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How it works

The Dialog Generator (or DialogGen™) provides an entirely new, and much simpler way of designing and implementing customized dialog boxes interfaces. The standard method involves writing DCL files ahead of time, along with piles of LISP code to support them, and even more LISP code when you want to call up the dialogs. With DialogGen, you simply use a single new LISP function anytime you need a dialog. DialogGen automatically generates the dialog, all of the supporting LISP code, then loads, displays, and unloads the dialog, saves all the user input in variables, and returns the appropriate values to LISP. It does all of this automatically, on the fly, and on-demand from any point in any AutoLISP/VisualLISP routine, AutoCAD menu, or the AutoCAD command line. The function you use to call it is as follows (bear in mind that you don't have to write this out yourself - DialogGen incudes a point-and-click interface that actually writes everything for you):

          (DialogGen "my title" '(description))

All of the custom design elements are contained in the description which we have made as easy to understand and as flexible as possible. Each element in the description refers to an element in the dialog and contians all of it's relevant information in one spot which is very different than the way things have worked up until now. Elements are things such as a text boxes, toggles, action buttons, list boxes, radio rows, slider bars, and so on. For instance, to include an element where the user can enter some text, you would include something like the following in your description (again, the DialogGen IDE will actually write this for you):

          (text_input 'var1 "Please enter the layer name:")

where "Please enter the layer name:" is the label that appears in the dialog and VAR1 is a LISP variable in which you would like the user's input to be stored. If that's all you want in your dialog, then that's the entire description.

As simple as DialogGen has made things, it gets even easier. DialogGen includes a straight-forward, point-and-click IDE that actually writes these descriptions for you along with some examples to help get you started.

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