Switching Between Tabs in LabVIEW

Updated Oct 22, 2023

Reported In


  • LabVIEW

Issue Details

I have a VI that uses Tabs on the front panel to change how my data is displayed when the VI is running.  When I run my VI however, I'm unable to change tabs.


Tab Controls are great ways to be able to change what is showing on the front panel when the VI is running.  A simple example is using tabs to visualize the same data in different ways without having to stop the VI.  There are a couple of common pitfalls that users can fall into when using Tab Controls which will not allow changes when the VI is running.  Below are a few things to check:

Control vs. Indicator

When using a Tab Control, if the function is accidentally changed to an indicator, selecting a tab while the VI is running, will not function since the indicator will not be able to output control data.  Below you can see the difference between the controls and indicators.
Tab ControlTab Indicator
The wire exits on the right showing data exiting the control outputThe wire enters from the left showing information entering an indicator

Long Running Loops and Event Structures

You may be using an Event Structure  to select the tab, then operating on data in a loop contained within the Event Structure.  If the loop takes a long time to execute, you will be unable to change tabs until the loop finishes which may not be what you want to happen. In this case, you should consider optimizing your loop, or modifying the event handling architecture.