5 - Getting Started

5.1 - First Steps

The first thing you should do is start the application, and hopefully tell it that it is okay to ask fyngyrz.com for a serial number and the latest version of iToolBox. You can change this setting in the Preferences dialog at any time.

Then open the Preferences dialog using either +, or the Preferences menu item, and click Meta Defaults; then set the default author, annotation, and copyright strings. These will be automatically applied to all new images you create, and saved in file formats that support them such as the .ato, .elx and .png formats — of course you can change them for any image using the Author, annotation, and copyright operators, and you can change them globally in the Preferences dialog.

If you like, you can set your Home GPS co-ordinates in the Meta Defaults dialog as well. They will not be applied to any image unless you intentionally do so using the GPS operator.

5.2 - Some Tips

5.2.1 - The Basics Are Very Easy

Here's how you generally use iToolBox:

  • Load an image with Load Image or control+l
    • Repeat as desired:
      • Choose a new Operator, or use the currently selected one
      • Choose a new Area Tool, or use the currently selected one
      • Select an area on the image view using your mouse
      • Optionally use undo and redo to manage your changes
  • Save the result with s

5.2.2 - Context Matters

OS X (MacOS) directs your keyboard and mouse input to the window that is in focus. The window that is in focus indicates this by showing you a visibly active window title bar, where other windows present a more subdued title bar:


Active title bar under (osx) 10.12.6


Inactive title bar under OS X (MacOS) 10.12.6

You activate a particular window with a single on its title bar.

Tip: The terms "active window" and "window in focus" mean the same thing.

Here's what "context matters" means: When an image view is in focus, (that means that it is the active window, indicated by an active titlebar on the window) the cursor keys pan the image view. But when the Layers dialog is in focus, then the cursor keys adjust the position of the currently selected layer with regard to the master image. And again when the Operators dialog is in focus, the cursor keys pan the eyepoint of the preview window around. And yet again, when the Measure dialog is in focus, the cursor keys move the rulers around on the most recently active view. So make sure the window you mean to be in focus, is the one in focus, before you go hammering out keystroke commands on the keyboard.

5.2.3 - Resizing Image Views

When you resize an image view, use a -and-drag, and do it from the right edge of the view. iToolBox uses a one-edge strategy for aspect-correct view sizing, and that's the right edge.

Tip: If you want to resize a view in a non-aspect correct manner, press y and the view will allow you to adjust it freely. It's also useful to know that you can create a resized image immediately, identical is size to the new view frame with C (shift+c). There are a number of useful things you can do with aspect, you'll find more details here.

5.2.4 - Key Commands Are Mnemonically Associated

Almost all letter-based keystroke commands are mnemonically associated: p for print, s for save, etc. This makes them much easier to learn if keyboard commands are your thing.

Tip: No, you don't have to use keyboard commands... there are command palettes and so forth as well. But some people like them, because they enable faster workflows. Here's the command palette:

You can open this command palette with k when the action image is in focus.

5.2.5 - Hot Repositioning Is... Hot!

If you're making an elliptical or rectangular area selection: while you are pressing , if you also press the selection will un-anchor and you can slide it around. When the ellipse or rectangle is exactly where you want it, release the , and you're back to normal sizing. Release the , and the selection is made.

Warning: The Apple "magic mouse" does not work properly with hot repositioning, because one of its "magic" features is that it does not properly implement the right-mousebutton. Sorry. For you magic mouse users, you can press shift while the left mouse button is down instead. This is treated as if you are holding down both left and right mouse buttons.

5.2.6 - The Polygon Tool Offers Hot Point Editing

The polygon area placement also offers move, delete and add capabilities anywhere along the polygonal path. See the polygon tool explanation for how that works.

5.2.7 - Custom or Standard File and Color Dialogs

You can choose between native and custom file and color setting dialogs in the application preferences (OS X (MacOS) users can use , to access) The custom File dialog is much faster than the native one under OS X (MacOS) and allows you to hand-enter a filename and/or path. The custom color dialog allows you to handle more colors than the native one under OS X (MacOS). The tradeoff is generally one of familiarity for function.

5.2.8 - There Are Three Primary Image Types

Atomic images are single images with no layer content or membership. Layered images have multiple image layers that make them up; they are combined to create a master image:

  • Atomic - the usual standalone image you just loaded from a .jpg, etc.
  • Layer -- the layer(s) making up a layered image.
  • Master - the result of all the combined layers in a layered image.

Layering offers an extraordinarily powerful way to manipulate and adjust your images. You can learn more about layered images beginning with the discussion of the Layers dialog.


A layered image with two image components
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