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LabVIEW utilities - recipes


..automate your automation..



Researchers at the department of Chemical Technology "ChemE", of the faculty of Applied Sciences of the Delft University of Technology, often use LabVIEW to control their experimental setups. LabVIEW programs or vis, short for virtual instruments, can perform many pre-determined tasks.

The need for a higher degree of automation and more flexibility resulted in a program that can execute a script or recipe on new and existing programs. Recipes can add timing, repetition and conditional program flow to a LabVIEW program without changes to the LabVIEW block diagram or graphical code.

From the manual

LabRecipe is a utility which can automate an otherwise manually operated vi by using recipes.

Working with recipes has several advantages over working manually:

  • the operator doesn't have to stay near the computer in order to change control values
  • the control values can be changed with high speed
  • typing errors can be avoided
  • repeated data entry can be automated

A recipe is a list of commands. Small recipes can be made or changed with the built-in editor. For larger projects it is recommended to use Notepad or an equivalent editor. Since recipes are simply stored as ASCII files, LabRecipe can read recipe files without any conversions.

Recipes will be executed line by line. One line may contain several ';' separated commands. The manual describes all existing commands.

Recipes may contain empty lines. Two consecutive empty lines will be regarded as the end of the recipe.

You can download the manual here.


This utility is largeley based on vi-server. With this technique it is possible to make LabVIEW programs that control other LabVIEW programs on the same computer or even on other computers.

ZIP file containing:

  • (the utility)
  • LabRecipe.llb (the LabVIEW library containing all related program elements)
  • LabRecipe.ini (the configuration file)
  • LabRecipe.chm (the compiled help file)
  • demo (demonstration file)
  • demo 01.rcp (related recipe for demonstration file)


This utility could only have been made because of its users at ChemE (at the time called DelftChemTech): Ali Akhavan, Daniël van Herk, Jurrian van der Dussen, Michael van de Weg and Renske Beetstra.

Special thanks to Ronald van Dijk for giving the first assignment to add recipe-executing functionality to the robotarm setup in the 'Proeffabriek' (pilotplant facilty at ChemE) and to Jan van Erven for giving ideas and suggestions and for making remarks to further improve the usability of the original utility.


  • All VIs were created with LabVIEW 2012 SP1 Professional Development System
  • The supplied configuration file must be adapted for the actually used directory

Known issues:

  • non-standard characters in control labels may not work
  • using a ',' as decimal symbol may cause problems


Bart Boshuizen, 2014/02/12

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