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User Interface Overview

UI Nomenclature

This section provides an overview of the LabOne User Interface, its main elements and naming conventions. The LabOne User Interface is a browser-based UI provided as the primary interface to the SHFSG+ instrument. Multiple browser sessions can access the instrument simultaneously and the user can have displays on multiple computer screens. Parallel to the UI, the instrument can be controlled and read out by custom programs written in any of the supported languages (e.g. LabVIEW, MATLAB, Python, C) connecting through the LabOne APIs.

Figure 1: LabOne User Interface (default view)

The LabOne User Interface automatically opens some tabs by default after a new UI session has been started. At start-up, the UI is divided into two tab rows, each containing a tab structure that gives access to the different LabOne tools. Depending on display size and application, tab rows can be freely added and deleted with the control elements on the right-hand side of each tab bar. Similarly, the individual tabs can be deleted or added by selecting app icons from the side bar on the left. A click on an icon adds the corresponding tab to the display, alternatively the icon can be dragged and dropped into one of the tab rows. Moreover, tabs can be moved by drag-and-drop within a row or across rows.

Table 1 gives a brief descriptions and naming conventions for the most important UI items.

Table 1: LabOne User Interface features
Item name Position Description Contains
side bar left-hand side of the UI contains app icons for each of the available tabs - a click on an icon adds or activates the corresponding tab in the active tab row app icons
status bar bottom of the UI contains important status and warning indicators, device and session information, and access to the command log status indicators
main area center of the UI accommodates all active tabs – new rows can be added and removed by using the control elements in the top right corner of each tab row tab rows, each consisting of tab bar and the active tab area
tab area inside of each tab provides the active part of each tab consisting of settings, controls and measurement tools sections, plots, sub-tabs, unit selections

Further items are highlighted in Figure 2.

Figure 2: LabOne User Interface (more items)

Unique Set of Analysis Tools

All instruments feature a comprehensive tool set for signal generation and sequence programming.

The following table gives the overview of all app icons. Note that the selection of app icons may depend on the upgrade options installed on a given instrument.

Table 2: Overview of app icons and short description
Control/Tool Option/Range Description
Config Provides access to software configuration.
Device Provides instrument specific settings.
Files Access settings and measurement data files on the host computer.
In/Out Gives access to all controls relevant for the Signal Inputs and Signal Outputs of each channel.
Mod Access to all the settings of the digital modulation.
DIO Gives access to all controls relevant for the digital inputs and outputs including DIO, Trigger Inputs, Trigger Outputs, and Marker Outputs.
AWG Generate arbitrary signals using sequencing and sample-by-sample definition of waveforms.
ZI Labs Experimental settings and controls.

Table 3 provides a quick overview over the different status bar elements along with a short description.

Table 3: Status bar description
Control/Tool Option/Range Description
Command log last command Shows the last command. A different formatting (MATLAB, Python, ..) can be set in the config tab. The log is also saved in [User]\Documents\Zurich Instruments\LabOne\WebServer\Log
Show Log Show the command log history in a separate browser window.
Errors Errors Display system errors in separate browser tab.
Device devXXX Indicates the device serial number.
Identify Device When active, device LED blinks
MDS grey/green/red/yellow Multiple device synchronization indicator. Grey: Nothing to synchronize - single device on the UI. Green: All devices on the UI are correctly synchronized. Yellow: MDS sync in progress or only a subset of the connected devices is synchronized. Red: Devices not synchronized or error during MDS sync.
REC grey/red A blinking red indicator shows ongoing data recording (related to global recording settings in the Config tab).
RCO grey/yellow/red Router Channel Overflow - Red: present overflow condition on the channel. Yellow: indicates an overflow occurred in the past.
CF grey/yellow/red Clock Failure - Red: present malfunction of the external 10 MHz reference oscillator. Yellow: indicates a malfunction occurred in the past.
OVI grey/yellow/red Signal Input Overload - Red: present overload condition on the signal input also shown by the red front panel LED. Yellow: indicates an overload occurred in the past.
OVO grey/yellow/red Overload Signal Output - Red: present overload condition on the signal output. Yellow: indicates an overload occurred in the past.
COM grey/yellow/red Packet Loss - Red: present loss of data between the device and the host PC. Yellow: indicates a loss occurred in the past.
COM grey/yellow/red Sample Loss - Red: present loss of sample data between the device and the host PC. Yellow: indicates a loss occurred in the past.
C Reset status flags: Clear the current state of the status flags
Full Screen Toggles the browser between full screen and normal mode.

