Tips and Tricks to Speed LabVIEW Development Matt Barr - Sr. District Sales Manager, National Instruments ni.com Outline Motivations for programming faster Tips for programming faster 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Quick Drop Avoiding right-click menus Avoiding repetitive tasks Block diagram cleanup LabVIEW projects Dealing with the connector pane Environmental suggestions New, lesser-known LabVIEW 2013 features ni.com 2 Before we begin Darrens Nuggets Quick LabVIEW tips (google darrens nuggets)
Darrens Blog In-depth LabVIEW discussions (google labview artisan) Image credit: fauxfooddiner.com ni.com 3 Motivation You can think faster than you can program. age credit: fredberinger.com Brain
Keyboard + Mouse Diagram If you think graphically, then anything that slows down the transfer of the mental image to the completed block diagram is a bottleneck. Lets remove those bottlenecks. ni.com 4 More Motivation The less time we spend on the mechanics of programming is more time we can spend innovating
with LabVIEW. Your clients like it when you finish stuff early. Your boss *really* likes it when you finish stuff early. ni.com 5 1. Use Quick Drop Stop searching for familiar things! If you know you want a While Loop, or an Add function, then why are you searching for one? Navigating a geographical path to locate a familiar object is a bottleneck. Even with muscle memory. If you want to be the Worlds 2nd Fastest LabVIEW Programmer, you have to stop using the palettes. ni.com 6
1. Use Quick Drop LabVIEW 8.6 Feature introduced Press Ctrl-Space to invoke Drop items from Controls and Functions palettes by name Create shortcuts for commonly-dropped items o i.e., cs instead of Case Structure LabVIEW 2009 Drop items from any open project Quick Drop Keyboard Shortcuts (QDKS) LabVIEW 2010 More QDKS
LabVIEW 2011 Instantly usable on first launch (sort of) LabVIEW 2012 and 2013 Miscellaneous minor features/improvements ni.com 7 DEMO 1. Use Quick Drop Extra Quick Drop tidbits
Super Quick Drop Click in the VI to dismiss Quick Drop, and the object is dropped where you clicked Quick Drop Fast Search Add QuickDropFastSearch=True to your INI file for more responsive typing in the Quick Drop window. If you find Quick Drop is taking too long to load or isnt responsive enough as you type, try this INI token. This INI token is exposed in the QD configuration dialog in LabVIEW 2013. Common shortcuts Google quick drop palette object shortcuts to download and use some common object shortcuts ni.com
8 2. Avoid right-click menus if possible Adding items to enums and rings 1. Hold the Ctrl key and click in the enum/ring to start editing text. 2. After typing the first enum/ring string, press Shift-Enter to create the second string. 3. Repeat until all items are added. ni.com 1 0 2. Avoid right-click menus if possible Adding cases to case structures 1. Click in the selector ring of the case structure. 2. Press Shift-Enter to add a new case. 3. Press Ctrl-Shift-Enter to duplicate the current case.
ni.com 1 1 3. Avoid repetitive tasks Use the unofficial Quick Drop Ctrl-Shift-G shortcut to add code snippets as droppable QD items Add your own QDKS
Google custom qdks getting started To see what the QD community has come up with, google quick drop community shortcuts Customize Create SubVI behavior (LV 2011 and later) Google quick drop place contents This allows you to drop frequently-used segments of code in a single operation Google customize create subvi Add your own project templates (LV 2012 and later) ni.com Google labview custom create project
1 2 4. Diagram Cleanup Code as fast as possible, then clean it up! Do not use for: Top-level architecture diagrams Heavily-nested diagrams Diagrams users will see Diagrams where the arrangement is critical to understanding the operation of the VI Use for: Small diagrams (less than 1024x768) Diagrams with minimal nesting Non-user-visible
diagrams Most of your diagrams ni.com 1 3 5. Develop with LabVIEW Projects How does using the project make you faster? Quicker access to your VIs (less file browsing) Droppable project items in Quick Drop (LV 2009+)
The following tips are changes I have made to my programming environment to help me be a faster LabVIEW programmer. Your mileage may vary. ni.com 1 6 7. Environmental Suggestions Tell your boss that you need more monitors. Seriously. LabVIEW Music Explorer Windows Chat
Web ni.com Email 1 7 Sticky Notes 7. Environmental Suggestions More monitors help by: Leaving frequently-used apps (Windows Explorer, Web browser, a notepad of some sort) always available and in familiar locations
Giving you lots of real estate for debugging LabVIEW Paused VIs Probe Window Providing space when diffing two (or more!) VIs ni.com 1 8 7. Environmental Suggestions Input devices (Note: I realize most people are already firmly entrenched on this topic.)
Keyboard that youre comfortable with Mouse Split keyboards hinder cheating Very difficult to get precision of motion required for speedy LabVIEW programming with a touchpad or a trackball Microphone? ni.com
Google LV Speak 1 9 New LabVIEW 2013 features Here are some of the features youve probably heard about: Event Structure and API Improvements Improved Excel Integration Mouse Wheel Enhancements Bookmark Manager
Attached Comments Overhaul of Shipping Examples Now here are some lesser-known goodies in LabVIEW 2013. ni.com 2 0 LabVIEW 2013 goodies Quick Drop Enhancements Typo Help No More Autocomplete Insert Respects Selected Segment
ni.com 2 1 LabVIEW 2013 goodies VI Server/VI Scripting Get GObject Label.vi Event Structure scripting New properties/methods Application class VI class
ni.com Refresh Menus Get Active VI Reference Library:Version Get Conpane Image 2 2 LabVIEW 2013 goodies Ive saved the best for last ni.com
2 4 LabVIEW 2013 goodies QuickBold!!! Add QuickBold=True to your LabVIEW INI file Whenever youre editing text, Ctrl-B will bold/unbold text If you want this unofficial feature to become an official feature, go to tinyurl.com/lvctrlbidea and kudo the idea! ni.com 2 5 Questions? ni.com
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