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Need help with CSS for HTA Application -- Images in CSS instead of using PNG graphics

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Good afternoon everyone. So let me start by saying this is for work, and not a side project. It's not a pressing issue, but it's something I was asked to look into.
I have worked with .HTA's in the past, but mainly for frontends for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Task Sequences for OSD. I also have basic knowledge and understanding of HTML and CSS.

I will try to break it down by list the objective, along with what I am currently using, and then questions.

Objective:
We have an application in our Citrix environment set up as a streaming app. Attached to that streaming app is another streaming app, that contains a launcher (Appetizer) which is what is published to the end user. The application is a medical application, that has about 25 .exe's and using Appetizer is not secure. I was asked to write a custom .HTA file that would act as an application. The problem is, it needs to be sorta dynamic in that 5 different area hospitals will use it, but each will have their own configuration of apps and configuration files for the actual medical application. What the users care about is the icon, and background color of the app (some locations in the organization will have multiple copies of this app running, one for Location A, one for Location B, etc -- and they need some way to quickly tell which is which. The plan for this is different background colors and title bar describing location).
Currently, I have the HTA using 135x30 pixel images that have the icon and text in the image, and when clicked it launches the app. pretty simple, and it works, however any changes or additionals/removal of applications have to go through me. I want to give the Business Analyst the ability to update the script with new icons/apps/colors/etc and then provide the finished script to me so I can publish it to the Citrix Farm. My thought was to use HTML and CSS and create DIV boxes that when clicked in the DIV field, it would call the .exe. The reason I am looking at an option like that to have a clickable area around the text, instead of just a clickable image which would be a 32x32 pixel .ico file. Can you even make a DIV field clickable like that?

Was I able to explain what I am looking for?

Here is my current script: Paragon Launcher.hta (Click to show)
Code:
<!--
Script Name: Paragon Launcher
Version: 0.1 -- Initial Build
Author: xxx, Client Infrastructure
Creation Date: 10/14/2013
Description: Custom .HTA application to be used as a launcher for Paragon applications.
-->


<meta http-equiv="x-ua-compatible" content="ie=9">
<html>
<head>
<title>Lou - Launcher</title>
<HTA:APPLICATION 
     ID="objTest" 
     APPLICATIONNAME="Lou - Launcher"
     SCROLL="no"
     MAXIMIZEBUTTON="no"
     Border = "thin"
     SINGLEINSTANCE="yes"
>

<!-- Green
<body bgcolor="#93B622"> -->
<!-- Red
<body bgcolor="#E73F20"> -->
<!-- Blue 
<body bgcolor="#5DB8D7"> -->
<!-- Purple -->
<body bgcolor="#62149A">

</head>

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="VBScript">

Window.ReSizeTo 462, 300

</SCRIPT>

<body>

<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\exit.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\exit.png" ALT="Exit" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\accounts_payable.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\accounts_payable.PNG" ALT="Accounts Payable" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\applicaiton_security.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\application_security.PNG" ALT="Application Security" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\approval_levels.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\approval_levels.PNG" ALT="Approval Levels" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\downtime_registration.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\downtime_registration.png" ALT="Downtime Registration" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\fixed_assets.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\fixed_assets.png" ALT="Fixed Assets" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\general_ledger.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\general_ledger.png" ALT="General Ledger" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\jobstream.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\jobstream.png" ALT="Jobstream" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\materials_management.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\materials_management.png" ALT="Materials Management" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\medical_records.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\medical_records.png" ALT="Medical Records" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\operating_room_management.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\operating_room_management.png" ALT="Operating Room Management" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\order_management.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\order_management.png" ALT="Order Management" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\paragon_inquiry.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\paragon_inquiry.png" ALT="Paragon Inquiry" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\patient_management.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\patient_management.png" ALT="Patient Management" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\patient_supply.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\patient_supply.png" ALT="Patient Supply" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\patient_view.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\patient_view.png" ALT="Patient View" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\pcon.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\pcon.png" ALT="Pcon" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\qem_extract.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\qem_extract.png" ALT="Qem Extract" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\receivables_administrator.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\receivables_administrator.png" ALT="Receivables Administrator" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\reference_masters.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\reference_masters.png" ALT="Reference Masters" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\registration.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\registration.png" ALT="Registration" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\release_of_information.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\release_of_information.png" ALT="Release of Information" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\resource_scheduling.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\resource_scheduling.png" ALT="Resource Scheduling" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\snomed_coding.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\snomed_coding.png" ALT="Snomed Coding" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\state_reporting.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\state_reporting.png" ALT="State Reporting" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\statistical_reports.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\statistical_reports.png" ALT="Statistical Reports" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\therapeutic_results_reporting.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\therapeutic_results_reporting.png" ALT="Therapeutic Results Reporting" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>
<a href="C:\Program Files (x86)\Paragon\utilization_review.exe"><IMG SRC=".\icons\utilization_review.png" ALT="Utilization Review" border="0" WIDTH=135 HEIGHT=30></a>

</body>

All the apps reference a PNG file that is stored in a folder called "icons" which is in the same directory as the actual HTA.

