New Features in Origin 2023b: Floating Windows

Origin 2023b introduces the Floating Window feature to allow you to take full advantage of desktop space with multi-monitor workstations. Origin Windows can now be moved outside of the Origin workspace as independent windows. These Floating Windows have customizable Menus and Toolbar buttons so you don’t have to move back to the main Origin window to access them.

How to Float a Window

The Floating Windows feature can be toggled on and off with the options under Windows: Float Windows menu. If it is turned on—any Origin Window—including Workbooks, Matrix books, Graphs, Layouts, and Image Windows can be dragged outside of the Origin Workspace.

  • Independent – Floating Windows and the main Origin window work independently. I.e. minimizing the main window will not minimize the Floating Windows.
  • Synchronized – Minimizing or restoring the main Origin window will also minimize the Floating Windows.
  • Disabled – Cannot float windows outside the main Origin window.

You will be asked to restart Origin to accept the change.

The System Variable @FWD controls the drag directions allowed for window floating:

  • @FWD=0: All drag directions enabled
  • @FWD=1: Horizontal direction only (default)
  • @FWD=2: Vertical direction only

The active window can also be Floated by using the hotkey [Ctrl + F9] or Window: Float Active Window. If a window is maximized in the Origin Workspace, using the hotkey or menu will make it floating and maximized on screen. If there is more than one monitor, it will be maximized on the second monitor.

A single window can be dragged and dropped back into the Origin workspace. To move all Floating Windows back into the Origin Workspace, use the hotkey [Ctrl + Shift + F9] or Window: Retract Floating Windows.

Toolbars, Menus, and the Object Manager

The Floating Windows have their own Menus and Toolbar buttons since access to these features may be far away on another monitor in the main Origin Window.

Press F1 in a Floating Window will bring up the Start menu and allow keyword searches for menus, toolbars, and etc.

The Object Manger for each window can be toggled on and off with the button. (Note: The icon image in the GIF is old)

You can control the location of the Object Manager with the Page Property page.fwom:

  • page.fwom=0: Hide the Object Manager
  • page.fwom=1/2/3/4/5: Corresponds to setting the Object Manager to the Top/Left/Right/Bottom/Float position
  • page.fwom=10: If you Object Manager is hidden, you can use this to activate its last set position

The Menus shown can be customized by going to Preferences: Customize Floating Window Menus.

The Toolbar buttons can be customized by going to View: Toolbars or [Ctrl +T]. Select the type of Floating Window toolbar you want to edit and drag and drop buttons you want to add from the Button Groups tab. Right-click and delete the buttons you want to remove.

The last group on Button Groups tab is for installed Apps in Origin. You can also drag your favorite apps to floating window toolbar.

Other Floating Window Controls

In the Project Explorer list, Floating Windows are differentiated from normal windows by color. To set the color, use the System Variables @FWCA and @FWCI. Use the LabTalk function, color(r,g,b,1), to convert RGB values to a decimal value:

  • @FWCA=color(r,g,b,1): Accepts an RGB decimal argument to set the color of an active Floating Window
  • @FWCI=color(r,g,b,1): Accepts an RGB decimal argument to set the color of an inactive Floating Window

For example, this will set the active Floating Window to red, and inactive Floating Windows to green:


Bringing Up Dialogs in Floating Windows

The current logic for the initial dialog location is that it will appear at the center of the monitor where your cursor is located. If you decide to move the dialog to a new position, its location will only be remembered in that particular Origin session. Once you restart Origin, it will use the cursor position again.

For example, you have two graph windows, one in the main Origin workspace on the main monitor and the other is a floating graph on a secondary monitor. If your cursor is in main workspace and you open the Plot Details dialog by double-clicking the graph window, it will appear on the center of main monitor. If you double-click the floating graph window to open the Plot Details dialog, your cursor will be on the secondary monitor and thus the dialog will appear at the center of that monitor.

If you decide to reposition the dialogs, you should know that the dialog positions are unique for each monitor. In the example above, try repositioning the Plot Details in the main monitor and secondary monitor. You will see that the locations are remembered separately. And again, restarting Origin will reset the locations and will revert back to the cursor logic.

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