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Make all toolbar buttons accessible regardless of window size

One of the things that sometimes bugs me when using LabVIEW is that if you have a front panel or block diagram in a small window, many of the menu options and toolbar options are inaccessible without having to resize the window first. You have to have a minimum window size to be able to access all of the toolbar functions.

 

Still don't get it?

 

This is how big I want my SubVI window to be:

2014-10-01_13-24-54.jpg

 

Problems with the above:

  • A lot of the toolbar buttons and menu options are completely inaccessible
  • I'm sure it was for good reason (probably some other icons that appear there), but there's also a load of empty space to the left of the run button which would allow me to fit more of the toolbar on screen

To be able to access the entire toolbar, the windows has to be at least one of the following wide:

2014-10-01_13-25-13.jpg

 

 

Why is this a problem?

 

  • Normally my front panel windows are nicely sized according to the controls and indicators on the front panel (e.g. controls top left, indicators top right, error clusters bottom), for most SubVIs this usually means that the window is thinner than the minimum width to show all of the toolbar options.
  • If you have a fixed size UI panel (e.g. for dialogues) - if you want to align / space objects on the panel you have to make it larger, do the scaling and then resize back to the original size which isn't ideal (possibility for not resizing to the original size correctly)
  • Similar to the above but if you have a UI where you have fit/scale to pane you might want the initial size of the UI to be smaller than the minimum width

Existing workarounds:

 

  • Just before submitting this idea I realised you can shrink the 'search' bar from the toolbar to make it slightly better2014-10-01_13-25-38.jpg
  • Use the OpenG (?) VI for 'fit to largest decoration - this is OK for some UIs but not really suitable for the SubVI case above

Proposed solution:

Please make it so that the menu and toolbar are accessible regardless of window size. One solution would be to have a button that allows you to 'scroll' the toolbar or have a pop-up dialogue that shows the missing toolbar buttons as per the image below.

 

MS Paint skills (icon lifted from Chrome's bookmarks bar):

2014-10-01_13-24-54_fixed.jpg

 

As an aside, MS Word manages it fairly well (even though it isn't that readable), and it has a LOT of toolbar buttons:

2014-10-01_13-44-07.jpg

 

Please consider my idea (or Kudos it) for future versions of LabVIEW - it will improve usability of the IDE.

8 Comments
Trusted Enthusiast

You don't seem to be able to edit ideas, but here is another mockup of a possible method for showing the 'hidden' toolbar elements:

2014-10-01_14-36-32.jpg

Knight of NI

I prefer this solution to the problem.


LabVIEW Champion Do more with less code and in less time
Trusted Enthusiast

Drat, I did spend quite a bit of time searching/trawling through the ideas exchange trying to see if anyone had already suggested my idea or something similar.

 

I've Kudos'ed your idea as I think it's a good idea, certainly solves the UI dialog cases and would be a good feature to have, but I think mine still has legs from an IDE usability point-of-view - toolbar menu items and buttons should always be accessible regardless of the edit-time size of the window.

 

I'm also not sure how comfortable I would feel having all of my windows resizing when my VI runs and for things like SubVIs I shouldn't need to define a 'run-time area' as apart from placing controls/indicators in logical positions and creating an icon I don't want to have to add another operation to define a run-time area when it's just a simple SubVI (the type of which would likely have a small front-panel). In these cases I may still want to be able to access the toolbar however.

Active Participant

I like the idea. This bug me all the time.

 

I have a small suggestion to increment the idea: the missing button may appear by pressing or mouse hovering the button.

 

Your button icon is good for me, but I think it can be a little more visible using different color, border, etc.

André Manzolli

Mechanical Engineer
Certified LabVIEW Developer - CLD
LabVIEW Champion
Curitiba - PR - Brazil
Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

Thanks for the comment X., I actually spent 10-15 minutes trying to see if a similar idea had already been posted (as I mentioned just two comments above yours) but various combinations of "toolbar", "buttons", "inaccessible", "window" and similar words didn't return any results for me and the idea exchange forces you to search for similar ideas before posting. I normally consider my 'google-fu' to be pretty strong but it obviously failed me on this occasion.

 

The idea by K_Joy (http://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW-Idea-Exchange/Allow-access-to-menus-on-the-menu-bar-without-re-sizin... is pretty much exactly my idea, so apologies for the duplicate and thanks for pointing it out (Kudos duly given for that idea) but I did try to do my research before posting.

Knight of NI

Yes, the search is pretty much broken.


LabVIEW Champion Do more with less code and in less time
Example Gatekeeper