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Custom Initialization

MultiEd was designed to allow the user to customize it. Almost everything that MultiEd knows about a particular language is saved its MultiEd32.INI (initialization) file. The tools are also saved in this file along with other information that can be set in the Options menu. The spell checker's initialization is stored in the file Addict.cfg. Words that have been added to the spelling dictionary are stored default.udt. Normal users can customize the editor to meet their needs and desires just by specifying items in the Options menu. But there are situations where this may be impossible or undesirable. These include

  1. In labs, MultiEd is often stored in a read-only folder. In this situation, it fairly common that there is a network drive with a personal folder available
  2. On shared machines, MultiEd may be installed as a system program available to all users but each user has an account and a personal "My Documents" folder.
  3. A user might want to customize MultiEd differently for different situations.

Default Custom Initialization submenu

In in the situations listed above, it is often desirable to take advantage of some of MultiEd's special features. In some cases, the best way to handle this is to install MultiEd on a memory stick or removable, portable hard drive. See the short tutorial Take MultiEd with You

In other situations, the "Custom Initialize" item in the "Tools" menu may be helpful. Before using this menu item, all the files in the MultiEd window must be closed. Clicking this item brings up a submenu. The items in the submenu depend on the situation. Lets begin with the submenu shown on the right that shows up when MultiEd is initially installed on a normal machine.

Lets look at the numbered items one by one.

  1. Set custom initialization: This allows you to specify a folder that already contains initialization files. It uses a "Select Directory" dialog. Some of the following menu will create those files for you. When this item selected, MultiEd will reinitialize itself using files in that folder. You (normally) can tell when this happens because the tool and status bars change colors.

  2. Create custom initialization dir: When this item is selected, MultiEd copies the initialization files to the specified folder in the "Set Custom Initialization Directory" dialog. Set Custom Initialzation Directory The folder must already exist. MultiEd will also copy the example and template folders unless you uncheck them. It then reinitializes itself just has if you picked item 1.

    The specified folder must be writable. If you have access to a personal My Documents folder, you can specify that folder by typing just typing "My Documents" as the desired folder.

    You can use an existing folder on a memory stick or removable, portable hard drive or you can put the initialization files on a network drive. Using portable or network drives may be useful if you work on lab machines and want to be able to use the same initialization files on each of them.

    The next time MultiEd is opened, it will use the default initialization files. You can use item 1. to switch to your new initialization files.

  3. Pick, store default init. dir: Despite the possibly confusing name, this item is almost identical to the previous item. The only difference is that MultiEd will automatically use this initialization folder in the future. You will be able to tell that it is using the custom folder because of the color of the tool and status bars.

    Important notes: This item does not work when MultiEd was installed in a read only folder because it cannot modify the .ini file. It is not appropriate on portable drives that may not always be available.

In some situations you may find additional items in the Custom Initialization submenu. In some situations you might see:
Create personal init files in ... dialog

  1. Create personal init. files in ____: (The name of a folder appears where the red rectangle appears in the figure.) This entry occurs when the MultiEd's .ini file specifies an initialization folder but the required files have not been created yet. This is the ideal situation for lab computers when users have access to a personal folder on a networked drive. The system administrator has to specify the folder before making the folder read-only.

    When this item is selected, MultiEd copies the initialization files together with the example and template folders and reinitializes itself using the new initialization files. In the future it will automatically use those file as evidenced by the tool and status bar colors.

When you are already using a custom initialization folder, the Custom Initialization submenu may contain the following item
Restore standard initialization dialog

  1. Restore standard initialization This item will cause MultiEd to reinitialize with the standard default initialization files. It will also clear the appropriate entry in the initialization file so that the next time MultiEd is opened, it will use the standard initialization files. This only possible if the MultiEd folder is not read-only. In the case MultiEd's folder is locked, you will have to delete (or rename) either MultiEd32.INI and/or Addict.cfg (the spell checker initialization file) from the custom initialization folder in order to have MultiEd automatically use the standard files.

Appendix: The Modifying the MultiEd32.INI file

Global section in the .ini file The image on the right show the "Global" section of a MultiEd32.INI file. Most of the items are set using "Options >> Global Setup" dialog. We are currently interested in the last item "AltInitDir". In the example, the custom initialization directory is set to the folder "X:" When MultiEd opens, it will use the initialization files in that folder if they exist. If not, MultiEd uses the default initialization files and "X:" will appear in submenu item 4: above.

In a laboratory setting where the MultiEd folder is write locked, the system administrator should specify the personal folder available to users, if one is available, before the file is made read-only.

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Revised: 1/31/2011