The Flowchart provides a graphic interface that lets you complete many common authoring tasks. You work with the Flowchart throughout the project, oftentimes in conjunction with other panels—notably the Properties panel. You can efficiently accomplish all of the following tasks in the Flowchart:
Create and update project navigation by visually arranging and linking elements.
Update properties quickly and easily for an element.
Quickly identify navigation problems such as orphaned elements and broken links.
Drag from Windows Explorer or the Mac OS Finder or the Encore Library panel to automatically add items to the project as elements.
Open an element in its viewer panel to edit it.
The Flowchart provides several visual clues about items and their links. The disc icon represents the root of the hierarchy. Each item in the Flowchart can include a thumbnail that informs you of the element type (slide show, timeline, and so on), its buttons (for menus), audio and subtitle track information, and the chapter being linked to (for timelines, slide shows, playlists, and chapter playlists).
Thumbnails provide visual clues about elements and links. Elements in the Flowchart display thumbnails by default. A given element can appear numerous times in the Flowchart, depending on its links. For the first occurrence of an element, the original, the element appears at full opacity. Additional occurrences of an item, or its aliases, appear at 50% opacity. Original menus include buttons.
Items used in the project, linked by using some path to the disc icon, appear in the upper pane of the Flowchart. Unused items appear in the lower pane of the Flowchart. When you place the mouse pointer over them, the tool tip shows the name of the asset.
Thumbnails also include type icons and info badges, and are joined with link lines.
Zoom in and out
You can zoom in and out the flowchart view to the relevant parts of the flowchart. Use the slide bar at the bottom of the Flowchart panel or the Zoom tool.
- Zoom in
- Do one of the following:
Slide right the slide bar on the Flowchart panel.
Select the Zoom tool and click the Flowchart panel.
Select the Zoom tool and click-drag on the Flowchart panel.
- Zoom out
- Do one of the following:
Slide left the slide bar on the Flowchart panel.
Select the Zoom tool and Alt‑click on the Flowchart panel.
Toggle the display of thumbnails
You can specify whether thumbnails appear in the Flowchart.
Choose Show All Thumbnails from the Flowchart panel menu.
The icon in the upper left corner of an object’s thumbnail denotes the type of item: Menu , Timeline , Playlist , Chapter Playlist , or Slide Show .
- Default button is set to none.
- Default button is set to button [n].
- Default button is set to the active audio track.
- Default button is set to the active subtitle track.
- Audio track is set to audio track [n].
- Subtitle track is set to subtitle track [n].
- Subtitle track is off.
- Link to chapter [n].
The appearance of link lines informs you of the relationship between elements, and the arrow indicates the direction of the link.
- Solid black lines
- Represent a normal link.
- Red lines
- Represent a broken link. A broken link means that the destination of the link has been changed indirectly (by some action other than specifying the link), and is no longer valid. For example, if you delete the element to which a link points, the link appears as broken.
- Blue lines
- Indicate that the object the link originated from is selected. When you select a broken link, the line remains red, but the arrow appears blue.
- Dashed lines
- Indicate a link overridden by a prior object. The dashed link will not be followed in this location—the end action override of the prior object is followed.
- Double-headed arrows
- Indicate an override end action returning to the original item.
- Transition icon
- Indicates a button link with a transition.
- Selection tool
- Functions as a link tool, or a pick whip. Drag from an object in the Flowchart to another object, inside or outside of the Flowchart, to set a link to the target item.
- Direct Select tool
- Functions as a drag‑and‑drop tool. Drop an item from anywhere, including Windows Explorer or the Mac OS Finder, onto an item in the Flowchart to set an outgoing link from the target item to the dropped item. (Dropping items from Windows Explorer or the Finder automatically imports the asset and converts it to an Encore project element.)
- Move tool
- Moves manually placed items in the Flowchart (aliases can’t be moved). You can also convert automatically placed items to manually placed items by dragging them with the Move tool. The Move tool does not set any type of link.
Set navigation in the Flowchart
For smaller projects, you can drag items directly into the Flowchart panel and arrange them manually. For large, complex projects, you can use auto layout, letting Encore position items in the Flowchart. You can also choose to work with a combination of auto and manual layout.
Create a new project, and then import and convert the necessary assets into Encore project elements. In this example, the project includes a main menu, a timeline, and a slide show.
