Using Folders in LabVIEW Projects

FlexRIO Help

Edition Date: November 2015

Part Number: 372614J-01

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You can add two types of folders to a LabVIEW project, virtual folders and auto-populating folders. Virtual folders organize project items. Right-click a target and select Add»Folder (Snapshot) from the shortcut menu to add a virtual folder to the project. Auto-populating folders update in real time to reflect the contents of folders on disk. Contents of an auto-populating folder do not always match disk contents exactly, as in the case of project libraries. The Items page of the project displays project library (.lvlib) contents by library hierarchy and not by disk organization. For example, if a VI exists in a library file, the VI appears in the project under the library file. The VI does not appear in the project in the location on disk.

Auto-populating folders are visible only on the Items page of the Project Explorer window. You can view the disk contents of an auto-populating folder but you cannot perform disk operations such as renaming, reorganizing, and removing project items. To perform disk operations of items in an auto-populating folder, use the Files page of the Project Explorer window. The Files page displays the location of project folders on disk. Project operations on the Files page both update and reflect the contents of the folder on disk. Likewise, LabVIEW automatically updates the auto-populating folder in the project if you make changes to the folder on disk outside of LabVIEW.

The advantage of performing file operations on the Files page instead of using the file system outside of LabVIEW is that LabVIEW can update referencing files. When you move, remove, or rename items on the Files page, LabVIEW updates all referencing items to reflect the change. Also, if a project is open and you rename a file on disk that is in an auto-populating folder, LabVIEW detects the change and the Undo File Rename? dialog box appears. You can either revert the rename operation or continue with the operation. However, items in the project that reference that file do not reference the new name and might result in conflicts because the rename occurred outside of LabVIEW.

Note   (OS X and Linux) LabVIEW does not support the use of symbolic links for files in auto-populating folders on OS X or Linux operating systems.

An auto-populating folder can contain a virtual folder only if the virtual folder is within a library hierarchy. A virtual folder does not represent files on disk. You can convert an existing virtual folder to an auto-populating folder by right-clicking a virtual folder on the Items page and selecting Convert to Auto-populating Folder from the shortcut menu. A file dialog appears prompting you to select a folder on disk. LabVIEW automatically renames the virtual folder to match the folder on disk and adds all contents of the folder on disk to the project. Items in the virtual folder that do not exist in the directory on disk move to the target.

To disable auto-population, right-click an auto-populating folder and select Stop Auto-populating from the shortcut menu. The auto-populating folder becomes a virtual folder.

Note  Auto-populating folders can contain virtual items such as variables and hyperlinks because these items do not have a corresponding item on disk. You can rearrange virtual items such as variables and hyperlinks within an auto-populating folder because the movement does not result in a movement on disk. You also can move virtual items into and out of auto-populating folders.


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