Configuring Front Panel Objects

LabVIEW 2013 Help

Edition Date: June 2013

Part Number: 371361K-01

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Use Properties dialog boxes or shortcut menus to configure how constants, controls, indicators, and Numeric functions appear or behave. Use Properties dialog boxes when you want to configure a constant, control, indicator, or Numeric function using a dialog box that includes context help and in which you can set several properties at the same time for an object. Use shortcut menus to quickly configure common constant, control, indicator, and function properties. The options available in Properties dialog boxes and shortcut menus differ for different objects. Most options you set using a shortcut menu are reflected in the Properties dialog box, and most options you set using the Properties dialog box are reflected in the shortcut menu.

Right-click a constant, control, indicator, or Numeric function and select Properties from the shortcut menu to display the Properties dialog box for that object. You cannot display Properties dialog boxes while a VI runs.

Tip  To perform a common operation on multiple objects simultaneously, select the objects and use the shortcut menu or the Properties dialog box.

You also can create a custom control or indicator to extend the available set of front panel objects. Right-click the control and select Advanced»Customize from the shortcut menu to customize a control or indicator. You can save a custom control or indicator you created in a directory or LLB and use the custom control or indicator on other front panels.

Showing and Hiding Optional Elements

Front panel controls and indicators have optional elements you can show or hide, such as labels, captions, and digital displays. Set the visible elements for the control or indicator on the Appearance page of the Properties dialog box for the front panel object. You also can set the visible elements by right-clicking an object, selecting Visible Items from the shortcut menu, and selecting among the available options.

Changing Controls to Indicators and Indicators to Controls

LabVIEW initially configures objects in the Controls palette as controls or indicators based on their typical use. For example, if you place a toggle switch on the front panel, it appears as a control because a toggle switch is usually an input mechanism. If you place an LED on the front panel, it appears as an indicator because an LED is usually an output device.

Some palettes contain a control and an indicator for the same type or class of object. For example, the Numeric palette contains a numeric control and a numeric indicator because you can have a numeric input or a numeric output.

You can change a control to an indicator by right-clicking the object and selecting Change to Indicator from the shortcut menu, and you can change an indicator to a control by right-clicking the object and selecting Change to Control from the shortcut menu.

Replacing Front Panel Objects

You can replace a front panel object with a different control or indicator. When you right-click an object and select Replace from the shortcut menu, a temporary Controls palette appears. Select a control or indicator from the temporary Controls palette to replace the current object on the front panel.

Selecting Replace from the shortcut menu preserves as much information as possible about the original object, such as its name, description, default data, dataflow direction (control or indicator), color, size, and so on. If you replace a numeric terminal with another numeric terminal, LabVIEW tries to preserve the original representation. However, if the control does not support the new data type, the new object retains its own data type. Wires from the terminal of the object or local variables remain on the block diagram, but they might be broken. For example, if you replace a numeric terminal with a string terminal, the original wire remains on the block diagram, but is broken.

The more the new object resembles the object you are replacing, the more original characteristics you can preserve. For example, if you replace a slide with a different style slide, the new slide has the same height, scale, value, name, description, and so on. If you replace the slide with a string control instead, LabVIEW preserves only the name, description, and dataflow direction because a slide does not have much in common with a string control.

You also can Edit»Copy and Paste to copy objects to the clipboard and paste them from the clipboard to replace existing front panel controls and indicators. This method does not preserve any characteristics of the old object, but the wires remain connected to the object.


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