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Solution to Shorcuts not working in Online Exam

For all future test takers, LabVIEW shortcuts are essential to saving crucial development time during the Exam. Therefore, you should spend some effort making them work in order to improve your chances of success in the Exam. In this post I would like to share my workaround for getting the shortcuts to work. It worked for me and it should work for you.


Note: This method works because Proctors are not bothered by any script running in the background. The certification team has not approved of it yet.

 

 

Problem:
The PSI browser based test requires its extension to be installed on your browser. Currently, only Chrome browser is supported. The problem with browser based test is that your development environment (VM) in running inside the Chrome browser. It means that if you press a shortcut key combination that was intended for the development environment, it may be caught by the Chrome browser and your development environment will not receive that key combination.
Chrome browser doesn't have the option to change its shortcuts. Hence, that solution is out of question.
Note: Even if you try to use Chromium (Open source version of Chrome) you will have no luck.


Solution:
The solution involves remapping the keys you use for shortcuts. But it is done in a way that you are able to use most of the default shortcuts that you are already used to. So you don't have to retrain yourself for new shortcuts just for the sake of the Exam. Following steps should be performed:

 

  1. Download AutoHotkey, we will use this to run our key-mapping script. (Windows only)
  2. Build a script that will map your default shortcuts to the key combinations that are not detected by Chrome. Some of the key combinations are given at the end of this post. For example, let’s say you map Ctrl+e to Ctrl+Shift+e. So when you press Ctrl+e with the script running in the background, any software running on your PC will receive Ctrl+Shift+e. Now your development environment will not respond until you change the shorcut Ctrl+e in the settings to Ctrl+Shift+e. So you will have to change the shortcut in your PC and also on the development environment on your test machine once you start your test. This way, you will still be using Ctrl+e as you are used to, but it will be remapped to a shortcut that is not picked up by chrome and is able to reach your development environment. Since your development environment will be setup to receive this new shortcut, the whole remapping thing will be transparent to you.

    Note: The script that I used for my exam is attached with the post. Details of the shortcuts can be read at the bottom of the post.
  3. Setup the shortcuts in your development environment (Tools->Options->Menu Shortcuts) according to the remapped keys in your script.
  4. Run your development environment without the script running in background to verify that all your shortcuts have stopped working. Then run the script and verify that they start working. You will still press the old shortcuts that you are used to, they will be mapped to new key combinations and your development environment will act on those new key combinations.

 

To Do on Exam day:

 

  1. Make sure your Script is running before you start your exam
  2. Make sure that you use Gui,+ToolWindow at the beginning of your script or use my script. This will hide the script from task bar.
  3. Open task manager, click fewer details at the bottom. The autohokey script should not be visible there.
  4. Once you start your test, setup your shortcuts as explained above. This should take 5 minutes if you practice setting up shortcuts before exam. For example: If you press Ctrl+e when setting up shortcuts, your script will remap it to Ctrl+Shift+E and your shortcut setting will be set to Ctrl+Shift+e. Therefore, no need to remember the remapped keys.

 

 

Keys not used by Chrome as Shortcuts

Ctrl Combinations
Cntrl+I, Ctrl+Space, Ctrl+Q, Ctrl+M, Ctrl+B, Ctrl+Y
Ctrl+Shift Combinations

Please take a look at my assigned combinations below.

 

Menu shortcuts used by my Script (Pictures of settings attached)

New VI: Ctrl+Shift+\

Save: Ctrl+Shift+'

Find: Ctrl+Shift+f

Tools Pallette: Ctrl+Shift+] 

Run: Ctrl+Shift+q

Stop: Ctrl+Shift+.

Run Mode: Ctrl+Shift+l 

Show block/panel diagram: Ctrl+Shift+e 

Tile Left/Right: Ctrl+Shift+ [ 

Full Size: Ctrl+Shift+/ 

Context Help: Ctrl+Shift+h

 

Quick Drop shortcuts used by my script

*Quick drop only uses Ctrl combinations. We only have those limited Control key combinations which are not used by chrome. Therefore, I used only the most essential quick drop shortcuts.

Insert: keep the default, Ctrl+I is not used by chrome

Remove: Ctrl+Q

Replace and Rewire: Ctrl+B

Wire all Terminals: Ctrl+Y

Wire Multiple Objects together: Ctrl+M

 

 

Note: All shortcuts are not remapped by my script. I remapped only those shortcuts which I use. Please feel free to add to them to help others.



Best Regards,
Certified LabVIEW Developer


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Are there any news regarding this solution being approved by the certification team? I am practising without using shortcuts, but obviously it would be faster with the shortcuts. 

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I asked them, they said they would not approve it officially. Although its not illegal according to them. As long as your proctor is okay with it, the certification team is fine with it.

Currently, the proctors dont know anything about it as i mentioned in my original post. I used it myself to use shortcuts in my exam. 



Best Regards,
Certified LabVIEW Developer


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Will disabling chrome shortcuts work?

Certified LabVIEW Architect
Specialist
Automotive Business Unit
Tata ELXSI
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Hello, 

 

Yes, you can disable Chrome shortcuts before the exam, but in that case, you will not be able to use CTRL+Space.

 

 

Harutyun Habashyan 

Quality Assurance Engineer 

NI

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