Plot Functionality

Several tools, such as the Waveform Viewer, provide a graphical display of data in the form of plots. These are multi-functional tools with zooming, panning and cursor capability. This section introduces some of the highlights.

Plot Area Elements

Plots consist of the plot area, the X range and the range controls. The X range (above the plot area) indicates which section of the wave is displayed by means of the blue zoom region indicators. The two ranges show the full scale of the plot which does not change when the plot area displays a zoomed view. The two axes of the plot area instead do change when zoom is applied.

The mouse functionality inside of a plot greatly simplifies and speeds up data viewing and navigation.

Table 4: Mouse functionality inside plots
Name Action Description Performed inside
Panning left click on any location and move around moves the waveforms plot area
Zoom X axis mouse wheel zooms in and out the X axis plot area
Zoom Y axis shift + mouse wheel zooms in and out the Y axis plot area
Window zoom shift and left mouse area select selects the area of the waveform to be zoomed in plot area
Absolute jump of zoom area left mouse click moves the blue zoom range indicators X and Y range, but outside of the blue zoom range indicators
Absolute move of zoom area left mouse drag-and-drop moves the blue zoom range indicators X and Y range, inside of the blue range indicators
Full Scale double click set X and Y axis to full scale plot area

Each plot area contains a legend that lists all the shown signals in the respective color. The legend can be moved to any desired position by means of drag-and-drop.

The X range and Y range plot controls are described in simpara_title.


Plot data can be conveniently exported to other applications such as Excel or Matlab by using LabOne’s Net Link functionality, see LabOne Net Link for more information.

Table 5: Plot control description
Control/Tool Option/Range Description
Axis scaling mode Selects between automatic, full scale and manual axis scaling.
Axis mapping mode Select between linear, logarithmic and decibel axis mapping.
Axis zoom in Zooms the respective axis in by a factor of 2.
Axis zoom out Zooms the respective axis out by a factor of 2.
Rescale axis to data Rescale the foreground Y axis in the selected zoom area.
Save figure Generates PNG, JPG or SVG of the plot area or areas for dual plots to the local download folder.
Save data Generates a CSV file consisting of the displayed wave or histogram data (when histogram math operation is enabled). Select full scale to save the complete wave. The save data function only saves one shot at a time (the last displayed wave).
Cursor control Cursors can be switch On/Off and set to be moved both independently or one bound to the other one.
Net Link Provides a LabOne Net Link to use displayed wave data in tools like Excel, MATLAB, etc.

Cursors and Math

The plot area provides two X and two Y cursors which appear as dashed lines inside of the plot area. The four cursors are selected and moved by means of the blue handles individually by means of drag-and-drop. For each axis, there is a primary cursor indicating its absolute position and a secondary cursor indicating both absolute and relative position to the primary cursor.

Cursors have an absolute position which does not change upon pan or zoom events. In case a cursor position moves out of the plot area, the corresponding handle is displayed at the edge of the plot area. Unless the handle is moved, the cursor keeps the current position. This functionality is very effective to measure large deltas with high precision (as the absolute position of the other cursors does not move).

The cursor data can also be used to define the input data for the mathematical operations performed on plotted data. This functionality is available in the Math sub-tab of each tool. The simpara_title gives an overview of all the elements and their functionality. The chosen Signals and Operations are applied to the currently active trace only.


Cursor data can be conveniently exported to other applications such as Excel or MATLAB by using LabOne’s Net Link functionality, see LabOne Net Link for more information.

