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The Tools Section

In between the menu bar and the status line is the most important part of BURRTOOLS: The section that allows you to submit existing puzzles to the solver, but more even important lets you create and test your own designs.

The Puzzle People

The tools section has three major tabs that might can be thought of by analogy with real people in the world of mechanical puzzles. First there is the Entities tab, which can be seen as the craftsman who creates different shapes but is not concerned with their purpose of these (→Chapter Shapes). As long as his saw blade is sharp he's the happiest man in the whole wide world. Next, we have the Puzzle tab. This is the weirdo who thinks it's fun to come up with completely insane problems to be solved with the otherwise very innocent objects produced by our craftsman (→Chapter Puzzles). However, his contribution to the preservation of our planet is considerable... by saving a lot of wood scraps from the incinerator. And last we have the Solver, the poor guy who spends not only a great deal of his money on these finely crafted puzzles but almost all of his leisure time on solving them (→Chapter Solver), only to feel very euphoric when he finally succeeds. But scientists are still breaking their heads over the question whether this is caused by the sweet smell of success, or is merely due to severe sleep deprivation.

Resizing the Elements

Although the layout of the GUI is designed to suit the needs of most users, it sometimes may be useful to resize some elements for convenience in using BURRTOOLS. Besides the traditional resizing of the main window, BURRTOOLS has a couple of features to alter the relative importance of its controls.

First, the tools tabs can be made wider or narrower (thus making the 3-D viewport more or less important) by dragging the right edge of the tools section. Hovering your mouse pointer over that edge will make it change into a left-right arrow, indicating that you can start dragging it.

Second, within each of the three main tabs some sections (panels) can be resized as well. For example, if you have a design with many different shapes but no colour constraints at all, reducing the size of all colour related controls and maximising those concerning shapes could be very advantageous. The panels on the tool tabs are separated by so called resize handles (Figure Resize). The separators that allow resizing are easily recognised by a little beveled square on their right end. Hover your mouse pointer over the lines until it changes into an up-down arrow, indicating that you can drag the separator up or down to resize the panel.

Figure: Resize handles

Note that each section has a minimum size. It is not possible to make it smaller than that minimum size.

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