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CX-Designer improvement requests

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Hello All, (and especially BITS N BYTES!). Following the CX-Programmer Improvements thread, it appears that the 'man upstairs' IS interested in your opinions. Your time is now... Regards anonymous

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I like the way alarms are handled in CX, but it would be an icing on the cake if an 'Alarm Banner' was included, (similar or better than AB panelview's) I tried to create one, but unsuccesful. Created a common screen and displayed it in all pages, but unable to make it floating above the controls of individual pages. Thanks _______

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Something that I think of immediately. I would like a single project file to work with instead of a folder with almost 100 separate small files (excluding user image files!) and a separate project file! Copying projects around and backing up is driving me crazy! Now one is forced to use a compressing tool like zip or rar.

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Use Sheet 0 and place the alarm banner on the sheet. Apply Sheet 00 to all screens.

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I've tried to start a thread like this earlier when cx-programmer improvements thread started but no luck. so i'll paste here my sugestion from then. i would like just to drive attention of users, that CX-Designer doesn't allow to copy data from Edit Properties window (which is usually used for group edit) at all. it offers some basic Excel functionality (it can increment numbers in cells etc) but it ain't work with text. NS-Designer had the ability to copy data from Change Settings at Once window into Excel and vice versa. Why did they remove this functionality?? make them to go back things as it they were before (only regarding this Excel feature, the rest is great). desperate. this is a problem. i often have to write large portion of text for example 00.00 00.15 ... 20.00 hours. in ns-designer i've created it in Excel using its features and paste in Change settings at once window. this saves a lot of time. also i think it is beter that you can copy to Excel from edit properties window and vice versa for labels, numeral display/input, etc. As it was the case in NS-Designer. make them return Excel compatibility as in NS-Designer? regards to all Edited by tashinz

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This may seem a bit daft, but coming from a CNC background I assumed the CX-One package would 'link' all the modules used in a project. I should be able to enter a 'model' of my total system and CX-One should configure all the packages to suit. Therefore when I'm entering a DM address in CX-Designer it should show those DM's used in the PLC module linked to it and should use the same terminology. At Present 'D150' in my PLC is called 'SERIALA:DM00150' in my CX-Designer project - not exactly 'joined up writing' IMHO. It would help if the 'cross reference report' of CX-Prog was linked into CX-designer & Vice versa allowing easy look up of the address you want shown.(with the same name!). Using the 'label tags' to call the 'edit' display:-(numeral display and input). I use a lot of tables with 'Lables' of my variables and editable variable displays. It's nice & easy to set the 'display' portion of these to call up the keypad for data entry of the variable, but if you click on the 'label' portion of the table you cannot set it to call the keypad - I'm now sticking 'buttons' on top of these labels in order to call my own data entry pages - you should be able to call the keypad from either the numeral 'window' or / & its label in order to increase the screen window an operator has available to podge at with the sausages they call fingers. Also the menus are a bit different - for instance opening the last project in CX-programmer is std <File> look toward bottom & click, whereas Designer is <File><Recent projects> find & click - not quite the same 'look and feel'.(a niggle I know, but even MS has sorted these niggles out) I would hope to be able to open my whole project when I open CX-One with all the bits and maybe even a 'sniffer' routine for when I hook upto a new system, it could poll all the bits hooked up to the PLC including the HMI and sort out the configuration with little manual intervention.

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Another usefull feature would be an online 'grab' of the current values shown on the screen - very useful for writing manuals if the screen data you output from CX-designer had the correct values shown for DM's etc - at present most of my 'displays' show as FFFF rather than a proper number when I print the screens - I then have to muck about in a paint prog to put 'real' values in to make up the manual.

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Hi Mark, I use the test tool to put in the right numbers, lamps, switch states etc. Then I make a screencopy and put them in the manual, or use them for troubleshooting. Works great!

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u beat me to it...however a bit of a pain though i like mark suggestion.... :) ...

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Yup, I also use 'test' at present and then use 'MWSnap' to grab the screens (very good little program - you can put cursers on your screen grabs). But there are a few things 'Test' wont simulate and for these I have to 'hand paint' them in to get proper values. That's why I fancied a 'one touch' solution.....

