Manual for OmniRemote V2.10

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Quick start (the important stuff) Chapter 2: Avoiding problems

Chapter 3: Basic features in detail Chapter 4: Macros

Chapter 5: Timers

Chapter 6: Databases Chapter 7: Styles

Chapter 8: Support contact


Chapter 1: Quick start (the important stuff)

Upgrading from previous versions:

Do not remove the old OmniRemote before installing the new one. Install the Remote.PRC file using the standard PalmOS install tool. If you beam OmniRemote to another user who already has OmniRemote installed, they will loose their existing training and settings.

New installation:

Use your Palm Install Tool (in Windows this is on your Start menu) to install the file Remote.PRC. Remote.PRC is the application itself. If you don't want the sample screens, you can choose select all from the buttons menu and then delete.

Optionally you may also install the file Manual.prc which is the online version of this manual. It can be run directly from the application launcher, or seleted from OmniRemote's help menu.

What is it?

OmniRemote is an IR learning remote control. It uses infrared light to communicate with TV's, VCR's and many other devices (nearly any device that uses IR).

"Out of the box" this software won't control anything. Because it's a learning remote control it requires a training period before it can be used. What this method loses in convenience it gains in flexibility. You can train the buttons using Menu|Training|Train Buttons (menus pop up either by clicking the Menu silk button or by tapping the bar at the top of the screen). While in training mode, align your remote (explained in detail in chapter 2), double click the button you want to train, then press the equivalent button on your remote control. For buttons that can be held down during use (such as some rewind and volume buttons) hold the button until the Learn IR screen disappears rather than quickly pressing and releasing the button. Continue doing this until every button has been trained, then tap a blank area of the screen.

After that you're ready to go!

Version limitations:

All versions require Palm OS version 3.0 or greater.

The unregistered "evaluation version" is restricted to 15 days of use. A registration code can be purchased from Pacific Neo-Tek's order page which will allow full-unrestricted use of the software. This code should be entered in the registration dialog (click Menu|Options|Registration|Register)

For Pacific Neo-Tek's order page, go to:

Chapter 2: Avoiding problems

If you have poor range, or if buttons work intermittently or not at all try the following steps:

Chapter 3: Basic features in detail

This chapter assumes that you have the program running and know how to perform training successfully. If this is not the case you should read over the previous chapters.


To go into drag mode select "Drag" from the menu. Set your stylus on the button that you wish to drag and move it to the desired location. You can drag individual buttons without selecting them. In order to exit drag mode click on a blank area of the screen. To drag groups of buttons select the buttons you wish to move, go into drag mode and drag them to the desired location.

Training|Train buttons:

To train buttons go to Menu|Training|Train buttons. After entering Training mode, tap the button you want to train. A test mode screen will be displayed allowing you to get the alignment of your remote correct and to make sure the room is dark enough. Once you are finished testing, one more screen tap will send you to the training screen. Press the button on the remote and you're done and ready to move on to your next button. Once you're sure that the alignment is correct you can even skip the testing and just double tap the button to be trained.

Don't forget to switch back to Normal mode (by tapping a blank area of the screen) after you are done moving or training your buttons.


To create a button choose Menu|Buttons|Create. You will hear a beep and the message "Draw button where you want it" will be displayed at the top of the screen. Many features use this area of the screen to display messages, so remember to look here for important instructions. Place your stylus on the screen and drag it diagonally (toward the lower right for example). A rectangular button will "rubber band out". When it's the size and shape you want, lift the stylus. Don't worry if it's not in the right place.


After you've created your button a dialog will be displayed. This is the same dialog that would be displayed if you used the Menu|Buttons|Edit feature. Now you can give your button a name. A name is not required but it will be convenient when it comes time to program macros or timers.

If you would like text displayed on your button enter it in the "button text" field. You may have as many lines in this field as you wish. If you want to use identical name and button text you may copy the button name into the text field by clicking on the arrow below "button name".

