Measure Now toggle icon

davehocum 7 years ago in Metrology Software / PC-DMIS updated 2 years ago 43

Add a Warning dialog window when this toggle is ON or some type of control to allow the user to be able to know the Auto Feature will be executed.

I agree. Maybe a messagebox that says "The feature will now be measured"? Or perhaps change the "OK" button to amber when the icon is checked/active. That would be an easy, non-intrusive way to visually display the "measure now" state.


I like this idea. Maybe an exclamation mark as graphics can be activated when the both measure now and mode/dcc are activated.

Image 270

This is part of the whole user interface blending into one bland mess.   It's hard to see that a tiny little button is depressed.  Or tell one tool bar from another since they are pretty much all the same color. Or if you click on a tool bar item it's hard to see that the item has been toggled on or off.   End of rant....

True.  But if they made every button stand out than it would be obnoxious.  I think pop up warnings, as cumbersome as they may be sometimes, is the key.  OR if you could have a 'safety' toggle that disables or enables measure now. 

Measure Now is really useful when programming, but once it's programmed and a simple edit causes a crash it .. is not fun.

I work in quality; Obnoxious I can handle...   It's hunting for the icon/ button that is camouflaged in with all the other buttons that bother me

Hunting for it to turn it on or turn it off?

yes, both...

When nearly everything is the same color and there is not that much contrast between the foreground and the background, it can be harder than what it needs to be to find something. I've been working with the new color scheme since it first came out and still have difficulties at times.  It has gotten somewhat better.  If I were buying brand new and things were pretty much even between competing systems,  I would lean toward the system where I could most easily distinguish between the controls.  

The Measure Now Toggle should have been fixed years ago. Taking the easy way out by changing the color was a waste of time. If Hexagon do not feel the need to change this feature at least make this feature available for Basic scripting automation. This way one could make a simple script to turn this feature on or off globally. For the icon contrast colors, I do find myself spending more time looking for the shape of the icon within the same color icons. Meaning that the color of the icons was a means to sort thru the toolbars. Once one located the color then one can locate the icon shape. Remember, a user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.

I have to agree with Kingsid1.  The issue with the Measure Now button, is more than just turning it on or off.

  • Its location is not appropriate.  It should not be next to icons (which are already too clutter) that deal with coordinates.  If anything, a Measure Now or Once icon should be next to Create and/or Close if editing.  Its location is not intuitive for a user.  Existing PCDDMIS users have the hardest time at adapting to our changes.

  • The mode should not be saved with the feature, or change state if one is editing.  In my view, Measure Once makes sense for editing as the user would be working on a feature and more often than not it would be a change in a region of program he/she does not need execution for (unless so chosen).  I read comments inthe thread about being offline and then online. If offline, Measure Now state should not be allowed to play any role.  I know this can be debated, but to me Measure Now should be a switch for feature creating rather than for feature editing.  If editing (there is no Create button), choosing Measure Now should be a "must click if you need it" rather than a prior mode setting.
  • Colors.  I know we change colors to make things more marketable, more appealing, etc.  I, however, feel that we tend to forget there are people color blind, there are people with vision issues.  I would tell you one general comment I get from customers/users in the field is how often we change icons, and our over use of tiny pictures they cannot make sense out of.  Hovering the mouse for a "Help tip" has turned into the easiest way to find what the icon does.

What is the status with the Measure Now button? How many years will it take to fix this request? At least make this feature available to control using some form of scripting.

-This seems very intuitive.  Measure ONCE button near the create button.  Literally the only time you would need it is right when you would decide while creating it.  It makes complete sense that measure now should move to measure once.

I like this a lot.  Makes more sense.  Flows better.  Has my vote.

In 2017 R2, the Measure Now icon has been given more visual prominence over the other icons on that dialog (through color), and it's image is also aligned with the execute icon. We feel this should make it clearer that switching this on is going to cause movement, and it may be sufficient for this request without adding a warning. It would be interesting to hear feedback on this, and whether a warning is still required. Thanks.

Thank you Neil for the update. Will give this a test asap.

Thanks Dave. It's only in QA at the moment, but should make release prior to the Tech Preview.

Neil, Is this the New Measure Now Toggle ?

Neil, I tested the new Measure Now Toggle and there still is a need for improvement of control for this switch.

The problem with this type of switch is that it will execute without warning. For an example if only one out nine Auto Vector points has this switch left turned on by another programmer. A different programmer opens this program and believed it was opened in offline mode. But instead the program is opened in online mode. Now the programmer needs to adjust the Avoidance Move Distance for all nine Auto Vector points. This programmer now opens the first Auto Vector point changes the distance and checks to see if the Measure Now toggle is off then selects OK. Then moves to the next Auto Vector point and changes that distance and selects OK. Now this programmer is on the seventh Auto Vector point and changes the distance and doesn't realize the Measure Now toggle switch is ON. After changing the Avoidance Move Distance the programmer selects OK. Now this programmer thinks that the program is open in offline mode. But its not and instead the program is online executing that Auto Vector point without warning. Not a safe design for the programmer, operator and equipment.


