Table Of Contents

Icons and Connector Panes for LabVIEW NXG Projects

Version:
    Last Modified: January 11, 2018

    Refer to the following table for best practices for creating icons and connector panes in LabVIEW NXG.

    Guideline Required or Recommended? Details Example(s)

    Consider using the well-designed icons in the LabVIEW NXG libraries as prototypes for your icon.

    Recommended

    If you cannot find or create a picture to use for an icon, you can use text.

    N/A

    Create a uniform icon style for all related VIs.

    Recommended

    A uniform style helps users visually determine which subVIs are associated with a top-level VI.

    N/A

    Avoid using colloquialisms when making icons.

    Recommended

    Colloquialisms, even in pictures, are difficult to translate. Users that speak languages other than English may not understand a picture that relies on cultural background knowledge.

    If you represent a data logging VI with a picture of a lumberjack, some users may not know the cultural reference to understand how a lumberjack can represent data logging.

    Create a meaningful icon for every VI.

    Recommended

    The icon represents the VI on a palette and diagram. Well-designed icons help users gain a better understanding of the subVI without the need for excess documentation.

    N/A

    Consider common node sizes in LabVIEW NXG when designing an icon.

    Recommended

    Refer to the following common node sizes:

    • 30x30 for small nodes. This size supports the 3-1-1-3 connector pane pattern.
    • 40x40 for the default VI size. This size supports the 4-2-2-4 connector pane pattern.
    • 50x50 for the default size used by NI hardware driver and Advanced Analysis Library APIs. This size supports the 5-3-3-5 connector pane pattern.

    Refer to the following example icons and sizes:

    Make sure to set inputs and outputs for each subVI as required, recommended, or optional in the connector pane for that subVI, and make sure the settings make sense for your project.

    Recommended

    Use the Usage settings on the Item tab for the connector panes of all subVIs to specify the input and output settings for each subVI.

    The Usage setting for connector pane terminals affects the appearance of the inputs and outputs in the Context Help and reminds users to wire subVI connections.

    Use the required setting for inputs that users must wire for the subVI to run properly. Use the optional setting for inputs that have default values that are appropriate for the subVI the majority of the time. Use the recommended setting for all other inputs.

    N/A

    Assign inputs and outputs according to the way a user will eventually wire VIs together.

    Recommended

    Wire inputs on the left and outputs on the right of the connector pane because standard data flow moves from the left to the right.

    Consistency between the location you assign inputs and outputs in the connector pane and their location in the actual data flow promotes ease of use and reuse.

    • If you create a group of subVIs that you often use together, give the subVIs a consistent connector pane with common inputs in the same location to help you remember where to locate each input.
    • If you create a subVI that produces an output that another subVI uses as an input, such as references, task IDs, and error clusters, align the input and output connections to simplify the wiring patterns.
    • Assign two inputs of a VI to the left two terminals of the corresponding connector pane and two outputs of that VI to the right two terminals of the corresponding connector pane.

    Reserve the bottom left and right connector pane terminals for the error input and error output.

    Recommended

    Session-based APIs are the only exception to this recommendation. For session-based APIs, you can place error inputs and outputs directly beneath session and reference inputs and outputs.

    N/A

    Avoid creating connector panes with more than 16 terminals.

    Recommended

    Including too many terminals can make a subVI difficult to understand. You can consider either splitting the functionality of the subVI into multiple subVIs or using clusters to create logical groupings of the inputs to the subVI, depending on which solution makes sense for your project.

    N/A

    If your subVI includes a pass-through input and output pair, add an in suffix to the control and an out suffix to the indicator.

    Recommended

    Adding these suffixes to pairs of inputs and outputs indicates a relationship between the inputs and outputs.

    If you name an input reference in, name the related output reference out.

    If your subVI includes a pass-through input and output pair, and you wire the control directly to the indicator on the diagram to prevent the value from changing, remove the indicator from the connector pane.

    Recommended

    You can exclude references from this guideline.

    N/A

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