PrimalScript 2012: What’s new? (Part 1)

Yes, you read correctly, there is a PrimalScript 2012. In this blog series we will introduce you to everything that is new, improved or changed in this version.

Let’s start with the most obvious change: The user interface!


Yes, a Ribbon interface. We know that many of you will cheer, some of you will say “Big whoop” and some will reel in utter disbelief. Before any of you start sending us emails, please give it a moment, look at it and try it out.

We have spent a considerable amount of time during this re-design to streamline access to the most commonly used functions, to throw out obsolete functionality and to add new bits and knobs that were long overdue.

For all the nay-sayers on the ribbon interface, lets address some of the concerns we heard:

  • It uses so much more space, I need all the real-estate for my code I can get.

    Ok. Let’s look at that. Here we have a typical PrimalScript 2011 vis-a-vis a 2012 screenshot:


    The difference between the two is negligible. We did choose 2011 toolbars with roughly the same functionality as  the 2012 Home tab offers.
    In either case Shift+Alt+Enter switches to full screen mode and you get the same space in either version.


  • I can hide the toolbars since I don’t use them anyway and only use the menu.

    Ok. Right-click on the ribbon and select “Minimize Ribbon” With that one click everything hides, as opposed to hiding multiple toolbars one-by one.


    If you click on a tab, just like previously with the menus, it rolls out, lets you do what you need to do and neatly folds away again afterwards.


  • But I use the keyboard to navigate the menu.  I don’t want to take my hand off the keyboard and use the mouse. I don’t want to constantly change between keyboard and mouse.

    Alright. No problem. Hit the F12 key to set the focus to the ribbon.


    Press H for the Home tab, F for the File tab, V for the View tab and so forth and the corresponding items become visible and marked with they keys.
    Of course you can hit Alt+F for the File tab, Alt+H for the Home tab right away.


    So Alt+H+F+F is find in files. Easy. We know it’s a change and you will have to re-learn some things. But if you are a keyboard person you probably memorized all the keyboard shortcuts anyway (i.e. Ctrl+Shift+F for Find in Files) and this makes no difference for you.

  • Everything is in a different place, I have to start learning all over again. It’s hard to find things.

    Well, yes, it is different. We made a real effort to place the things you need all the time on the home tab: Clipboard, Edit, Find, Navigate, Platform, Run, Debug and Help. Most of the icons are the same as the ones you are used to from the toolbars. We had ten menus to explore in PrimalScript 2011 vs 6 tabs in 2012. So that is four places less to look for things.

    Some items you use constantly, like New, Open, Save, Undo and Redo are placed on the so called Quick Access Bar.


    So even with the Ribbon minimized these are always there. Or course you can customize that Quick Access Bar and add the things you need.

In the next posts we look at the individual panels and their categories. Stay tuned….