Description

Windows come in three flavors: main screens, popups, and docked windows. By manipulating a window's properties, you can transform any window into various configurations.

Video recorded using: Ignition 7.7

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[00:00] There are three different variety of windows in Ignition, main screen, docked and popup. You can create a new window of any type by right-clicking on the Window section in your project browser and then selecting the type of window you want to create. I'mna create all three here, right now, before I discuss the differences. I'll create a Main Window, I'll create a Popup Window and I'll create a Docked Window. When you create a Docked Window, it's going to ask you for a docking position, North, South, East or West. I'm just going to choose North, for now, 'cause we'll get into the differences a little bit later. Main screen windows are defined as being a window that is set to Start Maximized and does not display a title bar or a border. These windows take up all the available space on the screen, minus any space being used by Docked Windows. Besides the name of the window that I haven't changed yet, you can tell the window is a Main Screen window by checking the Appearance Properties. We can see the Appearance and Behavior Properties are set in such a way that it defines a Main Screen window. Now, Popup Windows are defined as being floating windows that are mot maximized, so if we check our Popup Window that we created earlier over here, you'll see that the Docked Position property is set to Floating, which means that when the window is opened it will initially be floating on top of any Main Screen windows that may also be open. You do also have to pay attention to the layer Property for Docked Windows. Most often, you will want to set that to something higher than zero. The reason for this is because you can lose your window behind other open Main Screen windows by merely moving focus away from your popup to the main screen window. The last thing you want is a bunch of open windows that the user may be unaware of, possibly bogging down your project. Now the layer property defines a sort of Z order for windows in your project. Windows with a higher Layer Property value will appear on top of those with lower values. If two windows have the same layer value, then the window that currently has focus will be displayed as the top level window. So if you find yourself in a situation where you're losing windows, but they're still listed as being open, take a look at the Layer Property for the windows in question. The last type of windows we have are Docked Windows. Docked windows have the dock position set to anything but floating, and you can see that there are several different options here, as we saw when we created the windows, North, South, East and West. When you dock a window, you essentially stick it to the side of the screen, and no other windows are allowed to overlap it. Most often these windows will be long and skinny, and used to make certain information always available to the user, no matter what other Main Screen window they may be working on in the project. They are also handy for implementing different navigation strategies, which we'll get into in a later video. Finally, it should be noted that you can change a type of a window. There is nothing to prevent you from going and adjusting the appropriate Properties of a window after it's been created and essentially redefine it as a different type. I can easily turn my Main Window here, into a Docked Window by setting the docked position to, let's say, North. When I do that, you'll see that it automatically unchecks the Start Maximized and Maximizable Properties. And then I'd also probably want to readjust this window to a more appropriate size for a Docked Window. And then I'd probably want to turn my Titlebar Display Policies to Never, that way that they never show up. So there's nothing keeping you from redefining your window after its creation. Choosing the window type when you first create it is merely something for convenience, and it has really no final say over what the window's type will be throughout the lifetime of the project. So if you ever find yourself in a situation where you're deleting windows, and recreating them, in order to change their type, just remember that type's not set in stone. You can always change it my modifying the Properties of the window itself.

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