The best way to learn VisualNEO for Windows is to try it yourself. The tutorials in this section will guide you through the creation of several types of VisualNEO for Windows publications. These tutorials just scratch the surface of what can be done with VisualNEO for Windows, but they should provide you with the basic knowledge needed to begin creating publications of your own.


This tutorial will demonstrate how to create a basic publication.


Creating a New Publication

When starting from scratch, you must define the publication’s dimensions and color resolution.


1. Launch VisualNEO for Windows. If any publications are already open, use the File menu’s Close All command to clear VisualNEO for Windows’s work space.


2. Select New from VisualNEO for Windows’s File menu.


The New Publication screen will appear.



3. Select a publication size of 640 x 480 pixels.


4. Select 16 Million Colors.


5. Select Standard Application (EXE).


6. Click OK.


An untitled publication will be created.


Defining Publication Wide Settings

Now we’re ready to start creating our publication. We’ll begin by configuring some settings that affect the entire publication.


1. Select App Properties > General from the App menu.


Here we can define how our publication will appear and how it will be used by our readers. The App Properties screen is divided into 11 sections indicated by the icon images on the left: General, Size/Colors, Window, Main Menu, Actions, Access, Security, Language, Interface, Screen Saver and Tray Menu. Each section contains a different category of settings used to configure the publication. The different sections can be displayed by clicking their corresponding icons.


2. In the first section (General) type My First Publication in the Title field.


3. Type your name in the Author field.


4. Click the Access icon to display that section of the App Properties screen. You may need to scroll down in order to bring the Access icon into view.


5. Remove the check mark from the Allow Page Up, Page Down, Home and End Keys to change pages option. We’re going to create our own navigation controls, and we don’t want readers to use the keyboard to change pages. Turning this option off will prevent that from happening.


6. Click OK to apply these changes to the publication.


Adding Pages to Our Publication

Our new publication already contains two blank pages, but we need to add one more.


1. Select Add Page from the Page menu.


The Add Pages screen will appear.


2. Enter “1” into the Number of Pages to Add field.


3. Click OK.


Creating a Button

Now we’ll add a couple of simple page turning buttons to allow our readers to easily navigate among our publication’s pages. So that these buttons appear on every page, we’re going to place them on the Master Page.


The Master Page typically contains elements that are common to most (or all) pages in a publication. The difference between the Master Page and regular pages is that objects placed on the Master Page will also appear in the background of other pages. This is a real time saver, since these objects only need to be created once and not for every page in the publication.


1. Display the Master Page by clicking the tab at the bottom of the VisualNEO for Windows screen labeled “Master Page”.


2. Select the Push Button Tool from the Tool Palette.


3. Move the mouse pointer to the lower right portion of the Master Page. Press and hold down the left mouse button and draw a rectangle about one inch wide and one half an inch tall. Once the rectangle is the correct size, release the mouse button. Don’t worry if your rectangle isn’t perfect - we can fix that later.


After you release the mouse button, the Push Button Properties screen will appear allowing us to define what our button will do. The Push Button Properties screen is divided into three sections indicated by the icon images on the left: General, Appearance and Actions. To view the settings for a section, click the corresponding icon.


4. In the first section (General) type Next in the Caption field.


Text typed in the Caption field will appear on the face of the button.


5. Click the Actions icon.


Now we’ll tell VisualNEO for Windows what we want to happen when the reader clicks this button. (In the case of this particular button: go to the next page.) Our button will perform its task based on special instructions we provide. In VisualNEO for Windows, these instructions are called Actions. Most Actions can be inserted by simply selecting the desired command from a list.


6. Click the Insert Action button.



The Insert Action screen is divided into categories, indicated by the icon images on the left. Clicking an icon will display a list of Actions belonging to that category.



7. Click the Navigation category.


8. Select the GotoNextPage Action.


VisualNEO for Windows will automatically add the command to the button’s Action Editor. This Action tells VisualNEO for Windows to advance to the next page whenever the button is pressed.


9. Click OK.



Notice that the button is surrounded by eight small black boxes or handles. This indicates that the object (in this case our button) is selected. Once selected, you can use the mouse to drag the object to a new location or change its shape by grabbing one of the handles. Selected objects can also be affected by changes made to the Style Palette’s controls.


Using the Tool Palette’s Selection Tool to click on other objects or empty areas of the page will cause the handles to disappear and the button to become unselected. Clicking the button again will reselect the object and display the selection handles. (More information on selecting objects is available here.)


