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Proficy* HMI/SCADA - iFIX
C R E A T I N G P I C T U R E S
V e r s i o n 5 . 8
N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 3
Disclaimer of Warranties and Liability
The information contained in this manual is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. assumes no responsibilities for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies whatsoever. Without limiting the foregoing, GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. disclaims any and all warranties, expressed or implied, including the warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to the information contained in this manual and the equipment or software described herein. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of such information, equipment and software, is upon the buyer or user. GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. shall not be liable for any damages, including special or consequential damages, arising out of the user of such information, equipment and software, even if GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. has been advised in advance of the possibility of such damages. The user of the information contained in the manual and the software described herein is subject to the GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. standard license agreement, which must be accepted by the buyer or user before the use of such information, equipment or software.
Trademark Notices
©2013 General Electric Company. All rights reserved.
Proficy is a registered trademark of GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Company.
*Trademark of GE Intelligent Platforms, Inc.
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Getting Started ............................................................................................................................ 4
Opening Existing Pictures .................................................................................................... 5
Using Basic Drawing Tools .................................................................................................... 13
Using Drawing Cursors ...................................................................................................... 14
Using the Properties Window ............................................................................................. 24
Using the Color Box ........................................................................................................... 26
Using the Find Mouse Coordinates Tool ............................................................................. 27
Creataing Pictures
Showing a Picture .............................................................................................................. 30
Refreshing a Picture .......................................................................................................... 31
Refreshing a Thumbnail ..................................................................................................... 31
Closing a Picture ................................................................................................................ 31
Defining the Picture Height and Width ................................................................................ 33
Setting the Picture Background and Fade Colors ............................................................... 34
Setting Gradient Fill Properties ........................................................................................... 34
Viewing Your Picture in the Run-time Environment ............................................................. 38
Upgrading Pictures to Enhanced Coordinates .................................................................... 39
Upgrading Hardcoded Values in Animations....................................................................... 41
Selecting Zoom to Fit ......................................................................................................... 45
Performing Advanced Functions in Pictures ........................................................................... 46
Sharing Picture Files .......................................................................................................... 46
Creating Pictures without Title bars .................................................................................... 49
Overview Checklist ................................................................................................................ 49
Setting the Fade Type of a Picture ..................................................................................... 51
Setting the Gradient Angle of a Picture's Fade Type ........................................................... 52
Zooming In and Out of Pictures .......................................................................................... 52
Table of Contents
Viewing all Picture and Dynamo Set Thumbnails at Once ................................................... 52
Enabling or Disabling Window Properties ........................................................................... 53
Resolving Pictures ............................................................................................................. 53
Importing Windows Metafiles ............................................................................................. 54
Defining the Attributes of a Custom Picture ........................................................................ 55
Using Specified Dimensions ............................................................................................... 55
Modifying Picture Properties .............................................................................................. 55
Tracking Cursor Coordinates ............................................................................................. 58
Using the Grid .................................................................................................................... 58
The Document ................................................................................................................... 61
The Viewport ..................................................................................................................... 62
Tips: Sizing and Locating a Picture .................................................................................... 69
Controlling a Picture's Magnification ................................................................................... 70
Selecting Window Properties ............................................................................................. 74
Designing Your Pictures ........................................................................................................ 77
Creataing Pictures
Common Elements of the Create Picture Wizard ................................................................ 85
Types of Pictures in the Create Picture Wizard ................................................................... 86
Overview of the Create Picture Wizard Process ................................................................. 87
How Do I... ......................................................................................................................... 89
Working with Bitmaps ........................................................................................................ 95
Optimizing Picture Performance ............................................................................................. 97
Running Picture Converter ................................................................................................. 99
Using Picture Caching ......................................................................................................... 102
