Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Darren's Occasional Nugget 10/14/2008

This Occasional Nugget contains detailed tips related to using Quick Drop in LabVIEW 8.6.  These tips are intended for intermediate and advanced LabVIEW users who want to take their LabVIEW programming speed to the next level.

  1.  By default, after you launch LabVIEW, when you press Ctrl-Space the first time, it takes Quick Drop a few seconds to load, since it has to load all the palette information in the background.  If you go to Tools > Options > Controls/Functions Palettes and select Load palettes during launch, your LabVIEW launch time will increase by a few seconds (this post on LAVA gives some benchmarks), but Quick Drop will be ready to use instantly on its first launch.  For those of you who intend on using Quick Drop frequently, this is the preferred setting.
  2. One of the things that makes Quick Drop the most useful is the ability to define shortcuts for objects that are dropped frequently.  Attached below is a text file containing all of my personal shortcuts (updated 10/14/08).  Just cut/paste the two lines into your LabVIEW.ini file and you will now have all the same shortcuts that I use on a daily basis.
  3. After typing the name (or shortcut) of the object he wants to drop, a Quick Drop user may press "Enter", or double-click the object name in the list, to dismiss Quick Drop and get the object on his cursor.  But there's an even faster way to use Quick Drop.  Once the object name is auto-completed in the text box in Quick Drop, if you click in the VI, Quick Drop will be dismissed *and* the object will be dropped wherever you clicked.  This way, you can skip the step of the object being on your cursor.  This method is called Super Quick Drop, and it's what I do almost every time I use Quick Drop.
  4. I am right-handed, so I use the mouse with my right hand.  As such, my left hand is on the keyboard when I'm programming in LabVIEW.  Most of my Quick Drop shortcuts are typable with my left hand only.  Thus, when I want to drop an item, I press Ctrl-Space with my left hand, type the shortcut with my left hand, click in the VI to drop the object (per tip #3 above), and my hands never had to leave their normal positions.  I have found this to be the fastest way to program in LabVIEW.

 If anyone has other suggestions on boosting programming speed with Quick Drop, please let me know.



P.S. - Check out past nuggets here.

Message 1 of 9

Thank you Darren for giving us Quick Drop!


I am using daily now that I am (finally) working with LV 8.6.


Once I get my short-cuts memorized, I hope to be able to give the "WIre-Slinger" a run for his money. Smiley Wink



Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
Message 2 of 9

I haven't started using Quick Drop yet.  But what is interesting is that although LabVIEW is a completely graphical programming language, using QD which I'm sure allows you to work faster, takes you back to the days of communicating with the computer by typing and less by pointing and clicking.


This is similar to the way I use AutoCAD.  I almost entirely use keyboard shortcuts for typing commands, and use the mouse just to move around and select entities.  Even though there are hundreds of pallettes with buttons, if I actually used the mouse to find them, click on a button, and then move back to my drawing area to act on lines and circles and objects, would greatly slow me down.


Next time I need to do some heavy programming from scratch in LabVIEW (right now I'm in a mode of just cleaning up and modifying some 1-2 year old code), I'll have to start using Quick Drop to speed things up.  Thanks for the tips.Smiley Happy

Message 3 of 9

Thanks Darren,


As always, your Nuggets are educational and worth reading. 

I used the Ctrl-Spacebar to switch tools from selector to wire, but didn't realize it could do more (never took the time to investigate, either).

I will certainly try out this feature in an upcoming LV project (currently doing embedded C programming).


Thanks again, and keep posting your fantastic "Occasional" Nuggets.



Message 4 of 9

Here is a text file containing my latest Quick Drop shortcuts (updated 01/30/2009).



Message 5 of 9

Darren wrote:

Here is a text file containing my latest Quick Drop shortcuts (updated 01/30/2009).




It HAS to be the dyslexic in me Darren that developed almost the same set of shortcuts but many of mine are the the reverse of yours, eg ba vs ab. Smiley Surprised So I guess you remeber the full names of operators "Build Array" while I think of where do I find them Array >>> Build.... 


Note to self: If ever coding on Darren's machine think backwards (after copying his ini file to your memory stick) !


Question to all of you Quck-Droppers!


How much use are you getting out of teh FP shortcuts?


I ask since I have not been moved to define any FP shortcuts since I do so little work with FPs





Message Edited by Ben on 02-01-2009 10:29 AM
Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
Message 6 of 9

I use shortcuts for the following FP objects on a daily basis:


Error In, Error Out, Numeric Control, Numeric Indicator, String Control, String Indicator


The other ones in my shortcuts file I only use occasionally.  I'm trying to stick to the 'c' for control and 'n' for indicator convention so I won't have to think so much ('nc' is numeric control, 'nn' is numeric indicator, etc.).  Also note that I don't use one of those strange Microsoft 'split' keyboards, so 'n' is still relatively easy for my left hand to reach (compared to 'i', which is farther away...that's why I use 'n' for indicators instead of 'i').



0 Kudos
Message 7 of 9

Public Service Announcement!


If you have not tried the short-cuts with QD you are missing out on a great experience. It is that "great experience" that prompts me to post this reply.


So what is this great experience?


I was coding along today and I needed to drop a case structure. Without thinking about what the short-cut was, my hand just "did it" and the case structure was drop-able!  Smiley Surprised


For you musician out there, it was like getting to the point where you think "G-chord" and your hand just does it without thinking.


End of public service announcement.



Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
Message 8 of 9
Hello everyone,

Have you ever wanted to create a QD shortcut for a chunk of code? This is possible by adding the chunk of code to your palette and then assigning a shortcut to it.

First you need to create a VI that containing only the chunk of code of interest. Next add this VI to your functions palette. While still in the “edit palette” mode, right-click on the VI you just added. Select Place VI Contents. Now all you have to do is create a QD short cut for this VI and you have a shortcut for a chunk of code!

Jon S.
National Instruments
LabVIEW NXG Product Owner
Message 9 of 9