Help with Widget Kit and text boxes


Longtime reader/user/lurker delurking here.

Last night I finally tried my hand at template bashing with the Widget Kit 0.6 in NeoOffice 2.0 on my Macbook. I have absolutely no experience with any drawing program, and have only ever made rough templates in MSExcel, so I thought I'd try something fairly straight forward: a Classic weekly Unschedule (from Neil Fiore's _The Now Habit_) - basically a 7 day, 24 hour blank template.

It is shaping up much better than I expected, though I imagine I've done everything bass-ackwards to get there.

Anyway, the thing I'm having the most trouble with is figuring out the text boxes and how to position them correctly. The widget text boxes are always much bigger than I expect them to be - is there a reason for this? For header & subheader labels, I'm just using the widgets, and things seem to be working out.

What I was too tired to figure out last night was how to place the time digits in the check boxes properly. I want to learn how to do the Day Keeper 24C style check box numbers. How big does the text box need to be? How do you place the box to get the number centered every time?

The widget kit is awesome! It allowed me to spend a few hours (well, more than a few) exploring menus and pushing buttons in a program that was completely unfamiliar, and I've got something pretty to show for it. Just wish my template had all the funky curves and shading of D*I*Y* 3.0 - maybe I can play with that once I get the text boxes sorted.

Thanks again!


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Secret of placing text boxes


I don't think there's a particular reason for the text boxes to be so huge. There is no need for the text box to be much bigger than the text itself, except that it's easier to grab the box (or not grab it when using the rectangle selection) that way sometimes.

The secret of placing the text centered every time is to do it once and then use the 'duplicate' function the same way you do for the check boxes and lines.

That is, you have a line to divide your hours, and you have text you want in there to describe which hour you're working on. You want to fill the rest of the page with lines evenly spaced, so you click the line, then use "Edit/Duplicate" to copy it down. There are settings in the Duplicate box that let you tell it how many times to duplicate and how far apart they should be.. Example: make 20 copies, each one .25 inch apart on the Y axis. This will give you a 'wide rule' of a quarter inch. If you do the same thing with your text, then you only have to place it perfectly one time. Then you can use the Duplicate function to make perfectly spaced copies all down the page.

If you don't want the copies to be on every line, then you just change the spacing (.5 inch to get every second line, .75 to get every third, etc.).

At least, this is how it works in I have never used NeoOffice.

If NeoOffice doesn't have Edit/Duplicate for some reason, then there are a couple of other ways to center the text in the line. You can turn on 'snap to shape geometry' and then size the text box so the handles exactly match the lines above and below. Then format the text box so the text is centered vertically. This method also works for getting the perfect indent each time, you just have to adjust the handles left/right and set your indent in the text formatting. In this method you'd copy the box and paste it a zillion times, then move it to the appropriate line. With 'snap' turned on it's not that bad, as long as you don't also have 'snap to grid' and a bunch of other snaps turned on. They fight with each other.

The last method I've used, which is the nastiest, is to make one huge text box running down the page, and fiddle with your font size and spacing until the text is set the way you want it. This is the least perfect, but works OK for a small page (like a 3x5 card). It is quite fiddly, though, and a bit of a pain. If you move to a different printer or PC/Mac, your fonts will wander and you'll have to readjust them if you want to print from the second machine.


er... the duplicate button... right

Told you I was doing it the hard way. You should see this nifty thing I've been working on in my spare time - it's gonna change the world! I'm thinking about calling it... the WHEEL!

But seriously, thanks for the swift and detailed answer. I ran out of weekend to play with, so I'll have to give it a try in a couple of days.




I really appreciate the swift and detailed response. (I posted something to that effect earlier, but I think the site ate it).

Hmm... didn't use the duplicate function at all up to this point - told you I'd figure out how to do it the hard way!

Thanks again.



NeoOffice is a port of OpenOffice to the native Aqua interface for Macs where OpenOffice requires X11 to run. I've heard that there are plans for an official OpenOffice for Aqua. I'm not sure how long that will take to materialize though. For the time being, NeoOffice seems to be the best free office suite for the Mac.


Unschedule available to print?

I've been reading "The Now Habit" and find it has some exteremly good ideas in it. One of the best being there is only one "A" priority item on your todo list at any one time. Figure out what you have to do next and do it instead of complicating things. This works out so well with "Getting Things Done" that I can't believe it.

Anyway, I want to try the unschedule and was wondering if there is a template available for download? This discussion was the only thing that came up when I search for "unschedule".


Link to Unschedule Graphic


i was able to find this on the web.
May be easier to create your own though.


Use an existing template

I think the 24 hour "weekly planning" pages (pages 34 and 35 in the 3.0 Classic Calendar kit, for example) should work well for Unschedule pages.

Do you procrastinate?


Thanks. That was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I didn't even realize there was a 24 hour weekly section in the official diyplanner calendar pages.


Now Habit Unschedule template

Haven't been around the site much for a while, but I thought I'd upload the Unschedule I cobbled together for people to have a look at. Check it out and tell me what you think!

The PDFs look a little odd/crappy to me, but they seem to print up fine.

I'm also thinking about darkening up the dotted half-hour lines. If I get around to it. :p