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Show hidden controls as "ghosts" in edit mode

I occasionally hide controls on my FP and control their visibility programmatically during the execution of my program. The problem is that if I edit my UI and the control is hidden, it's very easy not to be aware that it's there and to accidentally overlap it, hide it or even move it off the screen.

 

To solve this, I usually try to save the VIs with all the controls visible, but that's not always feasible.


A better solution - LabVIEW should always show hidden controls in edit mode. It should just have some way of differentiating them from visible controls. This mockup shows them as ghosts, but it can also be any other solution:

 

20779iD19E3A04FFDC0A31

 

In run mode, of course, the control would not be shown. This is similar to the black border you get when objects overlap a tab control.

  • UI & Usability
40 Comments
Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

Me likey. I've ALWAYS been annoyed at LabVIEW for hiding controls in edit mode.

Member Lavezza
Member

I'd like if we could toggle this. Hidden controls are hidden or ghosts depending on a toolbar button. That way we'd still be able to see the 'run-time' view when laying out controls.

Active Participant Hornless.Rhino
Active Participant

Sounds good to me. Only issue I could think of would be if there were some controls that were placed on top of each other.

Trusted Enthusiast Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

Wow, if this Idea makes the cut, go ahead and publicly expose the FP Object Transparency Property for some run-time eye candy. Haven't thought about this other Idea in a while, but perhaps partially transparent controls could make Disabled Controls more usable? Just thinking out loud.

 

Kudos.

Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

> I'd like if we could toggle this

 

You can. Ctrl+M toggles run mode without running the VI. The caveat is that it does not work if the VI is broken.

 

Jack, I'd rather this be disconnected from any transparency property, as anything that has to do with the runtime UI will probably need a lot more vetting and work and is less likely to happen.

 

I suggested the ghosting because I think it's a good solution, but I could also live with other stuff.

Trusted Enthusiast Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

I like it, but is needs to be clearly distinguishable from a "Disabled and Grayed" control.....

Member mmoni
Member

Thats a useful one!

While hunting for it I stumbled on this

I tried the method, and only problem was that the controls were visible and not grayed out....so may be NI wouldnt have to do much to get this functionality done.

For the time being if we can add this 'ShowHidden Core.vi' on the pallette and use it to show the controls. And a 'Ctrl+Z' on the target VI will again hide the controls. Serves the purpose to an extent?

Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

One way to distingusih between disabled and greyed is to have a dotted border around the hidden control in the edit mode.

Active Participant gsussman
Active Participant

Great idea, however I agree with Lavezza on this one, it needs to be able to be easily turned on and off.

CTRL+M would only be a partial solution as when in run mode, you can't do any editing.

 

I can see the need to sometimes show the hidden controls as your "ghosted" images, however other times, it would be desirable to turn off this feature and have the controls completely hidden.

A toolbar button seems like a good solution.

Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

I'm not going to say that I strongly feel that this should not have a toggle, but my natural inclination is that this should always be on and possibly even that you should be able to interact with the controls in edit mode. I really don't want to make mistakes because this was toggled off and I don't see any real advantage of not seeing where the controls are.