Labview Basics

LabVIEW a.k.a. Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench is a language for visual programming which is formed with an objective and aim of allowing all and any kind of system to be allowed for development. The core definition would be that it is a platform for system designing that also allows for an environment for the development of systems.

Launched in the year 1986 by National Instruments, it was at the time acting as an instrument or tool for researchers and engineers to encourage robotized measurements; the point was that it would be an instrument that would be as profitable for researchers and specialists as spreadsheets were for budgetary investigators. 

Jeff Kodowsky of National Instruments who concocted the underlying thought and created it echoes the following thought - "We weren't looking to make a language yet that is the thing that we wound up doing in light of the fact that we required that degree of adaptability and control so as to manage types of IO and preparing or processing required." 


LabVIEW gives an amazing stage for undertaking a wide range of uses. It began as a domain for overseeing test programming. However, since its origin, the applications for which it has been utilized have significantly increased in number. It has extended from being a GTM language (graphical test management) to turn into a graphical framework plan environment. 

This implies that it may very easily be utilized for a vast assortment of fascinating yet different / varied applications. Not only would it be able to be utilized for hardware control (this includes the control of the huge Hadron Collider at CERN) and an variety of information procurement applications to the framework design area where it has been utilized for advancement of activities ranging from RF hardware to biomedical gear, green innovation and considerably much more.


Like any item or stage, LabVIEW has its preferences and hindrances. These must be painstakingly considered before beginning its utilization. 

The advantages of using LabVIEW are:

  • Graphical interface is adaptable and easy to utilize. Most architects and researchers can figure out how to utilize it very quickly. 
  • LabVIEW gives a widespread stage to various applications in varied fields. 
  • LabVIEW can be utilized with outsider equipment. For example, it tends to be interfaced with C/C++, VB, Fortran and so on and so on. 
  • Extremely easy to connect to numerous hardware like information procurement applications or testing equipment products. 
  • It has superb client assistance and an immense dynamic network or community discussion. 

The burdens to using LabVIEW 

  • LabVIEW is sourced singly, and a few organizations dislike in utilizing a product that is sourced singly. 
  • Cost of proprietorship – despite the fact that this is in accordance with industry pricing standards, its expense still ought to be considered before it is presented as an option on the table. 
  • For those more acclimated with text programming, graphical programming can take a little acquaintance time.

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1. Front Panel

The front panel is the “Intuitive User Interface” of a VI (Virtual Instrument), aptly chosen in light of the fact that it mimics the front panel of a physical tool. The front panel can contain numerous different controls which act as data inputs that are provided by the user and gauges or indicators which are responsible for displaying the output. This data can be interacted, added, modified, or deleted with by utilizing a mouse and console and thereupon see the displayed output on your screen.

2. Control Palette

The Controls palette comprises of the controls and pointers which one utilizes to make the front panel. It can be done by accessing the control palette from the front panel by selecting firstly View and subsequently thereafter Controls Palette. It can also be selected by clicking the right mouse button on any vacant space in the front panel. The Controls palette has different categories as per one’s requirement and while using the same there is a great chance that the user can uncover a few or these categories to suit their necessities.

3. Controls and Indicators

Each Visual Instrument for the purpose of providing a user interface has a front panel. The user gets an additional feature of utilizing the front panel as an approach to pass along the inputs and get outputs in return when the user calls the Visual Instrument from a different block diagram. The user interface of the Visual Instrument is created thereafter by putting the indicators and the controls on the front panel of the Visual Instrument. When a user is able to communicate and relay data to the front panel with the help of the user interface, at that time, the controls can be worked and fed data to see the appropriate result by way of the indicators.  The rule is quite simple. The controls are used to feed the data and the indicators are used to see the result via display. 

Controls can be typically defined as handles, buttons for pushing, sliders, strings and dials. They recreate a virtual environment for the instrument that is responsible for input and relay the data to the Visual Instrument’s Block Diagram. 

Indicators are more in the nature of status strings, graphs, charts, LED’s. The Indicators role is to recreate the output device and thus show the output result which either the block diagram creates or obtains.  

The user also has the option to change the value of the input for the delay and number of measurements. The user is able to watch the value that is created on account of the VI at the Temperature Graph. The VI is able to produce the values for indicators which is dependent solely upon the code made on the block diagram. 

4. Block Diagram

The objects associated with block diagram are consisting of constants, wires, terminal, function, subVIs, and structures which are responsible for the relay of data among the other objects associated with the block diagram. A block diagram is created when once the user creates the front panel, the code is added separately by using the graphical illustration associated with the function in order to be able to control the front panel.

5. Terminal

Objects that are placed on the front panel show up as terminals on the block diagram. Terminals are exit and entry ports that are responsible for the relay of the data between the front panel and the block diagram. They are practically equivalent to parameters and constants in programming dialects that are more text-based in nature. Different kinds of terminals incorporate control or pointer terminals and hub / node terminals. Control and indicator terminals have a place with front panel controls and pointers. Information focuses you go into the front board controls (an and b in the past front board) enter the square graph through the control terminals. The information that is then added into the terminal via the front control panel are then finally able to enter the block diagram through the terminal for control.  The information is then able to interact with the addition and the subtraction functions. At the point when the Addition and Subtraction functions complete their computations, they produce new set of values. These informational values stream to the pointer terminals, where they update the indicators present on the front panel and display the output.

