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Tags are created in the Designer in one of two ways; either using the Tag Creator or creating Tags manually in the Tag Browser.

The Tag Creator allows you to browse your connected devices and drag OPC Tags into your Tag Provider, as well as creating folders and other Tags manually.  You can also make immediate changes to the Tag properties in the Tag Creator. 

You can also create Tags manually in the Tag Browser. The Tag Browser allows you to choose from a list of these standard Tag types and change the Tag properties directly in the Tag Editor. 

This page describes both methods for creating Tags.

On this page ...

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Creating OPC Tags


Creating Tags in the Tag Creator

This feature is new in Ignition version 8.1.0
Click here to check out the other new features
The Tag Creator lets you browse all your connected devices and OPC Servers for datapoints. When the Tag you're interested in is not available for browsing, you can manually add a Tag and change any Tag properties directly in the Tag Creator interface. This approach is common for devices like Modbus and Siemens where memory addresses aren't browsable. This interface allows you to create any standard type of Tag. Notably, Vision Client Tags do not use this Tag Creator.

Tags that are grayed out in the For Provider area are Tags that already exist in your Tag Browser. The Tag Provider represented here is dependent on the Provider selected by the Tag Browser before the Tag Creator was opened. 

New Tags added by the Tag Creator will appear in black font. These new Tags are effectively in a "staging" area, meaning they won't be added to the Tag Provider until you press OK or Apply In the Tag Creator window, you can also select the Preview icon to see a summary of new Tags you are adding. 

You have the option of editing your new Tags in the Tag Creator by selecting the Tag you want to edit in the  For Provider area and double clicking or clicking on the edit (pencil) icon on the right. The Tag Creator edit window will open. If you have multiple Tags selected, only the first will be edited. Here you can edit any properties of the Tag. When you're finished, click Commit to accept your changes. When you are done adding Tags, click the OK or Apply buttons in the lower right corner to add your Tags to the Tag Browser.

The example below describes creating Tags using the Tag Creator.  

Note: In order to have any items appear under the Connected Devices tree, you must have a device connection.

  1. In the Tag Browser, choose a Tag Provider from the dropdown list where you want to place your new Tags. The project's default provider will appear in bold

    Note: Tag Creator is not available when the 'System' or 'Vision Client Tags' providers are selected.



  2. In the Tag Browser, click the Add  icon to open the context menu. Here you can Browse Devices to add OPC Tags, or simply create a Tag or folder.  Select Browse Devices...  




  3. The Tag Creator window will open.  There are two options described: Adding a OPC Tag and creating a standard Tag.

    1. This is where you can browse OPC Tags on your connected devices. Browse the devices and find some Tags that you're interested in. Select the folder(s) or Tag(s) you want to add.  You can move the selected OPC Tags into your selected For provider area by clicking the Right Arrow   icon or dragging them into the right panel. To unselect a row, click out on a blank area, thus clearing any selected row.




    2. You also have the option of creating a New Standard Tag in the Tag Creator by clicking the Add  icon. A new blank Tag will appear in the For provider area in the currently selected folder (if one is selected), or at the bottom of the Tag list. See step 5 for editing Tags.




  4. To Preview the Tags you want to add to your Tag Browser, scroll down to the bottom of the list in the For Provider area, or click the Preview   icon on the right side of the window. 




  5. You have the choice of editing your Tags in the Tag Creator or editing them in your Tag Browser. To edit Tags in the Tag Creator, select a Tag and click on the Edit  icon. Here you can change the Data Type, Item Path, set alarms or store history, and anything else that you can do to modify a Tag. Click the Commit button to submit your changes.


    This feature is new in Ignition version 8.1.2
    Click here to check out the other new features

    As of 8.1.2, the For Provider area now features a right-click menu that also has Edit and Remove options. 




  6. When finished, click the Apply button  to add your new Tags to the Tag Browser.  As soon as the Tags are in the Tag Browser, the values will start updating automatically. 



        

Creating Tags Manually

Tags can be created manually in the Tag Browser. You can create any of the Standard Tag Types or a Data Type Instance.

This example creates a Memory Tag.

