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Change front panel default color to a lighter color

Let's change the front panel default color from the traditional darker grey/gray to a lighter and more modern color - see picture B (the lighter grey/gray is the same used in LabVIEW dialogs). This modification would only affect new VIs.


In addition, we should modify the default controls to lighter colors and change the graphics background color from black to white - see picture C. 


A) Default Colors                                                             B) Lighter grey default

default.png   mixed.png


C) Lighter controls and white graphic background  


I think small changes like background color make a huge difference in overall appearance for UIs. The lighter colors give a more modern feel and also a more familiar feel to software used today.  My vote would definitely be to go with option C.
Knight of NI

I wouldn't create new default colors.  If you like different colors for default, then you can change them via the options dialog.  Maybe the options can evolve so that you can have different color schemes so that you can change from the current default to other coordinated color schemes.


Appearance is subjective.  What makes a lighter color scheme "modern"?  What should the next color scheme be when the "modern" color scheme becomes stale.?


Don't change the default colors.  But add the ability to create other color schemes if desired.

Active Participant

In my opinion, in most situation, 3d controls and default gray colors should never be used to construct UIs (because the output is a non standard UI that most user [and by user, I mean the user of the software, not the LabVIEW developer] are not familiar with) but instead system controls and colors should be favored.


Since most VIs in a project are SubVIs and only a few are UIs, I personally have no problem keeping the existing default dark gray colors (which will end up on all the SubVIs).  

Active Participant
I've seen way too many LabVIEW applications that look like something from the 80s because people didn't take the time to change the default colors.  I think a subtle change in the default colors would, at the very least, help people who are still new to LabVIEW recognize that they can develop professional, rich user interfaces.
Elijah Kerry
Principal Product Manager, Platform Software
Follow my Software Engineering for LabVIEW Blog
Active Participant
The default should be the system colors (and controls).
Check out ClampOn CAN Monitor on the LabVIEW Tools Network.
Active Participant
I agree with Mads - the default should be the system colors and controls.
Visualize the Solution



I also second the system colors and controls as default.


To do this really good we would also need some more system controls, especially graphs.

A 3D graph doesn't look very well on a system panel.


Active Participant
I think the lighter background color would be a good improvement.  Never cared much for the drab gray LV defaults.  I understand that the lighter graph backgrounds improve printing, but on the screen the black background looks better, especially with the lighter VI background.  I'd vote for B.  If one needs to print a graph frequently, it is possible to program a mechanism for printing with an alternate graph background.  Everyone uses the VI interface, only a fraction print it out.
Message Edited by Dave Thomson on 01-08-2010 12:17 PM
David Thomson Original Code Consulting
National Instruments Alliance Program Member
Certified LabVIEW Architect
Certified Embedded Systems Developer
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
Active Participant
I think there are far more important improvements that I'd like to see than a change in colour scheme.  That said, if you are going to pick this low-hanging fruit then sure, go for it: make the default colours the system colours.

Copyright © 2004-2017 Christopher G. Relf. Some Rights Reserved. This posting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

Another option might be that you would be able to choose an appearance, like "skins" in other applications or Microsoft Windows where you can choose a theme.


But then I would like to see a preview with several controls/graphs while selecting my preferred option. 


Remark to others who replied to this idea, opting for "system colors": should LabVIEW change it's colors when one changes the ms windows theme? I think not.