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Macro System Features
Daqarta's scripted Macro System allows you to automate many tasks. Each macro consists of one or more commands that directly operate controls, without needing to open their respective control dialogs. Even very long sequences of commands operate virtually instantly.
You can keep this dialog open while you work, to automate frequent tasks or to act as the command center for an entire test suite. No other dialogs need to be opened, though you can have macros open them to prompt manual control where desired.
Speaking of prompts, the macro system includes commands for creating pop-up prompt messages. These can act as reminders, or guide novice operators through a series of tests.
The highlighted "Startup" macro at the top of the list has a special ID of '!', which means it will run automatically every time Daqarta starts up. You can use this to set initial test parameters, and prompt the operator for needed information.
Besides replacing keystrokes or mouse clicks to operate ordinary Daqarta controls, macros can perform operations that are not otherwise available. For example, you can use timer macros to wait for specified intervals or wait until a specified time before proceeding. For very long waits, the macro can automatically waken the system from Standby or Hibernate mode at the desired time.
Macros can also enter random values, limited to a specified range, into Daqarta controls. Macros can wait for certain events, like Pause, or Average done, or they can wait for the operator to enter data into a specified Field such as a test code number or subject name.
Macros can also use two important control methods normally found in high-level programming languages: IF statements allow blocks of macro commands to be run conditionally, and Loops allow repeating a macro a specified number of times. IF statements can be nested up to 5 levels deep, and Loops can be nested up to 16 levels deep, with an arbitrary number of IFs or Loops at each level.
Macros have access to their own independent variables that can persist across sessions, to allow you to keep track of internal macro states or counts.Pro-level users can save macro collections and load them from macro files, including an auto-loaded file that can run the special startup macro. (Non-Pro users, including free expired-trial users, can use all macro features except saving macro files. They can use files created before the trials expired, and they can use macros created during the current session. They can also use Instant Macros... see below.)
Macros are created or edited via the Edit dialog shown at the right. The macro shown here is named "Prompt" and has no ID, since it is intended only for use by other macros and not via a F8 hot-key. There is also no Description. The bulk of the dialog is taken up by the macro Definition.
This macro is called to show optional prompt messages at 3 different stages of a test sequence. A separate macro (PromptTog, at the bottom of the list in the top image) sets macro variable VarA to 1 if the prompts are desired, or 0 if not. If it is set to 0, the first IF branch in the Prompt macro simply removes the prompt message, if any. Otherwise, the ELSE branch is taken.
A caller macro first sets VarB to a value from 0 to 2 to select the stage-specific message before calling Prompt. The value of VarB is tested by 3 sequential IF branches, only one of which will be taken to show the required message.
Instant Macros and Accessibility
In addition to "normal" macros, Daqarta also offers an "Instant Macro". By hitting F8 followed by Spacebar at any time, the Edit dialog pops up with a default Name and the cursor positioned in the Definition field. Enter your command or commands and hit SHIFT+Enter. The dialog vanishes and the macro runs immediately.
Instant Macros can be used with Windows copy and paste operations from an external text editor of your choice, allowing mouse-free operation of Daqarta with tools you are already comfortable with. This option is always available, even without a Daqarta license, so you can use it with the free Generator.
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