Display Unicode Language Characters in LabVIEW on Windows

Updated Dec 4, 2023



  • LabVIEW

Operating System

  • Windows

On a computer running windows, I want to be able to read a file into LabVIEW that contains Unicode characters. At the moment my characters are replaced by questions marks even though they are displayed correctly in another file.
Unicode languages are not officially supported and may not work as expected or desired. However, It is possible to display Unicode languages by modifying the LabVIEW configuration file.

On top of this, the availability of display languages depends on the version of Windows, consider that only Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise allow users to choose a display language with the steps shown in Displaying Non-English Characters in LabVIEW . Windows 7 Professional is not able to download some of the very common language libraries that are listed in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: Download Languages for Windows

To display Unicode languages, modify the LabVIEW .ini configuration file, using the following steps:
  1. Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\National Instruments\<LabVIEW>\LabVIEW.ini
  2. Add UseUnicode=TRUE to any new line in the LabVIEW .ini file.
  3. Save the file and exit LabVIEW. Upon relaunching LabVIEW, the Unicode characters should work correctly, whether typing or pasting in. 
For control/indicator labels, it may be necessary to enter the text as a Caption, not a Label. Right-click on the control/indicator and select Visible Items»Caption from the right-click menu. 

  • When building an executable that requires Unicode characters, insert the UseUnicode=TRUE line into the application .ini file generated with the executable.
  • LabVIEW for Windows has limited support for Unicode strings in the front panel controls and indicators. This is not an officially supported feature.