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Enhanced Buttons
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Enhanced Buttons

An eon ago, M$ announced Windows NT. It was soon dubbed 'Not There' because it was always said to be 'coming soon…'
An age ago, a notice appeared on the BWD site 'ButtonPlus V2 coming soon…' I was eager to receive a copy of BP2 so that I could begin this review, but Andrew was at first reluctant to let me have it as it was still a work in progress. Many moons have come and gone since the first announcement, but the wait was worth it, I assure you.

ButtonPlus is titled 'The Ultimate Foundation Button'. I don't know of an escalation of 'Ultimate', if there is one, it should be added as the superlative for ButtonPlus2, which is without a doubt the most flexible button stack ever to hit the RW scene. The ButtonPlus2 stack will soon be accompanied by a Button Bar and a Button Group stack, but this post will focus on the ButtonPlus stack itself. Why? Because you could write a book about everything that is possible with the new stacks! Once again, it's like buying a new car. It's no problem to get in and drive off, but it takes some exploration to discover what every dashboard feature is. Prepare yourself for a long expedition.

When you first drag a ButtonPlus stack into your project, it looks very much like the first version; after a fleeting glance at the setup panel you'd be excused for thinking that it's the same stack, but look closer and you'll find that a number of settings have been added. First there are settings for the button padding both for the mobile view and the desktop view. Then there are those buttons that we have become accustomed to in all BWD stacks Hide/Show Child Stacks.

Next, you'll find that a setting has been added with the options Full Width: Never (default), Mobile Only, Desktop Only and Always. You'll find the Button Styles interesting too. They include settings for the ProStyles Master stack. If you haven't already, take a look at the Pro Styles stack. Pro Styles allows you to define up to eight different button styles which will then allow you to configure your ButtonPlus buttons with a single mouse click, ensuring that each and every button on your page – or site wide – is identical.

The Button Size has been extended by Fixed Height and Custom Padding.
The Fixed Height is of special interest, because when you choose the setting, you now have the capability to set the exact height and responsive width of your button – again, with settings for both Mobile and Desktop. The Shape Menu has also received additions. It now includes Custom Rounding and Square (Override ProStyle).

The option to add an Icon to your ButtonPlus button has been completely rewritten. The Icon may be combined with the button you just set up above, or it can be set to a round button with only the icon. The standard icon set is Fontawesome, but you may also define your own icon set.
Of course the icon colour for Static and Hovered states may be set, but not only that – the icon size can also be set independently from the font size and the Icon Padding – the distance between the button text and the icon – can also be defined.
But that's not all. If you set Split Button, you get a split button – not just optically. The colour of the main button and the split icon button may be set independently. And by setting Launch External Pop Drop, the split button will be assigned two separate functions – the icon will open a Pop Drop* window, while the main button will open the link that you set.
* BWD's Pop Drop stack must be installed

The Button Font now includes an option for Google Fonts and, because ButtonPlus is now fully responsive, you get to set the Breakpoint for the responsive features.

ButtonPlus will, as already mentioned, soon be partnered by two further stacks – Button Bar and Button group – and the settings that follow, a whole bucket full of them, all apply to buttons within theses two stacks too.

ButtonPlus with Pop Drop
A ButtonPlus Bar with Zone Logo and Pop Drop

As mentioned above, you can hide the ButtonPlus Child Stacks in the stack settings. Version one didn't have Child Stacks, but with version two, you can add Hover Effects and Visibility settings. The most interesting features, however, are probably the option to add Dropdown Content and Pop Drop content.

The Dropdown Content has two further options. You may add both Dropdown Links and Dropdown Columns.
The Dropdown Links allow you to add a list of links to your Button Plus Stack, but even the links are more versatile than you'd imagine! They may be set as Headers for group links, or they may 'simply' be linked with a URL or a script. I say 'simply', because even the links have a full set of settings available which will allow you to format everything from size and spacing to a leading badge with ALT text!
Tip — Need a line of links somewhere on your page, rather than a column of links? Drag a Link child stack anywhere on your page and duplicate it as often as you require. Your links will render on a single line!

The Dropdown Columns are perhaps even more exciting! When clicked, a Columns Child Stack contains two columns to which you can add further stacks. You can, however, add additional Child Column stacks which can then be confined to the button width, or can stretch to fill the column container – so-called Mega Menus.
Once more the settings panel allows you to format the Dropdown Columns to your heart's content.

If you have Pop Drop installed, you'll find that a Pop Drop child stack is built directly into the ButtonPlus stack and will accept just about any stack you can throw at it! Pop Drop content can be configured as a Dropdown/Popover or as a separate Modal Window. It has the same setup options as the standard Pop Drop stack, including Header Bar and Close Icon – the simplest way I've found to set up Pop Drops – I was positively astounded by this

Andrew is allowing you some time to spend playing around with the ButtonPlus stacks settings before he releases Button Bars and Button Groups.
So what are these additional stacks about?

Teaser — Button Bars will add a group of buttons to your RW page. You can add Zones to the bar – stack containers that appear within the group – and you can add as many ButtonPlus buttons to the bar as you require. The button shape is configured centrally, via the Group setup panel, but the other button settings may be set up individually – as above. Button Bars are ideal for additional navigation menus.
Button Bar Child stacks include Hover Effects, Background, Toggle Menu and Visibility. You'll have fun exploring the settings panel further – I guarantee.

ButtonPlus Bar

A ButtonPlus Bar with Dropdown Menu

Button Groups come preconfigured with three buttons. They are very similar to Button Bars, but don't have Zones and can not be styled via Pro Styles, instead they have their own custom settings. Once you got your head around the ButtonPlus settings, you'll need to play around with both Bars and Groups to see which is most suited to your purpose. If you'd like an in depth explanation of ButtonsPlus 2, take a look at Andrews instruction videos.

I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised at the possibilities that the ButtonsPlus stacks brings you. Don't forget to make a donation!

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