  1. You can create Tags in two different ways: click on the Add  icon to open the context menu and select New Standard Tag and choose the Tag type, or right click any where in the Tag Browser and select New Tag and choose the Tag type. 



  2. The Tag Editor will open to edit the Tag's properties.



  3. Set the properties as follows:

    Name: My Memory Tag
    Value Source: Memory
    Data Type: String
    Value: Hello Ignition



  4. When finished, click OK. Your new Tag will be placed in the Tag column of the Tag Browser. Since this is a Memory Tag, it's value will not change unless you write to it.



Editing Tags

The Tag Editor is a powerful tool used when creating Tags and for editing them. The properties displayed in the Tag Editor are custom to the type of Tag you've selected. You can find additional information on Understanding Tags and the Tag right click menu here.

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The Tag Editor

 Click here to edit a Tag

Edit a Tag

  1. To edit an existing Tag, right-click on the Tag, and select the Edit Tag  icon .



  2. Once in the Tag Editor, you can update the Tag properties. For example, if you want to change the Tag to a different type – such as from OPC to Expression – go to the Value Source property, click the Expand  icon, and choose the type of Tag (OPC, Memory, Expression, Query, Reference, or Derived) that you want. 

 Click here to rename a Tag

Rename a Tag

Tags names are flexible. For naming conventions, see Tag Browser.

  1. To rename an existing Tag, right click on the Tag in the Tag Browser and select the Rename option. 


     

  2. The cursor will now blink inside the Tag name and you can type the new name.



 Click here to cut, paste, or copy a Tag

Cut, Paste, or Copy a Tag

You can also cut, paste, and copy Tags within the Tag Browser. Right click on the Tag in the Tag Browser. Choose the command you want. 

  • Delete: Completely removes the Tag.
  • Cut: Delete the Tag from the current location, but leave it in the clipboard to be pasted elsewhere in the browser.
  • Copy: Make a copy of the Tag and leaves it in the clipboard to be pasted elsewhere in the browser.
  • Paste: Pastes the Tag you've cut or copied into the currently selected location in the Tag Browser. 





Addressing Bits

In bindings and scripting there are ways to read a single bit of a word, but you can also have a Tag to read and write to a single bit. In order to address individual bits in Ignition, you must create a separate OPC Tag pointing directly to the specific bit in the PLC. 

When the integer values that come from the OPC Tags are a series of binary bits, it is then possible to address each bit. For example, an integer value can have a 16-bit binary representation as shown here: 

Integer

Bit level representation

How it works

40960,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,0,0,0212 = 4096
10251,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,0,0,0,0,020 + 210 = 1025

Note: 

Addressing bits may work differently depending on the type of device you are addressing. Most commonly you will either use /<bit> like /0 or /1, or [<bit>] like [0] or [1], or will use a . like .0 or .1. IE:

  • Micrologix: [device]N7:1/0
  • ControlLogix: [device]Folder/Tag.0
  • Siemens: [device]I0.0

Address an Individual Bit in a Micrologix

In this example, we want to address bits from a known integer value: 1025. This is represented as above, with the first (0) and eleventh (10) bits true and all others false. Our Gateway is connected to a MicroLogix PLC named MLX. To address an individual bit, do the following:

  1. From the Tag Browser window, create an OPC Tag to have a specific value:
    Data Type: Integer
    OPC Item Path:   [MLX]B3:0 

  2. Once created, set the Tag value to 1025
     
  3. Then create another new OPC Tag to show only the value of the first bit of our previous Tag:
    Data Type: Boolean

    OPC Item Path:  [MLX]B3:0/0  (for Micrologic, you can specify the bit as: 0/0 or 0.0. That is, with a slash/ or a period.) 
    [MLX]B3:0/0
     has a value of "1" or a Boolean value of "True" because the first bit is true (integer value is odd).


  4. You can create a Tag for any of the other individual bits. For example, create a new OPC Tag with a Boolean value to the second bit of the original Tag as follows:
    D
    ata Type: Boolean
    O
    PC Item Path:  [MLX]B3:0/1 
    [MLX]B3:0/1 has a value of "0" or a Boolean value of "False" because the second bit is false. 

Once you have your Tags created, try changing the boolean values and see the Integer Tag change.


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Addressing Bits



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