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Object Desktop Tips- by Alexander Antoniades

Since its initial release, Stardock Systems' Object Desktop has been among the best selling OS/2 applications in the world. Many OS/2 users enjoy greater productivity thanks to Object Desktop's helpful features.

Something many users don't know, however, is that there are many undocumented or often overlooked features of Object Desktop that can make your OS/2 system even more productive and fun to use. We've gathered together a few of them to share with you here.

Overriding Object Viewers

One of the most popular features in Object Desktop Professional is our new Object Viewer component, but as good as that is, there is an option that many people have requested we add. Many users like launching their favorite application by simply double clicking on a file associated with it. Happily, the ability to selectively choose which documents are viewed using Object Viewers and which are viewed by other applications is a feature which, unbeknownst to most people (including me until recently), is already in Object Desktop Professional.

In order to do this you simply have to open the Master Setup object in the Object Desktop Professional folder and then go to the "data file defaults" page. From there un-select the "Automatically view when identified" option. Now every data type that has an associated file extension or extended attribute will automatically load the associated application when you double click on it.

The Class Editor

While I like to focus on regular Object Desktop 1.5 for most of these columns, there are also occasionally features in the Professional version of Object Desktop that need to be pointed out because they're either hidden or simply not obvious. One of my favorite Object Desktop Professional features that falls into this category is the Class Editor.

The Class Editor is one of the less talked about, harder to find pieces of Object Desktop Professional. What the Class Editor allows you to do is actually modify the class table of either the Workplace Shell itself or any selected Object Package.

To call up the Class Editor, simply right click on the Object Inspector in the main Object Desktop Professional folder and select "Class Editor View" under the "Open as" menu. This will bring up a modifiable list of the Workplace Shell classes registered on your machine (GIF, 11.4k). From this interface you can add and remove object classes from whichever class registry you're editing.

I must caution you, if you don't know what a class does the best thing that you can do is not alter it in any way. That said, by reading most class names and the descriptions accompanying them you can often find classes on your systems that have been left by programs you've either removed or that were installed with OS/2 but you don't use. A perfect example of this is the Advantis dialer, which is used instead of SLIPPM.EXE (Dial Other Internet Providers) to hook up to IBM's Advantis network. This program has five classes associated with it that are totally useless if you don't have an Internet access account with Advantis. These are the first classes that most people delete.

That's a quick backgrounder on the Class Editor one of the harder to find features of Object Desktop Professional. Next month we'll get back to regular version OD and talk about some of the other goodies hidden in there.

Alexander Antoniades is the former Associate Editor of OS/2 Magazine and the current Vice President of Marketing at Stardock Systems.

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