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LabView QuickDrop AlignElements

A LabVIEW Quick-Drop (QD) plug-in for aligning and distributing elements on afrontpanel or blockdiagram.

This plug-in is based on the existing Align & Compress BD/FP Objects plug-in. The plug-in is completely refactored and changes the handling and the keymap of the original plug-in.

Thanks to Jim for his incredible plug-in.

Screenshot

The design idea behind the usage of the plug-in is to simply handle the alignment using the left hand on the keyboard and the WSAD keys. Therefore you will be very fast to organize your elements on the VI.

Installation

The plug-in is published as a VIPM Community package. Search for QuickDrop AlignElements in the VI Package Manager and install it easily. Otherwise you can download the VIP package from the Release page and install it manually.

Usage

At first you have to select some elements either on the frontpanel or the blockdiagram of the VI.

The Quick Drop plug-in uses the default shortcut A.

There are three possible ways to act with the plug-in using the mouse or only the keyboard.

Using the mouse

With the mouse you can simply act with the plugin

Firstly press CTRL+SPACE to open the quick drop dialog, then press CTRL+A to open the plug-in dialog containing the alignment and distribution buttons. The different buttons can be pressed to move the objects. At the end the dialog can be closed by clicking on the close button in the corner or by pressing the ESC key.

Using the mouse

Using the keyboard

A faster way to handle this Quick Drop plug-in is by using the keyboard.

After selecting some elements press CTRL+SPACE and CTRL+A to open the dialog window. Afterwards you can use one of the following keys to execute the wanted alignment:

  • W: Top
  • S: Bottom
  • A: Left
  • D: Right
  • C: Horizontal Center
  • V: Vertical Center
  • Q: Vertical Gap
  • E: Horizontal Gap

After pressing a key for alignment the panel will immediatelly be closed.

Using the keyboard

If you move the mouse pointer over one of the buttons you will see the shortcuts for each operation. (Only some of the distribution elements can be controlled by key.)

Using the keyboard

Using the Quick Drop combo box

The last option to handle the plugin is based on Darren's suggestions.

After selecting some elements open the Quick Drop dialog by pressing CTRL+SPACE. Insert one or more of the above characters into the combo box. Then press CTRL+A. The plug-in will immediatelly execute the alignment or distribution of the elements.

Using the combo box

On of my favorites is to open the Quick Drop with CTRL+SPACE. Then insert AQ into the combo box and press CTRL+A. This will align the elements to the left and distribute it with an equal vertical gap. I use this to arrange the VI input and output elements on the blockdiagram.

Using the combo box

Numeric controls on the frontpanel

Like the original plug-in the increment and decrement buttons of a numeric control will be hidden during alignment (based on this idea exchange).

By default this behavior is activated. It is possible to deactivate it in the LabVIEW.ini.

Quick Drop Options

You can control certain aspects of operation of this plug-in by setting the following LabVIEW.ini tokens:

Token Default Value Description
QDAlignElements.HideIncDec True Hide Inc/Dec buttons of Numeric Controls during alignment.

Hints

The plug-in is developed with LabVIEW 2017.

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A LabVIEW Quick-Drop (QD) plugin for aligning elements

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