LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange

Community Browser
About LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange

Do you have a feature idea for how to improve LabWindows/CVI? Submit and vote on ideas now!
  1. Browse by label or search in the LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange to see if your idea has previously been submitted. If your idea exists, be sure to vote for the idea by giving it kudos to indicate your approval!
  2. If your idea has not been submitted click New Idea to submit a product idea. You should submit a separate post for each idea. Watch as the community gives your idea kudos and adds their input.
  3. Give kudos to other ideas that you would like to see implemented!
  4. NI R&D will review ideas that have been submitted and update the status.

Note: the LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange is not the appropriate forum to submit technical support questions.

The LabWindows/CVI R&D team is committed to reviewing every idea submitted via the LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange. However, we cannot guarantee the implementation of any LabWindows/CVI Idea Exchange submission.

Top Kudoed Authors
User Kudos Count
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Post an idea



it was very nice to see clang updated to version 3.3 in CVI2015; I wish this support of current versions of clang will be continued in the future, so I am hoping that with CVI2017 we might get clang 3.9 or 4.0 because of the following issues:

- many many bug fixes in clang

- improved diagnostics

- support of C11

- full support of OpenMP 3.1 and beyond



At present CVI is missing a serious report printing facility that permits to create flexible, professional and good looking reports.

A quick search in CVI forum shows that periodically somebody posts questions about reporting but available instruments at the moment are not satisfactory in my experience.


As far as I can tell, a good reporting instrument:


  1. Should integrate easily with CVI
  2. Should be fully documented, with some example for the more typical types of reports (text + table, text + graph, text + image...)
  3. Should not rely on external programs (some customers have rigid constraints on the software installed on equipment machines; additionally, asking them to have full Word or Excel or Diadem installed only for reporting is just not serious)
  4. Should not rely on ActiveX controls to be licensed separately (same as above)
  5. Should permit to include text and graphics (images, graphs...) and define headers, footers, page numbering and other common features normally present in reports
  6. Should output data directly to the printer or in PDF format
  7. Should have a preview facility both for development and for the user (something that NIReports hasn't and will never have)



because I had installed CVI2010 on a brand new Windows 7 machine, I was curios to find out about all the service processes running on the system.

It seems that there are quite a few NI services that start after log-on. Some of  them seem superfluous, such as the Lookout Citadel service (no LabVIEW, no Lookout installed), but due to the lack of any information I did not bother trying to stop them



1) NI should critically review the services and only start the services that are absolutely needed.

2) Services that are optional might be selected by a checkbox during installation or from the Options / Environment setting

3) NI should provide some documentation / explanation of each service and why it is needed.



We have recently dropped CVI (as of 2009) as an option for use with our many data visualization applications.  The graphic performance is just too slow and clunky to put up with any longer and gets worse as we add features or try to make 'native looking' applications (that resize, animate, etc).  


Things like dragging/updating cursors is noticably clunky when you have more than one graph updating (linked cursors across more than one graph).  


Updating datasets in large tables is slow enough to watch it step through the rows.  Even using suggest tips like using ATTR_CTRL_VAL instead of SetTableCellVal, when a large table has to update... it's painfully noticeable. Basically any operation that updates a large portion of the UI.


Another example, try to resize and move controls (as most other applications do) on the EVENT_PANEL_SIZING?


I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that CVI doesn't use any graphics card acceleration? since workstation or netbook doesn't seem to make much difference in graphic performance.  


Our clients notice when our applications look 'clunky' and 'slow' when compared to smooth, responsive apps/interfaces from competitors.  It's often the little things that make a big difference in appearance.



In CVI 2013 the array display has changed (for the worse, in my opinion).


There are two minor inconveniences and one acute shortage I would like to see improved (hopefully prior to CVI2020 Smiley Wink)


First, the right click context menu: If I want to see values of a numerical array, it offers a 'Graphical Array View' but no 'Array View', so one first has to chose 'View Variable Value' and then 'Array Display' - maybe one could save one step and already provide the 'Array Display' in the first case...?


Second, the new Array View table still is very slow, not extremely slow as prior to SP1 but still very slow...


