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How Can I Hide a Control and Retain its Front Panel Functionality in LabVIEW?

Primary Software:
Primary Software Version: 6.0
Primary Software Fixed Version: N/A
Secondary Software: N/A

Hiding a control in LabVIEW is easy, but when I make the control invisible I can't click on it anymore. I would like to keep the functionality of the control, but I also want it to stay invisible to the user.

The two most common ways of hiding a front panel control are:
  1. Setting the "Visible" property to false through a property node
  2. Right clicking on the terminal and selecting Hide Control.
This method is great if there is no intention of any user interaction with the control, which is probably the most common intent for an invisible control. This document addresses the situations where you may want a control to be invisible, but also retain its same functionality and operational capabilities. One possible use case for this would be if you place an invisible boolean button on top of a control such that when the user clicks on that control it will actually change the state of the invisible boolean button.

Many controls can be made invisible easily, while others may require a little extra effort.  Another technique for making a control invisible requires you to make all components of the control invisible.
  1. Use the Set Color tool and select the transparent color (denoted with a T) and click on all parts of a control in all possible states. With boolean controls, after you make all the elements in one state invisible, you will need to toggle the other state and also make those elements invisible.

  2. After making all possible parts of a control transparent, you will need to hide the text. Most text can be hidden by right clicking on a control and unchecking everything under the Visible Item menu. There are some controls, which have text that cannot be hidden this way; menu rings are an example of this because the ring text doesn't show up as an option in the Visible Items menu. In this case, you must create a property node for the control and select the Visible property under the menu that is associated with the text that you want to hide. For the menu ring, the property you would select is Ring Text»Visible and set it to False.  After wiring a False to this property you will need to run the VI once in order for the text to be set as invisible, and then you can delete the property node from your block diagram because it is no longer needed.

  3. With controls there will still be elements that cannot hidden using the first two methods. If this is the case, then right click on the control and select Advanced»Customize... This will take you to the customizing section of the control where the first thing you want to do is select from the main menu Operate»Change to Customize Mode. Now, each element of the control will have a box associated with it that can be moved and resized. In order to hide the elements that are still visible, you will need to resize the element as small as you can until it is no longer visible.
At this point you should have a control that appears invisible, but is still active on the front panel.

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Report Date: 03/13/2003
Last Updated: 01/03/2012
Document ID: 2VCDEA2G

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