Library Computer Access and Retrieval System

Star Trek followers will know that LCARS can be seen in almost every episode of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. Some of these earlier interfaces seen in The Original Series, especially from The Wrath of Khan onwards. The latest screens produced for the Enterprise series are in my opinion not LCARS, since the designs are quite different and can vary, unlike those in TNG, DS9, and VOY, where they all retain the same look.

It is also debatable whether or not the creator of the LCARS was indeed Dr. "Michael Okuda", who is regularly seen discussing LCARS and alien written languages of background graphics shown on the CD's. To try and find an actual date of the invention of the LCARS is not known, although the modern LCARS was first installed on board the Enterprise-D.

The full name "Library Computer Access and Retrieval System"could be seen in "The Price", for example.
The sickbay used in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" is a minor redress of the Star Trek: The Next Generation sickbay, and the LCARS panels on the wall are barely altered, so this could be the first LCARS appearance. However, they do not appear in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country", or indeed the 23rd century portion of "Star Trek Generations".

Star Trek follows may notice that in the first two seasons of The Next Generation, large black rectangles are clearly visible on the LCARS displays on the bridge (and sometimes in main engineering). This was a result of the studio lights reflecting off the displays, which director of photography Edward R. Brown tried to solve by sticking cardboard onto them. When Brown was replaced by Marvin V. Rush for the third season, a number of changes in filming (including better film stock and a smaller number of lights) allowed the LCARS displays to be seen properly.

The LCARS layout has been used in several computer games such as the CD-ROM version of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, as well as the TNG and DS9 CD-ROM Companions.


The control/Display surfaces are composed from three base layers. The outermost layer is fabricated from a 2.5 mm tripolymer-coated transparent aluminium wafer into which is imbedded a sensor matrix.

This matrix detects tactile input by the operator's fingertips. Also incorporated into this layer is a transducer matrix that provides tactile and audible feedback to the operator, indicating that a particular control surface address has been activated.

The aluminium surface wafer is chemically bonded onto a triaxial optical display crystal membrane, which serves as a high resoluyion graphic display medium.

Monocrystal microwave guides at 1.8 mm intervals provide electro plasma system power transmission to the upper sensor matrix and transducer layers.
The substate of the control surface is composed of microfoamed polyduranite sheeting, which provides structural integrity to the assembly.

Incorporated into this layer is a matrix of optical nano-processors, that permit the display surface sheeting to be self-configuring, once addressed and initialized by the local processor node.

For redundancy's sake, the panel nano-processors include sufficient nonvolatile memory to permit system operation, even in the absence of main computer support.

The panels automatically reconfigure themselves to suit the spacific task at hand.

Details from: "Star Trek The Next Generation, Technical Manual"

Most of us believe that the LCARS originals were created by Michael Okuda and his team.
No harm or infringement is intended by me in using their layout.

To see fully functional Pre as well as LCARS Screens in animation form, please select from the main menu to the left.


The following LCARS panels can be used when setting up a web site,  users will need to add additional design/style by using Paint Shop Pro or other media. Or alternatively they can be cut up into various separate panels and then placed into HTML base sets.



This set is in two halves





Internet Explorer Skins

To make our own Explorer skins without all the spam that goes with them.
Follow the instructions by clicking here.

Basic LCARS Colours

When designing LCARS panels, try and keep to the correct LCARS Colour scheme as shown here. Click on the buttons to see which colour scheme is used.

Michael Okuda
Scenic Art Supervisor

Michael Okuda is the scenic art supervisor for Enterprise. He is responsible for the shows' control panels, signage, alien written languages, computer readout animation, and other strange things. Michael worked on all seven years of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, during which he was recognized with three Emmy nominations for Best Visual Effects. His other credits include six Star Trek feature films, The Flash, The Osiris Chronicles, and the never-seen American version of Red Dwarf.

Michael serves as a technical consultant to the writing staff of Star Trek and is co-author of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual book and CD-ROM. Michael grew up in Hawaii, where he graduated from Roosevelt High School and earned a BA in communications from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a member of IATSE Local 816 (Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists) and is a member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Mike is a proponent of science education and he really wants to be the first graphic artist in space.

Rick Sternbach
Senior Illustrator/Designer

With the rebirth of Star Trek, beginning with The Next Generation, Rick was one of the first employees hired to update the Trek universe. He created new spacecraft, tricorders, phasers, and hundreds of other props and set pieces. Using pencil, pen, and computer, Rick added Deep Space Nine and Voyager to his spacecraft inventory, and kept his hand in real space design with Voyager’s Ares IV Mars orbiter (blessed by planetary scientist Dr. Bruce Murray).
Rick contributed graphic designs for the recent Star Trek Nemesis feature film, including the new Romulan bird of prey and Senate chamber floor. He also provided computer playback graphics and animation elements for Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris, and is now at work on a variety of freelance projects related to spaceflight and space hardware modeling.

He is a founding member and Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), which was formed in 1981. He has written and illustrated articles on orbital transfer vehicles and interstellar flight for Science Digest.

To Achieve Reality

The scenic artists have shown that LCARS uses sophisticated integrated artificial intelligence routines to understand and execute vocal natural language commands.
Starfleet personnel also frequently interface with LCARS with PADDs, Tricorders and Touch-screen control panels.

This give the viewer the sense that the graphical interface controls housed underneath touch-sensitive glass, that LCARS panels can be quickly reconfigured by its user to suit the task at hand.
LCARS also controls the retrieval and storage of files in the databanks housed within the ship's computer cores.

Also depending on the starship, the LCARS design, especially the colour scheme, differs. These colours can range now from a yellow/white (found on the USS Enterprise-D) to blue/white scheme (found on the USS Enterprise-E) as seen in Nemesis.
In an alternate timeline in the 25th century, LCARS is further upgraded with three-dimensional control interfaces. (as seen DS9:"The Visitor")

By the 29th century the LCARS system is as far as I can see, replaced by the TCARS system.

Project: LCARS 24 - Built by Bill Morris

This is a Star Trek LCARS Graphical User Interface w/large clock, games, text editor, maps, animations, file manager, viewers, players, calculator, unit conversion, utilities, medical, astronomy. For late 90s laptops w/std. TrueColor, SB. 32-bit DOS/FreeDOS ver.

As the primary user interface on such a machine, LCARS 24 is faster and smoother than any other system. Programs start instantly, faster than the blink of an eye. All functions are labelled, and operation is extremely user friendly.


Did you ever want to change your windows 95/98/2000 computer into a LCARS Terminal system?

I have, and it's superb.

Now it is possible with the LCARS Terminal program. It will change your windows computer into a LCARS Terminal like on the U.S.S. Enterprise E. With this program you can give your windows computer the look and feel of a LCARS Terminal screen and it is possible to copy files, explore your hard disks, browse the internet, use the control panel, configure your soundcard. Even a complete PADD system is included with Agenda, calendar, Weekly planner, to do list, Notes and Logbook.

The program is shareware but is fully running. The only limitation of the shareware version is that there are some shareware requesters.


TOS 30 years

TOS Line

Last edited by Adge - April 2018

Edition 1.2