DAMageTIP: Customize Cumulus Menus

This DAM­ageTip is all about tam­ing the Cumu­lus Desk­top Client Menus. They’re a beast. There’s a ton of options and com­mands. Some, you — or your users — will use often, some hardly at all. Power users who love key­board short­cuts can become frus­trated by the lack of short­cuts for com­mon functions.

Let’s get to work. To edit the menus you’ll need a text edi­tor. An edi­tor that can do syn­tax high­light­ing (such as Tex­tWran­gler on OS X) is help­ful but not required.

Under­stand­ing the Menu XML files

All of the Menu files are in the App.lproj folder. On OS X that would be typ­i­cally be:
/Applications/Cumulus Client/Cumulus.app/Contents/MacOS/App.lproj/.

On Win­dows they’re typ­i­cally found in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Canto\Cumulus Client\App.lproj\

Struc­ture and Localization

Each menu con­sists of a pair of files, one for the struc­ture and one for the local­iza­tion strings. The struc­tural XML files is in the main App.lproj folder and the local­iza­tions strings are stored by lan­guage sub-folder with a suf­fix of .Strings added to the file name. I’m pri­mal­ity con­cerned with just the eng­lish local­iza­tion so all my .Strings xml files are in the en folder.

For exam­ple, the Meta­data menu will have  “Menu Metadata.xml” in App.lproj and a “Menu Metadata.Strings.xml” in the en sub-folder direc­tory is the struc­tural setup.

Remov­ing Menu Items

Remov­ing Menu Items is as sim­ple as com­ment­ing out what you’d like to remove in the struc­tural menu xml file. Let’s say you want to remove the IPTC Infor­ma­tion Win­dow item in the Meta­data Menu. Find the menu­item tag for IPTC Infor­ma­tion, then com­ment it out as in the exam­ple below.

Renam­ing Menus and Menu Items

To rename the menu or any of the menu items, we’ll work with the local­ized strings for that menu. The first string tag is the menu name. In the exam­ple below, I’ve renamed the Menu Title and the “Infor­ma­tion” item.

Adding your own key­board shortcuts

Canto pro­vides Cumu­lus with a lot of key­board short­cuts. In fact, there’s an entire

appen­dix in the back of the Cumu­lus User Guide just for the Key­board Short­cuts in Cumu­lus. But, IMHO, not every fea­ture that should have a short­cut does. For­tu­nately it’s fairly easy to take care of that situation.

To add or change the short­cuts, we’re going to work with the Menu struc­ture xml file. But first, let’s explore the attrib­utes of the menu­item tag.

Attribute What it does Notes
cmd Inter­nal com­mand Cumu­lus executes Only items that have a cmd
can be a shortcut
shift Shift Key
ctrl Ctrl on Win­dows, Com­mand on OS X
alt Alt on Win­dows, Option on OS X
key The key­board key used with the Mod­i­fier keys defined above
Here are some exam­ples short­cuts I’ve imple­mented in the Meta­data Menu:
<menuitem cmd="2042" shift="true" ctrl="true" key=";">Update Formular Fields...</menuitem>
<menuitem cmd="375" shift="true" ctrl="true" key="1">Assign Variants...</menuitem>

Putting it in Action!

Alright, you’ve tweaked, hacked and cus­tomized your way to Cumu­lus Desk­top Client menu per­fec­tion. Fab­u­lous! Now it’s time to put it all into action.

Remem­ber, it’s impor­tant to main­tain backup copies of the orig­i­nal files you’ve tweaked, at the same time copies of the cus­tomized files. And here’s why: Your changes will be over­writ­ten if you run the Canto-provided Installer pro­gram in upgrade mode.

Armed with this infor­ma­tion you too can tame the Cumu­lus Menus and make them bend to your will! Go forth, have fun and make those menus yours!

2 thoughts on “DAMageTIP: Customize Cumulus Menus

  1. Pingback: Remote Deploy Cumulus Desktop Client on Mac OS XDAMagedWorkflow

  2. Hi Andrew,

    Great post…Thanks for sharing!

    I was able to alter the menus and cre­ate a key­board short­cut to “Assign Vari­ants”. Very cool!

    I wanted to cre­ate a short­cut for “Send Col­lec­tion Link” but since there are two great options now (Selected Records & All Records), I ran into a Submenu.

    Is it pos­si­ble to cre­ate short­cuts for Selected Records & All Records? How the the steps dif­fer for items in a submenu?



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