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Touch screen text input

May 7, 2000
by Pat McClellan

Dear Handyman,

I am working on a touchscreen kiosk without a keyboard available. Is it possible to create sprites that simulate numeric keystrokes on mouseUp? The error I've been running into is on mouseUp where a variable was set to be placed in a text field, each time another button is pressed, the text is replaced by the most recent mouseUp. I need the numbers to appear in the text field sequentially.

Paul

Dear Paul,

It's been a while since I've dealt with a touchscreen situation. The touchscreen part doesn't really impact the issue you're asking about, but it seems to me that I may have opted to use mouseDown instead of mouseUp on the touchscreen. It would be good to collect some touchscreen kiosk tips.

You probably just need to alter your code a little bit. Here's a dialpad with numbers. The code is easily reused to include letters, and the button push (member swap) and sound effects are separate behaviors.

Director 7 download for Mac or Windows.

There are 2 behaviors which handle the text input. The first is applied to the text member. This behavior starts by clearing out all the text in its member. Then, when it gets a message from the input keys, it accepts the input and adds the new character onto whatever text (if any) is already in that member.

property pMem, pText

on beginSprite me
  pText = ""
  pMem = sprite(me.spriteNum).member
  pMem.text = pText
end beginSprite

on acceptInput me, newCharacter
  pText = pText & newCharacter
  pMem.text = pText
end acceptInput

The keys send the character to the text display with this behavior:

property pMyCharacter, pDisplaySprite

on getPropertyDescriptionList me
  set pdlist to [:]
  addprop pdlist, #pMyCharacter, [#comment:"Which character?", #format:#string, #default:"1"]
  addprop pdlist, #pDisplaySprite, [#comment:"Which spriteNum for display?", #format:#integer, #default:18]
  return pdlist
end getPropertyDescriptionList

on mouseUp me
  sendSprite(pDisplaySprite, #acceptInput, pMyCharacter)
end mouseUp

As you can see, most of the code is for the gpdl handler, which lets you specify which character is assigned to that sprite. It also requires you to specify the sprite channel that the text display sprite is in. That's required in the sendSprite command that appears in the mouseUp handler. (The mouseUp can be changed to mouseDown if you want.)

That's all there is to it. Good luck with your program.

Patrick McClellan is Director Online's co-founder. Pat is Vice President, Managing Director for Jack Morton Worldwide, a global experiential marketing company. He is responsible for the San Francisco office, which helps major technology clients to develop marketing communications programs to reach enterprise and consumer audiences.

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