Choose Window > Flowchart if you don’t see the Flowchart panel. The first element you imported is already linked to the disc icon. (Encore automatically sets the project’s First Play link to the first imported element.) The remaining, unused elements appear in the lower section of the Flowchart panel.
Set the desired First Play link. In this example, the First Play item is the main menu. Set this link using one of the following methods:
Click the Selection tool , and then select the disc icon. (The Selection tool icon changes to the pick whip icon when it’s in the Flowchart.) Drag from the disc icon to the element you want to set as the First Play link. You can drag to other items in the Flowchart, or to the Project, Timelines, or Menus panel.
Click the Direct Select tool , and drag an item from anywhere, including Windows Explorer or the Mac OS Finder, onto the disc icon.
Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the disc icon and choose Specify Link from the context menu. In the Specify Link dialog box, select the main menu and click OK.
- Create a link from the menu’s first button (listed under the main menu icon) to the timeline (displayed in the lower section of the Flowchart panel) by using one of the methods in step 3.Note: Original menu icons in the Flowchart display a list of the buttons they contain, menu aliases do not.
Set the end action of the timeline you just added to target the slide show using one of the methods in step 3. After you set the link, note that, in the timeline’s Properties panel, the end action links to the slide show. When the viewer selects the first button, the timeline plays and then the slide show.
Set the menu’s second button to link directly to the slide show using one of the methods in step 3. Now the viewer can go directly to the slide show, skipping the timeline, by clicking the second button on the menu.
Save the file.
Add elements to the Flowchart
The Flowchart links elements you add depending on where you drop them. If you drop an element (such as a timeline, menu, slide show, and so on) onto empty space, no link is created. If you drop an element onto a menu thumbnail, a new button is created, linking to the element. If you drop an element onto a menu’s button, a link from the existing button to the element is created. If you drop an element onto a timeline, slide show, playlist, or chapter playlist, an end action linking to the dropped element is created. Linking assets by using the pick whip behaves in the same way.
Drag an unused element from the lower pane onto an element in the upper pane to add it to the Flowchart.
Drag an element from the Project panel to the Flowchart.Note: If you can’t drag a file from the Project panel, make sure it’s been converted to an element type. For example, you can’t drag a movie file, but you can right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the movie file, choose New Timeline, and then drag the resulting timeline to the Flowchart.
Drag the pick whip from an element in the active panel to another element. The target element may be in the unused panel or the project panel. Encore adds the element to the Flowchart and links it appropriately.
Drag a file (or multiple files) from Windows Explorer or the Mac OS Finder, or an item from the Encore Library panel, to the Flowchart. Encore places the item in the Flowchart, creating an Encore element from the imported asset or library item.
Change links and properties in the Flowchart
You can use the Flowchart in tandem with the Properties panel to change links or other properties of an element.
Edit links in the Flowchart
Select the element whose link you want to modify.
In the Properties panel, drag the pick whip from the Link field to the element representing the new link destination.
Encore updates the link and refreshes the Flowchart panel appropriately.
Rearrange items in the Flowchart
Encore automatically populates the Flowchart as you create elements and link them together. You can also add items to the Flowchart manually, by dragging. Manually placed items include a drop shadow for easy identification. You can move both manually and automatically placed items or let Encore rearrange manually placed items automatically. The distinction between manually and automatically placed items applies only when working in the Flowchart. The layout state of an object (auto or manual) does not influence links or any other object attribute.
Move items in the Flowchart
Select an object using the Move tool and drag it to a new location. You cannot change the position of an alias. When you move an element manually, any automatically placed elements attached to it move along with it.
Rearrange items automatically
To automatically rearrange a single item, right-click it (Windows) or Control-click it (Mac OS) and choose Auto-Layout from the context menu that appears.
To automatically rearrange all the manually placed items, choose Auto-Layout All from the Flowchart panel menu.
Jump from the Flowchart to other viewers
From the Flowchart, you can open elements directly into their corresponding viewer, start Project Preview, or open a menu to edit it in Adobe Photoshop®.
Double-click a timeline, menu, chapter playlist, or slide show to open it in its viewer.
Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) any element and choose Preview From Here to start previewing from that point.
Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a menu and choose Edit Menu In Photoshop to automatically start Photoshop and open the menu in it.