The NI LabVIEW community of worldwide users has always taken an active role in supporting fellow members and providing feedback to NI R&D to improve the product. In 2009, NI introduced a new way to collect product feedback: the LabVIEW Idea Exchange. Through this public forum, LabVIEW users can submit product feature ideas, vote for those they like best, and collaborate with NI R&D on the designs. NI investigates the highest-rated ideas for implementation in the next LabVIEW release. These are the 12 user-submitted features implemented in LabVIEW 2012.
1. Block Diagram Enhancements
Event-Driven Programming in the LabVIEW Base Package
With the LabVIEW 2012 Base Package, you can create and modify Event structures, events, and Event functions that detect and handle events triggered by the user.
Automatically Concatenating Arrays Leaving Loops
To concatenate arrays across loop iterations in previous versions of LabVIEW, you must use shift registers and the Build Array function. In LabVIEW 2012, you can automatically concatenate arrays by right-clicking the output tunnel and selecting Tunnel Mode»Concatenating from the shortcut menu. Selecting Concatenating appends all inputs in order to form an output array of the same dimension as the array wired to the tunnel input.
Conditionally Processing Loop Outputs
In LabVIEW 2012, you can configure each output tunnel of a loop to omit values that meet a condition you specify. To enable this feature, right-click the loop output tunnel and select Tunnel Mode»Conditional from the shortcut menu.
For example, the block diagram in Figure 1 illustrates how the conditional output tunnel accomplishes the same goal as the Case structure in previous versions of LabVIEW.
Figure 1. Conditional Tunnels in LabVIEW 2012
You can apply this conditional terminal to all three types of output tunnels: Last Value, Indexing, and Concatenating.
Miscellaneous Block Diagram Enhancements
With LabVIEW 2012, you can remove broken wires not only from the entire block diagram but also from any area or structure you select.
Broken Arrow—241 Kudos
To create, edit, and view long string constants without using excessive space on the block diagram, right-click the string constant and select Edit from the shortcut menu. This option displays the Edit String Constant dialog box, in which you can view and modify the entire string.
Figure 2. Edit String Constant Dialog Box
To more conveniently document code within structures, write comments in the new subdiagram labels that automatically move and resize with the structure. To display subdiagram labels, right-click the structure and select Visible Items»Subdiagram Label from the shortcut menu. You also can specify the default visibility and justification of these labels on the Block Diagram page of the Options dialog box.
Figure 3. Subdiagram Label
2. Environment Enhancements
Identifying Long Paths in Controls, Indicators, and Constants
When a path is too long for a control, an indicator, or a constant to display, LabVIEW 2012 replaces the middle of the path with three ellipsis points (…) to notify the user that part of the path is hidden. To configure LabVIEW to display long paths differently, use the Scrollbar Visibility field on the Appearance page of the Properties dialog box.
Figure 4. Abbreviated Path
Viewing Data Types of Parameters in the Context Help Window
Dany Allard—318 Kudos
To provide quick access to the data type associated with each terminal of a VI or function, the Context Help window in LabVIEW 2012 contains the following new fields when you hover over a terminal:
- Terminal Data Type—This field displays the default data type the terminal accepts.
- Connected Wire Data Type—When the terminal displays a coercion dot, this field displays the data type of the wire connected to the terminal rather than the data type expected by the terminal.
Dialog Box Enhancements
The Edit Items page of the Properties dialog box for ring and enumerated type controls includes the following improvements to the user interface:
- To select multiple items, you can press and hold the <Ctrl> key while selecting the items. (Mac OS X) Press the <Command> key. (Linux) Press the <Alt> key.
- To rearrange items, you can drag and drop the items rather than clicking the Move Up and Move Down buttons.
- To delete items, you can press the <Delete> key rather than clicking the Delete button.
- To insert items, you can press the <Insert> key rather than clicking the Insert button.
- To prevent items from appearing in the control, you can click the Disable Items button.
Miscellaneous Environment Enhancements
You can perform the same operation on several objects simultaneously by selecting the objects, right-clicking any one of them, and choosing an operation from the shortcut menu. For example, you can use this technique to display labels or toggle the View As Icon setting for multiple block diagram terminals at the same time.
Figure 5. Common Right-Click Menu Actions
Broken Arrow—263 Kudos
You can specify a different default label position for the following set of objects: controls and constants, indicators, and all other objects. To adjust these default label positions, use the Default label position pull-down menus on the Front Panel and Block Diagram pages of the Options dialog box.
Miscellaneous VI and Function Changes
If you replace an Add, Multiply, And, Or, or Exclusive Or function with a Compound Arithmetic function, the Compound Arithmetic function defaults to the operation you replaced instead of defaulting to the add operation as in previous versions of LabVIEW.
Browse user-submitted LabVIEW features and submit and vote on your own at ni.com/ideas.