Better macro sorting and visual trigger delays in PTFB Pro

The latest release of PTFB Pro brings two user-requested enhancements: more control over sorting of macros, and an optional delay for visual triggers. The new sorting options can be accessed from the list context menu; just right-click anywhere in the list on PTFB’s main screen and choose “Sort Options…”

Choose “Sort Options…” from the list context menu

And this is the resulting sorting options screen

As you can see you can now sort by up to three different fields in ascending or descending order. The settings in the example above will always show enabled macros first, and they’ll be sorted by name and type. The choice of sort fields is quite extensive – it includes things like macro type, name, enabled state, creation and last usage date/time – but if there’s something you’d like to see added to it please just let us know. As in previous versions you can have these sort options applied automatically or manually via the “Sort Targets” command.

The other much-requested change in v5.2 is the addition of an optional delay for visual triggers. This functions exactly like the “Initial Delay” used on the main macro “Triggers” page, and you’ll find it at the bottom of the Visual Change Settings screen:

The delay goes to a granularity of tenths of a second. If you leave it set to the default of zero, then it has no effect; PTFB triggers the macro the instant it detects a visual change meeting the requirements you’ve specified. However, if you set a non-zero delay then PTFB won’t take action immediately; instead it will wait for the specified time, all the while checking that the trigger conditions are still being met.

For example, let’s say you want macro to fire if a red warning indicator appears in the window of a target app. If you set up the visual trigger with a zero delay, the macro will fire almost as soon as the red warning indicator appears. On the other hand, if a 5 second delay is specified then the red warning indicator can flicker on and off briefly without triggering the macro; the macro will only fire if the warning indicator remains “on” for the full 5 seconds.

Finally, I’d just like to mention an error in the Help file that ships with PTFB Pro. In the section on sending notification emails it states that the recommended port for SMTP for GMail is 465. This was correct back in the days when PTFB could only use either unencrypted smtp or basic SSL encryption. Now of course PTFB Pro can use TLS, and it will choose this newer and generally superior option unless you explicitly tell it to do otherwise. All that would be fine, except that the GMail port for SMTP using TLS is different – it’s 587 not 465. The Help doc will be updated for the next release, but for now if you want to send notifications through GMail, remember that it’s port 587 you’ll need to use, not 465. If all that sounds like gobbledygook don’t worry – it only applies if you want to hookup email notifications through GMail.