Configuring Button Navigation

Because most viewers will use the arrow buttons on a DVD player’s remote control to navigate through the buttons on a menu, it’s important that the navigation is easy and logical.

DVD Studio Pro includes three methods for setting button navigation:

In general, if you are manually setting button navigation or modifying automatic button navigation, you should wait until all buttons have been added to the menu, ensuring that all possibilities are taken into account. It is also helpful to name each button before setting the navigation so that you can easily distinguish them from each other.

Setting Button Navigation Manually by Dragging in the Menu Editor

You can set button navigation in the Menu Editor by dragging a button’s edge to the button that it should navigate to. Each edge of a button corresponds to an arrow button on a remote control. For example, dragging the right edge of a button determines what will happen when you press the Right Arrow button.

To set button navigation by dragging button edges
  1. Select the button whose navigation you want to set.

    The active area rectangle appears around it.

  2. Hold down the Option and Command keys and click the resize handle on the edge you want to set. For example, click the right edge to set the right-arrow jump for the button.

  3. Drag from the resize handle to the button you want to link to. A line appears to indicate which edge you started at.

    Figure. Shows button navigation connection between two buttons in the Menu Editor.
  4. As you drag, the line’s color changes from white to green once you reach a button’s active area. When the line is green, release the mouse button to make the connection.

Once the connection is made, the line disappears.

The biggest drawback to setting navigation this way is that, unless you verify the connections carefully, you can easily miss setting all four edges of all buttons, resulting in some peculiar navigation.

Setting Button Navigation Manually with the Button Inspector

You can manually set each button’s navigation using the Button Inspector. You can also change a button’s navigation that has been set with the Auto Assign feature.

To manually set button navigation
  1. Select a button.

  2. Click the Advanced tab in the Button Inspector.

  3. In the Navigation area, open the pop-up menu for each direction (left, right, up, and down) and choose the button that should be jumped to for each. Leave the setting at “not set” if you do not want an action to occur when a viewer presses a particular arrow button.

Each button’s settings are completely independent. The settings you make for one button have no effect on the other buttons in the menu.

Setting Button Navigation with the Auto Assign Feature

The Auto Assign feature makes it easy to configure the button navigation for a menu. You can also use it as a starting point for configuring your navigation, and then freely adjust the settings it creates.

To use Auto Assign to set button navigation
  1. Set up your menu as you want it, with its buttons in their final locations.

  2. Choose Auto Assign Buttons Now from the Menu Editor’s Settings pop-up menu (or press Command-Shift-D).

It’s important to understand that Auto Assign works with the buttons as they currently exist on the menu. If you move, delete, or add buttons to the menu, you need to use Auto Assign again to update the navigation.

Note: Using Auto Assign overrides any existing navigation settings. If you intend to manually modify the settings Auto Assign creates, be sure you have all buttons in place before using it. This reduces the risk of having to use Auto Assign again, and undoing any modifications you may have made.

How Auto Assign Works

Auto Assign strives to configure the navigation in a logical manner. For example, pressing a Right Arrow button on the remote control selects the button to the right (if there is one). If a menu has a peculiar button layout, however, Auto Assign can produce surprising results.

Auto Assign uses the following rules when configuring the navigation:

  • It assigns every button a navigation setting. This is an advantage, because you may accidentally skip a button when manually assigning navigation, resulting in orphaned buttons.

  • The navigation loops through all buttons. When you reach the edge of a menu and press the same arrow button on the remote again, you jump to the menu buttons in the next row at the opposite edge. This means that if you keep pressing any of the arrows, you will eventually get to all menu buttons.

    Figure. Shows button navigation using auto assign.

Setting Button Navigation with Continuous Auto Assign

The Menu Editor includes a Continuous Auto Assign feature that updates the navigation of all buttons on the menu each time you add a new button or move an existing one. You are unable to manually assign button navigation while the Continuous Auto Assign feature is active.

To enable Continuous Auto Assign
  • Choose Auto Assign Buttons Continuously from the Menu Editor’s Settings pop-up menu.

The Continuous Auto Assign feature remains enabled until you choose it again to disable it.

Unlike using the Auto Assign feature, you can enable the Continuous Auto Assign feature before the buttons are in their final positions—you can even enable it before you have added any buttons to the menu.

Right-to-Left Reading Mode

Auto Assign and Continuous Auto Assign have a Right-to-Left Reading option, designed for use with titles whose viewers are used to reading right-to-left (such as Farsi and Hebrew). To use the Right-to-Left option, choose the appropriate setting in the Menus pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences.

Figure. Shows button navigation using the right-to-left reading mode.

The illustration above shows the path for a menu intended for viewers familiar with right-to-left reading. Note that the difference is in what happens when you reach a menu edge; when you are not on an edge, the arrow buttons work the same in both reading modes.