9.2 Overview of Action Bar Layout And Processing Logic

When an action bar process is invoked, it will appear on the top lines of the screen panel like this example:

   1  Action 1  Action 2  Action 3  Action 4  Action 5  Action 6 

   2  ___________________________________________________________

   3  <<Panel Id>>                << Panel Title >>                    


Note the separator line on line 2. The separator line always appears immediately below the last action bar line. It cannot be suppressed or changed in any way.

Under CUA rules, the last choice in an action bar must be "Help".

Normally the HELP option is handled automatically, but you should be aware of its existence, because it will use up one of the choices in your action bar.

Note how the underlying "panel body" has been pushed down so that it starts on line 3 of the display.

Also note the panel identifier on the left of the 3rd line.

When you are making use of an action bar you will probably find that the panel identifier detracts from the panel's appearance.

To suppress panel identifiers, either suppress all panel identifiers at the partition definition level, or individually, by using the PANEL_ID(*NONE) option on the DISPLAY or REQUEST command that causes the panel body to appear under the action bar.

An action bar can have from 1 to 18 choices. So it can actually push the underlying "panel body" down like this (using 7 to 12 choices):


 1   Action 1  Action 2  Action 3  Action 4  Action 5  Action 6 

 2   Action 7  Action 8  Action 9  Action 10 Action 11 Action 12

 3  ____________________________________________________________

 4                              << Panel Title >>                      



Or even like this (using 13 to 18 choices):


 1 Action 1  Action 2  Action 3   Action 4   Action 5   Action 6 

 2 Action 7  Action 8  Action 9   Action 10  Action 11  Action 12

 3 Action 13 Action 14 Action 15  Action 16  Action 17  Action 18

 4 ____________________________________________________________

 5                    << Panel Title >>                        


Options are selected from the action bar by positioning the screen cursor on, or immediately before, the choice and pressing the enter key.

You can move around the action bar by using the cursor movement keys, but generally the quickest way on NPTs (non-programmable terminals) is to use the Tab keys.

Use the Tab keys to tab directly from one action bar choice to another (in either direction).

The tab keys will also allow you to tab back into the "panel body" when only the action bar is on display.

However, once a pull down menu appears on the display, you can only tab around the action bar and pull down menu.

If you tab back into the panel body, you effectively (re)activate the underlying panel (and its function key processing logic).

Other function keys available when working from an action bar would normally include Exit, Cancel, Switch and any enabled Accelerator keys.

These are described in detail in the following sections.

The text that you use to identify each action bar choice should be set up according to the guidelines prescribed by CUA 1989.