Write Data to Excel File Without Report Generation Toolkit

Updated May 3, 2018

Reported In


  • LabVIEW Base
  • LabVIEW Full
  • LabVIEW Professional

Operating System

  • Windows

Issue Details

I would like to export a waveform to an Excel spreadsheet. I want to be able to view the data in both Excel and LabVIEW, but I do not have the Report Generation Toolkit. What is the best way of doing this?


In LabVIEW 2015 and up, there are 3 methods to export waveforms from LabVIEW to Excel:
  • Write Waveforms to File
  • Export Waveforms to Spreadsheet File
  • Export Data to Excel method
  • Write Delimited Spreadsheet
For versions before LabVIEW 2015, the Export Waveforms to Spreadsheet File, Export Data to Excel Method, and Write to Spreadsheet File VI can be used.

    The Write Delimited Spreadsheet VI (known as the Write to Spreadsheet file in versions before LabVIEW 2015)  will only write the actual tab delimited data. The data needs to be sent as a 2D array, so any waveform data types acquired will need to be parsed to obtain X and Y scale values. The array data will be readable in Excel, and can also be read back by LabVIEW. To read the file created this way, you would use Read from Spreadsheet File VI.
    The Write Waveforms to File VI is used more specifically with Waveform data types. The data acquired in the waveform format does not need to be converted into array type. This VI will write the data with the header in Excel. However, the data in Excel will have strange characters and will not be fully readable. This is because the data was sent as the waveform type, and not tab delimited type. You can read this data with LabVIEW by using the Read Waveform from File VI. The resulting waveform data is in the same format as is the one sent to Excel. No conversion is needed.
    The Export Waveforms to Spreadsheet File VI is a special case of Write Waveform to File. You can use this VI to create a text file that is readable by most spreadsheet applications. The data is sent in the waveform format, and the file created will have a header. However, when you try to read this data back in LabVIEW with the Read Waveform from File VI, you will receive Error 71: File datalog type conflict. You should not use this VI to write the data in Excel if your goal is to analyze that data back in LabVIEW later. Currently, there is no VI for importing these waveform spreadsheet files back to LabVIEW. 

    The NI Community example LabVIEW: Write and Read from Spreadsheet File without the Report Generation Toolkit shows the behavior of each of the above 3 cases.

    For versions later than LabVIEW 2010, there is a method available for Waveform Charts and Graphs called 'Export Data to Excel'. It is possible to export waveform data from a chart or graph by invoking this method using an invoke node. The invoke node can be created using the right-click menu for the waveform graph terminal as shown below:
    The Export Data to Excel invoke node will appear on the block diagram as indicated in the figure below:
    You can also use the Report Generation Toolkit for Microsoft Office to send information from LabVIEW to Excel. For more information, refer to the related links below.

    Additional Information

    TDMS files can be used as an alternative for Excel files for more efficient data streaming.