June 1993


FinderHider was a neat hack prompted by Joe Sparks' lamentations over the occasionally unprofessional look of Macromind Director animations. At the time there were several different screen sizes in use, 512 x 384, 640 x 480, 832 x 624 and even (for the well-heeled) 1024 x 768. But the 'stage' (the playback area) of any particular Director title was always fixed in size, and the computer's desktop would be visible when using a title on a computer with a monitor larger than the stage.

FinderHider simply put a border round the stage that would dynamically size to fill the entire screen.

The code that did the work was a simple WDEF whose structure region was taken from the main screen's bounds and whose draw method filled in the extra space with a color or pattern. Director itself was completely oblivious to the change, it just saw a window with a very, very thick border. Most of the development work was actually in the installer application, which added the functionality to the standalone playback 'projector' with a simple drag-and-drop, and in the XObject that provided runtime control of the border.

I revised FinderHider a couple of times in response to customer requests, adding support for non-rectangular borders, transparency in the stage itself, and for use in HyperCard and Authorware titles.

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