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Creating a Custom User Interface
Every modeler’s needs are different. ExtendSim offers a variety of methods to customize the application’s interface so you can work in the most convenient and effective manner. This chapter discusses several methods you can use to create a user interface, including:
• Cloning dialog and plotter items to change model parameters and report results • Centralizingdatainadatabase
• Simplifyingandorganizingmodelswithhierarchy
• Creating a dashboard interface
• UsingtheNotebooktodocumentandmanageyourmodels
• Adding Controls to change and monitor critical parameters on the fly • Interacting with the model user
• Using external applications as an interface
• Documenting models using text and graphics
In most programs, buttons and dialog parameters are found only in dialogs. The advantage of this is you always know where to find them. However, having all your choices in dialogs can be a disadvantage in large models. For instance, you may want easy access to parameters in blocks that are scattered in multiple hierarchical layers throughout the model. Or you might want to provide a more accessible interface for other users of the model. ExtendSim over- comes these problems by giving you freedom to clone dialog and plotter items and place them in a more convenient location, effectively creating a link with the original dialog item.
Cloning gives you easier access to dialog and plotter items when you want to change settings or monitor simulation results. Dialog parameter fields, tables, text, buttons, checkboxes, and radio buttons, as well as graphs and data tables from plotters can all be cloned. Cloned items can be placed in the model window, Notebook, or a hierarchical block’s worksheet, and text labels can be used to make the cloned item easy to understand. You can clone multiple items from the same dialog or plotter or clone the same item to more than one location. Every clone acts exactly like the original: if you change the original or any clone, all instances are updated immediately.
Using cloned dialog items puts you in direct control of your models. Clone the dialog items to a centralized location so you can easily change parameters. Label the clones so they are well- documented and use them as the simulation runs, such as clicking buttons or entering values in text entry boxes. For example, clone a Constant block’s Constant value field to change the value between simulations without having to open the block’s dialog, making it easier to test different assumptions. Or have an area of the model or its Notebook that lets you monitor sev- eral numeric values at a time, rather than just using the Plotter’s graph to watch the simulation results.
☞ Clones that display changes will cause the simulation to run slower.
How to clone a dialog item
The same technique is used to clone an item onto the model or hierarchical block’s worksheet or into a Notebook.
Open the Reservoir 1 model (located in the ExtendSim9\Examples\Tutorial folder) Double-click the Holding Tank block to open its dialog.
How To

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