Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Improved Block Diagram Cleanup in LabVIEW 2009

One of my favorite features in LabVIEW 2009 is the improved Block Diagram Cleanup. We first saw Cleanup in LabVIEW 8.6. It worked well, but had a few limitations that caused me to use it only on small, simple VIs.

The improvements in LabVIEW 2009 have made Cleanup much more useful to me. It's a huge time-saver!

The most noticeable change is that you can now cleanup selections instead of entire diagrams. I use this frequently, selecting a loop or case structure and then clicking on the Cleanup button (the icon of a broom).

Another significant change is that LabVIEW handles free labels more intelligently. Instead of treating them the same as functions and moving them arbitrarily, LabVIEW attempts to keep free labels with the items that they probably describe. This is especially useful when you have labels on top of wires describing their data.

Finally, there is the ability to exclude individual loops and structures from the block diagram cleanup. This allows you to "lock down" sections of the code while still using the diagram-wide automatic cleanup. To use this feature, right click on the frame of a loop or structure and choose "Exclude from Diagram Cleanup."

No more spaghetti code!