Disabling Picture Caching for Individual Pictures .............................................................. 107
Table of Contents
Changing Picture Settings in the FixUserPreferences.ini File ............................................... 109
Configuring Whether a Prompt Appears on Close for Changes in Run Mode .................... 110
Changing the Nudge Settings........................................................................................... 110
Disabling the Right-Click Menu ........................................................................................ 112
Developing Objects in Pictures ................................................................................................ 113
Adding Objects to Pictures ................................................................................................... 113
Drawing Shapes .............................................................................................................. 116
Adding Data Links ............................................................................................................ 120
Adding Push Buttons ....................................................................................................... 126
Adding Variable Objects ................................................................................................... 126
Adding OLE Objects ........................................................................................................ 127
Adding a Proficy Plant Applications Dynamo .................................................................... 130
Adding Timer Objects ...................................................................................................... 131
Adding Event Objects ...................................................................................................... 131
Using Shortcut Keys ........................................................................................................ 132
Manipulating Objects Using Toolbars ............................................................................... 137
Resizing Objects .............................................................................................................. 141
Rotating Objects .............................................................................................................. 142
Reshaping Objects........................................................................................................... 143
Aligning Objects ............................................................................................................... 151
Flipping Objects ............................................................................................................... 154
Trimming Lines at the Intersection .................................................................................... 162
Converting Lines to Polyline ............................................................................................. 163
Making Lines Horizontal or Vertical .................................................................................. 164
Converting Lines and Polylines to Pipe ............................................................................ 165
Modifying Pipe Characteristics ......................................................................................... 166
Default Connection Points ................................................................................................ 170
Creating Complex Objects ................................................................................................... 177
Layering and Visibility ...................................................................................................... 178
Pictures Dialog Boxes .......................................................................................................... 183
Table of Contents
Add Area Dialog Box ........................................................................................................ 186
Add ColorSet Dialog Box ................................................................................................. 186
Add Date In Dialog Box .................................................................................................... 187
Add Date Last Dialog Box ................................................................................................ 188
Add Description Dialog Box .............................................................................................. 189
Add Node Dialog Box ....................................................................................................... 190
Add Priority Dialog Box .................................................................................................... 190
Add Time In Dialog Box ................................................................................................... 192
Add Time Last Dialog Box ................................................................................................ 193
Advanced Animations Dialog Box..................................................................................... 194
Basic Animation Dialog Box ............................................................................................. 272
Button Caption Converter Dialog Box ............................................................................... 277
Chart Customization Dialog Box ....................................................................................... 277
Color Selection Dialog Box............................................................................................... 286
Historical Datalink Dialog Box .......................................................................................... 337
Modify Area Dialog Box .................................................................................................... 341
Modify Configuration Dialog Box ...................................................................................... 342
Modify Pipe Characteristics Dialog Box ............................................................................ 343
New Level Dialog Box ...................................................................................................... 344
Select BackgroundColor Dialog Box ................................................................................. 345
How Do I... ....................................................................................................................... 350
Running Wizards ............................................................................................................. 411
Experts Summary ............................................................................................................ 421
Using Dynamos ............................................................................................................... 484
Controlling Object Properties ............................................................................................... 484
How Properties Work ....................................................................................................... 485
Animating Object Properties ................................................................................................ 489
How Animations Work ...................................................................................................... 489
Defining Data Sources ..................................................................................................... 494
Using Blinking Thresholds ................................................................................................ 505
Using Shared Thresholds ................................................................................................. 505
