A Sample of ATEasy IDE Customizations

Knowledge Base Article # Q200272

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Summary This article discusses some of the ways you can customize the ATEasy Integrated Development Environment (IDE)to improve your development experience.
This article discusses some of the ways you can customize the ATEasy development environment to improve your programming experience.  ATEasy lets you improve your development experience by providing the user with control of:
  • Test Log standardization
  • Modification of Variable prefix macros
  • Code Editor Fonts
  • Workspace Colors
  • Menus and Toolbars
  • External Tools
In this article, we are specifically examining menu / toolbar customization and workspace optimization.

Add User-Defined Tools to the Menu

Many times, while developing an application using ATEasy, a developer will need to access additional applications outside of ATEasy.  Examples of types of these applications can be software front panels for instruments, programmer resources such as a hex editor or calculator, or shortcuts to informational resources such as ATEasy forum. If an application is used repeatedly, it is best to create a menu item within ATEasy to open the external application with just one click.

Let's start with a simple example.  Here is the process for adding a toolbar item to open the Calculator application:
  • In ATEasy, open the Customize dialog box by selecting from the menu bar: Tools | Customize...
  • Select the Tools tab from the Customize dialog box.
  • First click the New (Insert) button at the top of the Menu contents list box.
  • Enter the name Calculator in the newly created item.
  • Enter Calc.exe in the Command text box.
At this point, you can click the Test button to open the Calculator application.  Additionally, you can close the Customize dialog box and select your newly created Calculator from the Tools menu.

Calculator inserted in the Menu contents list


User-created tools are assigned a 1-indexed designation based upon their position in the Menu contents list box.  Notice from the above image that PXI/PCI Explorer is first on the list (Tool 1) and Calculator is second on the list (Tool 2).

Customize the Toolbar

Let's continue by adding the Calculator to the toolbar:
  • In ATEasy, open the Customize dialog box by selecting from the menu bar: Tools | Customize...
  • Select the Commands tab from the Customize dialog box
  • Select Tools from the Categories list
  • Click and drag Tool 2 to the toolbar
Click and Drag Tool 2 to the toolbar


Assigning a Keyboard Shortcut to a Command

At this point, you can use the Calculator toolbar item.  But we can further improve utility by adding a keyboard shortcut to the Calculator button that we just created.

Assigning a keyboard shortcut to a menu item:
  • Open the Customize dialog box by selecting from the menu bar: Tools | Customize...
  • Select the Keyboard tab from the Customize dialog box
  • Select Tools from the Category drop-down list
  • Select UserTool2 from the Commands list
  • Click the label field under Press New Short Key.  At this point, the next thing you type will be entered as a shortcut key.
  • Press Ctrl Alt and C
  • Finally, click Assign
Adding a keyboard shortcut to User Tool 2


Using the New Tool Command

You can now access your user-created tool in three ways:
  • Select Calculator from the Tools menu
  • Click the Tool 2 button on the toolbar
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+C while the ATEasy IDE is in focus
Remember that within the custom tool creator, you can also program in hard coded arguments or you can prompt the user to enter arguments by enabling the Prompt for Arguments checkbox.  In the following example, the called application is Internet Explorer and the argument is a website.  When the user selects this menu item, an new browser window is opened to the MTS Forums for convenient discussion of ATEasy problems and solutions.

An example of a custom tool with arguments


IDE Color Customization

The color of the toolbar and IDE can be customized to personalize your workspace.  This customization is available in the Workspace tab of the Options dialog.  Hue and saturation can be changed with the slider controls and the default color scheme can be restored by clicking the Reset button.

Color Customization of the IDE


Customizing the Code/Description Views using the Options dialog, Text Editor page

To change the way code and descriptions are displayed, Select Tools | Options from the menu to open the Options dialog. Select the Text Editor tab to modify the way that your source code is displayed within ATEasy.  The 'Face' drop-down list allows you to choose from any of your currently installed fixed-pitch or mono-spaced fonts. Font size can be increased for readability or reduced to optimize screen real estate.  

Text Editor is used to modify the way source code is displayed


In the Tabs group, you can also optimize screen real estate by modifying the Width value of Tabs.  The default setting (4) sets each tab equal to 4 blank spaces.  Source code can be made more compact by reducing the width value, while increasing the value makes the structure of your code more obvious and readable.  

Text Editor is used to modify the way source code is displayed


Changing Options settings such as the Tab Width does not modify the underlying ATEasy code. Changing the settings only alters the way that the code is displayed to the development computer's current ATEasy user.  The source code remains the same.  Because of this, several programmers can share the same ATEasy test application files without impacting other developers' user experience.  Plus, the customization changes made will persist between ATEasy sessions.

Where to go from here

To learn more about customization of the IDE, use the ATEasy on-Line help to search for the following topics:
  • Customizing the IDE
  • Options (Tools Menu)
Article Date 9/9/2016 10:33:54 AM     Updated: 9/15/2017 10:27:55 AM
Keywords ATEasy, Environment, Streamlining, Optimization, Programming

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