If you want to train the button now, you can do so by clicking Retrain or you can wait, creating all of your buttons now and then training them all later using training mode. If you made your button the wrong size or shape you can re-draw it by pressing Recreate. You can draw the button in a new location this way too, however if it only needs to be moved, Menu|Buttons|Drag is probably an easier method.

The Edit Buttons dialog also lets you change the type of a button to one of six types. So far we've been working with Normal buttons, but there are also five special types of buttons. A Label is basically just a name or an icon with no border around it or background behind it. It can't be clicked like other buttons. In the example TV category, the words Channel and Volume are labels. The icons used on the seek buttons in the example's Amp category are also labels.

A Category button is a button that when clicked, changes the current category. Common uses are the TV, VCR and CD buttons in the examples. If you would prefer to save screen space, create a single Category button that sends the user to a different screen containing only other Category buttons. To set the button's category, press the Retrain button then choose the category from the dialog.

You can turn a button into a Macro by choosing Macro from the drop down. Macros are discussed in detail in the next chapter.

An X-10 button is a button that you use to control an RF X-10 device. In order to use this feature you will need to be using a Handspring Visor and a special enhanced Springboard module. For more information on this (and other hardware) head up to our web site at:

The database button works like a category button, except that it changes databases as well as categories (databases will be discussed in greater detail in chapter 6). Its settings are changed using the Retrain button similarly to category buttons.

Your changes in the Edit Buttons dialog are saved when you press OK, Retrain or Recreate.


Select allows you to select one button at a time or "rubber band select" part of the remote. If you wish to select a single button (or several buttons, one at a time) you may click on them individually. To rubber band select, place your stylus on the screen and drag it diagonally (toward the lower right for example). Buttons will become selected in a rectangular area, when the area that you wish to select is highlighted lift the stylus. Once you have the desired area of buttons selected you can un-select individual buttons by clicking on them once. If you wish to de-select all buttons go to Menu|Buttons and choose Select again.

Select all allows you to select all of the buttons on the screen at once. To de-select all, go to Menu|Buttons and choose Select all again. After you have selected all of the buttons, you will remain in select mode, allowing you to de-select any buttons that you didn't want. (this is useful if you wanted to do something like select all but two buttons)


The button appearance dialog allows you to change certain attributes of buttons such as their background and frame style. In order to change the appearance of one (or more) buttons you will need to select the buttons first. After choosing Menu|Buttons|Appearance a dialog allows you to adjust the button press type (this is the way that the button will look when you push it), the button background, and the button frame style. When the dialog first opens the settings that are displayed are the default settings (as in default button appearance), not the current settings of that button. If you don't want to change a particular setting, un-check the checkbox to the left of it. (for example, if you wanted to change the button press type of your buttons, but not what they look like you would un-check Button background and button frame)

If your button clicks too slowly you may want to experiment with different button press settings (dotty is generally the fastest).


To delete a button select the button (or buttons) that you wish to get rid of and choose the Delete option from the menu.


If you wish to move a button (or buttons) from one category to another select the button (or buttons) and choose Cut from the menu. Then go to category to which you wish to move the buttons and select Paste from the menu.

If you wish to copy a button (or buttons) from one location to another select the button (or buttons) and choose Copy from the menu. Then go to category to which you wish to copy the buttons and select Paste from the menu.

If you paste to the same category (after copying) it will be pasted over the same button and you will need to use Drag to move it.

Options|Flip screen:

Flip screen will flip your screen so that you can turn your Palm over and use it upside-down. This is useful because the OmniRemote Module sticks out of the bottom of the Palm and needs to be pointed at the device that is being controlled. When you using a Handspring Visor the screen flips sideways because the Visor IR is on the side.


In the preferences dialog there is a drop down menu that allows you to adjust which IR you use (this should be set on "internal", unless you are using an external IR booster, such as the OmniRemote module). This setting is not available if you use a Springboard Module.

The check box labeled "Enable Sound" allows you to choose whether or not you want hear button clicks and beeps. PalmOS system sounds (such as alert beeps) are not controlled by this and must be changed in the Prefs application.