Animating a Grouped Object ................................................................................................ 506
Modifying Animations ........................................................................................................... 507
Deleting Animations ............................................................................................................. 509
Building Expressions ........................................................................................................... 509
Using the Expression Builder Dialog Box.......................................................................... 509
Specifying Tolerance, Deadband, and Refresh Rate ........................................................ 511
Table of Contents
Selecting a Data Source from a List ................................................................................. 520
Working with Basic Animations Overview ......................................................................... 521
Working with Advanced Animations Overview .................................................................. 522
Modifying Properties ........................................................................................................ 523
Running Your Pictures ............................................................................................................. 530
Interacting with Charts in Run Time .................................................................................. 531
Locating Objects .............................................................................................................. 532
Using Experts to Expedite Pictures at Run Time .................................................................. 535
Multiple Picture Instances and Run Mode ............................................................................ 537
Important Information About Run Mode ............................................................................ 538
Using Tag Status and Quick Trend Pictures ............................................................................. 539
Accessing Tag Status, Quick Trend, and Tag Control Panel Pictures ................................... 540
The Tag Status Picture .................................................................................................... 541
The Quick Trend Picture .................................................................................................. 542
The Tag Control Panel Picture ......................................................................................... 543
Translating Picture Text ....................................................................................................... 545
Examples of How to Switch Between Languages ............................................................. 546
How Do I... ....................................................................................................................... 551
Creataing Pictures
Using Tag Group Symbols in Pictures .............................................................................. 561
Entering a Symbol in a Picture ......................................................................................... 562
Importing and Exporting Tag Group Files ......................................................................... 566
Tag Group Editor Dialog Boxes ........................................................................................ 567
How Do I.............................................................................................................................. 570
Master Dynamos and Dynamo Instances ......................................................................... 581
Pre-Built Dynamos and Dynamos Created Before iFIX 4.5 ............................................... 581
Determining Which Dynamo Sets Contain Dynamo Objects ............................................. 582
Converting Dynamos to Dynamo Objects in Pictures ........................................................ 585
Using the Dynamo Toolbar............................................................................................... 587
Updating Dynamo Objects in Pictures .............................................................................. 618
Changing the Configuration of a Dynamo ......................................................................... 620
Dynamo Dialog Boxes...................................................................................................... 621
Introduction to the Key Macro Editor ................................................................................ 661
Defining Key Macros ........................................................................................................ 665
Tips And Tricks ................................................................................................................ 672
How Do I... ....................................................................................................................... 674
The Creating Pictures manual is intended for process control engineers, integrators, and developers responsible
for designing and creating operator displays, and configuring the development and run-time environments. The
manual assumes familiarity with the process database and the iFIX® WorkSpace.
Reference Documents
For related information on iFIX®, refer to the following manuals:
Building a SCADA System
2
Introduction
iFIX® allows developers and process engineers to create dynamic pictures with minimal effort. By providing an
open-environment, ActiveX format, iFIX lets you incorporate internet controls (OCXs), reuse elements from
other sources (such as bitmaps), or embed other OLE automation applications into your pictures.
While creating pictures in the Proficy iFIX WorkSpace, you can utilize features that give you the control you need to customize your drawings. You can view your pictures by merely switching to the run-time environment
with the click of a mouse.
Picture Coordinate Systems
Before creating or editing pictures or dynamo sets, it is important to be aware of the coordinate system you are
using. iFIX 5.8 supports the following two coordinate systems:
Logical
Enhanced
The Logical Coordinate System is the legacy system that supports graphics created with iFIX 5.5 or earlier. The
Logical Coordinate System uses logical units for measurement, and provides graphic scaling that is dependent
on the screen resolution (or aspect ratio) of the terminal used to create the graphic; thus, graphics may not
accurately scale to different screen sizes.
The Enhanced Coordinate System is a feature of iFIX 5.8, which uses postscript points for units of
measurement instead of logical units. The Enhanced Coordinate System is a screen independent coordinate
system, which accurately scales across different screens sizes. When the screen resolution (or aspect ratio)
changes, the picture automatically adjusts to the new resolution (or aspect ratio).
iFIX 5.8 also provides a means to easily upgrade Logical Coordinate System graphics to the Enhanced
Coordinate System. For more information on this feature, refer to the Picture Coordinate System section.
Creating Pictures with Purpose
Whether you are a new or an expert user, iFIX gives you the power and flexibility to create pictures that provide
solutions to your process needs. Let's take two scenarios to illustrate this concept:
Using Key Macros
3
Joe. Joe is a system developer for a small shop. He is slightly intimidated by Visual Basic and would
prefer not to learn scripting to create and control his pictures. However, he wants to take advantage of
VBA's capabilities by customizing a few objects in his picture.
