Block Diagram

LabVIEW 2013 Help

Edition Date: June 2013

Part Number: 371361K-01

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After you build the front panel, you add code using graphical representations of functions to control the front panel objects. The block diagram contains this graphical source code, also known as G code or block diagram code. Front panel objects appear as terminals on the block diagram.

The following VI contains several primary block diagram objects—terminals, functions, and wires.


The terminals represent the data type of the control or indicator. You can configure front panel controls or indicators to appear as icon or data type terminals on the block diagram. By default, front panel objects appear as icon terminals. For example, a knob icon terminal, shown as follows, represents a knob on the front panel.

The DBL at the bottom of the terminal represents a data type of double-precision, floating-point numeric. A DBL terminal, shown as follows, represents a double-precision, floating-point numeric control.

Terminals are entry and exit ports that exchange information between the front panel and block diagram. Data you enter into the front panel controls (a and b in the previous front panel) enter the block diagram through the control terminals. The data then enter the Add and Subtract functions. When the Add and Subtract functions complete their calculations, they produce new data values. The data values flow to the indicator terminals, where they update the front panel indicators (a+b and a-b in the previous front panel).


Nodes are objects on the block diagram that have inputs and/or outputs and perform operations when a VI runs. They are analogous to statements, operators, functions, and subroutines in text-based programming languages. The Add and Subtract functions in the previous block diagram are examples of nodes.


You transfer data among block diagram objects through wires. In the previous block diagram, wires connect the control and indicator terminals to the Add and Subtract functions. Each wire has a single data source, but you can wire it to many VIs and functions that read the data. Wires are different colors, styles, and thicknesses, depending on their data types. A broken wire appears as a dashed black line with a red X in the middle. Broken wires occur for a variety of reasons, such as when you try to wire two objects with incompatible data types.


Structures, a type of node, are graphical representations of the loops and case statements of text-based programming languages. Use structures on the block diagram to repeat blocks of code and to execute code conditionally or in a specific order.


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