Monday, 02 November 2020

Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts for VeriFire Tools VFT

There many shortcuts I have learnt over the years some more useful than others.

 

Upload (FROM)/ Download (TO)

  • Fast upload works on Standalone or network panels. Connect USB to Panel open VFT and click on local connection. When you see the panels come online, right click the panel or site name for Networks and select upload, select either new project or existing , click OK and the program or programs are uploaded.
  • Fast Download of configuration, log in to panel right click Site name, select distributed download fill in the required details and download. Note this will still do a validation but only stop the download if there is a critical error.

Arranging and Viewing Data

Freeze/Unfreeze

    • It is used to keep a column or row displayed on the screen while scrolling through the rest of the data-entry grid.
    • Click into an active cell and double-click the Freeze icon at the top of the data-entry grid.
    • The columns to the left and rows above that cell will highlight turquoise to indicate that they are frozen in place; frozen cells are still editable.
    • Double-click the Unfreeze icon to restore standard scrolling of the grid.

Choosing Columns (Hide/Unhide)

    • Click the Column Chooser icon at the top of the data-entry grid.
    • On the column list, click to uncheck names of columns you want hidden.  
    • Click the red [x] on the column list to close the list.
    • To restore hidden columns, open Column Chooser and re-check the column names.

Rearranging Column Order

    • Click on a column header and drag it to a new position,
    • To restore column order, click Default View icon at the top of the data-entry grid.

Sorting Column Data

    • Click on a column name to sort by that column value.
    • The column header will highlight in orange while selected, and an arrow indicating sort-direction will be added.  

Data in this screen has been sorted in reverse alphabetical order of the assigned Type Code Label. Uninstalled device addresses appear at the end of the list.

Find/Replace Specific Value

    • Click on the Find icon at the top of the data-entry grid.
    • Enter search value and check Match Case if appropriate.
    • Click Find Next/Find All to highlight values with the specified text.
    • Use the Replace tab to edit the text in the selected column if it contains "Replaceable" data. Click the "Replaceable Columns List" button to see which columns are valid for the current data-entry grid.

 Filtering by Column Values

    • Click the drop-down arrow that appears in the column's top row as part of the column header.
    • Filter options include: All, Custom, Blanks, NonBlanks, and each unique entry entered by programming.
    • Once a filter is assigned, the left box in the column's top row will indicate the type of filter.
    • Select "Custom" to bring up a dialogue box that allows multi-layer filters. This example will filter to display only devices with the extended label "West Wing".  

      NOTE: When filtering alphabetical data, "less than" means lower in the alphabet, for example, "A<Z".
      NOTE: Free-entry fields such as labels are sorted alphabetically, even if numbers are included in the string.  (e.g. Floor 17 will sort before Floor 7).

Clearing a column filter

Click the no-filter box that appears in the column's top row as part of the column header.

 

Clearing all filters for the entire grid  

Click the Clear Filter icon at the top of the data-entry grid
OR Click the top row of the control column, the top-left cell below the first column header.  

 

Saving a Customized SLC Point-Programming Grid

  • VeriFire Tools can save layouts of SLC Point-Programming grids.
  • Customizations that can be saved are: filtering, sorting, column choosing, column order, and column sizing.
  • A saved layout will be preserved when VeriFire Tools is closed and restarted.
  • When a grid is set up as desired, click the "Save Layout" button on the grid's command menu.
  • When a layout is saved, this button will display as "Remove Layout"; click this to restore the default layout. The change will be made after you click out of the previously saved point-programming grid, and will display when you click back in.
  • When additional customization is made and should be saved, click "Modify

Colour coding of data-entry grid

  • Orange rows:

    –Dark orange is the selected row(s) being copied/edited.

    –Light orange is the destination (row where info is being pasted).  

  • Red rows: selected row will be overwritten if changes are applied.

  • Turquoise rows and columns: highlighted data is frozen in position to remain onscreen when scrolling through grid.

  • Grey rows: When the entire row is grey, the selected row will NOT be overwritten if changes are applied.

    Grey cells: When one column is highlighted, the field is unavailable or display-only.  

  • Green text: editable field

  • Blue text: changed field not yet saved.

 

Replicate, Clone, and Duplicate

Replicate, clone, and duplicate nodes, SLC loops, and devices, to re-use parts of your network configuration. Programming is copied with the old network addresses adjusted to the new one. Destination labels will pre-fill with information indicating the new address.

