Scientific Notation on screens and Easy Chart

1.) I have numbers that range between 1e-9 and 1e-3. These display as 0.000000078 for example on the screen. How do I get them displayed using scientific notation, i.e 7.8e-8.

2.) Similarly on the Easy Chart I can go to the y-axis and type a minimum value of 10-9 which shows up as zero in the entry box but displays correctly on the chart and a maximum of 10-3 which shows up as 0.001 in the the entry box. However, the chart axis lables display 0.000000001 instead of 1e-9 so half the chart is just the axis labels. Is there a way to switch to scientific notation for the axis labels. It would also be nice if the entry box showed the values and not 0 when you input small numbers.


  1. For the Numeric Labels and Numeric Text Fields you can set the number format pattern on the component to something like 0.###E0. You can click on the ‘%’ icon to get examples that include this scientific notation.

  2. This feature is currently not available. I am putting it in now as a feature request. For now, you can edit the axis and set the Auto Tick Units property to False, the Tick Units to 1 and Gridline Units to 1. This will cause only a ‘0’ to show up on your axis so it doesn’t take up most of the screen. You can still see the values by mousing over a point on the graph or right-clicking on it and selecting Mode->X-Trace.

1.) Yes that works fine.
2.) You must not have any clients who use ultra high vacuum (e.g. semi-conductors, nano-technolopgy, thin film growth, etc.) if you can get buy without being able to display scientific notation. (Hopefully you now feel inspired to supply scientific notation). Can you give me a time frame when such a feature might be implemented.

Unfortunately I can’t give you a time frame. I don’t know what the developers schedules are like so I couldn’t guess when they will finish it.

I’m feeling so inspired! This shouldn’t take too long, but its hard to gauge right now as we’re pretty busy with post-release issues. I’d guess within 2 months is likely. This should probably be a per-axis setting, right? As in, you might want it for one Y-axis, but not another? Maybe it should be simply automatic - values under or over some cutoff automatically get displayed in scientific notation?

FWIW, I think it would be better to allow the developer to explicitly configure an axis for scientific notation.

Well, once you start getting ink marks on you computer screen trying to count the number of zeros to the right of the decimal place you probably know that you need scientific notation. The difference between 0.0000001 and 0.000001 is a lot easier when you can see 1e-7 and 1e-6.

For the charts I think a per axis setting is probably best and it is probably better to have it be manually selectable and not automatic. If you keep it manual people who don’t understand scientific notation wouldn’t get confused and it also gives the choice to the screen developer. The scientific notation option should of course include the data entry. If you select scientific notation the minimum and maximum should display in scientific notation. That would preclude me from having to enter 0.000000001 for 1e-9.


Sounds good, thanks for the feedback. I’m always looking for ways to reduce the amount of configuration if possible, but it sounds like manual is the way to go here.

Hopefully, this thread isn’t dead. Using Mode X-Trace doesn’t work. It doesn’t give the correct value in scientific notation. Anything under 0.01 shows up as 0. Is there something I need to change. After adjusting the Format in the Metadata to 0.00E00 it displays correctly if I display it’s value on a screen but it has no affect on the Mode X-trace feature.

Don’t worry - this hasn’t been forgotten. We’ve got a bunch of places that need to be upgraded to be more scientific notation friendly.

Ok - this is in for the next release. Scientific notation support has been improved in a number of areas: tag value editor, easy chart axes, chart x-trace & mark modes, and classic chart axes.