Creating a Second Button

Since our second page turning button is almost identical to the first, we can create it more quickly by using VisualNEO for Windows’s Duplicate command.


1. Make sure the button you just created is selected. (If it’s not, click it with the mouse.)


2. Choose Duplicate from the Edit menu.


A second, identical button will appear on your screen.


3. Use your mouse to drag the duplicate button to a position alongside the original button.


4. With the duplicate button still selected, choose Object Properties from the Edit menu.


5. Replace the button’s current Caption with the word Previous.


6. Click the Actions icon.


7. Erase the existing button Action (GotoNextPage). (Use the Backspace or Delete keys on your keyboard just as you would in a word processor.)


8. Click the Insert Action button.


9. Select GotoPrevPage from the Navigation category.


10. Click OK.


You have created a second button!


Using the Style Palette

While we’re still on the Master Page, you might also want to add ruling lines, boxes or other decorative graphical elements that you want to appear on all of your publication’s pages.


To do this, select either the Line, Rectangle or Ellipse tools from the Tool Palette. Then draw a shape on the page, just as you did to create your first button. If you make a mistake, use the Edit menu’s Undo command to remove the change.


Using the controls on the Style Palette, you can change the selected object’s Fill Color, Fill Pattern, Line Color, Line Width, and Line Style. If the selected object contains text, you can also select a new Font and Font Color.


Setting Page Properties

Now that we’ve added our basic navigation buttons to the Master Page, we’re ready to work on our publication’s first page.


1. Display the first page by clicking the tab at the bottom of the VisualNEO for Windows screen labeled “New Page”.



The two buttons we created on the Master Page will still be visible in the background of this page, so don’t be alarmed if the screen doesn’t appear to change very much.


Let’s change the page’s background to something other than plain white.


2. Select Page Properties from the Page menu.


The Page Properties screen will appear.


3. Click the small arrow button next to the Solid Color option under Page Background.


The Color Selector will appear.


4. Select a color from the palette. (Preferably a light color.)


5. Click the Color Selector’s OK button.


6. Make sure a check mark appears next to the Show items from master page option. This enables the buttons we just created on the Master Page to be active on this page.


7. Enable the Copy to all pages option.


8. Click OK.


The Page Properties screen is replaced by the Copy to all pages screen.


9. Click the Background check box.


10. Click OK.


The background color we selected is copied to our publication’s other pages. (The Master Page’s background will remain white since it technically has no background.)


Adding Text

Since this is the first page readers will see, let’s add a title that tells readers what this publication is all about. Captions, titles and other short text may be inserted using the Simple Text Tool.


1. Select the Simple Text Tool from the Tool Palette.


2. Move the mouse pointer to the center of the page. Press and hold down the left mouse button and draw a rectangle about five inches wide and one half an inch tall. Once the rectangle is the correct size, release the mouse button.


The Text Properties screen will appear.


3. Type Amalgamated Industries Annual Report in the Caption field.


4. Click the Center Alignment icon.


5. Click OK.


The Text object will appear surrounded by the selection handles.


6. On the Style Palette, click the small arrow button next to the Fill Pattern box.


7. Click the pattern square containing the letter “H”. This will make our Text object hollow allowing the page’s background color to show through.


8. Click the small arrow next to the Style Palette’s Line Width box.


9. Select “None” for the line width.


10. Click the small arrow next to the Style Palette’s Font box.


The Font Selector screen will appear.


11. Select Arial, Bold, 16 Point.


12. Click OK.


If part of the text is missing or not centered, use the mouse to move or resize the object.


Importing a Picture

Now we’ll dress up this page by importing an illustration created with another application.


1. Select the Picture Tool from the Tool Palette.


2. Use your mouse to draw a rectangle on the page just below the Text object.


A Windows File Selector screen will appear.


3. Locate the Program Files\VisualNEO for Windows 5 folder. (If you installed VisualNEO for Windows in a different folder, use that instead.)


4. Open the Tutorial Files folder.


5. Select the Logo1.bmp file.


6. Click OK.


The selected image file will be inserted into the Picture object and displayed on the page.


7. Place the mouse pointer over the Picture object and click the right mouse button.


The Picture Properties screen will appear.


8. Click the Appearance icon.

9. Place a check mark in the box next to the Resize object to match image dimensions option.


10. Click OK.


The Picture object will be automatically resized to match the dimensions of the image file. If needed, use your mouse to adjust the position of the Text and Picture objects to match the illustration below:



Importing a Text File

Now that our first page contains a title, we can concentrate on the main information page of our two page publication. First we need to go to the second page.


