Taxa, Trees, Characters ˇ


Interface Simplification

Mesquite's interface can be simplified by hiding menu items and tools. This can focus the interface on functions most relevant to you, or ease the burden on novices.
Mesquite can operate either of two modes:
To switch from Full to Simple, touch on the "Full Interface" or "Simple Interface" near the top of most windows. A drop down menu will allow you to switch to the alternative.

Simplification Themes

Mesquite offers several built-in simplification themes. One limits the interface to features of most relevance to morphological phylogenetics, another to population genetics, and so on. To choose a simplification theme, touch on the label "Full Interface" or "Simple Interface" near the top of most windows. A drop down menu will appear, with a "Load Simplification" submenu. Choose from it a simplification theme:
You can also load a simplification theme from the Simplification Control Panel that comes with the Mesquite Log window:
To load a simplification theme, touch on Load Simplification and choose a theme from the menu.
The built-in simplification themes are:

Editing Simplification Themes

A simplification theme specifies what menu items and tools are hidden. A menu item or tool is hidden if it has been specifically chosen to be hidden, or if the Mesquite package that controls it has been hidden. To create or modify your own simplification theme, turn on theEditing Mode by selecting the brown box "Editing Mode" in the Simplification Control Panel.
When Editing Mode is turned on, the windows are highlighted in cyan. This is done to remind you that Mesquite will not respond normally to your actions when in interface editing mode. In the Simplification Control Panel you will see a list of packages and modules:
To hide all the menu items and tools belonging to a Mesquite package or module, uncheck its box in the Packages Shown list. (This list is visible only if Editing Mode is on.)
To hide a single menu item, select it when Editing Mode is on. Hidden menu items will be marked with "(OFF)" if you have chosen that particular item to hide, "(PACKAGE OFF)" if the item will be hidden because its module or package has been hidden. Menu items that cannot be turned off are marked with "(*)".
To hide a single tool, select it when Editing Mode is on.
After you have edited what you want to hide, deselect "Editing Mode". Then, choose "Simple Interface" to show the simplified interface.

Saving Simplification Themes

Your current simplification theme is automatically saved for you, and loaded when you restart Mesquite. However, you can put aside simplification themes you've created for use later. To do this, make sure Editing Mode is on. Then select Save Current from theSave/Rename/Delete drop-down menu. (Note: this menu will not be available if your computer account is not permitted to modify the Mesquite_Folder directory.) You will get an opportunity to name the theme, and then it will be available for you to re-load as needed.

Technical details

The simplifications you make are stored in Mesquite_Folder/settings/mesquite/minimal/Simplify. If your computer account does not have permission to modify this directory, you will be able to load simplification themes but not to store them for later. (The current simplification theme that is saved automatically for you is stored in Mesquite_Support_Files/Mesquite_Prefs/Simplification.xml. You could get an administrator to copy this file into Mesquite_Folder/settings/mesquite/minimal/Simplify if you want to have it for later access. You may want to open the file with a text editor to change the indicated name (look for <name>...</name>.)

For teachers

You can lock a copy of Mesquite in the simplified interface by choosing "Lock in Simple Mode" in File>Defaults>. This can be useful for use by students in a course, so that they don't accidently switch to the full interface.
If you want to have install a simplified version of Mesquite on several computers for a laboratory section of a course, without having to set up each copy, do the following: