View Full Version : Laptop Menu Setups

07-03-2018, 08:36 AM
After some extensive neck surgery, I found myself having to use my Laptop ( a nice, Toshiba Satellite with an i7 processor, 8GB of ram, 500 GB HD, now a 500 GB SSD, and an nVidia 310M GPU) as a lightwave workstation. It's what I specced the machine for, back in the 9.6 days. Still works pretty good, though I may upgrade sooner or later...

Anyway, the issue is screen resolution - 1366 x 768. There isn't enough room, either horizontally, or vertically, for the standard menus and tabs.

So, I'm looking for suggestions on how to re-set up the menus for a laptop. What Modeler and Layout items are absolutely essential, and should be on top? Which ones can be buried deep in menus? And, of course, how to deal with something like LWCAD, which has 4-5 whole tabs to itself...

I am using the -f command line option. All it does is make the menus harder to read at smaller font sizes.

07-04-2018, 12:51 AM
If the laptop has an HDMI port or a USB 3.0 port, you might consider an external monitor. I use a USB 3.0 port replicator with an HDMI output and plug an HD monitor into it. The port replicator also allows wireless keyboard and mouse, network and audio, so by plugging one USB connection into the laptop (plus the power adapter) I get all of them. Works great for my HP laptop (also i7, 8GB, etc.).


07-04-2018, 08:27 AM
Yeah, it's got a mini HDMI port. The point is, I'm trying not to spend a whole lot of money right now (see, extensive neck surgery, some bills still not presented by hospital and doctors...), and trying to make efficient use of the laptop screen space. Still, I'll keep the suggestion in mind...

07-04-2018, 02:14 PM
OK - hope the neck is fixed and healing fast!

RE: the menu setups, I'm not sure there's a "General Priority" that's applicable to everyone. I'd guess my "top choices" for the tools I use all the time would be quite different than other folks.

I also use the hotkeys a LOT. You might consider defining a "strategy" for personalized hotkeys, overriding the default setup. Again, use Save in the Edit Hotkeys menu to save the current setup.

I guess if I was in the same situation, I'd save my menu setup as is (Edit=>Edit Menu Layout=>Save), and then Create a new top-level Menu called "My Favs" or something. Then, walk down each of the menus in Edit Menu Layout, expanding each successive one and selecting and deleting tools you don't use or don't know about. The ones you use all the time, remove them from the existing menu and add them to your My Favs menu.

Also in the Edit Menu panel, there's a pulldown to allow choosing earlier versions of LW menu configurations. Default is the current version's layout, but you might experiement with a really early version (earliest shown in LW2018.0.5 is LW5.6!), and then add in tools you find missing. Again, Save the configuration when you've made progress.

Anyway, best of luck with the menus / screen size, and even more luck with the neck!!


P.S. with early adopters jumping onto UltraHD (4K), you may find some really good deals on 1080p HD TV's on the web. You don't actually need a true "monitor" to view PC output, just an HD TV with low latency. Here's a database of low-latency TVs:


The problem with latency on a TV is your mouse movements and screen updates lag behind real-time due to the TV "prettying up" the input signal, but a low-latency TV (or one which can be set in various modes) is just fine.

For example, on my Sony Bravia TV, it has what's called "Scenes" for each of the inputs. I set the HDMI 1 port to be "Graphics", which basically takes out all the digital image and signal processing used to clean up broadcast or video type input. It also expands the visible real-estate to match the screen size rather that having NTSC / PAL "safe areas". HDMI 2 is the tower rendering system, also set to "Graphics", but HDMI 3 has a Blu-ray player, so it's set to "Cinema" to pretty up the picture (if needed!).

Again, best of luck!