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Quick Drop Keyboard Shortcut - Silver Conversion Tool

This Quick Drop Keyboard Shortcut will convert certain classic/modern controls and indicators into their silver counterparts.  As opposed to a standard 'Replace' operation, this shortcut attempts to preserve as many of the original control's properties as possible. The following control/indicator types are supported:

Graphs and Charts

  • Waveform Graph
  • Waveform Chart
  • XY Graph
  • Intensity Graph
  • Intensity Chart
  • Digital Waveform Graph
  • Mixed Signal Graph

Numerics

  • Digital Numeric Control
  • Digital Numeric Indicator

Strings

  • String Control
  • String Indicator

Listboxes and Tables

  • Listbox
  • Multicolumn Listbox
  • Table

Booleans

  • Boolean Control (push button, OK button, cancel button, etc.)
  • Boolean Indicator (round LED, square LED, etc.)

Follow these instructions to install and use this shortcut:

Copy the attached VI to your [LabVIEW Data]\Quick Drop Plugins folder.  You may need to create that folder.  Once you have done this, follow these steps to use this tool:

  1. On a front panel with a classic/modern control type listed above, select the control/indicator and press Ctrl-Space, followed by Ctrl-S. Your panel will now have a silver copy of the control/indicator you selected.  For indicators, the new indicator will be connected to the same wire as the old indicator.
  2. For indicators, run the VI to ensure the appearance of the new silver indicator is appropriate. You may need to tweak certain settings (described below) in order to get the new indicator to look just right. Also keep in mind that if the diagram is doing any programmatic manipulation of the original indicator, that won't be reflected on the silver indicator at this time.
  3. Select the new silver control/indicator and press Ctrl-X to cut it to the clipboard.
  4. Select the old control/indicator and press Ctrl-V to paste-replace it with the silver version.
  5. Press Ctrl-B to remove any broken wires on the diagram from the removed terminal.
  6. Your VI should now run as before, but with a new silver control/indicator in place of the old one.

Keep the following tips and caveats in mind when using this tool:

  • You can select multiple controls/indicators to perform multiple conversions simultaneously, as long as all of the selected controls/indicator types are in the list of supported types listed above.
  • The tool does not try to do much with object positions and size, as those settings will most likely need to be manually applied on a per-control basis given the variety of different sizes of control/indicator components between the classic, modern, and silver styles.
  • The tool is unable to replicate multiple plot areas of Mixed Signal Graphs...this needs to be done manually.
  • Graph annotations have a different default format and position on silver controls, so existing graph annotations may not be positioned properly on a silver graph after conversion.

This shortcut works in LabVIEW 2012 and later.

NOTE: If you need this tool to support additional control/indicator types, please leave a comment on this document below, including the control/indicator type, and the specific control/indicator properties you need the tool to copy over to a silver version.

DNatt, NI
Message 1 of 11
(11,367 Views)

Great work! Could you implement the replacement of error cluster inputs and outputs too?

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Message 2 of 11
(5,666 Views)

Thanks, Ludwig. If you'd like to modify the plugin to convert error clusters, go ahead. The reason the tool doesn't currently do that is because I only use silver controls on user interface VIs, and I never have error clusters on the panels of UI VIs...I communicate errors in my UIs in other ways, like with dialogs or status indicators.

DNatt, NI
Message 3 of 11
(5,666 Views)

Totally agree, I'd actually find a tool more valuable if it could convert controls from Classic, and Silver to Modern, specifically for subVIs that the user doesn't see.

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Message 4 of 11
(5,666 Views)

What is the reason for using Modern instead of Silver Palette in general VIs?

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Message 5 of 11
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Silver controls take longer to draw, and they usually take up more panel space than their Modern counterparts. In my opinion it doesn't make sense to use them on any panel that end users aren't going to see.

DNatt, NI
Message 6 of 11
(5,666 Views)

So I finally got around to trying to make a function that does the opposite of this, and I now see that the VI is password protected.  Is this because private methods are used?  If so just put a warning saying to use with caution.  Being able to modify this code is important to try to support other control types.

Message 7 of 11
(5,666 Views)

Hey, it works! Very cool. I tried creating a folder inside LabVIEW data, but then ended up using the folder at  [LabVIEW 2014]\resource\dialog\QuickDrop\plugins. I don't know what the difference is. Perhaps an enthusiast could shed some light.

Boolean controls and indicators would be nice. Like a person who doesn't read all the directions, I used a modern push button as a test and when it didn't work eventually realized that it wasn't actually supported.

Also, I initially stumbled upon this tool while searching for a way to make silver palette the default option within quickdrop (silver always lands second by default). From Darren's notes it appears he prefers to avoid the silver palette except for the top-level GUI, so I guess I'll stop searching.

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Message 8 of 11
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Brian Hoover wrote:


                       

...I now see that the VI is password protected.  Is this because private methods are used? 


                   

The only private properties in the plugin have to do with setting FXP settings on a Numeric. So I un-password-protected the code in the latest version I just uploaded. Those FXP properties should be public anyway.

DNatt, NI
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Message 9 of 11
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BenDon wrote:


                       

Hey, it works! Very cool. I tried creating a folder inside LabVIEW data, but then ended up using the folder at  [LabVIEW 2014]\resource\dialog\QuickDrop\plugins. I don't know what the difference is. Perhaps an enthusiast could shed some light.

Boolean controls and indicators would be nice. Like a person who doesn't read all the directions, I used a modern push button as a test and when it didn't work eventually realized that it wasn't actually supported.

Also, I initially stumbled upon this tool while searching for a way to make silver palette the default option within quickdrop (silver always lands second by default). From Darren's notes it appears he prefers to avoid the silver palette except for the top-level GUI, so I guess I'll stop searching.


                   

Plugins in your LabVIEW folder are only available for use in that LabVIEW version. Plugins installed to the LabVIEW Data folder are available in any LabVIEW version greater or equal to the version in which the plugin VI is saved.

I updated the plugin to work on Boolean controls and indicators. The latest version is attached above.

I have some Quick Drop Object Shortcuts for dropping the silver versions of some common controls...snc = Numeric Control (Silver), ssb = Stop Button (Silver), etc. If you prefer to just use the vanilla object names (i.e. no object shortcuts), then you can type 'silver' before typing anything else, and that will filter your Quick Drop list to only silver controls.

DNatt, NI
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Message 10 of 11
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