Documentation About the SCPI Specification

Updated Oct 18, 2022

Reported In


  • GPIB Instrument Control Device


  • NI-488.2

Issue Details

I would like to know more about the Standard Commands for Programmable Instrumentation (SCPI). Where can I find some information?


The SCPI Specification expands the IEEE 488.2 common command set by defining a single, comprehensive command set suitable for all instruments. For example, all SCPI-compatible voltmeters, regardless of manufacturer or model, respond to the same command for reading AC voltage. Their response format is also the same. Finally, SCPI embraces many of the commands and protocols that the hardware-independent portion of the IEEE 488.2 standard defines.

Some SCPI commands include:
*IDN?System DataIdentification query
*RST Internal OperationsReset
*TST?Internal OperationsSelf-test query
*OPCSynchronizationOperation complete
*OPC?SynchronizationOperation complete query
*WAISynchronizationWait to complete
*CLSStatus and EventClear status
*ESEStatus and EventEvent status enable
*ESE?Status and EventEvent status enable query
*ESR?Status and EventEvent status register query
*SREStatus and EventService request enable
*SRE?Status and EventService request enable query
*STB?Status and EventRead status byte wuery

Additional Information

For additional information, consult the SCPI Consotrium web page