v3.8.0.1
Document and Entity Information - USD ($)
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2017
Feb. 16, 2018
Jun. 30, 2017
Document And Entity Information [Abstract]      
Document Type 10-K    
Amendment Flag false    
Document Period End Date Dec. 31, 2017    
Document Fiscal Period Focus FY    
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2017    
Entity Registrant Name NATIONAL INSTRUMENTS CORP /DE/    
Entity Central Index Key 0000935494    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31    
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer    
Entity Voluntary Filers No    
Entity Well-known Seasoned Issuer Yes    
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes    
Entity Public Float     $ 2,138,334,992
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   131,204,795