This paper describes the characteristics of flat panel displays that use the waveguide principle with liquid crystal (LC) switching. The requirements and previous achievements with respect to the various components of the display are reviewed. Such components include light sensors, modulation methods, planar waveguides, and LC switching methods. The waveguide display approach seems to offer advantages over matrix addressed LC displays, especially for large display area applications. Two novel LC switching methods for efficient deflection of light from the waveguides are described. The other method is based on long-range surface plasmon excitation, and the other on shear addressing.