Introduction To The NA Toolbox
When editing a page within an NA project, the toolbox becomes the source of all the visible items that can be put on the page. The toolbox appears as a pane on the right side by default. If the toolbox is not visible, select toolbox from ‘View’ Menu.
The Toolbox Contains:
• Shapes – e.g. polygons and circles
• Objects – e.g. buttons and gauges
• Graphics – complex shapes such as pipes or motors
• IAGs – pre-configured graphics with functionality
• Custom Objects – user customised objects with properties, animations & events
These items in the toolbox can be added to the page using a drag & drop operation.
Using the Toolbox
The toolbox is a hierarchical menu system where each section can be opened up to reveal the contents. As each section is opened the previous section closes. To open up a section you must click on the section header. When you hover over each object or shape you are given a preview.
To add an item to the page, click on the shape or item and drag it to the page. Once on the page you can configure the item using the properties window For more information on general properties, see the Pages chapter.
There are two main ways of viewing the items in the toolbox. By default the objects are presented in a list view showing an icon and a name for the object. You can also choose a grid view which shows just the icon. The buttons to switch between views are on the top right of the toolbox pane.
Searching the Toolbox
The search bar at the top of the toolbox allows you to search the entire toolbox for an object or shape.
Type the search term e.g. ‘Pipe’ into the search bar and press return. Drag the required object and place on the page.
Adding Custom Items To The Toolbox
It is possible to add further items to the toolbox (for example objects with specific properties, animations or actions & events). This is ideal for objects that are required to be used frequently. It saves the time to customise the objects.
Even groups of objects can be added to the toolbox. To add an object or group of objects, right click on the item and choose ‘Add to Toolbox’.
Expressions, variables animations and events & actions used by these items are also saved into the toolbox. Therefore when used again, these variables must exist within the project, or the object will require to be linked to new variables.
Note: code used by these objects (e.g. subroutines) will not be stored in the toolbox. This is a key difference between custom objects and IAGs.
Once an item is added to the toolbox, right click it and change the properties as follows:
• Name – the name as it appears in the toolbox
• Keywords – search keywords to help users find this custom object
• Description – the long description shown at the bottom of the toolbox when the item is selected
1.5 Further Information On Toolbox Objects
For further information on individual toolbox objects and their functionality see the Introduction To NA Toolbox Objects article
Introduction to the NA series HMI