Using tools palette in LabView best way : tutorial 8

In this tutorial, you will learn different tools used in the LabView, and how to control different tools from the tools palette manually and automatically. I have tried to explain the use of every tool with examples and the use of every tool is elaborated. At the end of the tutorial you are provided with an exercise to do it by yourself, and in the next tutorials I will assume that you have done those exercises and I will not explain the concept regarding them.

Introduction to tools palette in labview

Tools palette is available on both front panel as well as block diagram. It is used to create, and modify a program or VI with use of tools located on the palette, and may also be used for debugging purpose. In automatic tools selection the cursor automatically selects which tool to be used depending upon on which we are hovering it. These tools are used to modify all the blocks on front panel and block diagram. If the automatic selection is turned off (as discussed below), then you can also choose manually which tools to be used according to the need. On block diagram tools palette is available in the address View >> Tools palette and same can be used for front panel as well.

If you have used LabView, and noticed its working before you must be familiar with the fact that the mouse cursor changes its shape depending upon the object it is hovering over. This happens because of automatic tools selection mode. You can also disable automatic tools selection mode from tools palette.

Tools Palette labview

  • Create a VI as discussed in tutorial 1, two windows will pop up, one is block diagram and the other is front panel. Save the VI for future use by pressing <Ctrl+S>. In the block diagram of front panel window select View from the top bar and then select Tools palette, as shown below.Tools palette placement labview

Figure 1: Placement of tools palette

  • The tools palette menu is shown in the figure palette labview

Figure 2: Tools palette

Automatic Tools selection:

Place a thermometer or a vertical slide fill on the front panel from the control palettes’ section numeric as shown in the figure below.Auto selection example

Figure 3: Example for auto toll selection

Operate value tool:

Now, if you hover over the red portion of the thermometer the pointer of the mouse will convert to a pointer finger as shown in the figure below.Finger pointer

Figure 4: Operator value

This pointer is used to change the operator value of the scale we are using.

Size and position control tool:

And if we now move the point to the edge or corner of the thermometer, it will change to a double headed arrow, which is used to change the size of the block or indicator, refer to the figure below,size select

Figure 5: Position/Size/Select

Selection tool:

This tool is used to change the position or size of a blocks, it is also used to select a block for performing specific task, and when you hover the cursor on the blank screen of front panel it will be using the same tool but a different icon this time as shown,select tool labview

Figure 6: Select tool

Edit Text tool:

Now if you want to change the label or insert a new label to a block, and you move the cursor of mouse over the label, it will automatically change the tool to edit text as shown in the figure below.Edit tool labview

Figure 7: Edit text tool

This tool is used to edit text on your diagram, either front panel or block diagram.

Connect wire:

If we want to connect one block to other, when we hover over the block needed to be connected the cursor will automatically change to connect wire. Place a constant and an indicator on either of the window and on the block diagram hover the cursor on the block and explore this tool.Connect wire tool labview

Figure 8: Connect wire tool.

Manually control tools:

From the tools palette you can also control all these tools manually. In order to avail this feature one must stop the automatic tools selection first. For this task, press the green button from the tools palette, it will stop automatic tool selection. Refer to the figure below,Manual selection

Figure 9: Turning off auto selection

  • If this block is green it represents automatic selection and if it is black it shows that the selection is manual.
  • In manual selection, you have to select the tool to do an operation, in order to perform that certain task specified for that tool. Let’s use some of the tools from the tool palette and leave some for you learn own your own as an exercise.
  • Now, after switching from the auto selection the cursor will not switch between tools, As an example see the thermometer again and not place the cursor on its red portion, it will remain an arrow head and not change to finger pointer, see the figure below.Manual thermometer

Figure 10: Operate value after manual selection.

  • Now if you want to change the value of the thermometer you first have to select the operate tool from the tools palette, see the figure below.Manual operate value

Figure 11: Manually controlled operate value tool

  • Same is the case while using, selection tool, position or size control tool, or edit text tool.
  • There are some additional tools present in the tool palette used to change the appearances of blocks and indicators as well as to change the back ground color of the front panel or make it transparent or gradient.
  • Tools used for coloring purpose are get color and set color tools.

Get color tool in labview

The tools, on the tools palette, shaped like a dropper is known as a get color dropper, see the figure below,Get color

Figure 12: Get color tool

  • The use of this color is to pick up a color you like. If you like the color of a block or an indicator and you want to fill another button with the same color as you like. Simply place the get color button on the color of your choice, it will pick that color up in its memory, and then using the set color tool you can place that color to any other object.
  • As an example let’s suppose you want to the red color from you thermometer on you Boolean button too. Place the get color button on the red portion of the thermometer, and select the color. Now change the tool from the tools palette to set color and paint the button you want to be colored red.Get color example

Figure 13: Get color example

Set Color  in labview

  • Set color tool is used to set the color of a block or indicator or background of front panel.Set color labview example

Figure 14: Set color tool

  • One of its uses is shown in the example above. We can also set color of any choice from the scale of colors as shown in the figure below,Set color tool

Figure 15: Set color example

  • Place the tool on the button you want to color and click right it will display the scale shown above. Select the desired color from the scale and close the scale.


  • Try to explore the remaining tools from the tools palette.

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