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Improved decoration and control graphics

Status: New

For as long as I can remember (I have used LabView since 4.0) the decorations and contropls pallette have remained unchanges for the most part.  End users want an application more like the iPhone than windows98.  We need a new decorations capability to be able to customize controls  to a high level.  The square circle and triangle of 2 colors and flat or 3d/rounded nolonger cuts it.  I would like to see a new type of decoration.


- Decoration made of vector graphics so it is scalable, user can add or remove verticies and move them around to make new shapes.

- Labview native color pallet linked to item colors (default can be 2 color option of FG, BG but scale this to an array of colors to make more complex decorations)

- Colors add transparancy and alpha channel

- Grouping allows building of a single new decoration from several  primitive shapes.

- Decoration possible support gradients (color blending)

*** Decorations should have optional labels so that they can be addressed programatically

-Decorations added to customized controls that have lables associated with them become part of the control and can be accessed via a property (ie can be set to not visible through a property node)


I know this is asking quite alot, but I have found that when I make my applications not look like LabView (and it is easy to spot a LabView application) it is not a well recieved as when I present a highly customized application that does not look like a labview example.  Allowing the community to easily create very professional looking new controls and indicators will do wonders for our GUIs.



Paul Falkenstein
Coleman Technologies Inc.
CLA, CPI, AIA-Vision
Labview 4.0- 2013, RT, Vision, FPGA

Wholeheartedly agree!!!


And as long as we're talking about improving decorations:  

I use extensively the flat frame decorations to corral my code so i don't have to pan around and wonder if any code is off screen, but when i do this, i can no longer just double click white space to create a free label.  i have to click outside the frame, type something, and drag the label to where i want it to be.


Also...  for frame decorations on the block diagram...  allowing different colors for the background inside frames would be very cool. 


or maybe i'm just OCD about comments and neatness.  🙂 


vi label examp.jpg

Message Edited by joshuatree on 08-21-2009 10:45 AM
Proven Zealot
A good idea. I'll just mention that in the meantime XControls with Picture Control or 3D Model Display gives you the power for rendering gradient/vector controls.
Active Participant
I would be happy if NI allowed us to import a vector-based format.  I don't know if this is easier than trying to implement an editor or not.  It would be nice to use for controls as well, as a lot of times if I am doing a "fancy" custom button, I create an image in an editor and import it.  If the button resizes (especially with any kind of gradient fill), the image doesn't look right, requiring me to go back and recreate the image in the image editing program then import it to LabVEIW again.
I agree with Matthew Kelton.  At the least, I think the ability to import vector graphics as a button decal (that resizes with the button) is something that I'd greatly appreciate.

Actually, the custom control editor does allow the import of vector graphics, but it only supports certain WMF files.  You can use the Import Picture to clipboard function in the Edit menu of a custom control and then use that vector clipboard object for scalable custom booleans, ect.  It has some limits, though.  WMF is a crappy format with limited functionality, and some editors, like Inkscape produce output that trigger errors for certain objects.  I've had good luck with CorelDraw! using the Export to WMF with the "export selected only" option.  I can create custom rectangles, etc., that are scalable and can be used with booleans in LV.  However, there are often problems in rendering if you add a gradient, etc. 


EMF is also supported, I believe, but also leaves much to be desired, as fancy gradients and other such objects are not rendered properly by LV.  Also, some EMF/WMF custom controls don't render properly in LV on Windws Embedded (at least that's the way it was for XP embedded), so forget about using these kinds of scalable csutom controls on NI's touch panels, which is what I wanted them for in the first place.  I'm begging NI to add SVG import, and release SVG specifications with custom tags for each of the control types, starting with the simplest first (numerics, etc.).  That way, some enterprising 3rd party can create a full-featured vector-based editor (Inkscape plug-in?) that saves the data in an SVG file that LabVIEW can then import to a native control. 


An explosion of infinitely cool-looking front panels objects will follow closely on the heels of such an effort.


Kudos to this post.  I had a similar post (that got over 200 Kudos) that NI recently closed out .  They pretty much told me Version 2011 took care of most of it, but I have yet to see the proof.  It looks like they just made a new design of the same old controls that allowed adding icons to the buttons.  NI apparently wants LabVIEW to look and act like the old LabVIEW with minor changes.  Considering how advanced they are with the Hardware and Block Diagrams, I just don't understand why they insist on not making the FP work to today's standards.  I absolutely agree that switching over to Vector would be a real advantage.  I believe LabVIEW would be taken much more seriously as a programming language if NI updatad the FP.  Don't hold your breath.

Active Participant

9 Slice scaling of custom controls/indicators would be a great addition. Similar to the Adobe applications.

Using LV2018 32 bit

Highly recommended open source screen capture software (useful for bug reports).

Has anyone heard if anything new is going to be added?  Seems like they really have not changed much yet.  It would be nice to create something on my front panels that are not square.  Maybe a freehand tool or something to create some simple curved lines and be able to change their thickness.  A good use for this would be to display a likeness of a pipe, or a cable routing without importing a JPG from paintshop (or other) which can take multiple tries when trying to size it on your front panel.


Proven Zealot

Old post I know but I just discovered it.  



You can import PNGs and GIfs with transparencies and alpha layers on your front panel by dragging and dropping them.  Also if you are looking for pipe like control one comes with DSC and was posted over on LAVA years ago that is fun to play around with.