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Entry type: FAQ, Entry ID: 38566219, Entry date: 09/21/2009

How can you change the colors of the messages displayed in WinCC Alarm Control, also at Runtime, independently of the Alarm Logging settings?

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The colors of the messages (message types) are set in Alarm Logging. You can set a color for each message type (e.g. Alarm High, Alarm Low, ...) to increase clarity when there are many messages.
If, in the Alarm Control of a WinCC picture, the messages are displayed in the same color (Fig. 01), it is difficult to distinguish between the different messages.

Fig. 01

WinCC provides the option of displaying the separate lines in different colors in the Alarm Control instead in different colors for the different message types without having to change the color settings for the message types (Fig. 02). Using a VBS script, you can switch between the two display options via a button.

Fig. 02


  • If you change the color differentiation for the different message types, you lose the signal effect of the messages (e.g. ALARM messages), therefore you should use switching of the color differentiation only for non-safety-relevant applications.
  • The settings apply for the whole Alarm Control, i.e. when you switch the message lists (message list, short-term archive list, long-term archive list), the settings selected are retained.

Setting different colors the individual lines

No. Procedure
1 Open the WinCC Graphics Designer with the WinCC picture which displays the Alarm Control.
2 Double-click on the Alarm Control and select the "Effects" tab.
3 Under "Table Content", check the "Row color 2" check box and for both rows you select the background color and font color. Click on the button next to the color displayed to open the color selection dialog.

Fig. 03

4 Select the "General" tab and clear the "Show message colors" check box.

Fig. 04

If you use a button to switch between the different types of color differentiation, this check box determines the preselection when Runtime is started.

You can make the settings described also during Runtime. Proceed as follows in the Graphics Designer (before starting Runtime):

  • In the Alarm Control properties, in the "Toolbar" tab, check the "Configuration Dialog" check box in the "Button Functions" list.
  • In the Alarm Control properties, in the "Online Configuration" tab, select the "Retain during Runtime" option (changes are discarded upon termination) or the "Retain permanently" option.

During Runtime:

  • In Runtime, click on "Configuration Dialog" in the toolbar. Then you can make the settings specified in the upper table.

Changing color differentiation by button
You click on the button to switch between color differentiation by message type and color differentiation by line.

No. Procedure
1 Open the WinCC Graphics Designer with the WinCC picture which displays the Alarm Control.
2 Create a button (Object Palette: Windows Objects > Button).
3 Right-click on the button and select the "Properties" menu command.
4 Click on the "Event" tab and double-click on "Button" > "Mouse".
5 In the "Mouse click" line, right-click on the lightning icon in the "Action" column and select the "VBS action" menu command.
6 Insert the following lines between the existing lines and close the VBS Action editor with "OK".

Dim obj
Set obj = HMIRuntime.ActiveScreen.ScreenItems("Control1")
obj.UseMessageColor = Not obj.UseMessageColor

If you have configured more than one control on the WinCC picture, you must replace the "Control1" object name in parentheses with the object name of your Alarm Control. When you mark the Alarm Control, the object name is displayed in the status line of the Graphics Designer.

The instructions in this entry have been tested with the following versions.

Component Product and version designation
PC operating system Microsoft Server 2003 SP2
Standard tools ---
HMI software WinCC 7.0
Options ---
Controllers ---

Alarm classes, Message classes, Message type, Color change

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