Table 6: Plot math description
Control/Tool Option/Range Description
Source Select Select from a list of input sources for math operations.
Cursor Loc Cursor coordinates as input data.
Cursor Area Consider all data of the active trace inside the rectangle defined by the cursor positions as input for statistical functions (Min, Max, Avg, Std).
Tracking Display the value of the active trace at the position of the horizontal axis cursor X1 or X2.
Plot Area Consider all data of the active trace currently displayed in the plot as input for statistical functions (Min, Max, Avg, Std).
Peak Find positions and levels of up to 5 highest peaks in the data.
Trough Find positions and levels of up to 5 lowest troughs in the data.
Histogram Display a histogram of the active trace data within the x-axis range. The histogram is used as input to statistical functions (Avg, Std). Because of binning, the statistical functions typically yield different results than those under the selection Plot Area.
Resonance Display a curve fitted to a resonance.
Linear Fit Display a linear regression curve.
Operation Select Select from a list of mathematical operations to be performed on the selected source. Choice offered depends on the selected source.
Cursor Loc: X1, X2, X2-X1, Y1, Y2, Y2-Y1, Y2 / Y1 Cursors positions, their difference and ratio.
Cursor Area: Min, Max, Avg, Std Minimum, maximum value, average, and bias-corrected sample standard deviation for all samples between cursor X1 and X2. All values are shown in the plot as well.
Tracking: Y(X1), Y(X2), ratioY, deltaY Trace value at cursor positions X1 and X2, the ratio between these two Y values and their difference.
Plot Area: Min, Max, Pk Pk, Avg, Std Minimum, maximum value, difference between min and max, average, and bias-corrected sample standard deviation for all samples in the x axis range.
Peak: Pos, Level Position and level of the peak, starting with the highest one. The values are also shown in the plot to identify the peak.
Histogram: Avg, Std, Bin Size, (Plotter tab only: SNR, Norm Fit, Rice Fit) A histogram is generated from all samples within the x-axis range. The bin size is given by the resolution of the screen: 1 pixel = 1 bin. From this histogram, the average and bias-corrected sample standard deviation is calculated, essentially assuming all data points in a bin lie in the center of their respective bin. When used in the plotter tab with demodulator or boxcar signals, there additionally are the options of SNR estimation and fitting statistical distributions to the histogram (normal and rice distribution).
Resonance: Q, BW, Center, Amp, Phase, Fit Error A curve is fitted to a resonator. The fit boundaries are determined by the two cursors X1 and X2. Depending on the type of trace (Demod R or Demod Phase) either a Lorentzian or an inverse tangent function is fitted to the trace. The Q is the quality factor of the fitted curve. BW is the 3dB bandwidth (FWHM) of the fitted curve. Center is the center frequency. Amp gives the amplitude (Demod R only), whereas Phase returns the phase at the center frequency of the resonance (demod Phase only). The fit error is given by the normalized root-mean-square deviation. It is normalized by the range of the measured data.
Linear Fit: Intercept, Slope, R² A simple linear least squares regression is performed using a QR decomposition routine. The fit boundaries are determined by the two cursors X1 and X2. The parameter outputs are the Y-axis intercept, slope and the R²-value, which is the coefficient of determination to determine the goodness-of-fit.
Add Add the selected math function to the result table below.
Add All Add all operations for the selected signal to the result table below.
Clear Selected Clear selected lines from the result table above.
Clear All Clear all lines from the result table above.
Copy Copy selected row(s) to Clipboard as CSV
Unit Prefix Adds a suitable prefix to the SI units to allow for better readability and increase of significant digits displayed.
CSV Values of the current result table are saved as a text file into the download folder.
Net Link Provides a LabOne Net Link to use the data in tools like Excel, MATLAB, etc.
Help Opens the LabOne User Interface help.


The standard deviation is calculated using the formula \(\sqrt \frac{1}{N-1}\sum_{i=1}^{N}(x_i-\bar{x})^2\) for the unbiased estimator of the sample standard deviation with a total of N samples \(x_i\) and an arithmetic average \(\bar{x}\). The formula above is used as-is to calculate the standard deviation for the Histogram Plot Math tool. For large number of points (Cursor Area and Plot Area tools), the more accurate pairwise algorithm is used (Chan et al., "Algorithms for Computing the Sample Variance: Analysis and Recommendations", The American Statistician 37 (1983), 242-247).