Replicate a Node

Replicate copies all programming on an existing node to a new node address.

  • Open a project's Edit Session Tree.
  • Right-click on the node and select Replicate.   
  • Enter new address and press OK.
  • Destination labels will pre-fill with information indicating the new address.  

Duplicate an SLC Loop

SLC loops are duplicated with a simple copy-paste.

  • Click on the SLC Loops branch of the edit-session tree.
  • On the data-entry grid in the main work area, highlight an SLC loop, and right-click on the selection arrow.

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  • Select Copy.
  • Right-click in another row and select either Paste Loop or Paste Loop with Devices.

 Clone a Device

The SLC loop's data-entry grid also provides a Clone Device dialog box.  Type in specific addresses and/or address ranges where a duplicate device will be created.

  • Save the data-entry grid.  
  • Click the Clone Device icon  at the top of the modules & detectors data-entry grid.   
  • Enter the Source Device Address to be cloned.   
  • Type the range(s) where devices will be created.  
    –For a sequential range, use a hyphen to separate addresses:  "22-35".
    –For multiple ranges, use a comma to separate the non-sequential ranges: "22-35, 42-57".  
  • If you want to overwrite devices at those addresses, check "Overwrite if already configured".
  • Review the color-coded list of devices that displays:
    Orange. No device currently in that address.
    Red. Device currently in that address and you have checked "Overwrite if already configured".
    Gray.
    Device currently in that address will not be overwritten.
  • Click Update to apply, or Cancel to go back and correct your clone instructions.

SLC loop devices can also be duplicated with a simple copy-paste in the data-entry grid. All device programming is carried over.

Copy/Paste Rows

The items in a row can be duplicated into a series of other rows: Copy the entire row, then highlight destination row(s)s, and paste.  The content of one row will be copied over to the other rows, and the identifier (point address, message ID, etc) will be adjusted for each row to keep each unique.

  • To make a single copy with copy/paste:
    –Highlight a row, and right-click on the selection arrow in the control column.
    –Select Copy.
    –Right-click in another row and click Paste.
  • To make a more than one copy in a sequence:
    –Highlight a row, and right-click on the selection arrow in the control column.
    –Select Copy.
    –Click-and-drag the mouse across several rows to highlight them orange, then right-click and select Paste.
  • To paste more than one copy in non-sequential rows:
    –Highlight a row, and right-click on the selection arrow in the control column.
    –Select Copy.
    –Hold the control key while clicking two or more rows, then right-click and select Paste.  

NOTE: These copies can be pasted from one SLC loop (or node) to another of "like" type.  "Like" means that device/protocol/node and version are the same.  For example, rows copied from the detectors on a FlashScan loop attached to a version 28 AFP 3030 can be pasted to detectors on a FlashScan loop on another version 28 AFP 3030

  • To copy sets of rows
    –Hold the shift key while clicking to select two or more adjacent rows, or hold the control key while clicking to select non-adjacent rows (i.e. skipping some).
    –Right-click on the selection arrow in the control column.
    –Select Copy.
    –Navigate to the destination, hold the shift or control key to select multiple rows, and paste. The sets of rows will paste in the same order and truncate or repeat if the destination number of rows is different.   
    • If 5 rows are copied and 3 rows are highlighted for pasting, the first 3 rows of the copied sequence will be pasted.
    • If 5 rows are copied, and 7 rows are highlighted for pasting, one full sequence will be pasted, AND the first two rows will be pasted at the bottom.  
    • If 5 rows are copied, and 10 rows are highlighted for pasting, two sequences will be pasted.

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Importing Labels from an Excel Worksheet

Excel import is available in VeriFire Tools.  The following types of labels are supported:

  • Detector labels
  • Module labels
  • General Zone labels
  • Custom Action Messages

Procedure:

  • Select a group of string label cells from an Excel worksheet.
  • Copy or Ctrl C
    NOTE:  To paste correctly, the Excel cells must be in a continuous range, with no hidden rows.
  • Open the appropriate data-entry grid
  • Highlight the destination cells and right-click.
  • Select the new "Paste from Excel" context menu command.

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To learn more about VeriFire Tools, please read "How to use VeriFire Tools Project Management Features" or book your training at Notifier Discovery Training Portal.