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1. Agree with Mark. The test tool could be improved e.g. by adding possibility to enter REAL numbers, importing from excel bulk of values for the addresses in test window etc. Thanks for MWSnap. 2. In NS-Designer you could export whole project or screens to *.csv, edit in Excel, and then import back. this worked only for basic properties of objects (tabs in object's properties you can see when Display expanison tabs is not checked), and instead of widening this feature on all object's properties, they abolished all. you can now export only Label/Message, Alarm/Event and Confirmation dialog setting. There is a replacement for this in Property window so you can bulk edit but it is not as flexible and fast as edit in Excel. Bring this feature back please. 3. Bring back all Excel compatibility from NS-Designer to CX-Designer. 4. Make Flicker settings to be global (for whole project) and for individual screen, so you can choose. Now, when i put Alarm buton (which flickers on any alarm, and when you press it jumps to alarm screen) on a sheet that is attached to every screen, i have to set flicker properties on every window. 5. adding the possibility to use wmf/emf files? i don't know whether this is hardware related or not. now, i have to create bmp or jpg in corel with exact dimensions and add to CX-Designer. any resize of bmp or jpg in CX-Designer produce not preety picture so i don't use it. if i need a resize, open corel or paint, resize, back to CX-D. 6. for pop-ups title bar should be customizable or, if not, prettier, more MS Windows like. 7. library of shapes should be larger and prettier and customizable. the valves in library are ugly. this is for now. regards to all P.S. May the "CX-Supervisor improvements" thread also be started? there is a lot to improve there. Edited by tashinz

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Good idea.. consider it done.

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I only have NS-Designer so my issue may already be solved in CX-Designer, but I'll mention it anyway: I'd like to see the password feature changed to a heirarchy type so that personnel knowing the password for level 5 can enter this same password for any screen object that is assigned levels 1 thru 5. RIght now if all 5 password levels are being used in a project, it forces the person with full access to memorize all 5 passwords. Also, when a password prompt is displayed, it doesn't say which level is required.

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Good suggestion! I believe the password features havent changed with CX-D.

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No, it is not changed in CX-Designer, works all the same as NS-Designer. Very goog idea for passwords. didn't occur to my mind, but had that problem very often. Edited by tashinz

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ALARM/EVENT Alarm/Event Log does not allow more than one instance of a trigger bit. A bit can only be specified once as either rising-edge or trailing-edge. In many applications both the rising-edge and trailing-edge of the same trigger bit are used to signify two different alarm/events. The only way I have got this to work with CX designer it to set up an inverted state of the trigger bit either in PLC logic or with a project macro. This is a pain to track and manage, especially when adding or changing flags that are non-contiguous. So for CX Designer "In the Alarm/Event routine should allow both a RISING-EDGE and TRAILING-EDGE condition and message of the same trigger bit". COMMON APPLICATION DATABASE A single shared Database for ALL CX-ONE applications. Tired of generating/managing a database for each application. I know it can be done using CSV file Export/Import, but this is a poor substitution/excuse for a tightly integrated control package. TTFN -

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More 'mini' Smart Active parts (aimed at the NS5) would be good.

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Edit properties window for bulk editing should allow to edit all object's properties. It is often i need to bulk edit e.g. flicker address or control flag etc and there is no other way than to go one by one. it is time consuming, and i don't see a reason why all object's properties shouldn't bee bulk editable. I will check for more proposals soon. regards

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Tag database rather than individually addressing everything?

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i think that is good feature. that way you can access e.g. pictures directly, you replace a bmp in any place in project just by replacing it in project's folder with the same name. then, you can access point database directly in MS Access file. Currently i'm working project with 25 pump stations i.e. 25 NS12 devices. every point has prefix of that pump station e.g. ps1a, ps1b, ps2 etc.i create NS application for one pump station, ps1a, and reuse it. now, can someone tell me how can I replace only the prefix ps1a with ps1b (all addresses are the same, even the name of PLC hosts)? it can not be done except one by one replacing. you can not copy it to excel then replace, you can not delete all points and paste new, nothing. only solution i've found is to copy symbols from symbol table in MS Access file, copy the Symbol name field (all records) paste it to excel, replace ps1a to ps1b, then copy it back to Symbol table. everything fits, comments are retained with corresponding points. also, how can i bulk edit point names that are already referenced by any object? it can be done if the name is AutoGen but not in any other case. but then, why all of this should be done from point editor in CX-Designer? Edited by tashinz

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Aye, the lack of hierarchy (sp?) in passwords in NS Screens is a pain in the butt-hocks. Also, the default password keyboard is waaaaaaaaaaaay too small to be of any use. I've had to make my own by screen dumping a large system keypad, getting rid of the non [a-z,0-9] keys, putting a word button behind each "key" on the bitmap and writing my own routine in the PLC to accept up to 5 characters and load asterisks on a label display above. It works, but it was a lot of work to do.

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Patent pending or are you going to enrich the download section ?

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Aha! 5 Dollah and me send you software loooooonnnnng time! Actually, in my haste to triumph my developments, I found a bug (or two) - I hadn't figured on there being more than one login required: Supervisor, Operator, Engineer etc so I have to review the "project" Oooops

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It would be great to make some kind of export screen to jpg or bmp feature. this functionality exists in NT-Support Tool 3.3 to 4.8 they should put it in CX-Designer. The screen shots are often needed for documentation and this way I have to print screen paste to ms paint crop the picture and save it. when there are large number of screens it is time consuming. or this exists only I haven't found the feature?

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