From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Sun Feb 11 2007 - 13:06:08 CST

On Sun, 11 Feb 2007, Yaser Khan wrote:


YK> i found hot keys extremely convenient. however, only the default hot keys
YK> assigned to numbers and lowercase letters are funtional. in particular hot
YK> keys assign to upper case alphabet (G, X, Y, Z) and to key combinations
YK> (control-a, control-z, alt-q) fail. i am able to reassign these functions to
YK> other unassigned lower case alphabets but i would really like to use the
YK> default functionality. (this same problem was posted by jian zou in june
YK> 2005. however it was not addressed).

you have to realize that VMD was conceived as a unix program and that
hot-keys and similar things are very different on unix-like and windows
platforms. i'm not programming on windows (i once ported a text-mode
fortran program to windows), so john may have some more specific
comments on this for you. putting all key assignments into your vmd.rc
file would be an intermediate workaround.

YK> i also found that when i used save_state with a destination path that
YK> involved spaces the file failed to load. the files loads without error when
YK> i move these files to a directory with a 'simple' path and fix the path
YK> information in the vmd file manually. again i believe this question has been

this is another thing that mostly hits windows users. on unix
machines having spaces in path names is generally inconvenient,
so people are not doing it (they break quite a few applications).
especially people that (still) work a lot on the unix command line
have a lot of painful experiences with spaces in file names and
refrain from using them. while it would be desireable to get this
sorted out, it is quite an effort to make all scripts whitespace-proof.

so in part this is a case of 'patient: doctor, doctor! it hurts when i
do this. doctor: well, don't do it then.' and in part it just needs
people willing to dig into the source code (save_state is tcl script,
not c++). most VMD developers run and work with linux/unix machines,
so they don't _feel_ this to be as pressing a problem as you might
(for the reasons outlined above).

generally, it would help the VMD development a lot if more people
would be willing to look into fixing problems (or share their
solutions). you usually work best at fixing problems that affect
yourself. especially, in debugging the Tk/tcl scripts/plugins
you can usually contribute helpful changes rather quickly and don't
need much more than a text editor. ;-)


YK> posted on the list before. i saw a post which stated that he problem had
YK> been fixed in new versions of vmd. i apologize if this question has been
YK> answered already. i would be very happy if somebody could provide me a
YK> solution that allows me to choose target directories at will.
YK> *i am using VMD version 1.8.5 on Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
YK> (with SP2 installed).
YK> thank you,
YK> yaser

Axel Kohlmeyer
   Center for Molecular Modeling   --   University of Pennsylvania
Department of Chemistry, 231 S.34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323
tel: 1-215-898-1582,  fax: 1-215-573-6233,  office-tel: 1-215-898-5425
If you make something idiot-proof, the universe creates a better idiot.