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Add datatype info to "Select Items" menu of a Local Variable

Status: New

Local Variables. When a VI has a hell of a lot of Controls or Indicators, creating a Local Variable can be a pain. The list to choose from can get very, very long, sometimes so long that it needs a scrollbar.


The current method of selecting which control a Local is connect to looks like so:


All in all, not too bad. I like the alphabetical ordering, and the fact that you can type to choose one.


However, from this image you have no idea what datatype each of these variables are (the name helps a bit). I suggest adding the Data Type and Control/Indicator information to this menu like so:


You can now easily see that "Params" is a cluster control, "XY Graphs" is an array of Refnums control, and "Vg Points" is an indicator array of I32. Notice that the datatypes are color coded and look similar to the block diagram icon.


In addition to this simple display change, it would be nice if there were an option somewhere in the preferences that sorted this list in different ways. Perhaps two different options: 1. First by Alpha, then by Type - or 2. First by Type, then by Alpha.


For those of you who prepend a data qualifier to the beginning of your controls and indicators (such as "str_Input1" or "dbl_Numeric"), this will still help you via the color coding. Plus you probably don't do that for ALL your controls, ones that end-users will be modifying when you release your code.

Active Participant

Addendum to the Idea:


When wiring something to a undefined local variable, the variable should change colors and sort the Variable menu according to the expected data type. Like so (C):




In frame A, a undefined local is placed on the BD (via the Programming -> Structures pallet).

In frame B, a constant or other is wired into the variable. The border and wire color changes to the data type of what is wired in.

In frame C, the click menu is shown, with the expected data type resorted to the top of the list, making it easier to choose.


Of course, all other variables should be shown as well, and continue to be in alphabetical order.


For projects that have a lot of Controls and Indicators, this could be a big help.

Active Participant

No one had any comments on this idea at all? Good comments? Bad comments? Irrelevant comments? Well I'm just not sure what to think of that.


Hmm.. I think I'll go with: "Everyone loves my idea and it's perfect in every way, so they don't need to comment on it." Yeah, I like that option. Smiley Very Happy


Yeah, dthor, just look at the number of Kudos 🙂

Brian Smith
Advanced Light Source
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Proven Zealot

Good idea, worth a ping or two...


Note that no menu in LabVIEW has an icon. Allowing menu's to have icons is a good idea on it's own. Making your own menu's is easy at all, and our customers expect menu's to have icons. No support for menu icons at all might make the implementation of this idea more difficult...


Just saying, please implement this, and add the support for menu icons, because it needs to be there anyway.