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Programming a User defined break & scripts

Greetings, I am a long time user of Time Out and have a few questions:

1 - How would i programme Time Out to do a 3minute break every 17' minutes?
ie Starting on the hour I would work for 17' and then have a a break for 3'

2 - What if you know nothing about writing Scripts? Are there any You Tube videos of how to write a script for Time Out? I would like it to put up on the screen a list of vocab words that I was trying to learn in a foreign language.. and play an mp3 I had created to go with it for exactly 3'

3 - Is it possible to save a series of Customised Break Programmes and then select them when you want them without having to go through a whole resetting of the application - eg
i) 17' work 3' break as above
ii) 9' work 1' break
iii) 20' work 10' break with music and visual

Many thanks in advance


David Sinclair's picture

Re: Programming a User defined break & scripts


1. Click on an existing break, or add a new one, and go the Schedule page. There you can set it for 3 minutes every 20 minutes, which will give you 17 minutes of work between breaks.

In a future update I plan to add an option more like in version 1, where you can set work vs break times, instead of frequency & duration, but it really only matters for the first break of the day.

2. I plan to do a blog post about writing scripts sometime, but there are plenty of sites that explain scripting. Time Out supports two kinds of scripting: JavaScript during a break (in the theme), and AppleScript or shell scripts as actions, e.g. at the start or end of breaks.

3. You can add breaks and start them manually, via an optional keyboard shortcut if desired. You can deactivate breaks via the Options menu, so they don't start as scheduled, but still start them manually. One idea could be to have a very brief scheduled break to tell you when one is due, then start the desired one manually.

I hope this helps.

Re: Programming a User defined break & scripts

This post & reply was very helpful to me, thanks! I've just created a custom theme for myself and I'm planning to do some custom scripting as well. The search that found this page for me though was question 1, because I could not figure out how to get a 5 min break at :55 mins every hour. Your explanation is clear, and I happened to figure this out at 9:54am and so I manually started my 5 mins every 60 mins break, and it is working now. I don't know why I was so perplexed, it seems pretty obvious now, of course.

If I can make this work for me for a few days or a week, I'll be sending in the non-auto-renew $9.99 gratitude payment for the coming year. I appreciate the non-auto-renew, and also the clear documentation for creating my own themes and scripts.

David Sinclair's picture

Re: Programming a User defined break & scripts

I'm glad it was helpful. As I mentioned in that earlier reply, I do want to blog more about theme & scripts sometime; they are in my list of topics.

If you haven't already, take a look at the "Text" theme, which uses some more advanced techniques, including local storage and JavaScript messaging and callback.

I assume you've seen the help book documentation on break themes too.

There's lots of potential for fancier themes, and I'd certainly welcome any contributions of themes.