The cached screen selection allows you to choose if and how many screens are cached (or "remembered") by your device. Idealy, you should have the cache set to the same number of categories that you have, but this will take up a lot of memory in your device (unless, of course you only have a few screens). On slower devices it may take awhile for screens to draw, thusly enabling caching may optimize performance.

If you would like to be able to place your buttons freely at any location or size, set both of the Grid snap settings to 1.

The high resolution check box allows the screen to be viewed at a higher resolution (on devices that support this setting, such as the Sony Clie). The stretch to fit screen setting places the buttons in the category at the optimum position for your high resolution screen. The stretch setting has no effect if high resolution is off. If high resolution is on it is recommended that stretch be on as well. These settings will not be visible on devices that do not have high resolution screens.


Default appearance sets the appearance of the menus and any buttons that have not been set with the buttons appearance menu. Checking the "Show untrained as dotty" checkbox will show which buttons have not been trained by drawing a dotty rectangle over the top of them.

The button press selection allows you to adjust the button press appearance (this is the way that the buttons will look when you push them). If your button clicks too slowly you may want to experiment with different button press settings ("dotty" is generally the fastest). Buttons without frames also click more quickly. Using the color selection option you can decide which screen mode your device should use. Some screen modes may be slower on certain units. Aditionally, if you are using a black and white device and your screen seems difficult to see you may want to try changing the settings. Auto select chooses the mode that OmniRemote's programmers assumed would be best on your device.

Options|Hard keys:

The Hard key settings allow you to redefine the function of each of your Palm's hard keys (i.e. the date book, todo list, etc.). Simply tap the label to the right of the hard key you wish to redefine, then choose which button you want that key to activate.

At the top of the Hard keys dialog you'll find a category drop down. The buttons you define in the "All" category will activate when you press the appropriate hard key regardless of the current category. If you select a different category from this list, the buttons that you assign will only be activated when that category is being displayed.

Here is an example of how this would be useful:

You may want to set the up/down buttons to change the channel on your TV only when the TV category is selected (set the hard keys in the TV category). You may want the up/down buttons to control the channel on the VCR only when the VCR category is selected (set those hard keys in the VCR category). You may also want the Datebook button to always activate the mute button on your stereo regardless of which category is currently selected (set this hard key in the All category).

Some devices may have additional controls such as a jog wheel. If your device has these, you may see an arrow button in the upper right corner that takes you to another screen which you can use to set the functions of these controls.

To set your buttons back to their original function (i.e. datebook, etc.) tap the label to the right of the hard key you wish to redefine, then tap a blank area of the screen.

Chapter 4: Macros

A macro is a very powerful type of button. One press of a macro can activate many functions on multiple devices, simplifying operations that would ordinarily require multiple key presses, perhaps on numerous remotes. Before attempting to use macros, be sure you've mastered the training methods described in previous chapters. A properly working macro can be very convenient, but a macro that relies on a poorly trained button that behaves intermittently can be more trouble than it's worth.

A macro is just a list of buttons which should be pressed in sequence. Press the macro and each of the other buttons will be automatically pressed in order with a fraction of a second delay between them. For example, "Amplifier on, Cable box on, TV on, Set amp source to video". When you press a macro you can hear the clicks as if you were pressing each of the buttons yourself.

You create a macro the same way you would any other button except that you choose Macro from the button-type drop down in the Edit buttons dialog. After you press Retrain, macro training mode is entered and you'll see the message "Click buttons to add to Macro". At this point press each of the buttons in sequence, changing categories if necessary. If you need to add pauses, you can do that later (in the edit macro dialog). When you've finished entering all of the buttons, tap a blank area of the screen. If you want to delete all of the entries and start over, choose the Retrain button in the Edit buttons dialog again.

If you want to look over or correct the sequence of events you've created, press the Edit Macro button in the Edit buttons dialog. This will display the list of events. If you find that you've made a mistake, Insert and Delete at the bottom of the screen allow you to correct your error. To delete an item, select the item and click Delete. To move an item to a new position in the list you may drag it up or down. To insert new items, select the item above the point at which wish to add new items and click insert.