Questions:
1) So is there a way that I can redo the script so that I can just add a 32x32 .ico file, with a clickable text filed around the same size (135x30) instead of having to load GIMP and make a custom PNG for each app?
Just to give you an idea, here is one of the .PNG's:



Thanks!
post #2 of 7
Well I'm going to have to re-read this post a few more times before I can tell if I can come close to comprehending it...the real reason for my reply is that...

wow-wow-wow-wow

Someone else is writing a an HTA for work and have to deal with paragon. Wow.
Quote:
The reason I am looking at an option like that to have a clickable area around the text, instead of just a clickable image which would be a 32x32 pixel .ico file. Can you even make a DIV field clickable like that?

Okay my HTA does have an OnClick event. I'm posting it here in case it's of any use.

First, the onclick sub:
Code:
Sub spHeader_onclick
If spShowHide.style.display = "inline" Then 
spShowHide.style.display = "none"
ElseIf spShowHide.style.display = "none" Then
spShowHide.style.display = "inline"
End If
End Sub 


Then below in the HTML part there's this bit:
Code:
<center>
<span id=spHeader style="border: 2px solid green; Width:400; text-align:center align:center" >
  Click Here to Select Shortcuts to Push 
</span>
</center>
<br>

It's a rather ugly GUI. And the code is ugly. Easier with a good editor. There aren't very many syntax highlighting editors for VBScript (for some reason?). And my code is rather hard to read in notepad.

Anyway when I get a chance I'll spend some more time on what you're asking for exactly. Maybe it'll point you in the right direction if nothing else. The above probably didn't help very much but I was excited to see someone mentioned paragon/HTAs thumb.gif
 
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by subassy View Post

Well I'm going to have to re-read this post a few more times before I can tell if I can come close to comprehending it...the real reason for my reply is that...

wow-wow-wow-wow

Someone else is writing a an HTA for work and have to deal with paragon. Wow.
Okay my HTA does have an OnClick event. I'm posting it here in case it's of any use.

First, the onclick sub:
Code:
Sub spHeader_onclick
If spShowHide.style.display = "inline" Then 
spShowHide.style.display = "none"
ElseIf spShowHide.style.display = "none" Then
spShowHide.style.display = "inline"
End If
End Sub 


Then below in the HTML part there's this bit:
Code:
<center>
<span id=spHeader style="border: 2px solid green; Width:400; text-align:center align:center" >
  Click Here to Select Shortcuts to Push 
</span>
</center>
<br>

It's a rather ugly GUI. And the code is ugly. Easier with a good editor. There aren't very many syntax highlighting editors for VBScript (for some reason?). And my code is rather hard to read in notepad.

Anyway when I get a chance I'll spend some more time on what you're asking for exactly. Maybe it'll point you in the right direction if nothing else. The above probably didn't help very much but I was excited to see someone mentioned paragon/HTAs thumb.gif

Thanks for posting. You work with Paragon as well? Haha, then maybe you know my pain.

I made my original HTA last week, and today I had to make an addition to it by adding another exe and another icon. This meant creating a new 135x30 pixel image with a deleted background (done in GIMP), and add to the HTA. I actually have PrimalScript that I use mostly for PowerShell (trying to justify the cost for PowerShell Studio), but it also does syntax highlighing for VBScript and HTA's. If this was going to be a static HTA that never changed, my method would be just fine and I could package it all into a single .EXE through PrimalScript, and be done with it. Even though this isn't too much work, it's basically something I don't want to tie myself to, but I may have to suck it up and tell the Business Analysts to put in a ticket if anything needs to be added. I will take a look at your code when I get a chance (probably in the morning).

This isn't my first HTA, but all of my HTA's are usually static and used in an OSD environment, so it's a different game for me.
post #4 of 7
I re-read your original post a few times and I think I'm starting to understand what you're trying to do. Possibly.

Basically what you want to do is re-create that 135x30 image via only CSS, so that the label and background etc. is customized but the ICO varies. In other words, a group of CSS elements that don't have much but can have the text string vary. And an ICO specified one by one. For instance "medical records" can be customized to have a blue background with a slightly different folder icon basically instantly. But the size/font/look of it will be otherwise indistinguishable from what it is now or that 135x30 PNG image.

I think I got that right.

This way to add an additional program and other customization it's basically a one line edit and drag-and-drop the ICO file into the folder. Super easy. Right?

A hospital I worked for had something like that. They used an INI file though for specifying the exe locations and which ICO file went to which label. That was just a custom locked out shell.. Exactly same idea/process though.