Most importantly, at present it is impossible to debug large arrays, large meaning arrays with more than 10000 elements. The current implementation requires to select a slice of data - but this makes it impossible to check or compare say array indices 5, 10005, and 20005...

Of course I agree that there is no need to simultaneously see more than 10000 data values - but why not have a table with say 100 rows that can be turned over, e.g.  displaying either elements 1-100, 101-200, ... this way one could access and inspect all array values...

If the thread that FileSelectPopup (and similar) is accessed is multithreaded, wacky things happen. The programmer can fix this by creating a new thread that is itself not multithreaded and pass information back to the current threrad. It would be helpful if the current functions were designed to default to create such a thread,  return the value(s), and garbage collect removing the programmer from the loop.


In the case of MultiFileSelectPopup, it is not clear to me what would be the best practice given the unknown number of results. I guess one could assume a limit for the number of results that may change as the Windows API does.


Other possible solutions can include an added parameter (variable switch) or with a whole new function. I could see the default case as an effective solution for legacy code that is partially refactored for multithreaded performance.

As of CVI2013 data tooltips and variable view do some kind of automatic rounding but based on 15 digits only... This prevents tracking numeric / rounding issues. Unfortunately, no possibility exists to show the full precision of doubles... Phrased more drastically one you cannot use CVI to debug numeric issues...


So I suggest to urgently add



  • as a minimum version the possibility to show true numbers, not rounded numbers, allowing true debugging
  • as a more general version the possibility to adjust the precision of displayed numeric values



well, the title says it all: extend the current partial support of C99 standard to full support

Starting CVI the IDE uses cpu resources even if sleeping, i.e. doing nothing except waiting for user input. It seems that the IDE is also using the scheme of SetSleepPolicy...


Today most other software does better and I would like to see an improved behavior: use cpu (and thus energy...) only if something actually needs to be done

It was a nice surprise when CVI provided clang as an external optimizing compiler. In the meantime, however, the initial clang version 1.0 has been significantly improved and now is at version 3.0 - but not for CVI users...


I would suggest that NI provides a current Windows binary of the compiler for everyone with a legal copy of CVI2010 or later. As the release cycles of CVI are quite long it would be convenient to obtain, on a biannual interval, interim updates of clang.




On a side note, this also would provide some motivation to keep/renew the SSP. Right now I consider it disappointing if the equivalent of several hundred Euros is a patch of CVI only. Other major companies such as Autodesk or Microsoft provide patches free of charge...


In principle CVI supports external compilers for an optimized release version such as Intel's ICL and I managed to successfully compile release versions using ICL 11.1.


However, documentation on this issue is sparse.


It is even worse if one attempts to use an external linker which might be appropriate if one attempts to use e.g. Intel's MKL. Here I would love to see the support of external linkers in combination with an improved documentation.


Similarly, CUDA is becoming more attractive for more demanding floating point applications - I would consider it very useful if NI could provide e.g. an application note of how to do this in an easy to follow tutorial.

As discussed here earlier I am using tooltips that show 'dynamic' information, e.g. the permitted data range of the respective control, available user actions..., These frequently depend on several other controls and parameters.


Right now, all other affected controls etc. need to call a function to re-build the tooltip text, and to more than 90% this is wasted effort because the tooltip text is changed again before it may get displayed...


Thus I would like to suggest a 'dimmer callback', similar to the menu dimmer callback. This 'tooltip dimmer callback' should be called just before the tooltip is going to be displayed, allowing to build/update the tooltip text only when needed.



It would be convienent at times to have a way to know if timer callbacks had been suspended by another part of the program by 

SuspendTimerCallbacks(), or if timers are running again from ResumeTimerCallbacks().  As far as I can tell there is currently no way to know this in CVI without manually keeping track of the last suspend/resume function called.  Thanks.

  • Performance

One thing, I'm comming accross with very often is, that the drawing updates of Table controls are very slowly, Sometimes, they bring the system to hanging, whithout increasing the processor load, and User Interface events (e.g. Commit events) are not recognized quick enough (up to 30 s delay, depends also on other events, e.g. Timer, HW events etc.).


On most of my projects, I was changing the Table controls to Tree controls, which are much more quicker in drawing updates. But sometimes, I need the Table features (e.g. Ring cells, picture cells etc.), so I'm not able to change the Table into a Tree.


