User Reference Guide
May 2018
OmniTicker User Reference Guide
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OmniTicker

OmniTicker Ticker Properties

OmniTicker   has   been   used   by   leading   financial   institutions   to   support   the   iconic   financial   LED   tickers. The   name   ‘ticker’   derives   from   the   ticker   symbol;   its   historical   relevance   the   capability   to   display   real- time information in a scrolling format using the ticker symbol as the identifier for a stock or index.  Scrolling   message   boards   are   everywhere   today   and   the   OmniTicker   software   has   evolved   to   meet the   differing   requirements   for   the   display   of   real-time   information.   Its   overriding   design   principle:   easy to setup, use and change with support for multiple types of information in a user’s chosen sequence. Within   OmniTicker,   there   are   two   design   tabs,   Ticker   Properties;   this   defines   the   characteristics   of the   ticker,   type,   size   and   scroll   direction   and   Items   to   Display   where   a   user   defines   data   types, formats   and   content   to   be   displayed. A   third   tab   provides   a   view   of   what   is   in   the   buffer   for   each   active virtual ticker. Within   Ticker   Properties ,   the   standard   ticker   type   is   a   Video   Ticker.   For   a   new   user   this   type   should be selected and it defaults to full colour with the LED Colours (checked). From   here,   a   user   defines   the   height   and   width   of   a   Virtual   Ticker    which   can   be   later   published   to   a physical   target   ticker   or   display. A   user   should   ensure   the   height   and   width   of   the   of   the   virtual   ticker is set in accordance with size and position required on the target physical display. Trans-Lux  and Texcellent types are covered later in this document.
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Video Ticker is the standard default ticker type. Trans-Lux and Texcellent options continue to be supported for customers who have retained these tickers START
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Options:   the   default   is   horizontal scrolling   where   the   ticker   moves from right to left. Where,   for   example,   a   language is   naturally   read   from   right   to   left, (e.g.    Arabic),     the     ticker     would scroll     left     to     right,     using     the reverse scroll direction option. For   vertically   scrolling   tickers,   bottom   to   top   and   top   to   bottom.   Rotate   90   (left   and   right)   provides   this function. A   secondary   option   allows   characters   to   be   rotated   left   or   right   to   make   reading   information easier.

Items to Display

Items   to   display   is   where   the   ticker   content   is   constructed.   It   has   four   panels;   the   first   shows   the tickers   available   with   the   option   to   add   or   remove   them.   The   second   panel   is   a   preview   window   that shows   the   selected   data   item   highlighted   in   panel   4,   and   the   third   panel   provides   the   source   data   and edit functions.
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Data Types and Services Four data item types can be displayed: Static   Text, DDE      Excel items RMP      External data items Bitmap  JPEG/PNG image items DDE and RMP items have additional settings of Service, Topic and Item. Service includes: Local Clock, RSS (OmniRSS data feeds), Twitter (when enabled in OmniRSS). Topic: lists the group of data items associated with the chosen Service and Item lists every data item available within the Topic. Item: each Item can have up to 4 Parts, each part having its own data type. Static text can be entered as a precursor to any Part (data item). Topic is the location/name of the attaching spreadsheet and Item, the cell location. Static Data types only allow for text input only. A simple bulk load facility is also available from the File tab menu using text file input. Each line in a bulk upload text file becomes a data item in the ticker and can be amended as required. Excel Data types require the spreadsheet to be open on the host desktop. Copy and Paste Link is the standard way to add a cell from Excel; this will populate the Service, Topic and Item in the dialogue box. Alternatively, these values can be entered manually. RMP Data types can access four Services, Local Clock, RSS (OmniRSS data feeds) and Twitter. Each data item is selected from the dropdown menu, Service, Topic and Item. Bitmap/ JPEG/ PNG images are loaded from the Graphics button and should be the same size in pixels as the height as the ticker.
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Managing Parts

Each Part has one data item, the purpose of Parts 2, 3, and 4 is to provide the capability to group related data items together, although there are logical constraints on what data is grouped. In   the   example   here,   Part   1   is   static   text   ‘FTSE 100’,   Part   2   is   the   Last   Trade   price   and   Part   3   is the Change from the previous value. Last   Trade   price.   Part   2   and   Part   3   have   been grouped   together   and   formatted   such   that   Part   3 will appear under Part 2. The colour of each data item and its background are user-defined from the colour palette.

Standard Formatting

Each    item    part    can    be    individually    formatted; spaces   before   the   item   part,   display   up   to,   font and   size   vertical   offset   and   for   numerical   values, positive, negative, up and down arrows. Each   item   part   can   be   set   individually   to   ‘Bold’   or to   appear   in   ‘Uppercase’;   these   attributes   apply to numeric or text based item parts. ‘Display   up   to’   is   used   to   discard   superfluous   characters   at   the   end   of   a   field.   For   example,   if retrieving   a   field   from   Reuters   using   DDE,   the   stock   symbol ANL.L,   but   could   be   displayed   as ANL   by placing   a   dot   in   the   ‘Display   up   to’   dialogue   box.   The   same   can   be   used   to   remove   surplus   ‘http’   links in Twitter which cannot be displayed. Conditional Formatting Conditional   colour   formatting   can   be   based   on   whether the   data   item   is   a   positive   or   negative   number,   whether   it falls   within   a   user   defined   range   or   whether   it   is   higher   or lower    than    its    previous    value;    colours    are    user    defined. Conditional   colours   can   be   applied   to   both   the   data   item and its background. In   addition,   each   item   part   can   be   Conditional   displayed dependent on user defined logic.
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Managing Content

