Making Prettier LabVIEW Graphs

May 11th, 2010 by Christina in LabVIEW, User Interface

Two LabVIEW Graphs with Different Styling

I’d like to feature another video from Simon Hogg’s presentation “Creating Quality UIs with NI LabVIEW – Developer Days 2010 Presentation.”

Here’s the video: LabVIEW UI Tips – Recoloring Graphs (YouTube)

In the video, Simon makes a LabVIEW graph look more like one you might find in Microsoft Office.

Here are the steps demonstrated in the video, along with my additional comments:

  1. Place a graph on a front panel. I usually customize controls from the Classic palette, but in this case the Modern one works as well.
  2. Color any parts you want to “disappear” to Transparent color using the Set Color (paintbrush) tool.
  3. Use the Properties dialog:
    • to show/hide parts of the graph;
    • to change the plot colors, line widths, point styles and fills;
    • to change the colors of the major and minor grid lines. To hide grid lines, color them transparent.
  4. Color the background of the plot area using the Set Color (paintbrush) tool.
  5. Set the plots to anti-aliased, if desired. This makes the plots smooth. Set this by right-clicking on the plot in the Plot Legend.

Some people are surprised by how much customization of plots is possible in LabVIEW. I have seen some really neat versions of various industry-specific graphs over the years. Do you have one to share? Send it to me and I’ll make a gallery!


  • This is great! This should be my first try using an “Eye on VIs” tip. Thanks Simon!

  • You would also need to color the color of the graph. And would need to do that for every graph you would like to show, in case of multiple graphs in the same.
    Too bad labview is not shipping with a default graph that is already configured for a white background and look more modern.

  • The Silver style graphs that ship with LabVIEW (2011 and later) have white backgrounds, though they unfortunately still have white in their default plot colors. (It’s on our radar to fix, but currently there’s no way to customize the default plot color set for a graph).


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