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14 Steps to Create Your First Publication

This section will take you, step by step, through the process of creating your first NeoBook publication. 

Once you are familiar with the interface and how the tools work, you should have little trouble placing your own text, images, command buttons, etc. to construct more elaborate works. We also strongly suggest you learn how various types of publications are constructed by examining the sample publication files which are included with NeoBook (use the File/Open command to load these). You can even change these samples to suit your needs. Constructing a publication is actually very simple, even though we've broken it down into many steps here. If you choose to go through these steps, we suggest resizing the NeoBook window and this Help window, so they can be displayed at the same time.

Step 1 Starting NeoBook
Step 2 Linking NeoBook to Other Software
Step 3 Publication-wide Parameters
Step 4 Setting the Number of Pages
Step 5 Master Controls
Step 6 Using the Tool Palette
Step 7 The First Page
Step 8 Page Attributes
Step 9 Placing a Title
Step 10 Placing Long Text
Step 11 Inserting an Illustration
Step 12 Disabling a Button from the Master Page
Step 13 Invisible Buttons
Step 14 Running the Publication

1: Starting NeoBook

When you enter NeoBook, a new, blank publication will be loaded into the editing area which occupies the main part of the screen. The floating Tool Palette, containing the tools you need to edit your publication is also present.

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2: Linking NeoBook to Other Software

If this is the first time you are using the software, you will want to link your favorite text editor, paint program and/or sound editor to NeoBook to make it easier to edit text, images and audio files.

Select Options from the menu bar at the top of the screen.
Next, choose the Set Preferences option at the bottom of the drop down menu, and click on the Utilities tab.
Type in the program filename and path for each type of software in the corresponding field, or simply click on the folder button on the right side to scroll through the programs and directories on your system.
Once you have set up the Preferences options, your choices will automatically be used each time you start NeoBook.

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3: Publication-wide Parameters

Now we will start to work on our publication itself.

First, click on the Book menu at the top of the screen
Select Book Setup from the menu. Here we will specify how our publication will be used by our readers. This will bring up a dialog with tabs across the top.
Click on the Size/Colors tab and choose one of the 640x480 sizes listed.
Next, click on the Access Controls tab and set the check boxes so that only "Allow ESC Key to Exit" contains a check mark.
Finally, click on the Publication tab and enter your name as "Author" and click the OK button.

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4: Setting the Number of Pages

Now we can specify how many screen pages will appear in our publication.

Click on the Page menu at the top of the screen, then choose Add from the menu.
Since this is just an example, we’ll just use two pages. Click on the Insert field to add one additional page After page #1 -- you can always return later and use this command to add more pages.
Click on the OK button.

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5: Master Controls

The Master Page is used to set up page turning controls and other objects which will appear on most pages of your publication. To go to the Master Page, select the center icon button on the button bar at the top/right of the screen, or select the Page menu and choose the Goto Master Page command. The page number indicator in the screen’s bottom right corner now reads "Master Page." The Master Page is initially blank.

Choose the Button tool from the Tool Palette.
Move the cursor to the bottom third of the screen page.
Press down and hold the left mouse button while you drag out a box the size of the button you wish to make. Once the button is the right size, release the mouse button. Don’t worry if it’s not in the correct location or if it’s the wrong size, you can change that later.

A dialog box with several tabs along the top will appear, allowing you to set the appearance and functions for the button.
Under the General Settings tab, type "Next" into the Button Text field.

Click on the Button Action tab and then click on the Insert Action Command button and scroll down the list until you reach "GotoNextPage."
Click on the word "GotoNextPage" and the action will be entered into the list of commands for the button.
Now you may click on the OK button to tell NeoBook that you are satisfied with these selections.

The button you just created will be drawn once you select OK. Notice that the button is surrounded by eight small black boxes. These indicate that the object (in this case a button) is currently selected and that you may change its characteristics. Using the Arrow selector tool to click on other objects or areas causes the button to be deselected, and clicking on an unselected item selects and surrounded it with the black boxes.

Click and hold the left mouse button on one of the black boxes, then drag the cursor to a new location before releasing to resize the box.
Click and hold in the center of the selected area then drag the whole box to a new location.
With your new button selected, choose the Edit menu at the top of the screen, then select Duplicate from the menu. A second, identical button will appear on your screen.
Use your mouse to drag this second button to a position alongside the first.

Select this new button and choose Edit at the screen top.
Select Edit Object from the menu and type "Previous" in the Button Text field.
Click on the Button Action tab, then select the "GotoNextPage" command listed on the window. Use your delete key to remove the command (or click on the trash can icon). Next, click on the Insert Action Command button, and scroll down and click on "GotoPrevPage."
Finally, click OK -- you have created a second button!

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6: Using the Tool Palette

At this point, you may wish to arrange the two buttons on the page using the mouse to select and then drag each button to a new location. You may also add ruling lines, boxes and other graphical elements which will be common to most of the pages of your publication.