There should be a way of turning the Measure Now toggle switch OFF without opening every feature that has this switch turned ON.

An option to disable this feature entirely would be great.  At the least, have the toggle visible (and editable) from the command window and a warning before movement is initiated.

Has this being addressed any further?  I see this is a 10 month old thread, but agree with Dave that a warning is kosher and also agree with Dbolt's last comment.  Any time machine motion is impending from an idle state (no current execution), a warning should be given.

Whilst I think the suggestions are good, we are focused on the Idea Center items with higher votes at the moment. I'm sure this ones time will come.

This should have been address when I suggested this back in early 2009 to Gary Hobart when I was part of a Demo for the Vision systems.

I'm just now seeing this. There needs to be a way to turn them all off or disable it for the program. I am constantly editing programs that have it on sporadically and I've had to hit the estop more times than I care to count.

A-machine-insp, I agree. I have not use this setting for over 10 years because the lack of global editing and warnings for this feature. The worst part of this Measure Now Toggle is its location. The Polar/Cartesian Toggle is above the Measure Now Toggle. Example: If one is trying to select the Polar/Cartesian Toggle and notices that, the coordinates did not change. Therefore, one tries to select the Polar/Cartesian Toggle again and now notices the coordinates changing. Editing complete and they select OK and hear the machine moving to try to measure the feature. They hit the E-Stop to stop the machine from crashing. What happen is that when they try to select the Polar/Cartesian Toggle and notices that the coordinates did not change. They did not realize that they selected Measure Now Toggle instead. I just keep thinking who had the bright Idea to have this feature setup this way without any WARNING!! 

Is it possible to update those great proposal ?


I can, if Hexagon is serious about correcting this issue.

The problem with the current implementation of the “Measure Now” toggle on Auto Features is that in several cases some equipment was damaged just editing a feature for a simple change.

The reason is that the “Measure Now” toggle has been left active after the feature was actually created. If later anyone does F9 on the feature and hits OK for whatever reason (editing a nominal, a parameter, simply checking, or by mistake) without searching for that toggle and deactivating it, the machine goes straight to measure the feature from where it actualy stands.

After reading all the proposals above, the safe solution to me is to change the behavior of the "MeasureNow" toggle so that it can be used only intentionally.
I see warnings, other than being intrusive or annoying, not enough to guarantee the expected result in terms of equipment protection.

Here's my proposal for a design change, in the form of of acceptance criteria for testing:

  1. All the Auto Features in the measurement routines from older versions will get the “Measure Now” toggle deactivated on load regardless how they were set: load MR from older version with a mix of all the Contact and Laser (directly measured and extracted) Auto Features, F9 on all of them, verify that the “Measure Now” toggle is deactivated (unpressed), hit OK, verify that machine does not move. This must be tested also with features in groups.
  2. It must be possible for the user to activate the “Measure Now” toggle and, when hitting OK, the machine must measure the feature. The Auto Feature dialog will then close. At that point, F9 on the feature and verify that the “Measure Now” toggle is back deactivated (unpressed). This must be tested using the same MR as above.
  3. Create a new MR from scratch with a mix of all the Contact and Laser (directly measured and extracted) Auto Features and verify for all of them that the “Measure Now” toggle is deactivated (unpressed) by default and hit CREATE verifying that machine does not move. This must be done both creating more features with the Auto Feature dialog kept open and closing it in-between groups of features (create say three features in sequence without closing the dialog, then close it and create say other two features in sequence).
  4. Create a new MR from scratch as on point 3 and verify for all of them that the “Measure Now” toggle is deactivated (unpressed) by default. While creating the first feature, activate the “Measure Now” toggle before hitting CREATE and verify that machine actually measures the feature. Do not close the dialog and create another feature of the same kind (another circle if that was), verify that the “Measure Now” toggle is kept activated, hit CREATE and verify that machine actually measures the feature. Do not close the dialog and create another feature of a different kind (say a slot this time), verify that the “Measure Now” toggle is kept activated, hit CREATE and verify that machine actually measures the feature. Close the Auto Feature dialog. Create any feature, verify that the “Measure Now” toggle is deactivated (unpressed).

A lot good suggestions here. I do not believe that the Measure Now will be updated any time soon. It would be great if Hexagon would give an explanation to why?

Well in reality that proposal, as said, is already in the form of acceptance criteria (design specs in other words) because the plan is to get this done in the current development cycle (target version Pc-Dmis 2023.1).

My intention is to hear if there's a general consensus on this approach and then go ahead with the implementation.

