Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Customizing the Getting Started Window

This post isn't about a feature of LabVIEW 8.5. Just to be clear, what I'm about to tell you is not a supported feature. But I think it's fun, so I want to share...

The Getting Started window in LabVIEW 8.5 defines its contents in a text file. If you have write-access to the LabVIEW folder, you can change that text file and customize the contents of your Getting Started window.

Here's how to customize your own Getting Started window:
  1. First, move the file LabVIEW 8.5\resource\dialog\GettingStartedWindow\XML\GettingStartedDialog.xml to a different folder.
  2. Then download this alternate GettingStartedDialog.xml file and put it in that folder.
  3. Launch LabVIEW and see the changes in the right-hand column.
You can probably figure out how to make your own Getting Started window links by looking at the contents of the GettingStartedDialog.xml file. (I recommend you only change items in column two).

If you look at the Navigation example (LabVIEW 8.5\examples\lvoop\Navigation\Navigation.lvproj) you'll see how the text file is parsed. You can create Getting Started window links to open web pages, run VIs, or even run commands through SystemExec.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, this isn't a supported feature, so I can't guarantee that any modifications to the text file will continue to work in future versions. You might also notice some bits of the text file aren't currently used... just ignore those.