In this Realtime Display example, you can see how windows can be used to display and interact with data and Tags.
Titlebar and Border
A window can display a Titlebar and/or a Border. A titlebar allows you to drag a window around the workspace, and contains the window's close, maximize and restore buttons. The border of a window also lets you resize the window when it is floating or docked. Whether or not the titlebar and border are displayed depends on the property values set for your Titlebar and Border properties. A window typically displays both a titlebar and border when it is floating, but only a titlebar when maximized. It is often desirable to remove titlebars and borders on maximized windows.
Creating a Window
Creating windows is as easy. There are three ways to create a new window:
- Right Click in the Project Browser - Probably the most common method is to right click within the Windows section of the Project Browser and select one of the window types to create a window. While you can create each type of window, it is important to remember that the only difference is the configuration of the window properties.
- Using the Welcome Window - The Welcome Window that is available when the project is first opened has a few quick start options available on it. One of these options is the ability to add a new window.
- From the Menubar - In the menubar of the Designer, the File menu has a New option that allows you to create a new window regardless of where you are in the project.
You can create folders to organize your windows. A window's name must be unique among the windows in its folder, but you can have the same window name in multiple folders. The window name and folder path are very important, they are used as references by other windows. You can create as many folders as you want and nest them as deep as you need for your project. To rearrange a window, just click and drag the window where you want to place it.
The About Window
Setting a window as the "About" Window will open that window when the user selects the About This Application within the Help Menu of the client. This allows you to create a window that relays information to the user that may be important, such as instructions on how to use the project, or information about the projects creator.
To specify a window as the About window, right click on the window in the Project Browser. Then click the About Window checkbox. The window will have a Information Bubbleicon displayed next to its name.
Windows can also have notes attached to them. The notes provide a way for a windows designer to provide some documentation on what the window is doing and how the various components interact with one another.
Any windows that have notes will have a small Document icon next to the window name.
Setting up a navigation strategy allows you to navigate between different windows in the runtime Client. While we have a few examples of the most common navigation strategies, it is certainly not an exhaustive list as most users tend to combine multiple strategies to create a project that fits their needs.
A typical navigation strategy for a Vision project is as follows:
- Have a Docked window or two, usually docked North and/or West.
- Have a single Main window visible at a time.
- Use swap navigation to swap between the Main windows. This ensures that only one main window is open at a time.
- Use standard open navigation to open various Popup windows as necessary.
This style of project is so common, that the default operation of the Tab Strip component expects it. When it is in its default automatic operation, it expects that each tab represents a main window, and will automatically swap from the current screen to the desired screen. Additionally, the
[System]/Client/User/CurrentWindow Tag is calculated based on this strategy: its value is the name of the current maximized window. This navigation strategy is used in the Ignition Online Demonstration that you can download from our website.
Exporting and Importing Windows
In the Designer, you can export and import windows from one project to another project using external files. To export a window, simply right click on a window and select the Export project export, the difference being that it automatically selects only that window to export from the list of project resources.option. The window export works similarly to the
Importing the individual windows can be done by right clicking on the Windows expandable object in the Project Browser and selecting the file that was created on export.
Default export / import file type ".proj, .vwin"
In previous versions of Ignition, the export file type for windows was .vwin instead of .proj. Because Ignition is backwards compatible, it will accept both the current .proj and older .vwin file types when importing.