Sunday, June 28, 2009

VI Makeover Edition - Customizing a Slider

In a previous post, I talked about a VI for an NI Week keynote demo.

Now I'd like to talk about customizing the slider control for that project.

You can watch the video on or YouTube, or you can read the text version below.

When customizing a control, I like to start with the simplest control of the right type, which usually means controls from the Classic palette. For this demo, I customized a Classic Vertical Pointer Slide. Note that the control editor lets you change the appearance of a control, but not its functionality.

You can edit a control either from the Edit>>Customize Control menu or from the Advanced>>Customize right-click menu.

This will open the control in the Control Editor. From there, you can customize using the normal right-click options (such as setting the Scale style as I did for this demo) or go into "Customize" mode either by clicking the toolbar button to switch to the tweezer icon or by showing the Parts window from the Window menu.

You can find the slider thumb by cycling through the Parts and then right-click on it to see the options for changing its image. For this demo, I used a graphic that I created myself in a graphics program, but there are lots of sources for nice, professional images that you could use for your projects. You can find the graphics I made in the Image Archive on my website,

After customizing the thumb, I added some free labels for + and - scale markers, made the text big and bold so it would be easily visible on the keynote projector screens, and colored the increment and decrement arrows transparent.

I hope this inspires you to make your own custom controls and take your LabVIEW UIs to the next level!