I guess I can’t reply to each of those who posted about my question so here is one reply to the 5 who have answered. First thanks. Years ago when I was programming for a living getting an answer to a question was very difficult. You might have had one or two others you could ask but their experience and knowledge wasn’t much greater than yours.
What I am doing is creating a portion of an instrument panel to be used as for ‘free play’ by students learning to use the equipment. The panel contains the controls and indicators for the pneumatic system of a jet airplane. The simulation shows the buttons, knobs, lights and other indicators in one area and a schematic representation of the pneumatic system in another area. Using this tool the student can play out various scenarios and watch both the cockpit indications and the system components.
All of the buttons on the pneumatic panel have at least2 ways to provide feedback and some have 3. The first feed back provided is if the button is depressed or released. For that ‘tactile’ feed back the bevel button works perfectly well. The 2nd way feed back is provided is with a lighted rectangle in the center of the button. This rectangle, called a ‘bar’, indicates whether or not the button is in the proper position (depressed or released) for flight. This follows something called the ‘black panel concept’. When a pilot glances at a panel any light indicates something out of it’s normal position.
Note neither the button position or lighted bar give any feed back as to the state the valves controlled by the button. They only give feed back about the state of the button it’s self. For the most part feed back about the actual state of the pneumatic system are shown by messages on the Crew Alerting System or CAS display as well as an area on one of the CRTs showing pneumatic system pressures and temperatures.
Since no design philosophy, including the 'black panel concept, meets the real world and survives completely the aircraft’s designers decided that 5 valves required a direct display of their position. That indication was placed button controlling those valves. It is in the form of an ‘OPEN’ inscription when the valve is actually in the open position.
So as you can see I need to display the bevel button (set or released) , the bar, which I in the caption by 6 lower case Ls (“llllll”), and finally the OPEN caption shown above the caption.
What’s frustrating about this is I had most of this built and the ‘button, caption, text field’ solution was working fine. Through a clerical screw up I destroyed that file and had to start almost over. I sure that’s never happened to any one else.
I may have to use one or more likely a combination of the ideas you have provided but I really want to get my original scheme working again. It provided a visually very satisfying representation of the pneumatic panel.
If anyone can help me figure this out I would be grateful.