How to Customize LabVIEW Project Hierarchy and Extension

Updated Aug 8, 2018

Reported In


  • LabVIEW 2017 Full

Issue Details

I have developed an application in LabVIEW with all the files I need organized in a project. I would like the hierarchy structure and extension for my project different from what appears in the LabVIEW project explorer. Is it possible to have a LabVIEW project with an extension other than .lvproj ? Is it possible to modify the project content index and hierarchy ?  


The LabVIEW project is saved by default as a .lvproj file and that is the only valid project file format for LabVIEW to recognize and process. If you use a different extension for your project, LabVIEW will not be able to open your project file.
  • The project file itself is simply an XML file. To view and/or modify the hierarchy and content of the project file, follow these steps :
  1. Right click the project file and click on Open With
  2. Choose Notepad/Microsoft Word from the list of applications that shows up
This will open up a standard XML file that you can then modify.
  • Changing the extension of the project file is possible by simply right clicking on the project file and renaming it with the appropriate extension to replace .lvproj in Windows Explorer. As stated earlier, this renders the project unusable for LabVIEW but the XML contents inside remain unaltered.

Additional Information

  • Distributing applications is an important part of the development cycle and should be planned and executed accordingly. The project explorer is a tool that has been provided for this purpose. This white paper talks about best practices for managing NI LabVIEW Applications using the project explorer.
  • For situations where you only need to ensure that particular components of your project are not visible to another user, you can follow the following procedure :
  1. Do not add SubVIs/files that are being used by the code but should not be visible in the project explorer explicitly in the project file.
  2. LabVIEW adds these SubVIs/files in the dependencies folder in project explorer.
  3. Go to the Project Explorer and open the Project Menu
  4. Click on Filter View and uncheck Dependencies
  • LabVIEW provides an XML toolkit present in the File I/O pallette for parsing/modifying XML files programmatically. Also, there are many tools on the LabVIEW Tools Network such as this, which can be used to process XML files.


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