If you would like to insert a Pause in the Macro, tap the item above the point at which you wish to insert the Pause and Click the Pause button. In the Select pause dialog you can choose the length of the pause in one of two ways. You can enter an arbitrary length manually and click the pause button or choose a pre-set 0.75 second pause. If you want your macros to be compatible with older (pre 2.x) versions of OmniRemote you must use only the 0.75 second pauses.

Chapter 5: Timers

OmniRemote supports up to 32 timers that each allow you to schedule a normal or macro button press to occur while you're away. When using timers, it is very important to test often. Test your macros many times to be sure they're reliable. Make sure the Palm is aimed properly and closely enough that reliable operation is ensured. Don't put the Palm in a place where cats or people will be likely to move it. These are the most important things to remember when setting up timers. Ignore them and your timed events may fail.

Timers are set using the Advanced|Timers menu item. Because each timer only activates one button, people will usually use it to trigger a macro. To begin setting up a timer click "New". Select the date and time that you would like the timer to occur. You can use mode to select how often you would like the timer to occur (i.e. daily, weekly etc.). The Repeat mode is used to select whether the alarm will be reset to a new date in the future after it goes off. If set to Single event the timer will only go off once. If set to Daily the timer will go off at the same time every day after and including the specified date. Weekday does the same, but Saturday and Sunday are skipped (i.e. timer goes off on weekdays only) and Weekly causes the timer to go off at the same time and on the same day of the week every week after and including the specified date and time.

The interval option allows you to select more customized delays between timed events. You can select that the timer begin a specific number of hours, minutes and seconds after a pre-determined time. By default that time is now, however there is a trick that you can use to change that time: Create a Single event timer first and set its time, then change it into an interval timer.

Click on the box to the right of "Button" and choose which button you would like to associate with this timer. Confirm the dialogue by clicking on "Ok".

If you wish to edit a Timer you may do so by selecting the timer and clicking the "Edit" button. You may delete timers by selecting the Timer that you wish to get rid of and clicking "Delete".

The arrow buttons at the top of the Timers dialogue allow you to scroll through the information that you have set up for various timers. Such as the time, mode, category and button name.

Chapter 6: Databases

Databases dialog:

"Databases" are to the Palm OS as "files" are to your PC. A database contains information about the buttons/styles/training and other information that accompany the remotes that you have trained for OmniRemote. In addition to making it easier to exchange information with friends, there are a variety of ways that databases can be useful. If you have lost a remote control for a device that you still own or if you have a device that you are having a difficult time training (such as the Phillips TiVo or Sky Digibox) you may be able to download databases for that device from the Internet. A Database can only contain 15 categories, but with OmniRemote's new allowance of multiple databases you can get around this limitation. There are a variety of web sites that specialize in providing a place for people to exchange remote databases.

If you download a database from the Internet or receive one from a friend it is extremely important that make sure that it has a different name from your existing databases! The database name is not necessarily the same as its file name. If you install a database with the same name as one you have already, your existing database will be deleted! This behavior is part of PalmOS, and since OmniRemote is not running at that time, there is no way we can protect you. If you are unsure of the name of the database you are installing you may want to make backup copies of your databases just to be safe. After you HotSync, your databases will be stored in a folder called Backup on your PC. You can copy them from this location to a safe place. The default database name is OmniRemote, there are also many databases on web sites that have the same name. To install a database, simply use the PalmOS install tool.

-- Important hint in case of database problems --
It is possible that you could accidently install a database that is corrupted, not designed for your unit or requires more memory than you have. In these situations it is possible to get "stuck" so that you can't run OmniRemote and are therefore unable to switch back to your old database. If you find that you are in one of these situations there are two things you can try. First try holding the page up key while launching OmniRemote. This will prevent all styles in the database from loading. If this doesn't help, try holding the page down key while launching OmniRemote. This will rename the current database to "BadDB" and OmniRemote will switch to the default database. After you get into OmniRemote the first thing you should do is rename BadDB to another name (in case you need to do this again in the future). Holding the key while launching OmniRemote may be tricky because it may cause the launcher's screen to scroll. Try this: put your stylus down on the OmniRemote Icon, while still holding it down press and hold the page key, while still holding it release the stylus, then after OmniRemote loads finally release the page key.

