June 23, 2011
Let’s See Your Toolbar Do This!
The Situation: The shop floor operator is using a basic data entry project, such as the one shown below. When the operator finishes taking measurements for a lot, you would like for him to print out a certificate of compliance with minimum effort.
So how do we solve it? It should be easy, right? We create the chart in the project and have the operator select it and the print the chart.
That approach works OK, but what if we don’t want the compliance chart in the shop floor project or what if we need a series of charts for the compliance report? Then we end up with a confusing project with too many charts. We could create another ProFicient project with the proper compliance charts and link to it through a toolbar button. The operator would then click a button to open the compliance project, click a button to print all of the charts and then select a button to return to the original project. This method does work, but it involves having the operator make three selections and change projects to perform the printing.
What if we could create a toolbar button that would print reports from the correct project in one click? That’s exactly what toolbar scripts allow us to do. We can perform multiple commands from one toolbar button!
Here’s how it would work for this situation. First we use Word or Notepad to create a text file with the commands that we would like to use. For this problem, we want to create a document that will open the certificate of compliance project, print all of the charts and then return to the original project. To make the system dynamic, we’ll use the depart and deproc statements to “pass” the Part and Process from the shop floor project to the certificate of compliance report. Whenever the user selects the toolbar button, not only will the project open and print, but it will open and print with the correct Part and Process!
Here is an example of the text for the “Script”:
Certificate of Compliance.ipj/PART=%depart(1)/PROC=%deproc(1)
The first line opens the “Certificate of Compliance.ipj” with the current Part and Process active. Then the second line performs the Print All command to print all charts within the project. The third line returns to the original shop floor project, “Basic Variables.ipj” with the same Part and Process active.
After creating the text file you must save it with the extension iptc. In this example I’ve named the text file or script, “Print Certificate.iptc” Whenever this file is invoked through the toolbar it will perform all three commands!
For the last step we have to link the script file to a toolbar button. Open the Toolbar Menu within the shop floor project and browse to the “Print Certificate.iptc” script that we just created. Please note that when browsing to the script file you will have to set the file type to Toolbar Command. The command line should be similar to Figure 2, however your path to the “Print Certificate.iptc” may be different.
Now whenever the operator clicks the “Print C of C” toolbar button the correct Certificate of Compliance reports (Figure 3) will print. One click and three different toolbar commands are invoked.
This is just one example of how to use toolbar scripts. There are many other ways to use scripts, such as opening a project and then running the Add command to automatically begin data entry. So don’t be afraid to try different things with the scripts and please share any cool tips that you come up with in the comments below!