OS/400 Admin Alert: Five Quick PC5250 Tricks for Administrators
March 3, 2004 Joe Hertvik
Because it’s a mature product, PC5250 has a number of built-in features that the savvy administrator can use to keep his users happy, as well as to make his own life a little easier. Here’s a quick list of five handy PC5250 tricks that are useful in an AS/400 shop. All of these tricks were tested with Client Access Express for Windows V5R1M0, but many of these features are also available with other versions of the product.
Starting a PC5250 Macro or a Script After PC5250 Session Starts
In special situations, you may want to immediately start a macro to automatically sign in a user to a particular PC5250 workstation session or to perform some special processing on start up. To assign an auto-start macro or script that immediately executes inside your PC5250 session at session startup, do the following:
- Click Edit, then Preferences, then Macro/Script, from the PC5250 Menu bar. This will bring you to the Macro/Script Setup window.
- Click the Macro/Script drop-down box in this window and select a macro or a script that will automatically start when this session has opened. If you want to modify a macro or a script, or create a new one, click the Customize button on this screen. The Customize button will take you into the Customize Macro/Script utility, where you can either create or edit a macro or VB script. When you exit the Customize Macro/Script utility, it will return you to the Macro/Script window.
- After selecting the macro or VB script that you want to run when a user starts this session, click the OK button, on the Macro/Script window, to tell PC5250 to execute that particular macro or script.
Copying Multiple PC5250 Screens to Windows Clipboard
This is a handy trick if you have multiple information screens that you want to paste into another program as a group. A few releases ago, IBM added a Copy Append selection to the Edit drop-down menu on the menu bar. So if you wanted to copy two or more screens from a subfile into a Microsoft Word document, you could perform this feat through the following sequence:
- Click Edit, then Select All, from the PC5250 menu bar. This marks your entire PC5250 screen for copying. After doing this, your PC5250 screen will be boxed in by a dotted line.
- Click Edit, then Copy, in order to copy the entire screen to the clipboard.
- Go to the next screen that you want to copy to the clipboard and perform step 1 again.
- To add this screen to the information you already have copied to the clipboard, select Edit, then Copy Append, from the menu bar. This immediately adds information from the new screen to the clipboard, positioning it right after the information that was previously pasted.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as necessary.
- Go to Microsoft Word and select Edit, then Paste (or use the CTL-V keystroke combination), while inside your document, and all the screen images that you copied to the Windows clipboard will be pasted into your document.
Also note that you don’t have to limit yourself to copying entire screens. You can just copy portions of a PC5250 screen to the clipboard by highlighting the text on the screen and selecting Copy or Copy Append.
Retain PC5250 Screen and Columnar Formatting When Pasting Screen Information into Another Document
If you just perform a straight cut and paste of PC5250 information into Word, you sometimes lose the screen and columnar formatting that was present on the PC5250 session you copied the information from. This can make your pasted data look like a jumbled mess. To retain your original PC5250 formatting, paste your copied data into Word, highlight the pasted data, and change the font type to a fixed-width font, such as Courier or Courier New. Once you change your text to one of these fonts, you’ll see your PC5250 screen formatting come back to life inside your Word document. But be sure to adjust the font size, if necessary, to keep columnar data from word wrapping to the next line.
Make PC5250 Windows Look Like a Dumb Terminal
This is a nice trick if you want to eliminate the Window surrounding your PC5250 screen, making your session look exactly like a dumb terminal screen. To perform this trick on a Client Access Express PC5250 session, select Edit, then Preferences, then Appearance, then Window Setup, from the menu bar. Inside the Window Setup panel, select “Without Title Bar,” in the Maximized Style area, and click Apply and OK to apply the change. Now, every time you maximize your PC5250 screen, you will see a full screen terminal session without the Windows frame. If you want to retrieve the framing Window, press the Alt-F keystroke combination and select Restore from the pop-up menu that appears. You’ll see a smaller version of the PC5250 framing window that will disappear again the next time you maximize the window.
Changing Font Attributes PC5250 Uses to Print Screen Shots
If you don’t like the font that PC5250 uses when it prints a screen shot, or you are having trouble producing legible PC5250 screen prints, you can change the print screen font by going to the Page Setup function. You can get to the Page Setup window by clicking File, then Page Setup, from the menu bar. Click the Text tab on that screen, and you’ll see options to change the characters per inch (CPI) sent to your printer, the lines per inch (LPI) setting, the font type, the maximum lines per page, and the maximum characters per line. Click on OK to save your changes, and your screen shots will start printing with your new text attributes.