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Creating & Editing Grids in Clicker 4


Getting Started

After launching clicker and selecting your name from the list, you should be brought to your personal folder. From here you can open an existing document or grid, or you can start afresh. We're going to look at starting a new grid ready for you to use or save.

Clicker 4 File Explorer

Clicker should come up looking like this. To start a new grid, go to File and choose New Grid...

New Grid Dialog

This is the New Grid 'dialog' box. If you were to click OK now, you'd get a very simple 5x4 blank grid. Don't click OK, though, as we're going to use one of Clicker's templates for sentence building.

List of Grid Templates

To start a new grid based on a sentence-building template, click on the Sentence Building tab then choose verbs2 from the list. A preview of the grid should appear in the dialog. Click OK to close the dialog and return to Clicker.

Filling in a Grid

It's very easy to edit grids, and it makes no difference whether they start off blank or if they're already filled in.

An example Grid

Now that you've returned to Clicker, you should see the verbs2 grid has opened. Also Clicker has launched Clicker Writer at the top of the screen. This is where the words that you select in the grid appear.

The grid that we've chosen is pretty simple, made up of twelve 'cells'. It's designed to make sentences using the past-tense verbs walked, cycled, and ran. The four cells on the left are intended for the subject of the sentence, probably a person. The four cells on the right you'd fill in with locations. With the full stop after that, a user can create a whole sentence without touching the keyboard.

Adding new words to an example grid

Let's start on the left and work our way across. First we'll need our four people. I've filled mine in as family members, but you could use names, pronouns, or anything that'll make sense. To edit a cell, simply hold shift and click on the cell. Then type your text and press enter to finish. Notice that the cells can contain more than one word.

Changing the existing words in an example grid

OK, so now I have decided that I'm not keen on having these sentences in the past tense, so I'm going to change these verbs to present. Shift-click on a cell and the text inside it will highlight. You'll replace whatever was in the cell as you type. Then all you have to do is fill in the last four cells and you've finished the grid!

An example grid in use

Here's the grid in use. Our clicker user has created four sentences by clicking on the cells. He has decided that Dad walks to the shops and Sister cycles to school and he has ended each sentence with a full stop.

Saving Grids

Fortunately, you can save grids in the same way as you save documents.

Saving your grid from the file menu

Go to the File menu at the top of your screen and choose Save Grid...

The Save As dialog

When the Save Grid dialog box pops up, just choose where you want to save your grid and what you want it to be called.

If you save the grid under the +user folder then only that user will have access to it. If you save it elsewhere in clicker (by pressing the Up One Level Icon button) then everybody will be able to use it.

If none of the templates that Clicker provides is suitable for you then it's pretty easy to make your own from scratch. There are two ways of doing this, either with a basic table of cells or with a completely blank sheet.

Starting a New Grid using a Table of Cells

This is the easiest but least flexible way of making a grid from scratch. A table of cells are similar to tables in a word processor. Specify how many rows and columns you would like and clicker will create a neat table of equal size cells.

A new grid

Let's start at the New Grid Dialog. If you're not sure where this is, make sure you've read the earlier sections of this tutorial. Under the My Templates tab, you should have (at least) _default and Blank. Choose _default and you'll see a grid of 5x4 cells will appear in the preview window. If this suits yours needs, just click ok and that's it!

More often, however, you will need to customise this grid a little. Click on the Custom button to bring up the Grid Properties dialog.

Adjusting your settings for the new grid

Let's make a smaller table of just 3x2 cells (3 across, 2 down) giving us six cells in total. To do this, simply change the values of the Across and Down boxes. The Gap is the thickness of the border between the cells. The larger the gap the smaller the cells. The Left Insert is useful if you want a small explanation of the grid, or a picture of something. If you want to manually insert a cell, I suggest you read the next section of this tutorial. The No Cells check box will force clicker to ignore everything you've entered so far and revert to the Blank template. The Background Colour is self-explanatory.

Choosing where to send grid contents

It's worth checking that this grid is going to send its contents to the right place. Click on the Send To tab. Make sure that Clicker Writer is selected in the list.

The new grid in use

If all goes well, your grid should appear at the bottom of the screen, with Clicker Writer at the top. I have filled in my grid with a six-word sentence in jumbled order.

Starting a New Grid using a Blank Sheet

This option offers you more flexibility but they're more complicated to set up. With this you start with a completely blank sheet, and you insert, resize and position each cell manually.

Starting another new grid

We're starting at the New Grid dialog. From the list on the left, choose Blank. By default, this grid does not send. In order to use your grid to build a document you'll need to tell it to send somewhere. Click the Custom button.

Adjusting the grid properties again

Now unfortunately clicker has forgotten that you said you wanted a blank sheet, so you'll have to tick the No Cells box. It doesn't matter how many cells are in the Across and Down boxes as no cells will be shown.

Choosing where to send grid contents. Again.

Now click on the Send To tab and select Clicker Writer from the list.

Click OK button.

A really blank grid.

Now you should have your blank grid ready. It's time to insert some cells. To do this, go to the Grid menu, down to Insert, and select Insert Cell. As you move your cursor around, an outline of your cell will follow. Get your cursor into the correct position inside the grid, and click the mouse button. You'll see that you've 'laid' this cell down. You need to have a good idea what you want your grid to look like before you start putting down cells.

If you accidentally drop the cell in the wrong place you'll need to delete it and start again. Delete a cell by first selecting it (press the Ctrl key and click on it) then go to the Grid menu, down to Delete, and select Delete Cell. Alternatively you can move cells from one place to another by holding the Alt key and dragging the cell around.

Adding your own cells

All you have to do now is repeat the above procedure, putting down as many cells as you want wherever you want on the grid. They can overlap one another, though this isn't really recommended. I have created a grid designed for sentence building. The full stop cell at the moment is as big as any of the others, and since a full stop is so small I'm going to shrink it down.

Resizing a cell is similar to moving them. Hold down the Alt key and hover the mouse around the lower-left corner of the cell until it become a double-headed arrow. Then drag the corner out or in to make the cell bigger or smaller.

Adding words and setting colours of your own cells

I have now finished my grid. I have resized all my cells and colour ed in the full stop and the 'to' cells.

The Cell Properties dialog

To change the colour of a cell hold down shift and right-click it. This brings up the Cell Properties dialog box. Click on the Background Colour button. Choose a colour and click OK. Then click OK again and you should be all done.

You might want to save this grid at this point, see Saving Grids if you're unsure how to do this.