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HOWTO - Establishing the Data Flow Relationship among Blocks

(Refresh this page to see the above demonstration again.)

The process of establishing the Data Flow Relationship among blocks is typically referred to as “connecting” blocks. The user should enter the CONNECT mode when attempting to connect blocks together. After selecting the CONNECT mode, the cursor changes to a target cursor, with the word “Source” under the target. As the name implies, the user should connect, by clicking once, on the source channel of the particular source block. After the source channel is selected, the cursor immediately changes to a target with the word “Dest” under the target. Now the user should connect, by clicking once, to the destination channel of the particular destination block. A line will be drawn immediately to indicate the data flow relationship that has just been established. This process should be repeated until all channels are connected.

Connect(Alt+Shift+C, Toolbar button): The Connect command places the environment in Connect mode. This will allow for the connection of individual block functions within the worksheet. The mouse cursor will be shown as a cross-hair cursor.

As the following figure shows, each block icon, or bitmap, is split into the source side (left half) and the destination side (right half). The user may connect from source to destination or from destination to source and is dependent upon which half of the block is first clicked. The cursor will change and be labeled either ‘SOURCE’ or ‘DEST’ depending on whether the next connection is for a source block or a destination block. It is possible to connect to multiple destinations by first left-clicking on the source block and then use the right-mouse button to click on the destination side of each block intended to be a destination. It is important to follow the correct connection scheme. For example, an input signal generator block connected to an output single-channel display block would use the ‘SOURCE’ cursor to select the signal generator block, and the ‘DEST’ cursor to select the single-channel display block.


When connecting from a source or to a destination block with more than one channel, the distinction among channels is accomplished by proximity (vertically oriented) to the desired channel. For example (see above diagram), if there are two channels to select between, the cursor should be located within the block icon boundaries, vertically closest to the desired channel arrow. For block functions with multiple connections, you may wish to resize the block icon such that connections can easier be made.