1. Display the second page by clicking the tab at the bottom of the VisualNEO for Windows screen labeled “New Page 1”.


2. Select the Article Tool from the Tool Palette.


3. Use your mouse to draw a large rectangle in the top portion of the page. Don’t worry if the rectangle isn’t perfect, you can always resize it later.


The New Article screen will appear.



4. Select the Open an existing document option.


5. Click OK.


A Windows File Selector screen will appear.


6. Locate the Documents\VisualNEO for Windows 5 folder. (If you installed VisualNEO for Windows's sample files in a different folder, use that instead.)


7. Open the Tutorial Files folder.


8. Select the Sample1.rtf file.


9. Click OK.


The text from the selected file will be inserted into the Article object and displayed on the page. Let’s add a solid background and a border to our Article.


10. On the Style Palette, click the small arrow button next to the Fill Pattern box.


11. Click the pattern square containing the letter “S”. This will make our Article object solid.


12. Click the small arrow next to the Style Palette’s Fill Color box.


The Color Selector will appear.


13. Select “white” and click the Color Selector’s OK button.


14. Click the small arrow next to the Style Palette’s Line Width box.


15. Select the first line width (one pixel) just below “None”.



If needed, use your mouse to adjust the position and shape of the Article object to match the illustration above. You can edit the Article’s properties, by selecting Object Properties from the Edit menu. (You can also access the properties screen by clicking the object with the right mouse button.) The document displayed within the Article object can be edited by selecting the file’s name from the Edit menu’s Create/Edit command.


Disabling a Button from the Master Page

Since this is the last page of our publication, our Next Page button won’t work here. To avoid confusing our readers, we’ll use a simple Action command to disable this button while the page is visible. Another Action will re-enable the button before the reader leaves so it will continue to work on our other page.


1. Select Page Properties from the Page menu.


2. Click the Actions icon.


3. Click the Insert Action button.


4. Select DisableObject from the Objects category.


The DisableObject Properties screen will appear.


5. Type PushButton1 in the Object Name field. (This is the name VisualNEO for Windows assigned to our Next Page button.)


6. Click OK.


The DisableObject Action will be added to the Page Enter event. This event is activated every time this page is displayed. Now, let’s add another Action to re-enable the Next Page button.


7. Click the Page Exit tab at the bottom of the Page Properties screen.



8. Click the Insert Action button.


9. Select EnableObject from the Objects category.


The EnableObject Properties screen will appear.


10. Type PushButton1 in the Object Name field.


11. Click OK.


The EnableObject Action will be added to the Page Exit event. This event is activated every time the reader leaves this page to go to another page.


12. Click the Page Properties screen’s OK button.


Saving Your Work

Let’s go ahead and save what you’ve done so far. It’s a good idea to save your work often to avoid losing anything if there’s a power failure or some other disruption.


1. Select Save from the File menu.


Since we haven’t saved this publication before, the Save As screen will appear.


2. In the VisualNEO for Windows 5 folder on your hard drive, open the Tutorial Files folder.


3. Type Tutorial1.pub in the File Name field.


4. Click Save.


Testing The Publication

Every so often it’s a good idea to test drive your publication. VisualNEO for Windows’s test mode provides you with a preview of your publication from a reader’s perspective. Buttons, check boxes, animation, sound, and other elements will function just as they would in a finished publication.


1. Select Run (From Start) from the App menu.


2. Test the publication by clicking on the Next and Previous buttons, etc.

3. When you’re finished testing, click the publication window’s close button or press the Esc key on your keyboard.


Distributing The Publication

When your publication is complete and ready for distribution, you’ll use VisualNEO for Windows’s Compile option to package it into a stand-alone executable application (exe). This process is called compiling.


1. Select Compile/Publish from the App menu.


The Compile/Publish App screen will appear.


2. The Compile To field contains the location and name of the exe file that will be created. By default, this name is the same as the publication’s file name except that the extension has been changed to “exe”. You can leave this name as is or change it if you like.


3. Under Type of compiled publication to create, select Standard Application (EXE).


4. Under This compiled publication will be run from, select Hard Disk.


5. Under Compiler Options, place check marks next to Compress files embedded inside compiled publication and Compress and encrypt publication source code. Make sure no check marks are next to the other two options.


6. Click Compile.


VisualNEO for Windows will convert the publication into a Windows application file (exe) using the name and location specified in the Compile To field. To launch the compiled application, double click this file name from the Windows Explorer.


Congratulations, you’ve just created your first VisualNEO for Windows publication!