Adding and removing tickers is straight forward; remove does not delete the source file, but before removing a ticker it should first be saved to ensure it can be retrieved if required at a later date (use the File tab, Save or Save As). ‘Add new ticker’ opens a new editing dialogue box. From there a user can add a data line of their choice. Starting with ‘New Item’, select  ‘Data type’, add the Parts required and ‘Apply to selected’. Where data lines have a similar structure, an existing data line can be selected, amended and ‘Applied as a new item’. ‘Apply to all’ will only apply at part level; where a user edits a data line part (e.g. makes a formatting change), this can be applied to all parts at the same level (e.g. all Part 2’s). Data lines can be moved up and down in sequence, sorted and deleted as required. Once a virtual ticker has been created it should be saved, usually to the default folder: Documents/OmniApps/OmniTicker. Scheduled Files, Playlist and Static Items are covered later in this document.
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OmniTicker Tools & Reports OmniTicker has a powerful RSS feed manager, OmniRSS. OmniRSS User Guide provides full details on its use and connectivity. OmniRSS is used to extract real-time data from RSS Feeds and Yahoo Finance, whereas Excel is the primary interface to financial data feeds such as Reuters and Bloomberg. Excel is also used to provide a simple interface to a user’s internal systems to source internal real-time numerical data.

Connection Settings

From the Tools tab a user can view the connection settings to OmniRSS and the Message Log. The Feed handler auto-connects to OmniRSS with a default port 5004. The message log records the applications actions and provides a user with any errors in attaching to the associated programs and services.

OmniTicker and Excel

For OmniTicker to work with Excel the application must be open on the desktop and started prior to starting OmniTicker. DDE Links show the number of active links and any that are broken. A user can define how broken/bad links are shown on the virtual ticker.  
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Publishing a Ticker

From the Ticker Properties tab, the Publish function opens the above dialogue box. From here a user will see all the virtual tickers open and available. For ease of reference, the Display Name is user defined, whereas the Virtual Display is selected from the dropdown menu, which lists displays that are open and available. These include standard tickers, playlists and schedules with playlists and schedules identified by an adjacent symbol. Speed: The speed at which the ticker scrolls; default is 1 (slowest) with 5  (fastest). Display No: This is the display number identified from Windows Extended Desktop. For example a second monitor would be 2 and a third and forth, 3 and 4. X & Y: For a standard video ticker these are usually be set to (0,0). Where the ticker is required to appear on a display larger than the ticker’s size in pixels, the X and Y coordinates would be specified by the user and set such the ticker appears in the correct position on the the target display. Lock XY: Ensures each time OmniTicker restarts the virtual ticker will appear in the correct place on the target display. Visible: A user can opt to the make a particular virtual display not visible on the target display. This could be a user is editing the virtual display or has chosen to publish a different virtual ticker to that physical ticker or display.
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Schedules & Playlists

Schedules and Playlists provide the capability to change the content that appears by grouping tickers together that are the same height and width in pixels. Schedules and Playlists can be composed from any of the available user files in the user’s directory. Schedules and setup by selecting the tickers, the date upon which they are to start, time and frequency. A schedule can also includes a Playlist Playlists are sequential or timed, can be active (enabled) or non-active. Timed playlists are intended to replay with their refreshed data (where appropriate) with each playlist set to go through a number of loops (replays) before returning to the beginning of the list. Sequential playlists are set to play for different time intervals. Scheduled files have a file extension ‘sfl’ whereas Playlists have a file extension ‘oply’, historically ‘ply’.
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Trans-Lux Tickers

Support   for   Trans-Lux   tickers   has   been   continued   into   OmniTicker   v6.2;   types   supported   can   be viewed   from   the   drop   down   menu   ‘Type’   on   the   Ticker   Properties   tab.   These   tickers   are   serially connected   with   serial   port   settings   accessed   using   the   ‘Comms   settings’   button   which   brings   up   the dialogue   box   that   allows   the   user   to   match   the   desktop   port   to   the   ticker   port.   On   the   left   is   the   list   of available   ports   and   on   the   right   will   be   the   list   of   connected   tickers.   Select   a   port   and   assign   it   to   a ticker.   Where   there   are   multiple   tickers   it   is   important   to   match   each   port   (and   each   display   design) with the correct physical ticker. Default   values   for   baud   rate,   data   bits,   stop   bits   and   CTS,   or   XON/XOFF   will   be   the   same   as   those set   for   previous   versions   of   OmniTicker.   The   buffer   length   likewise   will   be   the   same   as   previously   set; care should be taken not to set this value above the number of characters that can be displayed. Cycling of Items Cycling   of   Items   controls   when   items   are   displayed;   the   default   mode   is   all   items   are   scrolled   to   the ticker;   the   alternative   only   items   that   change   are   scrolled.   The   default   means   the   ticker   will   always   be scrolling,   the   alternative   (if   there   are   no   changes   to   the   items)   is   that   the   ticker   will   be   blank.   The default speed, interval and bytes to send are those previously set.
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Texcellent Tickers

Texcellent   Asynchronous   tickers   are   connected   via   their   IP   Address.   The   network   address   of   the ticker   will   appear   on   the   ticker   when   it   is   connected   to   a   network   as   the   power   is   switched   on.   Its   IP address can be entered into the dialogue box and a connection will be made. The   ‘Port’   setting   defaults   to   8139.   ‘Group’   and   ‘Unit Address’   default   value   to   1   with   ‘Buf   width’   set   to width   of   the   ticker   width   in   pixels.   ‘Packet   size’:   this   determines   how   much   data   is   sent   to   the   display in   a   single   message.   The   default   is   384,   but   may   be   raised   if   the   ticker   stream   shows   incomplete data.   ‘Pkts/send’:   this   determines   how   many   packets   of   data   to   send   to   the   sign,   the   default   setting   of 1; usually sufficient unless the ticker is particularly long. ‘Reset ticker’: will cause the ticker to reboot.
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