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VUTRAX Technical Support

VUTRAX SOFTWARE ADVICE NOTICE 177 (Issue 3 - 19 May 2000)


VUTRAX 12 onwards allows provision of new bitmaps for existing DRAFT toolbar functions, and introduction of new buttons for functions not offered in the standard button library.

For each button proceed as follows:-

  • Use Windows Paint, PaintShop Pro, or some other bit image paint package to draw the button as follows:-

    • Size: 20 pixels square.
    • Colours: Use the basic Windows 16 colour palette (4 bits) unless your system is 'full colour'.
    • Save: Into your VUTRAX directory with the name <bitmap name>.BMP . Choose <bitmap name> to be alphanumeric plus underline and hyphen, with no embedded spaces. Other symbols may upset things. e.g. \VUTRAX\TRIAL.BMP
  • Although there are many ways to introduce the buttons into the system, we suggest that you adopt the following:-
    • For the mode(s) in which you want the button to appear text edit the appropriate file(s) of MAKELIB.BTN, SCHEM.BTN, SKETCH.BTN and TRACK.BTN . Append lines with the format:-

      <menu position>  FBM_<bitmap name>   <Menu Title>


        <menu position>

      is found by searching file DRAFT.MNU. Do not alter DRAFT.MNU in any way. e.g.
      [All Files] from (Edit)
      Ctrl+F and enter the title you want to find.
      F3 to find more, F8 to move back to the top
      Line numbers ending in 1 or 6, columns 5 to 34 inclusive are the menu item titles. Add 5000 to the digits in Columns 1 to 4 to give the answer.
      If you are replacing a graphics icon simply copy the already tabulated value earlier in the file (the format is obvious).
      <bitmap name>
      is as described for building the bit image. Omit the path and .BMP extension.
      The field should not exceed 50 characters (12 characters before DRAFT 38.11a).
      If DRAFT can't find your file you get a gray button.
      <Menu Title>
      is what appears in the TOOLBAR arrangement dialogue. It is intended to match the DRAFT.MNU entry, but need not. Tooltips will show the entry from DRAFT.MNU. The field should not exceed 23 characters.

      e.g. 5123  FBM_TRIAL  My Test Name

  • Finally, either:-
    • Use the TOOLBAR dialogue to move this entry to where you want it in the toolbar, introducing gaps as required, and deleting any duplicate entry.  


    • Examine the first line of the file which takes the form

      <mode dependent value>  <user customised>  <DRAFT version>

      and if the field <user customised> is a 0 change it to 1.


    When you upgrade, the .BMP files will be retained, but your entries in the .BTN files may be lost if a different issue of DRAFT is included in the upgrade. The final step in the sequence above (use of the Toolbar editor or altering the <user customised> field) will mark the file as 'user customised' and it will usually be preserved even at the risk that some buttons may now not work.

    Nevertheless you are strongly advised to keep a permanent copy of your new entries to edit back in after an upgrade.
    Futher, we can not guarantee that the menu position fields and titles are invariant - please check all works as intended after any upgrade before you rely on your buttons.

    Do not alter DRAFT.BTN - this file has a different format and its contents are checked during system build so that it can be relied on in delivered systems.

    If you get in a mess (e.g. DRAFT hangs after your changes) rename/delete the file you altered so that DRAFT builds a new one.

    Promoting your Button

    If you would like your button integrated with the next issue of DRAFT, send it (floppy or e-mail) to the office together, with the .BTN file entry. Only standard 16 colour buttons will be considered. If we have a good response we may make all acceptable buttons that we do not integrate available for Internet download. Thus any buttons you provide must be public domain.

    Document History:

    Issue 1: March 1998 for introduction of Vutrax 12.
    Issue 2: 14 May 2000 to specify limits on field sizes, raise these limits for DRAFT 38.11, and include corrections & clarifications.
    Issue 3: 19 May 2000 to explain how to have the changes preserved during DRAFT upgrades.


    As requested. Referenced from standard documentation.
    Internet Site.