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NonoPocket
NonoPocket Documentation

NonoPocket:
Nonograms on Pocket PC

Introduction

Nonograms are a new type of logic puzzle -- you form a picture based on the numbers given. Numbers in the rows represent the sizes of groups of black blocks in each row. The same applies to columns. By using logic, one can derive the picture out of the numbers.



Nonograms



Some history on nonograms can be found here, and a list of online resources can be found here.



NonoPocket: How to Use

Installing

After installing NonoPocket, simply copy any Nonogram files (nonoboards or nonoarchives into \My Documents\ or \Storage Card\My Documents\.

Main Board Components



The Main Board (where all the drawing happens) is labeled as the Nonogram Board Area. It is the rectangular section of the grid that contains no numbers. This is where the picture will appear as you solve the nonogram (see the howto for more information). The Row and Column Pixel Counts are the dataset of numbers that define a nonogram (again, see the howto for more information). The Info area in the bottom right is where the board title and author of the board are shown, and the panning buttons area is the section where you can pan around a board if it is too large to be shown in the given window. The '*' area in the upper left is the indicator of the current pen type that will be used for drawing into the nonogram. It varies from black, to some grays, to an 'X'-type pen.



Drawing on the Nonogram



By clicking on the board, you change the cell that you click on. If the cell was blank, it gets drawn in with a block of the current pen color. A block of a pen color usually indicates that the solver of the nonogram knows that there is actually a block there in the final solution. If the cell has a block in it already, it will change to a dot. If the cell has a dot, it will revert back to a blank cell. A dot indicates that the solver knows for sure that there is definitely NOT a block there in the final solution. By clicking on the pen type in the upper-left, you change the pen type, from black to gray to light gray to an X. By clicking and dragging, you change all blocks that are the same color and type as the first one you clicked on. That is, to make a line of blocks, simply click a clear cell and drag. All other clear cells will turn to blocks of the current pen. To make a line of dots, click a clear cell twice and drag on the second click, and it will change all blanks to dots. To change a line of blocks to dots, click on the line of blocks once and drag; all blocks will become dots (in this case the color of the pen is important, as this will only work on pens that are the same color as the current pen). After blocking cells or dotting cells, the numbers in the row and column pixel counts will gray out if you have satisfied the conditions (see the howto for more information).



Zooming and Panning



Because of the nature of handheld devices, it may be slightly unstable to draw around and click with the stylus accurately. Because of this, NonoPocket provides a Zoom function, where a large puzzle that originally is shown with very small cells can be zoomed up fairly large so as to help the stability of the stylus as the nonogram is solved. Simply select 'Zoom In' from the View menu to do so (select 'Zoom Out' to go back to the smaller cell size). There are 3 sizes the cells can take on (and therefore 2 zoom levels other than the current).



When zoomed in you cannot see the whole board, a method was needed to get around in the board while zoomed in. The panning toolbar area in the lower left solves this. When an arrow is not grayed out, one can click it and the indicated action will be performed. Clicking the up arrow will scroll the puzzle over one arrow. Clicking the double-right arrow will scroll the puzzle all the way to the right. Note that these functions are needed even in the most zoomed out mode on puzzles that are over 25x25 or so. When a toolbar button is grayed out, it means you can't pan in that direction (have hit the edge).



NonoPocket: How to Play

After reading the How-to Use Section, some strategies can be very useful in solving a nonogram. A few strategies are posted in the Nono-Howto section of the NonoPocket documentation.

Advanced Features



To the left is shown a typical difficult nonogram with its solution underway. A guess has been made in the lower left of the board (the cell with an X) and the gray blocks are everything that result from that guess. After validating (or in most cases, invalidating) a guess, NonoPocket provides a few functions which aid in the solving of nonograms.

Menu Items

File Menu
Open
Clicking this causes the Open File dialog to appear. From there you can open .NGB files or .NGA files. NGB's are individual boards. NGA's are collections that contain multiple nonograms in one file. Selecting a NGA (Nonogram Archive) will then pop-up a window where you select which board from the file to play.
Save
Will save the current state of the game. This is merely here for debugging purposes. The game saves to the registry.
Reset
This has the same function as the Clear All function in the Board Menu.
Exit
Saves the current state and exits.
Exit without saving
This function simply exits without saving.
Board Menu
Clear Current Pen
This menu items scans the board and clears any cell that is the same color as the current pen color. In the case above, if the guess was found incorrect, selecting the dark gray pen color and clicking this menu item would be the best way to start back at the last known "good" point. Then the black pen should be selected and the cell with an X be made a dot by clicking it once.
Clear Dots
This function is used after a nonogram has been solved, when one wants to see the picture without any obstruction. It clears all dotted cells from the board.
Blacken Current Pen
The black pen is used for things that you know for certain, and all other pens are for guessing. If you find (or feel strongly) that a guess is correct, you should blacken whichever pen you have made your extensive guesses in.
Clear All
Clears the entire board and starts over from the beginning -- an empty grid.
Undo (Redo)
Undoes the last thing you did to the nonogram. If you just clicked the undo button or selected this item, it will Redo the last action.
View Menu
Zoom In
Increases cell size.
Zoom Out
Decreases cell size.
Constrain Dragging
By checking this menu item when dragging the stylus, the only cells affected are those in the same row or column as the first cell you clicked. If you drag to the left or right, only the row will be affected. If you drag up or down, the column will be affected only. This is another issue of the stability of the hand and precision during solving.

Toolbar



The toolbar icons, from left to right, correspond to the following menu functions: Open, Undo/Redo, Zoom In, Zoom Out, Constrain Dragging, Clear Dots, Clear Current Pen, Blacken Current Pen, and Clear All.

File Format

The file format for NonoPocket is fairly simple -- Boards can even be constructed in Notetaker and then opened in NonoPocket for playing. A board file (.NGB) looks like the following:
NONOGRAM 5 5 {
	rows {
		5 
		1 
		3 1 
		4 
		2 1 
	}
	cols {
		1 
		3 1 
		2 2 
		1 1 
		1 1 
	}
	data {
		AUTHOR Jason Patterson
		NAME Example
	}
}
Generally, it is:
NONOGRAM #ROWS #COLS {
	rows {
		... Row Pixel Count entries
	}
	cols {
		... Column Pixel Count entries
	}
	data {
		AUTHOR Author's Name
		NAME Name of Puzzle
	}
}
The format for a NGA (Nonogram Archive) is as follows:
NONOARCHIVE {
	NONOGRAM #ROWS #COLS {
		.. etc
	}
	NONOGRAM #ROWS #COLS {
		.. etc
	}
	NONOGRAM #ROWS #COLS {
		.. etc
	}
	... etc
}
The parser built into NonoPocket is very simple. Unfortunately whitespace (loosely) matters, so conform to the rules laid out here and NonoPocket should be able to load in your puzzles.



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Conduits develops Pocket PC, Handheld PC and Windows Mobile software
for devices such as the HP iPAQ, Dell Axim, Palm Treo 700w and Pocket PC Phone Edition.
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