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GBIC >> Freeware >> gbData
gbOfficeTimer
gbOfficeTimer is a countdown timer, countup timer, and time-of-day clock. It can sound an alarm at the end of a countdown or at a specific time of day. In addition to the alarm (audible or visible), gbOfficeTimer can run an application or the user's choice. gbCodeLib can also sound a warning at 1 or 5 minutes before the countdown/countup is complete.

Alarm sounds, color schemes, background images, window sizes (up to full 1280 screen width), and fonts can be customized by the user.

Additionally, gbOfficeTimer contains a simpler version of my gbAnimator game - sometime to help while away the time during a countdown!

I use gbOfficeTimer to monitor the time to give a MS Office PowerPoint presentation. A PowerPoint macro can be used to simultaneously start gbOfficeTimer and to activate a PowerPoint presentation via a hyperlink. The macro code and details on how to use it are provided below.

gbOfficeTimer is particularly useful for use with PowerPoint in full-screen presentation mode because of it's On Top option and its customizable colors. This allows the timer to be seen at all times while its colors can be selected to blend un-obtrusively with the color scheme of the Powerpoint charts.

All gbCodeLib options can be accessed from the context menu (right mouse click).

Key gbOfficeTimer features include:

  • Countdown, countup, and clock modes
  • Custom text/background colors
  • Auto-adjust background color to screen
  • Multiple window/panel sizes
  • Alarm types: sound, visual, progress bar, warnings
  • Stay on top option
  • Easy integration into MS Powerpoint presentations
  • Toolbar
  • Background logos
  • Information Panel (image and text)
  • Run application at end of countdown
  • 1 and 5 minutes warning alarms
  • Time-of-day alarm
  • Negative time (overrun) option
  • Slideshows (local images, web images, and text)
  • Built-in gbAnimator game (part of panel)

       

       

Download (ver 7.2, 1.3M) (change history)

gbOfficeTimer is divided into the Main Window (top half) and the Panel (bottom half). The Main Window contains the time display and an optional logo (image). The panel primarily contains images or text, but may also display slideshows, screensavers, or games.

The Main Window can be set to one of four sizes (wxh): 160x55, 320x110, 640x220, and 1280x440 pixels.

The Panel is always the same width as the Main Window, but can be set to one of four heights: 40, 80, 120, and 320 pixels.

Here's a summary of the options available from the context menu (right-mouse click). Most of these options are self-explanatory. See the Operation Notes for additional operating details or clarification of the menu options.

Basics            Mode              Minutes
Logo              Countdown         1  10  35  60   Custom
Panel             Countup           2  15  40  90   Time to Time-of-Day
Toolbar           Clock             3  20  45  120  Time of Day
On Top                              4  25  50  
------                              5  30  55  
Start                                          
Reset


Main Window                         Panel
1x                                  1x    
2x                                  2x
4x                                  4x
8x                                  8x
------                              ------
Mode Indicators                     Dithered Background
Progress Bar                        Image
On/Off Indicator                    Message
Window Size Indicators              ------
Divider Line                        SlideShow (Image)
Current Time                        SlideShow (Text)
------                              Select SlideShow Image Folder
Select 1x Logo                      Select SlideShow Text File
Select 2x Logo                      ------
Select 4x Logo                      Animator
Select 8x Logo                      Matrix Screensaver
Select 8x Logo                      ------
------                              Fast (SlideShow Speed)
Upper Left                          Use Web Images
Upper Right                         Center Panel Images
Lower Left                          ------
Lower Right                         Select Image (Current Panel)
Center                              ------
Center on Alarm                     Enter 1x Panel Message
                                    Enter 2x Panel Message
                                    Enter 4x Panel Message
                                    Enter 8x Panel Message