Joe's Solution. Using iFIX Experts, Joe attaches scripts to the objects in his picture without leaving his
development screen or entering the VBA environment. Experts give him a simple means to perform
the processes he wants.
Janet. Janet is a Process Manager for a large processing plant. She is well-versed in VBA, and is more
than eager to unleash the power of iFIX using her knowledge of Visual Basic. Specifically, Janet wants
the ability to override the default property settings of a series of existing objects and create her own
properties, including complex animations from several different data sources and algorithms. She also
wants to add custom controls and toolbars to simplify the process for her developers.
Janet's Solution. iFIX provides the tools that Janet needs to fully customize her environment and fine-
tune the control she has over her application. Using the Animations dialog box, she animates certain
properties of her objects by specifying a data source and conversion method. Then, by writing VBA
scripts, she overrides existing defaults, inserts custom controls, and creates a development toolbar that
saves her developers time.
Having all the power you need doesn't mean it should be difficult to use. Developing complex pictures using process automation software was once a tedious and intimidating venture, as it required you to use proprietary
command languages and graphics formats that, in the end, gave you limited flexibility. iFIX offers an alternate
solution – an easy-to-implement and use, object and task-oriented development tool that lets you create pictures
with purpose.
This manual details all of the concepts introduced in the above example. The following table helps you locate
specific concepts throughout the various chapters.
iFIX Picture Concepts
To learn about... Refer to the section... In the chapter...
Experts Using Wizards and Experts Using Process Assistants to
Expedite Pictures
Process
Environment
Using animations Connecting to a Data Source Animating Object Properties
Creataing Pictures
Getting Started
This chapter shows you how to start creating and drawing pictures right away. Some of the basic concepts of
iFIX pictures are also described.
Creating and Opening Pictures
Using Basic Drawing Tools
Before You Begin
Before you start creating pictures, make sure you have started the iFIX WorkSpace. It is also helpful to know
which data sources you want to connect to ahead of time.
Creating and Opening Pictures
When you start the Proficy iFIX WorkSpace, you are ready to develop your picture. You can start by creating a
new picture or opening an existing one.
Before you begin, it is important to know which coordinate system the picture uses. Typically, legacy pictures (iFIX 5.5 or earlier) use the Logical Coordinate System and new pictures (iFIX 5.8 or greater) use the Enhanced
Coordinate System. For more information on coordinate systems, refer to the Picture Coordinate System
section.
For Classic view, to create a new picture, click the New Picture button on the Standard toolbar as shown:
For Ribbon view, click the WorkSpace button, select New, and then click Picture. Or, click Picture in the New group, on the Home tab.
By default, the Create Picture Wizard appears and guides you through the picture creation process.
If a single untitled picture appears when you click the New Picture button, the Create Picture wizard has been
disabled. Enable it by selecting the following check box on the Picture Preferences tab of the User Preferences
dialog box: Show Picture Wizard from New Picture Menu.
Using Key Macros
5
For more information on the Create Picture wizard, refer to the Using the Create Picture Wizard section in the
Implementing Pictures in Your Process chapter.
Opening Existing Pictures
To open an existing picture, double-click the picture from the Pictures folder in the system tree. By default, the system tree is docked on the left side of the screen, and the picture appears to the right of it. To create more
room for your picture, you can do any of the following:
Dock the system tree on the other side of the screen by dragging it
Set the system tree to float on top of your picture by dragging it away from the sides of the screen.
Hide the system tree completely so that the picture appears to fit the full screen.
For more information on using the system tree of the WorkSpace, refer to the Using the Proficy iFIX
WorkSpace chapter of the Understanding iFIX manual.