Anyway you can use CSS for creating that bit of formatting and VBScript/JavaScript/web scripting language of your choice for the "onclick" event. It would just be a matter of an img src="some icon file.ico".

You probably knew this but it seems like it was "lost to history" sometimes: ICO files are actually BMP files. You can actually change the extension of a BMP to ICO (or ISO to BMP) and it will work perfectly well. (Windows will try and make the best approximation of the BMP as an ICO it can) Which is why the "img src=" thing pointing at an ICO file works in the browser. I only tried it in my own HTA actually, I assume it would work in non-HTA browsers. I think this goes all the way back to windows 3 or something.

Anyway I would have to do some more reading to figure out to format the actual span/div/whatever. I know you can specify a height/width, I think there would be a few more options involved though for really locking it into place. You can even use drop shadows you make look more like a button.

Or perhaps I've missed something entirely tongue.gif
 
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by subassy View Post

I re-read your original post a few times and I think I'm starting to understand what you're trying to do. Possibly.

Basically what you want to do is re-create that 135x30 image via only CSS, so that the label and background etc. is customized but the ICO varies. In other words, a group of CSS elements that don't have much but can have the text string vary. And an ICO specified one by one. For instance "medical records" can be customized to have a blue background with a slightly different folder icon basically instantly. But the size/font/look of it will be otherwise indistinguishable from what it is now or that 135x30 PNG image.

I think I got that right.

This way to add an additional program and other customization it's basically a one line edit and drag-and-drop the ICO file into the folder. Super easy. Right?

A hospital I worked for had something like that. They used an INI file though for specifying the exe locations and which ICO file went to which label. That was just a custom locked out shell.. Exactly same idea/process though.

Anyway you can use CSS for creating that bit of formatting and VBScript/JavaScript/web scripting language of your choice for the "onclick" event. It would just be a matter of an img src="some icon file.ico".

You probably knew this but it seems like it was "lost to history" sometimes: ICO files are actually BMP files. You can actually change the extension of a BMP to ICO (or ISO to BMP) and it will work perfectly well. (Windows will try and make the best approximation of the BMP as an ICO it can) Which is why the "img src=" thing pointing at an ICO file works in the browser. I only tried it in my own HTA actually, I assume it would work in non-HTA browsers. I think this goes all the way back to windows 3 or something.

Anyway I would have to do some more reading to figure out to format the actual span/div/whatever. I know you can specify a height/width, I think there would be a few more options involved though for really locking it into place. You can even use drop shadows you make look more like a button.

Or perhaps I've missed something entirely tongue.gif

Actually, that is basically what I am trying to do. The process to add a new application to the launcher needs to be something simple enough that the Business Analysts can do it, who aren't super technical. Basically copy and past an existing application/icon, and replace the .ico and the applications name. The method I am currently using requires using GIMP and creating a 135x30 image, which works fine (actually it works great) but it's not something the Business Analysts can easily update on their own when needed.

For the record, this will be used in our Citrix XenApp 5.0 farm, which lives on Server 2003 R2 (meaning it will be using IE7 to launch the HTA).
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

Actually, that is basically what I am trying to do. The process to add a new application to the launcher needs to be something simple enough that the Business Analysts can do it, who aren't super technical. Basically copy and past an existing application/icon, and replace the .ico and the applications name. The method I am currently using requires using GIMP and creating a 135x30 image, which works fine (actually it works great) but it's not something the Business Analysts can easily update on their own when needed.

For the record, this will be used in our Citrix XenApp 5.0 farm, which lives on Server 2003 R2 (meaning it will be using IE7 to launch the HTA).

Ok the IE 7 thing kind of throws a wrench into it. Have to fire up an XP VM with IE 7 just to develop it because I have no idea what 7 can and can't do with CSS. It's probably not that bad though. I think 2003/XP can do IE 8. Are you really sure it's not IE 8?

I think I could figure something out, just have to get out my html/css book. Hopefully I'll have some time to work on that. You might change the thread title to something like "Need help using CSS to re-create this image". There must be at least one person in this forum with mad CSS skills. And also knows the specific capabilities of IE 7.
 
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by subassy View Post

Ok the IE 7 thing kind of throws a wrench into it. Have to fire up an XP VM with IE 7 just to develop it because I have no idea what 7 can and can't do with CSS. It's probably not that bad though. I think 2003/XP can do IE 8. Are you really sure it's not IE 8?

I think I could figure something out, just have to get out my html/css book. Hopefully I'll have some time to work on that. You might change the thread title to something like "Need help using CSS to re-create this image". There must be at least one person in this forum with mad CSS skills. And also knows the specific capabilities of IE 7.

You're right, it is IE8 (this resource pool was upgraded to IE8). I will update the title and see if that helps.
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