Tree Selector

The Tree selector allows one to access streamed measurement data in a hierarchical structure by checking the boxes of the signals that should be displayed. The tree selector also supports data selection from multiple instruments, where available. Depending on the tool, the Tree selector is either displayed in a separate Tree sub-tab, or it is accessible by a click on the button.

Figure 3: Tree selector with Display drop-down menu

Vertical Axis Groups

Vertical Axis groups are available as part of the plot functionality in many of the LabOne tools. Their purpose is to handle signals with different axis properties within the same plot. Signals with different units naturally have independent vertical scales even if they are displayed in the same plot. However, signals with the same unit should preferably share one scaling to enable quantitative comparison. To this end, the signals are assigned to specific axis group. Each axis group has its own axis system. This default behavior can be changed by moving one or more signals into a new group.

The tick labels of only one axis group can be shown at once. This is the foreground axis group. To define the foreground group click on one of the group names in the Vertical Axis Groups box. The current foreground group gets a high contrast color.

Select foreground group

Click on a signal name or group name inside the Vertical Axis Groups. If a group is empty the selection is not performed.

Split the default vertical axis group

Use drag-and-drop to move one signal on the field [Drop signal here to add a new group]. This signal will now have its own axis system.

Change vertical axis group of a signal

Use drag-and-drop to move a signal from one group into another group that has the same unit.

Group separation

In case a group hosts multiple signals and the unit of some of these signals changes, the group will be split in several groups according to the different new units.

Remove a signal from the group

In order to remove a signal from a group drag-and-drop the signal to a place outside of the Vertical Axis Groups box.

Remove a vertical axis group

A group is removed as soon as the last signal of a custom group is removed. Default groups will remain active until they are explicitly removed by drag-and-drop. If a new signal is added that match the group properties it will be added again to this default group. This ensures that settings of default groups are not lost, unless explicitly removed.

Rename a vertical axis group

New groups get a default name "Group of ...​". This name can be changed by double-clicking on the group name.

Hide/show a signal

Uncheck/check the check box of the signal. This is faster than fetching a signal from a tree again.

Figure 4: Vertical Axis Group typical drag and drop moves.

Demodulator data is only available when using a Zurich Instruments lock-in amplifier from the SHF, UHF, HF, or MF series.

Table 7: Vertical Axis Groups description
Control/Tool Option/Range Description
Vertical Axis Group Manages signal groups sharing a common vertical axis. Show or hide signals by changing the check box state. Split a group by dropping signals to the field [Drop signal here to add new group]. Remove signals by dragging them on a free area.

Rename group names by editing the group label. Axis tick labels of the selected group are shown in the plot. Cursor elements of the active wave (selected) are added in the cursor math tab.
Signal Type Select signal types for the Vertical Axis Group.
Channel integer value Selects a channel to be added.
Signal integer value Selects signal to be added.
Add Signal Adds a signal to the plot. The signal will be added to its default group. It may be moved by drag and drop to its own group. All signals within a group share a common y-axis. Select a group to bring its axis to the foreground and display its labels.
Window Length 2 s to 12 h Window memory depth. Values larger than 10 s may cause excessive memory consumption for signals with high sampling rates. Auto scale or pan causes a refresh of the display for which only data within the defined window length are considered.

The Trends tool lets the user monitor the temporal evolution of signal features such as minimum and maximum values, or mean and standard deviation. This feature is available for the tab. Using the Trends feature, one can monitor all the parameters obtained in the Math sub-tab of the corresponding tab.

The Trends tool allows the user to analyze recorded data on a different and adjustable time scale much longer than the fast acquisition of measured signals. It saves time by avoiding post-processing of recorded signals and it facilitates fine-tuning of experimental parameters as it extracts and shows the measurement outcome in real time.

To activate the Trends plot, enable the Trends button in the Control sub-tab of the corresponding main tab. Various signal features can be added to the plot from the Trends sub-tab in the Vertical Axis Groups . The vertical axis group of Trends has its own Run/Stop button and Length setting independent from the main plot of the tab. Since the Math quantities are derived from the raw signals in the main plot, the Trends plot is only shown together with the main plot. The Trends feature is only available in the LabOne user interface and not at the API level.