To use Databases go to Menu|Advanced|Databases. In order to edit or view a Database you will need to make a selection from the "choose database" drop down and click "Load". If you would like to create a new database to work with click the "New" button. A dialog will come up prompting you to name the new database, you will need to enter a unique name for your new database and confirm the dialogue by clicking "Ok". You may now select your newly created database from the "choose database" drop down and click "Load". You may also Beam, Rename or Delete a database by clicking the appropriate button.

If a database becomes corrupted (i.e. something unexpected is happening with your database, and you're not sure what it is) you may want to use "Repair current database". "Repair current database" will attempt to repair whatever database you currently have loaded. It will not correct all potential problems, but if your database is behaving strangely it is worth a try.

If a button is changed, but what is displayed on the screen does not reflect this, press "Clear cache". This button should always be used if the current database is changed outside of OmniRemote. For example, if you HotSync in a new database.

Importing and exporting categories:
"Import category" and "Export category" are useful for importing raw hex codes (IR codes) in Pronto hex format. IR codes are the training data within your button. The IR code has nothing to do with the button color/shape/location etc., it is only the training contained within the button.

Here is an example of how to use the "import" function. The IR codes are imported through the MemoPad application. OmniRemote imports any buttons that it finds in MemoPad which match buttons in the current category. It does this by button name. The entries in MemoPad have the button name and category name in them.

Start by creating your new buttons in OmniRemote (make sure every one has a button name, even if it's blank or just has an icon on it), then when you're done go to Menu|Advanced|Databases|Export category. This will copy the buttons in the current category to MemoPad. Then HotSync to bring those empty buttons to your PC.

Open your .ccf file in ProntoEdit, then locate the remote control in the left pane under Devices. Find the screen that has the actual IR codes (rectangular buttons).

Double click on the button and go to the "action" tab and double click on "[C] Learned". That will bring up a dialog called "Edit IR Code". Copy this by clicking Ctrl-C.

Go into the MemoPad application in PalmDesktop and find the buttons that were exported. Delete the existing hex code and then paste in the new one you just copied using Ctrl-V. Go through each button copying in its hex code. When you're done, HotSync.

Go back into OmniRemote and go to Menu|Advanced|Databases|Import category.

It will find the matching buttons in MemoPad and load their training.

If you are having difficulty importing a category, remember that OmniRemote scans all of MemoPad searching for records containing the current category name. If a previous failed attempt or previously exported category is still buried in MemoPad somewhere OmniRemote may still be trying to load it.

In order to export IR codes all you need to do is select the category that you wish to export and click the "Export category". The codes will end up in MemoPad in hex format.

Chapter 7: Styles

"Styles" (sometimes referred to as skins or themes) is a way of giving your user interface a unique look. Styles are basically bitmaps (images) that are used to create your screen backgrounds and buttons. OmniRemote comes with a few styles built-in (i.e. marble, granite, etc...) but you can also import new ones using the Styles dialog or by cutting and pasting from another database that contains those styles. Once loaded, styles can be selected and used in Menu|Buttons|Appearance and Menu|Options|Appearance (see previous chapter where the difference between these is explained).

Most users will probably not want to create their own styles, but they may want to use styles that others have created. You can do this by switching to the database containing the styles you want, then copy the buttons you like, switch back to your database and paste them in. You will be prompted as to whether you want to move the styles when you switch databases (obviously you would choose "yes").

If you want to move a screen background from another database, you can't select and copy it in the conventional manner. Instead, click Menu|Advanced|Styles, select the style you're interested in and click copy. Then you can switch back to your database and choose paste.

If you do wish to create your own styles, they can be imported through the styles dialog. Because their creation is somewhat complicated it is beyond the scope of this document. Please see the document "HowToCreateStyles.txt".

Chapter 8: Support contact

Many of your questions can be answered by our FAQ page.

For other questions or comments send e-mail to:


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