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Help Within LabVIEW: Detailed Explanation

NI Example Finder
For most LabVIEW projects, especially when you are new to LabVIEW, it is beneficial to start from a working
example and modify the code to fit your needs.
Use the NI Example Finder to browse or search examples installed on your computer. These examples
demonstrate how to use LabVIEW to perform a wide variety of test, measurement, control, and design tasks.
Select Help >> Find Examples or click the Find Examples link in the Examples section of the Getting Started
window to launch the NI Example Finder.
Examples can show you how to use specific VIs or functions. You can right-click a VI or function on the block
diagram or on a pinned palette and select Examples from the shortcut menu to display a help topic with links
to examples for that VI or function. You can modify an example VI to fit an application, or you can copy and
paste from one or more examples into a VI that you create.

Figure 1. NI Example Finder

Hardware drivers such as NI-DAQmx or LabVIEW Plug and Play instrument drivers install examples into the
Hardware Input and Output folder, which is an effective starting point when working with hardware devices.

NI Code Exchange
In addition to the examples that install with LabVIEW, thousands more are available online at
Online examples include both community and NI code that you can download and use as a starting point for
your own applications.

Using LabVIEW In-Product Help

Use the Context Help window and the LabVIEW Help when creating and editing VIs within the LabVIEW

Context Help Window

The Context Help window displays basic information about LabVIEW objects when you move the cursor over
each object. To toggle display of the Context Help window, select Help >> Show Context Help, press the
<Ctrl-H> keys, or click the Show Context Help Window button on the toolbar.
When you move the cursor over front panel and block diagram objects, the Context Help window displays the
icon for subVIs, functions, constants, controls, and indicators, with wires attached to each terminal. When you
move the cursor over dialog box options, the Context Help window displays descriptions of those options.

Figure 2. Context Help Window

Click the Show Optional Terminals and Full Path button located on the lower left corner of the Context
Help window to display the optional terminals of a connector pane and to display the full path to a VI. Optional
terminals are shown by wire stubs, informing you that other connections exist. The detailed mode displays all
terminals, as shown in Figure 3. The labels of required terminals appear bold, recommended terminals appear
as plain text, and optional terminals appear dimmed.

Figure 3. Detailed Context Help Window

Click the Lock Context Help button to lock the current contents of the Context Help window. When the
contents are locked, moving the cursor over another object does not change the contents of the window. To
unlock the window, click the button again. You also can access this option from the Help menu.

If a corresponding LabVIEW Help topic exists for an object the Context Help window describes, a blue
Detailed Help link appears in the Context Help window. Also, the More Help button (shown above) is
enabled. Click the link or the button to display the LabVIEW Help for more information about the object.

LabVIEW Help
The LabVIEW Help is the best source of detailed information about specific features and functions in LabVIEW.
Each topic is broken down into a Concepts section with detailed descriptions and a How-To section with stepby-step instructions for using LabVIEW features.

Figure 4. LabVIEW Help Content Tree

You can access the LabVIEW Help by clicking the More Help button in the Context Help window, selecting
Help >> Search the LabVIEW Help, or clicking the blue Detailed Help link in the Context Help window. You
also can right-click an object and select Help from the shortcut menu.
After you install a LabVIEW add-on such as a toolkit, module, or driver, the documentation for that add-on
appears in the LabVIEW Help or appears in a separate help system you access by selecting Help >> Add-On
Help, where Add-On Help is the name of the separate help system for the add-on.

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