Click on the line, rectangle or ellipse tool, then use the same click and dragging action which we used to create the first button. If you make a mistake, use Undo under the Edit menu to remove the change.
Options to change the color, pattern, line and title fonts are on the right side of the Tool Palette.
Click on the Palette or Roll-up buttons to expand or shrink the palette. From the expanded palette, you may change the selected object’s Fill Color, Fill Pattern, Line Color, Line Width, and Line Style. If the selected object contains text, you may change to a new Font and Font Color.

If the Tool Palette gets in your way, you can click and hold the on palette’s title bar and drag the whole palette to a new location.

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7: The First Page

Now that we’ve placed two basic page turning controls on the Master Page, we can move on to set up the first page of the publication.

Select the Page menu at the top of the screen.
Choose Goto... from the menu.
Select page 1 and click on the OK button.

Note that the page indicator at the bottom/right corner of the screen now shows you are on page 1 of 2. Since this is the first page readers will see, we need to include a title, plus a few instructions for using the publication.

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8: Page Attributes

Next, let’s change the page background to something other than bright white. To do this, we use the Page Attributes selection under the Page menu.

Click on the Page menu at the top of the screen.

Select Page Attributes.

Click to activate the Solid Color radio button.

To the right of the Solid Color field, click on the arrow button to drop down a palette of available colors.

Select a color for the screen background.

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.

Click to mark the Copy to All Pages option at the bottom of the dialog. This saves you from having to set these options for other pages.

Note: If you would prefer using a picture, instead of a color, for your background, use the Wallpaper field to choose an image file, rather than the Solid Color field as in the example above.

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9: Placing a Title

Captions, titles and other short text may be inserted using the Title tool. The Title tool is the button containing the large "A" on the Tool Palette.

Click on the Title tool.

Move the cursor to the lower right portion of the screen and click at the point where you wish to begin the text.

In the Title Text field, type "Use mouse to select buttons" then press the Enter key and type "Use ESC key to Exit".

Click on the OK button.

Next, move the cursor towards the center of the page where you wish to place the title and click.

In the Title Text field, type "Amazing Bargains."

Click on the OK button.

You may choose a different font by selecting the text, then choosing the Font option from the expanded Tool Palette.

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10: Placing Long Text

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

Select the Page menu at the top of the screen.

Choose Goto... from the menu.

Select page 2 and click on the OK button. Note that the page indicator at the bottom/right corner of the screen changes to show that you are on page 2 of 2. Now we will place a long block of text in the upper right section of the page.

Click on the Article tool (the button containing a picture showing a stack of pages) from the Tool Palette.

Move the cursor to the top/center of the page, and while holding down the left mouse button, drag out a frame to contain the text (you may resize this later).

Find the NEOBOOK directory folder (or the directory into which you installed the NeoBook program). Scroll down through the files and select the file README.TXT (or another ASCII text file from your system) from the list.

Click on the OK button and the text will be inserted into the frame.

If desired, you may change scroll bars, etc. using the Edit Object command under the Edit command button. Colors, Font and surrounding Line may be changed using the options on the expanded Tool Palette. The text in the article itself may be edited using the Create/Edit command under the Edit button.

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11: Inserting an Illustration

Now we’ll dress up this page with an illustration.

Choose the Picture tool from the Tool Palette.

Drag out a frame to contain the picture.

Select an image from the files on your system.

You may size the picture to fit the frame, add scroll bars, etc. using the Edit Object command under the Edit command button. The image itself may be edited using the Create/Edit command under the Edit button.

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12: Disabling a Button from the Master Page

Since this is the last page of our example publication, the reader will not be able to use the Next Page button. We will disable this button by drawing another button over the "Next Page" button which shows through from the Master Page.

Select the Button tool from the Tool Palette.

Drag out a button to cover the "Next" Page button.

Under "General Settings," do not type anything in the Button Text field.

Use the default Push Button under the "Button Style" tab.

Select "SoundBuzzer" from the Insert Action Command list (under the "Button Action" tab).

Click on OK.

Click on the Selector Arrow tool from the Tool Palette.

Select the button you just created.

From the expanded Tool Palette, select a Fill Pattern other than "Solid (S)" or "Hollow (H)."

This creates a button which shades the button beneath to indicate that it no longer functions. The button will beep if pressed.

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13: Invisible Buttons

You may create hot areas on the screen which, when clicked, result in display of text, image pop-ups, sound or other actions. If you would like to try doing this, create a button which contains no Button Text. Choose "Hollow" as the Fill Pattern, and a Line Width of "None."

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14: Running the Publication

You may test your publication by using the Run command under the Book menu at the top of the screen. When you are satisfied, and wish to produce a stand-alone electronic publication which you may distribute, choose Compile from the Book menu, and assign a filename for the stand-alone EXE to contain your work.

Note: if you wish to come back to your publication and make changes, be sure and save your work using the Save command under the File button at the top of the screen.

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* This document is used with the permission of NeoSoft Corporation
Copyright 1999 NeoSoft Corporation

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