I'm all for the suggestion you posted, Ale.

Everytime you open an autofeature dialog, the "measure now" toggle shall be deactivated regardless of prior state.

The only time the "measure now" toggle button can stay activated (and measure stuff), is as long as the autofeature dialog is open. Maybe have a check on dialog show/close: measure_now_button.clicked = false?


Yes that's part of the design on point 4.

Please do not overcomplicate it. The overall consensus is that the toggle should be switched off on any "created" new auto feature regardless of how the setting is currently in default and whether they switch from a circle to a line, or whatever.  

1.  Open a Measurement Routine.  Measure Now setting should be irrelevant.

2. Edit (F9) any autofeature, Measure Now should be set OFF.  (if editing).

3. Create a new auto feature command, use the current default setting for feature creation.

I am sure that the status on whether a feature is being created or edited is known.  The "Create" button does not exist for once thing if we are editing a feature.  Therefore, if "Create" button is not in the dialog, Measure Now should be set OFF upon opening that dialog, but user should be allowed to switch on if needed for that instance.  The user may be knowingly want the measure now to execute, so as to avoid having to Cntrl-E the feature.

In reading your comment, I'm not seeing differences with the 4 steps listed in the design specs.

Please consider that these steps are very detailed on purpose.

They may look complex/redundant at first sight, but as said they're in the form of acceptance criteria to ensure the tester will have all the test cases well defined and will not miss any part of the whole workflow.

My issues is with bullet #1.  Why bother with settings in existing routines whether old or new?  The overall issue w/ Measure Now is as for the start of the request 3 years ago.  If I open (edit) a feature, that toggle should be switched OFF, period.  Whether my current default for creating new auto features is ON or OFF.
If the dialog is in Create mode ( a brand new feature being added) the default state "for creation" should remain.
Our issue as CMM or vision programmers is with us editing a feature and the toggle being ON when in editing mode the decision to Measure Now should be a "that instance, programmer choice"  Not the default setting for new features.  To me this can be easily control at the autofeature dialog level.  We never ever have a create button in an autofeature we are editing.   I understand there has to be an implementation and testing workflow. I am not disagreeing w/ the 4 points.  Just saying that at least one of them seems overkill.
On opening a feature always disable Measure NOw.  Let user consiously set it on if he/she wants.

The "default state" for the "measure now" button shouldn't exist. We have several programmers, if one of them forgets to disable this button, it becomes the default setting (at least it used to, when settings were read from the registry), we don't use MSE.

My vote falls on that the autofeature dialog instance controlling the "measure now" on or off - not as a "global " setting for creating new features.

The Measure Now button was created for CMM programmers, so that when you create a feature you can have it execute realtime as you go.  If you are doing offline programming, it is useless, but for programmers working on a big part, being able to create and execute features w/o closing the dialog and doing CTRL-E is a VERY useful tool.  If I switch from circle to cylinder, YES I want the setting remembered, and that was actually something that was added as it did not used to.
This whole subject is about editing features.  No editing process should have a default execute now setting.  It should be at the CMM programmer's discretion when in edit dialog mode whether to enable or not for that instance of the editing dialog.
I think it would help to read from top down the entire topic which is now over 3 years old.
I see repeat arguments on the same exact thing over and over missing the point originally brought.


If the user opens the Auto Feature dialog and activates the "MeasureNow" toggle, it persists as long as the diaalog is not closed. Which means that the user can keep on programming features (same or different kind, as explained on step 4) with the only need to hit Create for each feature. All of them will be measured.

This is a core functionality that I personally use a lot when programming and don't want to lose it myself.

By the way, that capability is not useful only online. I'm also programming offline Laser features extracted from point cloud data previously scanned online or from dataset coming from anywhere and like to get them executed (extracted) immediately so that I can then create all of my dimensions using actual data.

However, the changes here are to prevent accidental machine moves when editing features. That's the core issue reported in the initial request and in all the other comments, so that's what we're trying to address.

Fully agree. Create versus Editing behavior.  Core issue.


Again, I'm not seeing differences also with step 1 of the acceptance criteria. The note on loading existing measurement routines to me is important, so that the user knows that this change we're going to implement will affect also existing measurement routines from older versions when they're loaded in a version featuring this change.

And again, in other words that's to ensure that the "MeasureNow" toggle is always off at that stage.

No more defaults based on the measurement routine or the feature type. It's a global change.

If the user has enabled "Measure Now" in the (still opened) autofeature dialog, it will stay enabled until the dialog is closed, alas creating and measuring as many features as the user wish, like Ale's 4-step procedure.

If you are talking about having the measure now enabled throughout the current part program, then no - that will not work. The enabling of "measure now" will only be active as long as that instance of that autofeature dialog is open.

The Measure Now toggle has been updated. Check it out in the 2023.1 Technical Preview.