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Restore High Contrast Icons

Status: New

For those of you who haven't signed up yet, you should go and have a look at the Next Generation LabVIEW Features Technology Preview (a mouthful, but in short, it is a UI and Development Environment demonstration version of what NI is cooking up for future versions of LabVIEW). There are some cool things and some downright awful ones.

One of them has been sneaking its ugly neck in LabVIEW 2016: reduced contrast. I am (my eyes) getting tired of it. A few examples of the changes introduced in 2016 are shown below:



Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 10.10.59.png


Screen Shot 2016-10-29 at 10.12.28.png


Considering that the trend is for displays to not increase that much in size but increase in resolution, we have now to factors to fight against: the reduction in size AND the reduction in contrast. I won't mention laptop displays going in economy mode and reducing their luminosity, but the point is that it is making LabVIEW even more difficult and unengaging to use. Way to go to loose any chance to attract new users, and run the risk to loose old timers due to added eye strain.


Put simply: Restore high contrast icons  and please, do not go ahead with the washed out IDE and UI objects showcased in Tech Preview.



Knight of NI

I think the 2016 version is actually a little easier to read on my laptop.  I see the black icons aren't as dark, but they look a little clearer to me.

Trusted Enthusiast
Trusted Enthusiast

That's odd. You are saying that of the two pictures above, the second is easier to read? I have the exact opposite opinion.

Knight of NI

Looking at the images as they appear on my screen above, yes, the 2016 looks better.  But then I remembered my browser is set for a zoom level of 90% because the forum fonts became way too big at the big forum update.


When I looked at those images at 100%, then I agree that the 2nd isn't easier too read.  Not necessarily worse, but it does have a slightly faded look.  (Basically the 90% zoom level of those images made the original image a little blurrier.)


I have no idea why NI would have changed the appearance of those icons between versions.  I have not yet installed 2016 on my system to see if it looks faded as well for me.


I don't really see any difference other than the constant folding indication on the wires unless I zoom in to about 125%.

In fact I thought initially the constant folding indication was what you were talking about.

Jon D
Certified LabVIEW Developer.
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Trusted Enthusiast

Hmm... Looking at this page on a iMac I do not see that much of a difference either... However, when I look at it my office display (a 21", 2000+ pixel wide Dell), the fading is very noticeable. I wonder whether NI has any idea of this variability.

In addition to the faded color gamut, 2016 brings some rounded edges and some anti-aliasing attempts which may slightly help with the problem of ever increasing screen resolutions (where a 1-pixel wide line is indeed very small). Notice that it is not used for full-size icons (where space is lacking for this attempt), only smaller ones.


The constant folding display option was not turned on in the 2015 version I used. That is not the difference I am talking about.

Proven Zealot

In LV 2016 Tools >> Options dialog:


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Trusted Enthusiast

@AQ: what I am talking about has nothing to do with the alternative data type colors, which are the ones used in Next Generation Preview and concern the colors of data types (wires, terminals and constants). Which indeed are less contrasted than the default ones (which I am using in the example above).

The icons are faded no matter which option is selected.

Active Participant

There can also variability within a single display depending on the panel type, viewing angle, and any matte/glossy coatings. If I view 2016 at the top of my external display, the contrast is almost the same as 2015. If I view it at the bottom of my display, it's more washed out. Granted it's not a colour calibrated, 100% sRGB gamut display, but I doubt many LabVIEW developer's displays are.

Certified LabVIEW Architect
Unless otherwise stated, all code snippets and examples provided
by me are "as is", and are free to use and modify without attribution.
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@MichaelBalzer: that is a VERY good point. It appears that I observe the same "top vs bottom" contrast change that you describe on my Dell monitor, but not my secondary Sceptre monitor...

Knight of NI

I see what you mean about position on the screen.  Not so much position on the screen, but the angle from my eyes to that part of the screen.  I decided to look more closely at each image.  Something must be different between them.  I'll attach an image of the two pictures side by side where I opened them in paint and then zoomed in.  You'll need to do a View Image, and zoom in to see the edges in more detail showing the differences in the Add function.



1.  The yellow colors were the same.

2.  SOME of the black colors were not black in the 2016 version, but a dark grey.  They went from 0,0,0 to 76,76,61.  But other black lines did remain black.  All the node borders and lines inside went to grey in the attached images, EXCEPT for the Build Array which remained black.

3.  The Add function had solid black pixels separating the node from the background in 2015.  But in 2016, a grey fuzziness was added, like a part of an anti-aliasing feature, or like the "smooth fonts" you sometimes see Windows gives you.


It's odd that the color change was not consistent among all functions.  I don't see why it would be a good idea to change from black to a dark grey, which apparently changes in appearance depending on how you look a the screen.  I do see why someone may have wanted to change the border to provide better aliasing of diagonal lines, but I don't think it was necessary to do that.


I'm going to agree with you and give you a Kudo on this idea.