts is running, because Guiguts will likely overwrite the file and nullify your changes. You should not attempt to modify the file in any case unless you understand Perl syntax and are confident you can change it without introducing a syntax error (which might make it impossible for Guiguts to start up). If you think that something in the settings file is causing a problem, rename the file. When Guiguts starts up and does not find setting.rc, it creates a new one with default values.