According my expierience, Table controls should be updated every 2 s and Tree controls are able to be updated every 200 ms or faster without waiting for User Interface Events.


You should make Table controls nearly as quick as Tree controls...



  • Performance

I apologize if this has already been addressed but this was determined as a issue years ago and forced us to implement a workaround.


We use PloXY for large data sets (up to 16 MB has become pretty standard lately). To address lag years ago, we pared the data to be viewed to 4000 data points in background code and send that to PlotXY. However, when the user zooms - which is always, you must then go back to the original data to find the new best 4K data points prior to plotting the new data. The code usually works well but there are instances where it can shutdown unexpectedly - not often enough to fight through friutfully though.


As for an truly automated perhaps a more logical course of action is to retrieve the panel size and use that for the data sizing. Regardless, it would be nice to use the CVI built in function and then subsequent zooming etc could be possible via standard functions.



I think it would be a nice tool to save a panel which is generated dynamically from a source code. If I have a database with many variables which I want to set on a panel as controls, I could write an import of this database, generate a panel automatically and could save this panel as UIR file. After this I could use this automatically generated UIR file in a project.





CVI2013 does not seem to save debug information, instead it has to generate it every time a project is loaded. For large projects this can take some time...

Prior to CVI2013 we were used to a large *.cdb file with browse information which is now gone.


I suggest to save debug information (function list,...) to a file that is loaded on starting CVI so one can make use of this information 'immediately'.


My 2000 dollar worth, run of the mill desktop PC has 4 teraflop of brute computation power hiding in 4 GPUs. None of which is accessible for my programs I develop in Labwindows.


With the release of the new OpenCL it is possible to generate a "platform independent" GPU computing library. That would place Labwindows on the same or better footing than Labview that already has some GPU computing support.

The advantages are obvious: huge gain in data processing speed, real-time application with streaming data,  pattern-recognition (video) applications, image processing, data-parallel tasks in (technical) modeling arena.

I am playing with some optimization algorithms (genetic algorithms, evolutionary algorithms) that benefit and show amazing gains since they are ideal for data-parallel applications! Currently working on the specs for a new type of controller that would optimize several parameters to figure out the state of the tissue culture (expanding, producing, overgrowing, etc.) to maximize productivity and to calculate the optimal settings using evolutionary algorithms... Any complex process control could take advantage of this kind of applications -currently not available- because of computational limitations. Had a previous optimization task that would have taken 150,000 years to complete using a brute force algorithm on a "monofilament" CPU-based application. Converted it to a genetic algorithm and it gives me a good enough solution in 3-4 days on the same standard PC. Now, with GPU, that problem could be solved in fifteen minutes while expanding the evolutionary depth and finding better solutions using even more complex fitness functions.

Ask yourself what do you want: tinkering with the conveniences of the IDE that already does the job well enough; or open the door to new landscapes that could be conquered by using the simple elegance and effectiveness of LabWindows and the power of GPUs?


Comparison between floating point numbers is best done using FP_Compare() - see CVI help for details.

Often you need to choose the maximum (or the minimum) of the two floating point numbers, and the most common approach is:

if (a > b) {

choose a

} else {

choose b


If you use FP_Compare instead of ">" you'll notice that FP_Compare is much slower than ">" (because it involves calculation of the ratio between the two numbers). This is extremely evident if you have to choose the maximum of several couples of numbers.

I think that the maximum (or the minimum) between two floating point numbers could be found in a more effective way, comparing the exponents of IEEE representation (for example), and calculate the ratio only if the exponents are equal.

For this reason I suggest two new functions FP_Max() and FP_Min() that would much more performant than the easy approach.

  • Performance

Using SetTableCellRangeVals to update several thousands table cells is very effective.(better than using ATTR_CTRL_VAL)

I miss similar function for set atribute values in the same way. In example:i need  to set text to be bold or  set background color for each table cell separately.

Ithik that usability of SetTableCellRangeVals will be better if SetTableCellRangeAttributes will be avivaible because there will be the same program approach/logic for values and attributes,instead of mixing multiple cell vallue update and one by one cell attribute update.