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Can I Save VIs in My Current LabVIEW Version for Use in a Previous Version?



Primary Software: LabVIEW Development Systems>>LabVIEW Full Development System
Primary Software Version: 2012
Primary Software Fixed Version: N/A
Secondary Software: LabVIEW Development Systems

Problem:
I am developing a VI in a newer version of LabVIEW, but I would also like to save it for use with an older version of LabVIEW. Is there a way for me to save my VI for use in a previous version of LabVIEW?

Solution:
It is possible to save VIs for previous versions of LabVIEW.  Prior to LabVIEW 8.5, the user could only save a VI one previous version back. LabVIEW 8.5 and later allow the user to save back to LabVIEW 8.0.

However, not all VIs can be saved for a previous version. For instance, VIs that have functionality introduced in the latest version of LabVIEW cannot fully function in a previous version of LabVIEW where the new functionality does not exist. In this case, when you save the new VI for a previous version, the new functionality will be missing in the older version of the VI. The VIs that do not work will be replaced with VIs containing question marks on the block diagram.

You also cannot save VIs in toolkits backwards. This is because toolkits have their own versions, and you can only have a toolkit installed for one version of LabVIEW at a time on a machine.

VIs in vi.lib are also not saved for previous versions. There is no need to save a VI to a previous version when that VI already exists in that version. When you save a VI for a previous version of LabVIEW, the vi.lib VIs are not converted, but the reference to that VI will remain. When the VI is then opened up in the previous version of LabVIEW, the newly converted VI links to the vi.lib VI of that version of LabVIEW. This process saves time and disk space. The newly converted VI will function the same using the previous version of the vi.lib VI.

To save a VI (and its hierarchy) for a previous version of LabVIEW, complete the following steps:

Using LabVIEW 7.0 or earlier:
  1. For the top-level VI in your hierarchy of VIs, select File»Save with Options to display the Save with Options dialog box.
  2. Select Save for Previous to save the VI hierarchy for the previous version.
  3. Click the Save button to display the Choose a Directory dialog box.
  4. Select the directory where you want to save the VI hierarchy.
  5. Click the Save button.
The previous information also is available in the LabVIEW Help, available by selecting Help » Contents and Index.

Using LabVIEW 8.x or later :
  1. For the top-level VI in a hierarchy of VIs, select File»Save for Previous Version to display the Save for Previous Version dialog box. For a project, select File»Save for Previous Version in the Project Explorer window. For a project library, right-click the library file in the Project Explorer window and select Save for Previous Version from the shortcut menu, or open the project library and select File»Save for Previous Version.
    NOTE: In LabVIEW 8.0, you cannot save a project or project library for previous version because you cannot build projects in LabVIEW 7.x and earlier
  2. Select the version of LabVIEW for which to save the VIs, project, or project library from the LabVIEW Version pull-down menu.
  3. Click the Save button to display a file dialog box.
  4. Select the directory where you want to save the VI hierarchy, project, or project library.
  5. Click the Save button.
The previous information also is available in the LabVIEW Help, available by selecting Help»Search the LabVIEW Help....

Below is a table containing the version of LabVIEW that is needed to save to a previous version of LabVIEW:


  Possible Save for Previous Version(s)
LabVIEW Version  5.0 
5.1.x 6.0.x 6.1 7.0 7.1.x 8.0.x 8.2.x 8.5.x 8.6.x 2009 2010 2011 2012
 5.0                            
 5.1.x  X                          
 6.0.x X   X

                   
 6.1     X

                   
7.0       X

                 
 7.1.x         X

               
8.0.x
           X                
 8.2.x              X  
           
 8.5.x              X  X            
 8.6.x              X X
X
         
2009             X X X X        
2010             X X X X X      
2011             X X X X X X    
2012             X X X X X X X  
2013             X X X X X X X X


Related Links:
KnowledgeBase 3SI6TTG2: How to Upgrade or Revert a VI to a Different Version of LabVIEW
KnowledgeBase DIRECT-3SFMQH: Can I Use a VI in Earlier Versions of LabVIEW after I Open It in a Later Version?
KnowledgeBase DIRECT-44PNPD: Why Are All Save Options Grayed Out When I Select Save for Previous in LabVIEW 5.1?
KnowledgeBase 3JDC8IZH: How Can I Determine the LabVIEW Version that was Used to Save a VI?

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Report Date: 08/04/2000
Last Updated: 11/05/2013
Document ID: 203EDCXC

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