camrad1983

Do you want the PDF Kneeboard back? Here is how.

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Ark thanks a lot! I will give your app a shot! Are you still actively working on it and are you willing to take any sort of feedback on adding new features?

Can your app be used with more than 2 windows? I see that in the description that it allows only 2 windows. I would like to keep PFPX, Chrome, PDF Viewer and a few other windows. I hope this isn't a limitation.

Edited by captain420

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4 hours ago, captain420 said:

Can your app be used with more than 2 windows?

No, sorry, only two windows, although for example, if the app in one window is a pdf viewer like SumatraPDF, you can have multiple files ( like approach plates, SIDs, STARs, etc), open in the pdf viewer.   KV2 is just an attempt to provide functionality similar to PDF Kneeboard for P3Dv4 users.

Al

Edited by ark

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I am a professional software developer and I am currently developing a program that I am using during my P3DV4 simulation flights. This program can be runned on top or not on top and there is no need to run Prepar3D in Windowed mode. At the moment I am testing it.

With this program you can make coloured buttons per airport per chart category. All you have to do is specify for each button that you make, is the category, the pdf file that is used, the page number and the zoom factor. You can use a single pdf per airport or a pdf file per chart separately. This can be handy when you have a single pdf file for all charts for a certain airport, but it is also possible to specify the pdf chart file separately per button. Also I made a kneeboard function so you can save certain charts of a airport to the kneeboard. When a button is clicked, a pdf-file viewer is launched like Foxit Reader or Acrobat, that then automatically displays the correct page of the chart with the desired zoom factor.

The program can also display the metar information of the selected airport (whenever you like) and it is possible to display some general information about an airport that you setup yourself in the settings.

Further I made checklist functionality, so that per aircraft per checklist category the checklist items can be processed (by pressing a shortcut key). When all items for a certain checklist are processed, the program automatically advances to the next checklist.

Finally I made a website list, so that it is easy to open a certain website directly from the program.

The program easily "snaps" to the corners of your sreen and whenever you want you can make the program allways on top or not. I made also a function with which you can hide easily all shortcuts on your desktop or hide the Windows taskbar.

Below are some links of screenshots of the program I developed:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/t2xrroqo6sj9pz5/Flight Simulation Assistant_2018-06-17_14-59-08.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/aemy0m4f9l20j4l/Flight Simulation Assistant_2018-06-17_15-01-15.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/06f6vuxzyxlpk0f/Flight Simulation Assistant_2018-06-17_16-29-07.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tx37qou2xe9kbq9/Flight Simulation Assistant_2018-06-17_15-03-58.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u6u87g3kw2aezq8/Flight Simulation Assistant_2018-06-17_16-40-34.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/glwf88zur8u3yeb/Flight Simulation Assistant_2018-06-17_16-31-34.png?dl=0

 

 

Edited by richardz
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Richardz, wow that's pretty impressive, I really like the clean UI. Would you be able to make this as a plugin for P3D? So you can go call it from the ADD-ONS menu? This way way it could be a part of the main sim itself, I like what you have so far and if you don't mind can I suggest a few things. I would pay to have a pdf/kneeboard app like this. I fly mostly commercial jets like 777/787/747/737/A320 etc, this would be extremely useful, Until this day no such app or add-on exists that comes close. An ultimate PDF kneeboard is highly needed and I would definitely pay for a quality one if somebody can make it happen. For the time being you can use a traditional PDF viewer and use these hacks to make the window stay on top but it's not exactly perfect from a flight simmer point of view. I would like someone to create a PDF kneeboard for a pilot's need, Which includes colored label for different Chart types, SID/STAR/TAXI/APPROACH/REF, ability to quickly search for charts by ICAO code, TABS to have multiple charts and pdfs open. Favorites for keeping all your mostly used Charts or PDFS. Ability to annotate our pdf or charts, like make notes or draw on them or highlight information. I will post screenshots of what I mean so you can get an idea.

1) UI Customization, such as let the user change the interface colors and such.

2) Night mode when viewing PDF documents. Like in XODO PDF Viewer, you can have many different colors when viewing your pdfs.

3) Could you implement something like Navigraph Charts app on iOS. The interface is similar to yours in away and its very clean looking.

charts-desktop.jpg

charts-android.png

us-ipad-3-jeppesen-flitedeck-pro.jpeg

charts-desktop-macos-sm.png

Navigraph-3.png

643x0w.jpg

 

Edited by captain420
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Thank you for sharing this I was a looking for a way months ago

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Hello captain420,

Thank you for your kind reply and suggestions. I think UI customization and a favorites option is something I can make relatively quickly (and is definitively something I will focus on the coming months). Indeed I was already considering some kind of night modus, but I have been concentrating on the functionality first. With Foxit reader it is already possibly to change the colors (under preferences) so the charts can be displayed in night modus, see below image, however for some charts this inverted color scheme is not always optimal.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mmp8wxqtcyp43nv/2018-06-23_0-19-12.png?dl=0

It would be nice when my program also uses less bright colors during night flying. This I will investigate soon.

Below you can see me approaching Copenhagen while making use of (an older version of) my program:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xh0xjkioonaht9w/Setup.jpg?dl=0

I think I can probably make it as an add-on to P3D so that it can be started from within P3D, but I have not done this before. I have to investigate, it should not be difficult I guess, I will see when I have time.

I am already having much more fun during flights now since finding a certain chart is so much easier now, no need for browsing a file-directory or finding the correct page within a pdf-file.

