Creating Icons

LabVIEW 2018 Help

Edition Date: March 2018
Part Number: 371361R-01
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The primary way to create icons is to use the Icon Editor dialog box. You also can drag and drop a graphic from the file system or use the VI Icon methods in the VI class to create icons.

Creating Icons with the Icon Editor Dialog Box

You can use the Icon Editor dialog box to create or edit icons. The Icon Editor dialog box provides icon templates, glyphs from the Icon Library at, options for adding and formatting icon text, and support for editing with layers.

If you want to edit the icon for a VI or custom control, double-click the icon in the upper right corner of the front panel window, block diagram window, or Control Editor window to display the Icon Editor dialog box. You also can right-click the icon and select Edit Icon from the shortcut menu to display the Icon Editor dialog box. If you want to edit the icon for a project library, statechart, class, or XControl, click the Edit button on the General Settings page of the corresponding Properties dialog box to display the Icon Editor dialog box.

Note  The Icon Editor dialog box displays icons in 24-bit color. However, LabVIEW displays icons only in 8-bit color on the block diagram. Therefore, the icon you create in this dialog box might appear slightly different from the corresponding icon on the block diagram.

Creating Icons by Dragging and Dropping Graphics

You also can drag a graphic from anywhere in the file system and drop it in the upper right corner of the front panel window to use the graphic as a VI icon. You can drag and drop .png, .bmp, or .jpg files.

LabVIEW converts the graphic you drag and drop to a 32 × 32 pixels icon. Graphics that are much larger than 32 × 32 pixels, particularly those that have fine gradations of color, might not convert well.

Note  VIs with smaller icons can be awkward to select and wire and might look strange when wired. Refer to the LabVIEW Style Checklist for more tips on creating icons.

Guidelines for Designing Icons

You can use both pictures and text in an icon. A good size and font choice for text icons is 9-point Small Fonts in all caps.

If you localize an application, make sure you also localize the text on the icon. Do not use colloquialisms when making an icon because colloquialisms are difficult to translate. Also avoid using images in place of words if the images do not correspond to words of similar meaning in other languages.

You can use banners to identify related VIs. National Instruments recommends creating and saving a banner as a template. You then can use this template for a related VI icon and modify the body of the VI icon to provide information about the specific VI.

LabVIEW applies a library icon to the icon of all objects in the library. National Instruments recommends creating only a banner for the library icon. The icon for each object in the library then includes the banner, and you can modify the body of the icon to provide information about the specific object.

For example, you can create the following banner as a project library icon.

After you create the project library icon, you can create an icon for a VI within the project library. In the Icon Editor dialog box, select Edit»Import Icon from Owning Library to import the icon of the owning project library. This displays the project library icon as a user layer of the VI icon called NI_Library. If a user layer with that name already exists, the new user layer overwrites the existing user layer.

Use icon text, glyphs, and the editing tools on the right side of the Icon Editor dialog box to modify the VI icon. For example, you can create a VI icon similar to the following icon.

Notice that the green MY LIB banner helps identify the VI as part of the project library.


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