risley.netGestureLaunch Macros

I have created a few GestureLaunch 3 macros that make tracking patients on my Newton easier (see A Day in the Life of my Newton for more information).


I've released a new (April 1999) boilerplate-management script, Boilermaker, that has its own page.


This script will make a new To Do list item (we call it a "scut list" in medicine) from the text of any alarm or system alert slip that's currently displayed.

I find that I like to enter birthdays and important meetings with alarms scheduled for several days in advance. The problem is, once the alarm sounds I either snooze it (and deal with constant intrusive reminders) or I dismiss it (and inevitably forget all about it). With Alarm->Scut, when the alarm sounds I simply make a scut list item out of it, which will remind me to prepare for the upcoming event -- unobtrusively -- every time I open my scut list.

It clicks to tell you the new scut item has been created.

You can download an installer for the rest of Ron's Scripts as a Newton Package (directly to your MessagePad), as a .sit file, or as a(n) .hqx file.

Here's what they do:

CanDo Two

The original CanDo! appeared on this page, and was included with subsequent releases of GestureLaunch (thanks, Dan!). CanDo! would make a To Do items from any selected text. This new version improves on the original. First, it is compatible with DateMan. Second, if you select several items in an outline or checklist, a separate To Do is created for each selected item. Third, there is no dialog to dismiss after running CanDo Two (it just ticks for each To Do created). Last, if you have DateMan installed each To Do item will be linked back to the note from which it was created (this feature doesn't quite work yet).

Dup & Link

This script duplicates a note in the Notepad (or Super NotePad). The date of the duplicate remains the same as the date of the original, and the two notes are linked together using DateMan links. I use this after I have created a history and physical for a patient. I create the duplicate and edit it into a comprehensive daily progress note. Because of the links, I can jump back to the original history whenever I need to reference it.

Paper Changer

It's bad enough that hospitals still use paper for medical records. Even worse, most still require preprinted forms. I used to just use the Casual typface and print all over the form, since Casual is bold enough to be read even with preprinted text underneath. Alas, I got yelled at for coloring outside the lines. Since I like using outlines for my notes, switching to NewtWorks wasn't an option, so I created PaperChanger. It's a GestureLaunch 3 script that changes the margins of the current printer to fit within preprinted forms.

Paper Changer also solves a couple of other problems with the DeskJet 340 (and I assume other) drivers. The Newton uses a least common denominator approach to paper sizes, which means that the right margin is often excessively generous. The bottom margin, on the other hand, is not large enough for the DeskJet, so using the built-in paper sizes causes the last line of each page to get cut off. Paper Changer works around those problems, but at the expense of device independence -- the same document may require different margin settings to print properly on different printers.

To use Paper Changer, you define a list parameter with five elements. This first is the name of the form. This gets stored internally and displayed on the confirmation dialog, but I'm not sure it makes any real difference. The next four are approximate margins in points in the order top, left, bottom, right. I say approximate because, at least with the DeskJet driver, it's really pretty far off. Here are some examples to get started, but it requires some experimentation to get the margins just right:

"US Letter"   0     0   720  576 (this is the built-in default)
"DJ340"       0     0   710  690 (this is a full page on the DJ340)
"SCMHTC PN"  70     0   610  690 (this is a progress note with wide margins)

Quote It

I can never get Newton's HWR to recognize opening double quotes. I have finally given up. I like to quote patients a lot, but found it quite tedious adding in all those quote marks after the fact. Quote It simply puts double quote marks around the selected text.

Super Duper

Super NotePad has a great feature where you can lock a note so it cannot be modified. That keeps me from scribbling all over my templates when I forget to duplicate them. Alas, when Super NotePad duplicates a note it doesn't automatically put a new time stamp on it. I need that, and though it only takes six taps to duplicate a note and set it to the current date, this script lets me do it with a single gesture. Am I lazy or what?

Title It

If the Notepad is open and you have text selected, Title It replaces the current note's title with the selected text. I find renaming notes to be pretty tedious using the title slip, and I'm almost always titling the note with text from the note itself. This is a natural for me. It also works well for Can Do Two, which will use a note title to identify the To Do items it creates.

Title It Append

What if a note already has a descriptive title? My templates come pretitled (like "Psy PN") but it would be nice to be able to add some description after the title (such as the patient's name and record number). This script works like Title It, but appends the selected text to any existing note title.

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Date created: March 17, 1996
Last modified: August 15, 1999
Copyright © 1999 Ron Risley

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