Alarm                               Fonts
On                                  Select Main Window Font
Continuous                          Select Panel Font
Visual                              ------
Message                             AutoSize Main Window Text
5-Minute Warning                    AutoSize Panel Text
1-Minute Warning
Allow Negative Time
------
Enter Alarm Message
------
Select Alarm (*.wav)
Test Alarm
------
Select Warning (*.wav)
Test Warning


Colors                               AutoRun
Black-White                          Select Application
Gray-Gray                            Run On Alarm
Yellow-Blue                          Run Now
------
Select Background Color
Select Main Windows Foreground Color
Select Panel Foreground Color
Select Progress Bar Color
------
AutoSelect Background Color
AutoSelect Background Color Now
------
Save Color Scheme #1
Restore Color Scheme #1
Save Color Scheme #2
Restore Color Scheme #2


Help                                 Other
Online Update                        Settings
Online Help                          Information
Email Author                         Exit
About

Operation Notes:

  • gbOfficeTimer has an optional toolbar from which to access frequently used features. The toolbar may be removed to keep the display simple.
  • All features can be accessed from the context menu or from the settings dialog window
  • Double-click gbOfficeTimer to start a session (countdown or countup), or to pause an existing session
  • When a countdown is complete, the timer reads 0:00 (countdown) or X:00 (countup).
  • Double-click the window to restart the timer using the last selected countdown time
  • Drag the window to a preferred location, or use the menu position options
  • If a continuous/visual alarm is playing, double-click the window to stop the alarm
  • The optional On/Off indicator is a green/red dot displayed in the timer window, corresponding to the on/off status of the countdown timer.
  • Two default sound files, 'alarm.wav' and 'warning.wav', are distributed with gbOfficeTimer. Users may select a .wav file of their own.
  • Color save/restore options save both the current text and background colors

Special Features

  • Logo (Main Window)
    For each Main Window size, a background image (logo) may be selected for display. The logo will be displayed and will override the background color setting. A different logo image file may also be used for each of the 1X-2X-4X-8X window sizes. These correspond to image sizes of 160x55, 320x110, 640x220 and 1280x440.

    The files may be selected using the appropriate 'Select XX Logo' and can be located anywhere that the user's PC has access (local PC or shared network drivers).

  • Panel
    Display of the panel is optional. Panels may contain images or text.

    Special panel features include image or text slideshows, built-in dithered background, and a special built-in game called gbAnimator. Instructions, and the full freeware application are available here.

    Since there are four panel height settings allowed for each main window size, that means there are 16 possible Panel image sizes. The context menu allows selection of the image for the current panel size. The Settings dialog window allows selection of all Panel image files names.

    Multi-line text display is supported in the Panel. Users may define the Panel font separate from the font of the main window. gbOfficeTimer can optionally adjust the font size so that the text fits within any panel size.

  • Toolbar
    Display of the toolbar is optional.

    • Start/Pause
    • Alarm On/Off
    • Reset/Select Timer Interval
    • Main Window Size (dropdown to select, button to cycle through sizes)
    • Main Window Font Size (dropdown to select, button to enter custom value)
    • Panel Display
    • Panel Size (dropdown to select, button to cycle through sizes)
    • Panel Font Size (dropdown to select, button to enter custom value)
    • Exit

  • Auto-adjust Background Color to Screen
    In this mode, the background color of gbOfficeTimer is automatically adjusted to the color of the screen, using the color found three pixels to the left of the top/left corner of the gbOfficeTimer window. This is useful to help gbOfficeTimer blend in with the background. It is also useful when the background changes reqularly - such as when a user walks through multiple Powerpoint chart, each with its own color scheme.

  • Countdown to Time-of-Day
    There are two ways to have gbOfficeTimer go off at a specific time-of-day.

    The Time-of-Day setting is used when gbOfficeTimer is in clock mode. This assures an alarm at a particular clock time.

    The Time to Time-of-Day options works in countdown/countup mode. When a clock time is entered, gbOfficeTimer sets the countdown/countup time to the number of minutes left before that clock time. This approach allows the user to pause during the countdown. The time of day must be entered as 'HH:MMpm'. The 'am'/'pm' must be included.

