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HTML Control

I would like a control/indicator which supports HTML formatting for display and documentation.  There have been a couple of previous similar requests, here and here, but nothing specific to HTML (although jlocanis has been consistent in his comments on these previous requests asking for HTML formatting).


I would envision a control where you enter HTML and can change the display from the HTML to the rendered text easily, similar to the multiple modes available on current text controls.


Why HTML and not just more formatting options?


  1. Why reinvent the wheel.  HTML has been around for decades and works well.
  2. You can mix fonts, localizations, superscript/subscript, symbols, etc. within HTML, allowing much more flexibility when documenting front panels.
  3. HTML is platform agnostic

As has been said in other requests, extending HTML support to captions, labels, etc. would also be nice, but secondary.

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NI Employee

Are you talking pure markup, or are you talking a browser?  With links, cookies, forms, etc?  What sort of things are you expecting to do with the HTML?  Javascript?  Flash?  What sort of integration with these things would you expect?  What about IFrames?


- Mike

-- Mike
NI Employee

I would be content with simple formatting - no javascript (or any script), cookies, forms, flash, etc. would be needed, although links would be useful.  Images would be useful for things that HTML entities do not support, but that is a pretty fringe use case.  Most of the things you would want besides formatting are more easily solved using the VI under the control.  That said, this is my opinion. Having a full HTML or XHTML parser under the hood would probably result in a lot of amazing things...

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I'd love to see National Instruments embed a native browser into LabVIEW much like it has in the past with other web technologies like Apache or Xerxes. I have in the past used the .NET web browser in LabVIEW to create and display documents on the fly via the DOM, parse and render XML via CSS and XSLT, and even create dynamic UI components that simply can't be done in LabVIEW. Being able to do this natively would allow these implementations to be cross platform, and might even allow the embedded browser to hook back into LabVIEW code via scripting (something I'm still trying to figure out with the .NET/LabVIEW implementation).

I've wanted this for years.


I'd be happy to just see some extremely simple stuff like HTML tags for bold, italic, and color.


I've found the text handling through property nodes to be so-so, if you want to bold a word in the middle of a sentence in a string, it can be a lot of coding, whereas slipping in an HTML bold tag would be nice and easy.



Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

I am with kegghead on the embedded browser. Then we could write an amazing NI forum search engine!

If this implemented (I mean the original suggestion), that would allow defining the fonts in the string, which would be a headache saver when distributing code...

Knight of NI

I had similar ideas in the back of my head for a long time. Smiley Very Happy


I't like to have

  • all Formatting (font, size, justification, bold, italic, etc.)
  • tables
  • lists
  • hyperlinks
  • ...

(what else?)


how about embedded images?


Could we simply extend the the current functionality of a plain text indicator by adding a new formatting option?


e.g. (normal, /-codes, password, hex, HTML). (not necessarliy in this order). 

LabVIEW Champion Do more with less code and in less time
Knight of NI
Just to carify my statement above, "HTML" would mean "render page as html", not "reveal html codes".

LabVIEW Champion Do more with less code and in less time
Proven Zealot

I would *HATE* to see NI waste its time building a browser. Others do that as their core business. It isn't our core competency at all, it would always be behind the times, it would be an endless stream of "please, just one more feature". It would be a giant black hole of developer time better spent on just about any other feature.


Knight of NI

I wonder how big the effort would be if it could easily leverage some public domain redering engine for all this? OTOH, we already have the activex browser control, so there is some overlap. Sorry, this is not an area I know much at all....

LabVIEW Champion Do more with less code and in less time
I completely agree, I would hate to see NI waste time developing an HTML rendering engine. As altenbach said and I was implying, I was hoping to have an open source or public domaim engine incorporated. NI has done this in the past. It's not like they wrote their own web server or XML parsing engines, for example.