Set property values
In Squirrel, each component, function and connection has a number of properties that are shown in the properties panel. There are different methods of setting or editing these property values with sometimes more than one method available.
For some properties it is obvious how to interact with them, but for others that won’t become obvious until you rollover them with your mouse or even click on them.
In this article we’ll describe the different methods and how they can be accessed and used.
Type a value
Perhaps the most common method is to type in a new value, but this method is not available for all property types.
Click on a property field, if the cursor caret starts blinking this indicates that you will be able to edit that property by typing in a new value or by pasting in a value from the clipboard.
Ensure that you are entering the correct data type, for example, entering a non-numeric value into a property field that only accepts numerical values will not work.
Bind a value
Some properties can only be set from data in the spreadsheet via the process of data binding. Move your mouse over the property field, if a data binding button appears above the property, click the button. The spreadsheet will open in ‘binding mode’ select a cell (or range of cells) containing the data that you wish to bind to the property and click confirm. If you’d like to learn more about data binding, take a look at the Getting started: Data binding tutorial.
A checkbox property is an on or off toggle. To set a checkbox property to on, click the checkbox so that it changes to a blue tick. A black empty checkbox means that the property is toggled to off.
Sometimes entire property sections can be toggled on or off. If the checkbox for the property section is toggled to off, none of the properties within that section are used. When toggled to on, all of the properties are used and any changes are applied. For instance, unchecking the DEFAULT TEXT section of the push button component will remove the default text label from the button entirely. When toggled to on, the default text label is shown and any changes made to the properties within the DEFAULT TEXT section are applied.
Change a property by selecting from a list of options in a dropdown box. The most common use for this in Squirrel is for font selection, but there are other uses such as line styles, number formats, insertion types and many more besides that are specific to individual components.
Radio button selection
Radio buttons are used to set some properties in the property panel. They present a choice between two or more options, with one already selected by default. The options are mutually exclusive, selecting one will automatically deselect the others. The example below shows a radio button property being used to set the orientation property of a radio button component:
Spinner buttons are used to increment or decrement the current value of a property. Not all Squirrel properties have spinner buttons, but those that do will show on mouse rollover.
The value by which the spinner buttons adjust the property can vary, sometimes it may be by 1 or it may be more, see the example above. Clicking the spinner button increases the Blur property by 1, but the Opacity property increases by 10. In the case of the latter, if you wish to set an intermediate value, it is usually possible to do so either by typing a different value into the property field, or by binding to a value in the spreadsheet.
Use a Colour picker
The colour picker can be used to choose a new colour value. Click on the square next to any colour property, user the slider on the spectrum bar to select a hue, then adjust the shade by moving the white circle around the colour field.
The colour property can be set in multiple ways: using the colour picker, typing in a value or binding to a value in the spreadsheet. For more information about the latter option, take a look at this article: Using colour values.
Adjust a Slider
Using the slider to adjust a property value is pretty self explanatory. Click and hold the mouse cursor over the slider handle, and move your mouse to adjust the property value up or down, release the mouse button at the desired value. Alternatively, click into the slider value field and enter a numerical value.
The buttons sets in the properties panel are mainly associated with text formatting properties.
For the following set you can choose any, all or none. Click to apply the style, when the button is blue it has been applied to the text. Click again to remove the style from the text.
For the following sets you must choose one option only. An option is selected by default in each set. These settings control the justification and alignment text properties with the currently selected option indicated by a blue button.
The following set you can choose one or none. Click to apply capitalization rules to the text, the selected rule is shown as a blue button. Click again to remove the rule from the text or select a different rule.