In the previous chapter we explored the layout as delivered. We did do some small acts of customization We will now explore most of the items that can be changed, modified, or even removed. The final layout is up to the user to define. Just because it is delivered as the default view, it may not be what you want or desire. Before you start making wholesale changes, make sure that you have your radio connected and working.

There are, as usual, several ways to navigate to the Customize Layout dialog window which is used to define the appearance of the radio display. Your choices are:

  • From the menu bar select Tools. Near the bottom of the selection box, click on Customize Layout.
  • Press Ctrl+F8 keys.
  • Press the  Page-51-Image-68.png Customize button on the tool bar.



The first tab on the display is Schemes. Schemes are pre-defined customizations created by the Ham Radio Deluxe software creative team and other Ham Radio Deluxe users. There are four default schemes shipped with Ham Radio Deluxe: Scheme #1 - #3 and the System Default. You can not change the look of the default schemes.

Note: The scheme that you choose applies to all radio windows.

You can add or modify schemes displayed in the large Schemes list. The Ham Radio Deluxe team and the Ham Radio Deluxe users have already created the schemes that are there. Special thanks to Danielle in Northallerton, UK. for his contributions.

  • Select a default scheme by pressing the scheme button (or select an entry and press Select);
  • Select one of the other schemes by double-clicking on the entry in the Schemes list.

If you have modified a layout scheme and wish to save it with a new name press Save and you will be prompted for a Scheme name. Use Rename and Delete to organize the available schemes.

If you need to save the file to a location different than the default location press the Save as File button. This allows you to save your options file to any location.

If you receive a options file from someone else, you can add it to your copy of Ham Radio Deluxe by pressing the Load from File button and navigating to the options file location and selecting the file.



The next tab is the Layout tab. This is where we can modify the screen layout for our buttons and drop downs. This is one place where personal preference will cause you to pull your hair out because things are not where YOU want them. Re-mapping the layout is really quite easy.

Ham Radio Deluxe is a data-driven program. For each radio there is a table of supported commands and associated button / drop down / slider names. The layout order is more-or-less alphabetical. Don’t be put off by the amount of information in this window – take it slowly and read the information here.

Note: The layout definition is saved on a per-radio basis in the registry. For your sanity only have a connection open to the radio that you plan to modify the layout. Close any other radio connections.


Clear Entry

If we click on a button above the area such as the VFO A button, we can clear the button so we can use the location for some other function. This is done by clicking the Clear button. We can also remove an entry by dragging it into the Unassigned list on the right side of the dialog box.

Moving Entries

We can move the selected entry by simply dragging it with the mouse or by using the four arrow-buttons.

Dropdown Button / CAT Command / Macros

You can create new buttons - for example, to create a USB button from the Mode dropdown:

1. Open the Customize Layout dialog and click on the Layout tab.
2. Select or create an empty button position – the selected entry will start to blink (you can re-position this button later),
3. In the Define Button area of the dialog, press Select (above the Save and Load buttons), This will open the Configure Button dialog.
4. In the Configure Button dialog window select Mode: LSB and enter the text to appear on the new button.
5. Press OK.


6. Press Apply in the lower left corner of the current screen.
7. The previously empty button position now has a new value – LSB!

If you had previously created a macro or created a custom CAT command, you would have had the choice of applying one of them to your button. We will cover macros and CAT commands later in this manual.

Hiding Dropdowns

Hide dropdowns hides the dropdown buttons on the top right edge of the layout window, releasing two columns where you can assign new button definitions.

Hide status texts hides the three top-left meters (-1-, -2-, -3-) and the status text area underneath, releasing two columns where you can assign new button definitions.


Select the dropdown menu, and then simply drag an entry to an unused location in the display.

If you drag to a location that already has a definition the current definition is removed, if a standard button it is returned to the unassigned list.


Entries in the Unassigned list are standard buttons that are not currently displayed. Simply drag an entry to an unused location in the display. If you drag to a location that already has a definition the current definition is removed, if a standard button it is returned to the Unassigned list.


Page-55-Image-76.png In the Buttons tab you can define up to seven button styles, shown here in the Button Styles group. The Buttons tab is the next tab we will visit. To assign a style to a button either:

  • Drag the style over the button, or
  • Click a style to apply it to the currently selected (blinking) button.

Save / Load

To distribute your layouts with other users of your radio model use the Save and Load buttons. You can also clear the deck and start over fresh or revert back to the default button layout.

Customizing Buttons


Within the Buttons tab you can define:

  • Seven button color combinations,
  • The font, and
  • The button size.

The default button size is small; this is so that users with low resolutions such as 800 x 600 still have a usable configuration. There are no rules when using the button size; select the size which pleases you most.

For the technical readers the button size is tied to the font size of the radio display form (font is Microsoft Sans Serif, size is 8, 9, 10 or 12 point).

Changing the font size simply changes the font assigned to the form.

The button size can also be changed by selecting View on the menu bar and then selecting Layout Size. You can also [right click] on any button on your display and select Layout Size.




These colors are applied to the background area of the display and to the transmit meters (if any) such as PWR, SWR and ALC.

Status Window

The status window displays information which you cannot normally change using buttons or sliders in Ham Radio Deluxe.

Typical examples are Scanning status, Split mode and Memory channels.

Clock Position

The clock is displayed to the left, right or both sides of the band title.

Frequency Display


If your radio supports simultaneous access to two VFO’s (Kenwood, some Yaesu) then Ham Radio Deluxe will display two VFO’s, otherwise just one VFO is displayed.

First select the VFO you are updating – main or sub. The colors you can set are:

  • Background,
  • Frequency – the digits,
  • Active Posn – the bar above and below the current digit,
  • Inactive Posn – the bar above and below the other digit. Default is the same as the background color.

The Font can also be set, use the Main > Sub and Sub > Main buttons to copy settings between VFO’s.


The dropdown buttons (Mode, Filter…) can be displayed at the top of the main frequency display.


  • None (no dropdowns),
  • Mode (only the mode dropdown) or
  • All (all dropdowns).

If Mode or All is selected you can check Add Border to add a border around the text.

If All is selected you can check Include Title to add the Dropdown button’s title (if there is room).

Customize Meters


The Background and Text colors should be obvious. There are three graduation colors:

  • Bars: Low – the first bar color,
  • Bars: High – the color at the position set by the High Position slider, and
  • Bars: Free – the color for the free (empty) bars.

If you check Show peak reading the recent peak value is displayed.

When Ham Radio Deluxe is in TX mode the S Meter value is replaced by the value selected in the Main and Sub dropdowns, the value you select must be displayed by Ham Radio Deluxe in the upper right hand corner of the display. For Kenwood radios the value to be displayed is selected with the meter slider or the individual buttons (SWR / Comp / ALC / dB).

If you check the Always update… option then the S Meter is updated when you change frequency – this results in slower performance.

Sliders: Appearance

If supported by your radio, sliders are displayed at the bottom of the display. Here you define the appearance of the sliders. These colors are optionally applied to the sliders in the Advanced selection windows (select Advanced from the View menu).

Sliders: Layout


Here you select the sliders to be displayed. Define up to six layouts, for example one layout for SSB and another for CW.

Tuning Dial


Here you define the colors, fonts and band button positions.

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