  • Command Line Parameters
    To enable gbOfficeTimer to be started via macros or shortcuts, it will accept a command line entry. For example, in a shortcut use 'gbOfficeTimer 12' to start gbOfficeTimer with a countdown value of 12 minutes.

    When a command line countdown time is used, gbOfficeTimer will automatically start.

  • Negative Timer
    Select the 'Allow Negative Timer' menu option to allow gbOfficeTimer to continue counting down after the countdown reaches zero. This lets the user see how much time has lapsed since the countdown was completed. The display will be shown as a negative number.

  • Customized Alarm/Warning Sounds
    gbOfficeTimer uses two sounds files 'warning.wav' and 'alarm.wav'. The user may select any *.wav sound file of their own.

ScreenSavers
The slideshows make use of two special text files, found in the gbOfficeTimer installation folder.

  • taglines.txt
    Contains one-line or multi-line text to be used in the slideshow. A line containing only the string "++++++" is used as a separator between texts.
  • webimages.txt
    A simple listing of image URLs for gbOfficeTimer to use for slideshow images when the "Use Web Images" is selected

ScreenSavers
The Matrix Screensaver available in the Panel is based on code the Sanjy Kattimain released at his web site. My thanks to him for the effort he put into it.

PowerPoint Macro
As part of the gbOfficeTimer installation, a set of PowerPoint files is provided which demonstrates the use of gbOfficeTimer.

There are two sets of code provided below that can be used to integrate gbOfficeTimer with Powerpoint. Both use macros (VBA) and differ only in thee number of lines of code. The second approach below uses slightly longer code but is probably the easiest for most users because it requires only that the user know the text of the hyperlink. The downside of the approach is that when the text of the hyperlink changes, the VBA code must also change.

The first approach, while using only two lines of code per hyperlink, requires that the user know the hyperlink number (1-n). With this approach, changing the text of a hyperlink will not require editing the VBA code.

For the first approach of using gbOfficeTimer in a PowerPoint presentation, do the following:

  • Create an agenda file and add hyperlinks to each of the menu items
  • For each item on the agenda, add a button (or any clickable object - the sample PowerPoint files use an image with the gbOfficeTimer icon)
  • Go into VBA design mode and double-click on the button. This brings up the click event of each button. Add this code:
       Shell "gbofficetimer.exe 25", vbNormalNoFocus
       Slide1.Hyperlinks(1).Follow       
       
    The '25' is to be replaced by the minutes allowed to the agenda item. The '1' in the hyperlinks statement corresponds to the agenda item whose hyperlink is to be followed when the button is clicked.

Now, when PowerPoint is in full-screen presentation mode, clicking on the button will follow the agenda hyperlink and start gbOfficeTimer at the same time. gbOfficeTimer will be loaded and the countdown started immediately.

A new, independent copy of gbOfficeTimer is created for each agenda item, so you should close gbOfficeTimer before clicking on the next agenda link.

You can run gbOfficeTimer ahead of time to set its options to the preferred values. All settings are kept in the PC registry.

In the second approach, use the following code for each clickable object.

   
   Dim x As Hyperlink
   For Each x In Hyperlinks
       If x.TextToDisplay = "Link3" Then
           Shell "gbofficetimer.exe 25", vbNormalNoFocus
           x.Follow
           Exit For
       End If
   Next x
   

Replace "Link3" with the text of the hyperlink and as before, replace the '25' with the minutes allowed to the agenda item.

Registration
gbOfficeTimer is free for non-commercial use. This includes personal and educational use.

A registration fee of $20 per user is required for use of gbOfficeTimer in commercial or governmental environments. Group purchase rates are available.

Paypal and credit cards (Visa/Mastercard/AMEX/Discover) are accepted.

Change History