Overview of Tools Plus

Tools Plus Libraries + Framework lets you easily create professional looking applications and plug-ins. With a single line of code, you can create virtually any user interface element, from a picture-button, pop-up menu or list box, to a complex dialog with numerous elements. Once you create something, it works! And all elements automatically interact with each in precisely the manner that Macintosh applications should. All this means less coding for you. Much less coding. Often tens of thousands lines less!

Tools Plus libraries dramatically increase your productivity. They're "more compact and faster than anything you might write" (says MacTech magazine), so they require little memory or disk space, and they run fast. In many cases, faster than hand-optimized code. And Tools Plus provides professional-level services without an imposing architecture. Windows drag. Buttons click. Pop-up menus pop. The Edit menu edits. Scroll bars scroll. Create it, and it works.

The Tools Plus Application Framework

The Tools Plus Framework is a professionally-written application skeleton, ready for you to add your own pieces. It's only a small fraction of the size of a code generator's output, and it's much simpler too. That's because of the power of Tools Plus libraries replaces the need for hundreds of files, and tens of thousands of lines of source code. It has been dubbed "the transparent framework" because it requires so little code. An entire basic application represents only about 50 lines of source code. You can create a whole window, with dozens of interface elements, all working correctly, with a single line. That's because the power lies in Tools Plus libraries, while the framework, that being your source code, simply accesses that power.

You can use Tools Plus libraries with or without our framework. In fact, Tools Plus libraries do so much, you can easily create your own framework. That's the power of Tools Plus.

Visual Design

A resource editor such as Resorcerer provides near WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) visual designing capabilities for your menus and windows, including all the user interface goodies inside those windows.

Our Tools Plus libraries give you the routines you need to bring those resources to life, typically with a single routine. While code generators produce thousands of lines of code that depend on hundreds of source code files, Tools Plus is really good at reducing your code to something that is small and understandable. Less code, less sweat.

Event Processing

When it comes to event processing, code generators merely churn out the same volumes of complex toolbox code you'd have to write yourself. Tools Plus libraries eliminates this clutter. It applies events appropriately throughout your entire application, and if required, Tools Plus reports what's happened to your application. For example, Tools Plus may report an event record with the information: Pop-up menu was selected, Window #5, Pop-up menu #15, Menu item #3.

Your Coding is Made Simple

The code you write is simple, easy to read, and self-documenting. You user reference numbers rather than pointers and handles to specify the objects that you are working with. Some examples:

   EnableButton (kConfirm, on);
   CheckPopUp (kStatusPopup, kSingleItem, on);
   EnableField (kUserID, off);
   GetListBoxText (theBox, theLine, &myStr);

A Gorgeous User Interface

Tools Plus is famous for enabling you to create applications that look and feel like the best commercial applications, regardless if you're part of a large enterprise development team, or a shareware author. SuperCDEFs, included free with Tools Plus, provide additional user-interface controls.

Sample of user-interface elements you can create with Tools Plus

Summary of Features

  • Virtually everything is done with one line of code
  • Windows and dialogs come to life with one line of code
  • All OS-supported window styles, plus tool bars and floating palettes
  • Complete Gray Scale and 3D look
  • Tons of controls: Buttons, sliders, check-boxes, thermometer, etc.
  • The industry's best picture buttons
  • Editing fields that act like mini word-processors, from a single line, to an entire window
  • List boxes that are easy to implement, and which don't have the glitches found in the standard ones
  • 3D Panels give your app a polished look with dozens of variations and styles
  • Pull-down menus, pop-up menus, drop-down menus
  • The Edit menu automatically interacts with the active field
  • All user interface elements can be placed on complex backgrounds, and they still look and work perfectly
  • Animated cursors
  • Dynamic alerts that automatically resize to fit their text, and always looks picture perfect
  • Event handling made simple: Tools Plus calls your event handler routine, and passes a record that tells your app everything it needs to know
  • Use C strings, Pascal strings, or a mix of both
  • For programmers coding in C, C++, or Pascal
  • Requires very little memory
  • Fast running
  • Easy to learn, use, and maintain
  • Includes our critically-acclaimed, 600-page,illustrated user manual


  Tools Plus Pro User Manual (4.4MB, PDF format)