The Control Panel Editor

Control Panel Editor (CPE) is simply an alternative view and controller with exactly the same content data as Panel Editor (PE). Storage and loading can be done from either editor. You may change the view and control of your Panel whenever and as often as you please (explained below). The editor used to store the panel will be the editor used at the next load of your Panel.

Differences in the View between Editors

Panel Editor has a separate window for its editing functions. Control Panel Editor does not. In Panel Editor the Edit menu opens an edit window. In Control Panel Editor the Edit menu adds three additional menus to the panel: File, Options, Zoom, Add Items, Circuit Builder and Draw Shapes.

Changing the View between Editors

In either editor, when in edit mode, the last item in the File menu is Change view to "xx" ("xx" being the other editor). Selecting this item switches the view from one editor mode to the other editor mode.

Control Panel Editor Menus

When in Edit mode, the following menus are displayed:

File Menu

The File menu changes its items between edit mode and operating mode. In edit mode the items are the same as the items in the File menu of the Panel Editor's edit window with a few additional items. They are:

In operating mode Control Panel Editor's File menu has only one item: Open Editor.

Edit Menu

This menu supports Cut, Copy and Paste with the system clipboard. Cut and Copy will place a copy of a selection item or group into the clipboard. This feature allows copying selections from one panel to different Control Editor panel.

It also has a menu items.

Options Menu

The items in this menu are similar to the checkboxes in Panel Editor's edit window with a few additional items and features. As with PE, CPE can globally set repositioning and control attributes. However CPE preserves the individual repositioning and controlling attributes of items and will restore them when global overriding is removed.

When Override individual Position & Control settings is unchecked, locking or unlocking individual icon positions is done - likewise for enabling or disabling an item's control of layout devices. When Override individual Position & Control settings is checked, the next two menu items perform as they do in Panel Editor - changing these attributes for all panel items. However, in control Panel Editor the individual locking and control settings for each item are remembered.

Unchecking the Override individual Position & Control settings item will return the individual item settings to their previous settings. In Panel Editor, checking All panel items can be repositioned and All panel items control layout will permanently set all panel items and restoration cannot be done.

The menu also has items for setting Panel Scrollbars and to Show Tooltips. See Tooltips for more information.

Zoom Menu

The Zoom(percentage)... item will enlarge or reduce the panel size.

The Zoom to Fit item will enlarge or reduce the display of all panel items in the panel to fit within the panel window without the use of scroll bars. This can be useful if your panel design happens to be slightly larger that what you can fit on the screen. Rather than using scroll bars to see all items on the panel, "Zoom to Fit" will reduce the display to fit the panel window. Conversely, it will expand the display to fit the panel window. If you resize the panel window, then you should repeat "Zoom to Fit" to resize the display to fit the new panel window dimensions.

Add Items Menu

The Item Palette menu item opens a tabbed window which allows you to add item icons to the panel. Each item type has a tab in the window. Adding items is done by drag and drop. Iconic items may have multiple sets of icons to choose from. Icon sets may be customized and added or deleted to suit the user. Details may be found at The Item Palette help.
Note that the Item Palette can also be opened with the accelerator key, Control P. The icons are displayed on the background of the last editor to call the Item Palette. Once visible, use the bottom of the pane use the "Show on:" combo box to slect a different background.

The Palette in Control Panel Editor does not support the Slip/3-Way/Scissor turnout icons that are available from Panel Editor.

The Occupancy Table menu item opens a window where occupancy block (also called track circuits), OBlocks can be defined , along with Portals that join OBlocks and paths OPath that are trackage routes which traverse the OBlock. More information may be found at The Occupancy Block Tables.

The Item Table List menu item opens the device table list. The menu item can also be invoked with the accelerator key, Control T.


The items under this menu are help files for defining Occupancy Blocks and using them to define Warrants. When two or more Occupancy Blocks are defined, additional menu items for defining and using Warrants will appear. These menu items are described in Warrants.

Circuit Builder

This menu appears when two or more Occupancy Blocks are defined. The items under this menu provide a graphic user interface (GUI) for defining Occupancy Blocks, Portals and Paths, that is, a track circuit. Descriptions of the menu items are found in Circuit Builder.

Draw Shapes

This menu allows drawing of various geometric shapes. With the exception of Draw Polygon, each of the draw items is made with a mouse click and drag. Polygon shapes are made with a sequence of mouse clicks and the polygon terminated with a double click or pressing the 'Done' button.

When a shape is created or edited a small pane is displayed to set shape attributes. Colors can be chosen for both the outline and the fill. Also the line thickness of the outline and the transparency of the fill can be set. Precise dimensions can be set with the text fields at the bottom.

Shapes can be controlled with a sensor, by entering a Sensor name in the Visibility/Level Control text field. Activating the sensor may then be used to hide or change the level of the shape when in operating (not editing) mode. This feature can be used to mask and unmask help information to your panel or to highlight items.

Quick Reference for using the Mouse

When in edit mode, the following keystroke patterns are available:

Mouse operation in Control Panel Editor

Control Panel Editor does not implement the rollover highlighting found in Panel Editor.


In Control Panel Editor selection is done with a simple click. Items are deselected with Control click

When items are stacked, Shift-click will select the second-most item in the layer. Control-click will select the bottom-most item in the stack. If the items are stacked over a background item, Control-click will select the bottom-most item above the background. Control-click over only the background will select the background icon.

Multiple Selection

As with Panel Editor, a selection group can be made using the "selection fence" - a dotted red rectangle that will select all the items completely within the fence. If the Shift key is held down while creating a selection fence, then all items that intersect the dotted red rectangle are selected. This can be a useful feature when items are located at the top and left borders of the panel.

Add or delete items from a selection group by holding the Control key down when selecting the item.

Dragging selections

Drag selection or selection group with the mouse button held down on any item in the group.

A background icon (i.e. an icon at level 1) can be moved by dragging it with the control key held down.

Duplicating Selections in Control Panel Editor

Copying an item or selection group is done by bringing up the popup for one of the selected items. When the Duplicate popup menu item is clicked, a Copy of the selection group is made on top of the original selections. Drag this copy to wherever you wish to place the copy. The original selection is now deselected and remains at its original postion. The copy procedure can be repeated on the newly positioned copy to continue to make more copies.

Item Popups in Control Panel Editor

Right click (meta-click on Mac or Linux) brings up the popup menu for the item.

Hold the Control key down to open the popup menu for a background item.

Edit Text Attributes

The Edit Text Attributes popup item opens a dialog to set any of the item's text attributes.

Multiple Selection Editing

When a popup menu item is invoked from an item that is a member of a selection group, all of the edited values that were made in the popup are applied to all members of the selection group if that value is relevant to the member. For example, if the font size is changed on one of the items in the selection group then the font size is changed in all items in the group. If say, a fast clock were included in this group, then no change would be made to the clock.