6. Block Diagram Nodes 

Nodes are objects on the block diagrams that have inputs or potential outputs and are capable of performing tasks when a VI runs. They are comparable to operators, statements, subroutines, and in functions text-based programming dialects. Nodes can be structures, subVIs, Express VIs, or functions. Structures are components for process control, for example, Case structures, For Loops, or While Loops. 

7. Capacities 

Functions are the principal working components of LabVIEW. Functions don't have front board windows or square outline windows however have connector sheets. Double tapping a function just chooses the function itself. 

8. SubVIs 

Once a user assembles a Virtual Instrument, the same can be utilized in another Virtual Instrument with ease. A Virtual Instrument that is called from the block diagram of another Virtual Instrument is known as a subVI. It is an accepted fact that a user can reuse a subVI in different VIs. To make a subVI, the user has to construct a connector sheet and make a symbol. 

A subVI hub compares to a subroutine bring in text-based programming dialects. The note isn't simply the subVI, similarly as a subroutine call explanation in a program isn't simply the subroutine. A square graph that contains a few indistinguishable subVI hubs calls the equivalent subVI a few times. 

The subVI controls and markers get information from and return information to the square chart of the calling VI. At the point when you double tap a subVI on the square graph, its front board window shows up. The front board incorporates controls and markers. The square graph incorporates wires, symbols, capacities, potentially subVIs, and other LabVIEW objects. 

Each VI shows a symbol in the upper right corner of the front board window and square chart window. A case of the default symbol is appeared here. A symbol is a graphical portrayal of a VI. The symbol can contain both content and pictures. On the off chance that you utilize a VI as a subVI, the symbol recognizes the subVI on the square graph of the VI. The default symbol contains a number that demonstrates the number of new VIs you opened subsequent to dispatching LabVIEW. 

To utilize a VI as a subVI, you have to manufacture a connector sheet as appeared previously. The connector sheet is a lot of terminals on the symbol that relates to the controls and markers of that VI, like the boundary rundown of a capacity bring in text-based programming dialects. Access the connector sheet by right-tapping the symbol in the upper right corner of the front board window. You can't get to the connector sheet from the symbol in the square graph window. A subVI symbol has a white foundation on its symbol. 

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9. Express VIs 

Express VIs are hubs that require negligible wiring since you design them with exchange boxes. Utilize Express VIs for basic estimation errands. Allude to the Express VIs subject of the LabVIEW Help for more data. They show up on the square chart as expandable hubs with symbols encompassed by a blue field. 

10. Function Palette 

The Functions palette contains the VIs, capacities and constants you use to make the square graph. The user accesses the Functions palette from the square outline by choosing View and then the Functions Palette. The Functions palette is broken into different classifications; you can show and conceal classes to suit your requirements

11. Create Icon in Modular Programming

The default symbol of a VI contains a number that shows the number of new VIs you have opened since dispatching LabVIEW. You can make custom symbols to supplant the default symbol by finishing the accompanying advances: 

  • Right-tapping the symbol in the upper-right corner of the front board or square chart and select Edit Icon from the alternate route menu to show the Icon Editor exchange box 
  • Double tap the incubated box which will choose the whole symbol. Erase the chose parcel. 
  • Double tap the rectangular box which will make a fringe for the symbol. 
  • Utilize the line/pencil instrument to draw. 
  • Double tap the Edit Text instrument 'A' to alter the necessary content. 
  • Pick the Text Tool Font to alter textual style, text dimension, shading and arrangement of the content. 
  • Utilize the Select Color instrument to pick the foundation shade of the symbol. 
  • Utilize the Fill With Color instrument to change the foundation shade of the symbol. 
  • Click on the ‘OK’ to spare the symbol.

12. Structures in LabVIEW

A structure is characterized as a graphical portrayal of a loop (i.e., a loop is only a lot of code blocks that are executed by being dependent solely on the matching of the conditions). As a general rule, structures have authority over the flow of execution inside a Virtual Instrument

The following are the structures present in LabVIEW:-

  • While Loop structure
  • For Loop structure
  • Sequence structure
  • Flat sequence structure
  • Stacked sequence structure
  • Event structure
  • Timed structure
  • Diagram disable structure
  • Conditional disable structure

To Access a structure, the engineer should be able to do the following: 

  • To get to Functions, the designer has to open the Front Panel. 
  • Click on the "Visible" module in the front panel and select "functions". 
  • From "functions", select "programming" alternative and search for "Structure" choice. 
  • Tapping on "Structures" will give you in detail alternatives

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As a conclusive finding, LabVIEW offers more adaptability than standard lab tools since it is programming based. The user, who is not a tool maker, characterizes the tools usefulness. The user’s PC, module equipment, and LabVIEW contain a totally configurable virtual instrument to achieve the assignments. Utilizing LabVIEW, the user can make precisely the sort of virtual tool he or she need, at a small amount of the expense of conventional tools. At the point when the user needs change, the virtual tool can be adjusted in a matter of minutes. LabVIEW thus attempts to make your life as issue free as could be expected under the circumstances. 

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As a content writer at HKR trainings, I deliver content on various technologies. I hold my graduation degree in Information technology. I am passionate about helping people understand technology-related content through my easily digestible content. My writings include Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Python, Salesforce, Servicenow and etc.

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