Foxit Reader and Acrobat are showing multiple charts as tabs already, so that is working fine for me. However, I would like it very much to have the pdf viewer functionality built within the program. That is possible, however an opensource pdf-viewer component for Visual Studio I have not found yet, and implementing a pdf viewer myself is maybe taking a lot of time. Paid pdf viewer components for Visual Studio are relatively costly, so that is not something I consider right now. At the moment actually I don't need this functionality that much, since I use multiple monitors and using the 'stay on top' mode is also handy when you want to use only one monitor for the program and viewing charts. The program is always staying on top of Foxit or Acrobat. When the program is on the left or right side of the monitor, you can still view the charts, although using two monitors (that I do) is much more convenient.

Making annotations on charts is something I think is taking a lot of time to make and I think that can probably only be done when I use a pdf component like I suggest above. However, maybe I can make some kind of 'memo' function in order to be able to type additional text for a certain chart. That text I can show then on the main screen in a separate blue box when a chart is opened. Then I will also make a checkbox in the settings by which you can turn this on or off.

The Navigraph interface is also very beautiful, I agree.

The advantage of using my program is that you don't need a costly yearly subscription, just download charts from the internet and configure the program.

Something I am also considering are the enroute charts that Navigraph is also having. I know you can download enroute charts from internet, however these pdf files are very huge and load relatively slow. I am not using these charts yet with my program, but actually it should already be possible to open these charts also from my program. Maybe I will add a separate section for enroute charts. Displaying jpg files from within my program is also something worth considering for displaying these enroute charts, so these files can maybe be loaded a lot faster.

By the way, under the graphics - display settings in P3D I disabled the 'Black-out Desktop' setting. This ensures the charts on the separate monitor remain visible when P3D has the focus.

Edited by richardz
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Sounds like a plan and if you need more ideas, PMDG released a preview video of their EFB, and it's very nice indeed, also does PDF viewing of charts and such and much more, but it's tied to the plane. Would hope that some developer can somehow make this a separate module so that it can be used for any aircraft or situation.

I also don't have the time to subscribe to any chart service because I don't have that much time to fly. I fly when I can so having a subscription is a no go here. That's why I am looking for an alternative way for simmers who don't want or can't have subscriptions to be able to use the add on as well.

Right now I am using Xodo PDF Viewer, it's the only one that looks minimal, and clean out of all the others I've tried. Another reason I like Xodo is the UI and secondly you can have different color schemes when viewing your PDF's, not just day or night more, but others as well. Definitely check out Xodo and see if you can make your EFB based off of that.

Having your PDF up on a borderless window or with very thin borders would make it also visually appealing as well, as if your document is floating above your sim window without those distracting title bars or other stuff. To me, less is more.

Also the night mode of the PDF in your pic you posted looks perfectly fine to me. I hope you can get some sort of EFB done. Like I said, I wouldn't mind buying something like this. I've been wanting this for so long now. I've always wanted an EFB/PDF Viewer like the Navigraph Charts, Jeppesen Flightdeck Mobile, Xodo PDF. If those 3 can somehow merge together, where you take the best from each of those app and create a very nice looking EFB, we would have something great at our disposal.

This would be great, especially for users like me who fly on a single screen.

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Foxit Reader is actually also a very nice program, you can change skins and have classic toolbar mode or ribbon mode active.

Maybe I can also couple Xodo to my program, I will see if it is possible. It depends on the fact whether or not Xodo supports commandline parameters so I can control which page of a pdf file is being displayed when a button is pressed.

I also read your suggestion on another thread about having airport sounds when you're parked at the gate. This is a great idea and today I already programmed it in my program. Depending on which checklist is active, ambient sounds are automatically played (randomly). You only need to specify a sound folder and a new checkbox that you want to play sounds. See below screenshot.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vv6vofmnn79sr2e/Flight Simulation Assistant_2018-06-23_13-49-10.png?dl=0

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Richardz looking good there! If you ever need a beta tester to test this out, please let me know. Aivlasoft just announced EFB v2, which is looking much better than the previous, but it's still not the real authentic charts that I'm accustomed too and love.

As for ambient airport environment sounds, does anyone know a good source for that?

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Hi captain420, I sure need to have some beta testers in the future. I have send you a private message regarding the sounds, in short below is part of this message I have sent.

For airport environment sounds check out the following site:

https://www.audioblocks.com/royalty-free-audio/flight-sound-effects

Search on the audioblocks site for these phrases: terminal, airport, truck, alarm and siren. They have so many good sounds. I can play these sounds randomly with my program. It would be even much more fun to have these sounds played depending on the state of the checklists in my program, e.g. when parked at the gate (and using the relevant checklist for being at the gate) I can then play random airport terminal sounds, and other plane sounds when e.g. taxiing. For the moment my program is playing random mp3 or wav files that are present in the sounds folder (at random intervals). I will still have to test this out, but I am already looking forward hearing airport terminal sounds when at the gate or starting jets when taxiing or on the runway.

Maybe also already start collecting these sounds, so you have them at hand whenever I ask you help me beta test my program, since I will not distribute these sounds with my program. It would be much fun to have someone help me testing the program.

By the way, my program needs to be run on one or two separate monitors apart from the main P3D window, since Foxit Reader will not stay on top of P3D when on the same window as the P3D virtual cockpit (my program will stay on top however).

 

Edited by richardz

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Late to the party but I am also very interested in your idea richardz, it's looking good! Any news or updates?

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On 18 November 2017 at 8:40 AM, pete_auau said:

yea  get  some  tape  and  apply  to  the  edges of  your  screen:dry:

Cringe! I have  actually done this in the past.

Early days on Vatsim with Vpilot and wanting full screen res...before I used the workaround.

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Posted (edited)

Hello armchair_pilot, it's been a while since my previous post. I haven't been busy with the development of the software for a while since I am busy developing electronics for Prepar3d. I will continue development of the charts program later on, but I want to finish the electronics first.

Edited by richardz

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