If the picture you opened has links to an external data source, such as a Proficy Historian server, which is not
configured in the WorkSpace, you will receive an error message indicating that the data source is not configured
in WorkSpace.
Saving Pictures
In Classic view, to save your drawing, click the Save button on the Standard toolbar. In Ribbon view, to save your drawing, click the Application button, and then click Save. You can save your picture as either a .GRF file
or .SVG file. Both file types are stored, by default, in the PIC folder in the path where iFIX is installed, but only
.GRF files are displayed in the system tree. You can save .SVG files in any location but you cannot open them
in iFIX Workspace, as these files are used for exporting to third-party applications, such as Proficy Real-Time
Information Portal.
When saving picture files, as either file type, you must follow the guidelines of VBA naming constraints. For
example, do not use:
Anything but a letter as the first character.
Any of the following characters in a name: space, period, exclamation mark, @, &, $, #.
A name that exceeds 31 characters.
A name used by any object in your iFIX application. For example, you cannot have both a picture and
a rectangle named test.
6
Also, we recommend that you do not use any names that are common to other objects, functions, statements, or
methods in Visual Basic, as you may cancel one of the keywords in the code. For more information on VBA
Naming Conventions, refer to the VBA Naming Conventions section in the Writing Scripts manual.
Picture Coordinate Systems
The picture coordinate systems uniquely determine the position of a point or other geometric element in a picture.
All coordinates used by a picture, Dynamo Set, or animation are measured in the document's coordinate system,
which can be either:
Logical Coordinate System
The Logical Coordinate System is a legacy system that was used for pictures created with iFIX 5.5 or earlier. With the Logical Coordinate System, the screen resolution is measured in logical units. The logical unit value is
derived from the screen resolution of the terminal on which the picture was originally created. When viewing
this picture on a terminal with a different screen resolution, the picture may not automatically scale to the new
screen resolution.
The Logical Coordinate System uses the following properties to identify the logical units used for the height
and width of the document as displayed in the Property window.
Property Description
DocumentHeight Specifies the height of the document in logical units.
DocumentWidth Specifies the width of the document in logical units.
With the Logical Coordinate System, the Auto Scale option allows you to move pictures between screens with
the same resolution. However, when viewed on a screen with a different resolution, the picture many not scale
as desired. When moving pictures to a screen with a different resolution, it is recommended to use the Enhanced
Coordinate System.
Enhanced Coordinate System
The Enhanced Coordinate System is provided for iFIX 5.8 and greater. With the Enhanced Coordinate System, you can create a picture that provides independence from restricted screen resolution. For the Enhanced
Coordinate System, the dimension and position of a picture are measured in postscript points. The Enhanced
Coordinate System features automatic scaling of a picture when viewed on a screen with a resolution that is
different from the screen on which the picture was originally created. Once a picture is created with the
Enhanced Coordinate System, the picture retains its original aspects even when viewed on screens with
different resolutions.
The Enhanced Coordinate System uses the following properties to reflect the height, width, and coordinate
system of the graphic. Refer to the iFIX Automation Reference e-book for more information on these
properties.
EnhancedCoordinates Identifies the picture coordinate system as either - True (Enhanced Coordinate
System) or False (Logical Coordinate System).
You can upgrade a picture created with the Logical Coordinate System to the Enhanced Coordinate System.
The Enhanced Coordinate System expert converts the picture from logical units to postscript points. During the
upgrade process, the picture in the Logical Coordinate System is saved to a Backup folder before the picture is
upgraded. This allows you to revert back to the original picture in logical units if you want to. Also, when a
picture is upgraded, the icon changes to indicate the upgraded picture.
By default, the Enhanced Coordinate System is enabled for new pictures. Existing legacy pictures remain in the
Logical Coordinate System until you upgrade them to the Enhanced Coordinate System.
Zoom to Fit
The Enhanced Coordinate System provides a Zoom to Fit viewing preference that is enabled for run mode. Zoom To
Fit suppresses scroll bars…