Chart Update Modes in LabVIEW and Measurement Studio

Updated Feb 13, 2019

Reported In


  • Measurement Studio
  • LabVIEW

Programming Language

  • Visual Basic .NET
  • C# .NET

Issue Details

What are the various update modes available with National Instruments charts? How can I configure chart update modes?


National Instruments charts, in both LabVIEW and Measurement Studio, have three different modes to scroll data. These three update modes are Strip Chart, Scope Chart, and Sweep Chart. These update modes can be configured using chart properties. To do this, right-click on the chart indicator and select Properties » Appearance; select the Update Mode pull down menu and select Strip Chart, Scope Chart, or Sweep Chart.

Additional Information

  1. Strip Chart: This mode has a scrolling display that is similar to a paper tape strip chart recorder.  This mode first plots values from left to right. From here, it continues to plot new points at the rightmost point and shifts old values to the left.

    Scope Chart: This mode has a retracing display similar to an oscilloscope. As it receives each new value, it plots the value to the right of the last value. When the plot reaches the right border of the plotting area, it erases the plot and begins plotting again from the left border. 

    Sweep Chart: This mode acts much like the scope chart, but the plot is not erased when the plot hits the right border. Instead, a moving vertical line marks the beginning of new data and moves across the display from left to right as it adds new data.

    Note: The Measurement Studio .NET controls do not support sweep mode at this time; however, this mode is available in the ActiveX controls. Please refer to the DevZone article in the related links section for more information.

In LabVIEW 2012 and earlier, the shipping example demonstrates these chart types and the data types that they can accept. It can be accessed from the
<LabVIEW>\examples\general\graphs\charts.llb folder.

In LabVIEW 2013 and later, the shipping example Waveform Chart Data Types and Update demonstrates these chart types and the data types they can accept. It can be accessed from the <LabVIEW>\examples\Controls and Indicators\Graphs and Charts\Waveform Graphs and Charts folder. 

Measurement Studio for Visual Basic has similar examples Graph Styles and Sweep Chart under the MeasurementStudio\VB\Samples\UI\Graph folder.

For more information on using charts and the update modes listed above, including examples, refer to the following documents.


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