Monday, June 21, 2010

Time to Add Some Color

By Drew Bennett

You schedule music a lot. Otherwise, you wouldn't be using such a powerful piece of software, right? So, it stands to reason you would want to customize the software any way you can to make life easier or maybe just to brighten things up a bit and make time spent scheduling music that much more enjoyable. In the old days, you were forced to go with a predetermined color scheme or worse, no color scheme at all. With MusicMaster for Windows, you are not forced to use a set group of colors or color schemes in the software. You really can set custom colors and layouts in various sections of the software to make things more appealing to you.

Categories is a great place to start when you are building a database and setting category colors can help organize your categories better. To change the color of a category listed in the info bar, right click on the category and choose, Properties. You can also reach category properties from the main menu by choosing Dataset, Library, Categories and then double clicking a category. When you reach the category properties screen you will notice the word, "Sample," at the bottom of the screen. Double clicking that opens a color grid and this is where you can set the Foreground color (text) and the Background color of the category.

You can even change the way your songs look within your categories and within the library maintenance screen. In library maintenance, choose the "Show/Hide Fields" icon (eighth icon from the right.) The Edit Grid Layout screen appears and this is where you can change the foreground and background color of the song cards in a category. Songs in music categories can have different colors applied than songs in non-music categories. Here, you can also change the color or songs that you have marked within the database.

Editing the grid layout can also be done in the Schedule Editor. In the Schedule Editor, the Modify Editor Layout is the 5th icon from the right. When you click it, the Edit Grid Layout screen appears. On the right side of this screen you can change the colors for anything from Hour Markers in the log, to Lognotes, or even Stopsets. The color of Unscheduled Positions can also be changed here as well as how music and non-music looks within the Schedule Editor. Note: When creating or modifying layouts in either Library Maintenance or the Schedule Editor, don't forget to save your layout so you can come back to it later.

Highlight Filters in the Schedule Editor are a great way to add a little color to songs that meet a certain criteria defined by you. The 12th icon from the left in the Schedule Editor is called Highlight Filters. Here, you can set a value to a filter using the dropdown boxes in the Highlight Filters screen. You can also set a color to be displayed in the Schedule Editor when that criterion is met. Use the Modify Editor Layout icon to add these Highlight Filters to the Schedule Editor layout.

From the main menu, head to Tools, Options, Display Colors. Here, you can customize the colors of Clocks, History, Library and Schedule element types. For instance, changing the color of your weekends in the History Graph can help you to more easily identify weekend spins when you are editing a day. You might also want to change the color of element types in the pie chart tab of the Clock Editor.

You can also change the color of the Main Window Wallpaper you see when you open the software. To do that, choose Tools, Options, Dataset Identification. Find the Main Windows Wallpaper section and change the color that displays when you open the software.

Changing the colors around in various sections of the software can really be helpful when you use it as much as you do. It can be a difference maker in many cases so take the time to find your custom color settings in MusicMaster. It makes for happier scheduling and a better music log!





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