2.3: Customizing ChessDB

ChessDB has many options and settings that can be saved. Most are found in the main window Options menu, or in Display or Options menus in other windows such as the PGN window. When you change a setting in ChessDB, it is not permanently saved until you select the Options / Save Options menu command. So after changing some settings, remember to save options if you want your changes used the next time you start ChessDB.

Setting the language

ChessDB can be set to display in Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish & Swedish. You can change the language in Options->Language

Minor bugs with translations

There are a few minor bugs with the translations. The startup screen will have a bit of English text, even if another language is chosen. An example is of the startup screen in Swedish shows this. I may try to improve this. A few lines which you can see if you right click on the games list are shown only in English, and for reasons a bit complex to explain, is not easy to fix.

Improving the translations

Some of the translations are incomplete. If you see a problem with the translation, or would like to add to this, please download the relavant language file from this list. After downloading, find lines which start with either 'menuText' 'translate' or 'helpMsg', then change the English text between '{' and '}' to the langauge and email it to Dr. David Kirkby

Customising the main window

There are three components of the ChessDB main window that can be altered: the chessboard, the toolbar and the game information area.

Chessboard preferences

You can change the board size, piece style and square colors using the Chessboard, submenu under the Options menu. There is also a keyboard shortcut for changing the board size: Ctrl+Shift+LeftArrow decreases the size and Ctrl+Shift+RightArrow increases it.

Another board preference is available from the navigation toolbar: the navigation toobar icon icon, which has the digit 0 as its shortcut key. This turns coordinates (a-h and 1-8 around the edge of the board) on or off. This setting is also saved when you save options.

Toolbar preferences

By default, the ChessDB main toolbar contains all the icons it can show, but you can decide for each icon whether it should be displayed. Trimming down the toolbar to contain fewer icons is especially useful if you are using ChessDB on a low-resolution display, because a full toolbar will make the main window wide even with a small board size.

To customise the toolbar, use the Options / Toolbar command. A dialog box will appear providing a checkbutton for each toolbar icon to be displayed or hidden.

The game information area

Game information Move the mouse cursor over the game information area (the text area below the chessboard), and hold down the right mouse button. You will see a pop-up menu; the top section of it is shown here. Most of the options are not relevant here, but the first two are worth mentioning now.

The Hide next move checkbox hides the game result and next move; this is very useful if you are playing through a game trying to guess what move was played at each position or solve problems.

The Show material values setting causes the material counts (where a queen is 9 pawns, a rook 5, and bishop and knights worth 3) of the chessboard to be displayed in the game information area. Turn this setting on, and you should see "(39-39)" appear. The values will change as the board changes.

Customising other windows

Most windows have their size and most recent screen location remembered when you save options. So for windows you use frequently, it is a good idea to resize and arrange them on the screen as you like, then save options to set the default window sizes and locations.

Some windows can be opened automatically when ChessDB starts. The Options / Startup sub-menu has these settings. If you often work with more than one database, you will probably find it helpful to have the database switcher window open when ChessDB starts.

Other options

To be completed...

If you would like to contribute to the tutorial or see anything that should be updated, corrected or improved, please contact David Kirkby. But please note David only speaks English.

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This page was last modified: September 16, 2007. 11:41:41 am GMT