PROPOSAL: improve text input of control values

I would like to propose two modifications to the text input of numerical control values. This basically affects all Stillwell and Schwa products but I assume they are based on some common GUI framework so the changes would only have to be applied at one place. The proposal concerns the little text input field which pops up when right-clicking a control (fader/pot) that takes a numerical value.

  • the most important request: once the right mouse button is released, the text input field should automatically receive the keyboard focus and the text representing the current value should get selected. This avoids unnecessary mouse clicks before one can actually overwrite the current value.
  • text input should be canceled (reverting to old value) via any mouse button outside the input field as well as ESC key. The mouse press event to cancel text input should be propagated to the control where the mouse cursor was located at the time of clicking. This should also apply if clicking the control associated with the currently active text input field. Advantages are e.g.:
    • easier to discover how to cancel text input: it took me a while to find out that only the right mouse button works
    • avoids unnecessary clicks

IMHO these changes would greatly improve fluency of the workflow.

That also gets rid of what I feel is one of the most VALUABLE features of that mode; it allows you to see the EXACT numeric value while you’re dragging the control with the mouse.

I hear what you’re saying, and we’re always looking for ways to improve the product, but the above-quoted bit of suggestion isn’t likely to be implemented. Esc, maybe…mouse cliick…not so much.


OK, so let’s change the sentence


Text input should not be canceled if clicking the control associated with the currently active text input field. In this case, current behavior is preserved.

Would this make everyone happy?

One additional proposal concerning the mouse dragging operation with active text input:

  • when a mouse button is pressed down to initiate a dragging operation while text input is already visible, any text selection should be removed (the marker that is, not the text itself) to improve readability. Once the mouse button is released, i.e. drag operation terminated, again, the whole text gets selected and the text input field receives keyboard focus.

Hi Scott,

I modified the IPlug library from Cockos to include the proposed text input behavior. I have uploaded a Windows build of the modified IPlugExample plugin. WARNING: this is really a quick and dirty hack, so there are some known bugs, but the basic proposed behavior I wanted to demonstrate works.

IPlugExample (Windows x86 VST):


Sincere thanks for making the effort, but as a commercial project, I can’t accept outside source code changes due to copyright and intellectual property issues. Your best bet is to submit that to Cockos, Inc. who owns the copyright to and distributes IPlug and see if they’ll accept it into the distribution. If it becomes a part of the IPlug distribution, it will “flow downstream” into my plugins eventually.