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altenbach

Allow editing of multiple controls at the same time

Status: New

We can easily open multiple instances of the control editor if we open controls from the file manager.

 

For some reason, if we customize a control from within a VI (right-click...advanced...customize), we can only work on one control at any give time. If we try to customize a second control, the option is grayed out (image) until we close the first one.

 

Many times it would be useful to be able to work on multiple controls at the same time, for example if we need to cut&paste elements from several other controls into a new one. (One example would be making a color LED).

 

Please remove this seemingly arbitrary restriction that limits us to one instance of the control editor. Is there a good reason why this is currently not allowed?

 

Message Edited by altenbach on 06-14-2009 10:30 PM

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10 Comments
PJM_Labview
Active Participant
Yes!


  


vipm.io | jki.net

Darren
Proven Zealot

I recommend changing the title of this post (can you do that?), since when I first read it, I thought you were talking about right-click > Properties, which can be done on multiple controls in 8.6.  Maybe something like "Allow Multiple Instances of the Control Editor to Run at the Same Time".

 

-D

DNatt, NI
altenbach
Knight of NI

Darren, thanks for the title suggestion. My edit time window has expired, but I can ask Laura to change the title.

 

> "Allow Multiple Instances of the Control Editor to Run at the Same Time"

 

This is still not quite right, because we can in fact run multiple instances of the control editor at the same time, just not if we invoke it from within a VI.

 

How about "Allow customizing of multiple controls at the same time"?

 

Once we have a consensus for a better title, I'll ask Laura to change it.


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AristosQueue
Proven Zealot

If you choose "customize" on a control, LV grays out the customize link on other controls because LV only supports one implicit link. The reason is that any more than that and it can become difficult to mentally keep track of which control VI window is editing which control. If you need to cut and paste elements from one control into another, you can just open a new Control VI and start editing your control there, without any implicit connection back to an original control. Creating a new control used to require going to the File>>New... dialgo, but is easy in recent versions: just pop up on My Computer in the project window and select New >> Control VI. You can create as many open controls as you want, but only one implied connection is allowed. 

tst
Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

Stephen, did you find this to be an actual problem in usability testing? I've wanted to customize multiple existing controls on quite a few occasions and I'm pretty sure I would not be confused about what goes where. There's a good reason why Christian and Phillipe want this. I would have to agree that this is simply an annoying restriction.

 

If you're still not happy with this, how about an INI key for those who know what they're doing?


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altenbach
Knight of NI

> The reason is that any more than that and it can become difficult to mentally keep track of which control VI window is editing which control.

 

If the major reason is handholding, I would say to get rid of the restriction. Nobody is forced to customize more than one control at the same time, but those who really want, should be able to do so. 😉 What's the worst that can happen?

 

Most of the time I have dozens of  VIs open, sometimes even multiple projects and LabVIEW versions. How much additional mental effort would be needed to customize two controls. 😉

 

We live in an era of multitasking (and even multi-touch) and we should be able to do almost anything that comes to mind. Forced ordering such as the need to close the old one first before opening a new one is so "last century". It's like "...well, we let you do it, but you need to tie your shoelaces together first". 😄

 


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AristosQueue
Proven Zealot

> did you find this to be an actual problem in usability testing?

 

The feature predates my hiring by NI. I think it is somewhere in the LV 4.0 timeframe, but I'm not sure. What I spelled out above is what I was able to find out by asking people who were around. I suspect that the decision was a combination of best guess and beta user feedback, combined with the tried-and-true strategy of "minimize LV's complexity whereever possible". As I keep pointing out to people -- NI has been extrordinarily successful with LV because we are a programming language usable by non-programmers. A good bit of the "hand-holding" is very much appreciated by a wide swath of users. I'm not saying that it applies in this case per se, but it is easy to see how the general admonition could have guided this feature. 

tst
Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

I would say that, at the very least, an INI key to disable this would be highly welcome.

 

P.S. You already know this, but the willingness to report the details (and investigate if necessary) is highly appreciated.


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tst
Knight of NI Knight of NI
Knight of NI

Stephen, your post just gave me an idea. I think that NI should limit the number of VIs we can have open at the same time to 5. Having many VIs open at the same time always makes it hard to find the one you want and I'm sure this will greatly simplify our lives.

 

😉


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Matthew_Kelton
Active Participant
The problem is not that you cannot edit multiple controls at the same time.  The problem is that you cannot edit multiple controls in the SAME VI at one time.  I can easily customize multiple controls at a time as long as they are in different subVIs.