The Intelligent Tools (iTools) are a set of interactive utilities that combine data analysis and visualization with the task of producing presentation quality graphics. Introduced in IDL 6.0, the iTools are designed to help you get the most out of your data with minimal effort. They allow you to continue to benefit from the control of a programming language, while accelerating your data analysis through the use of interactive utilities. In IDL 6.1, we continue building on this foundation by:
For details on these additions and other enhancements that have been made to the IDL iTools system for the 6.1 release, see the following topics:.
The IDL iTools can now export visualizations in Encapsulated Postscript and Windows Enhanced Metafile formats. This lets you output visualizations such as figures and plots in scalable, publication-quality formats.
Exporting capability. From any iTool, select File ® Export... and select Encapsulated Postscript (eps). Output will be in vector format (if you wish to have raster output, an image format such as TIFF should be used).
Exporting capability. From any iTool, select File ® Export... and select Windows Enhanced Metafile (emf). Output will be in vector format (if you wish to have raster output, an image format such as TIFF should be used).
Vector graphic support has also been enhanced in this release. Vector graphics are described by simple graphic primitives. In a vector file, IDLgrText objects are now rendered as text primitives. These text primitives as well as the other graphic primitive making up the figure or plot can be edited in vector graphic files.
The main advantages of vector graphics are excellent scalability, and the ability to easily edit text and graphic features of the objects in the display. The graphic quality is maintained regardless of whether the graphic size is increased or decreased. The capabilities of the graphic editor determines what can be successfully edited. Simple lines and horizontal text can be easily edited in an EMF file inserted into a Microsoft Word document. In addition to the iTools export format enhancements, changes to IDLgrClipboard and IDLgrPrinter support vector graphic enhancements. See IDLgrClipboard::Draw and IDLgrPrinter::Draw for more information.
The IDL iTools can now import the following file types:
Importing capabilities. From any iTool, select either File ® Open or File ® Import for ESRI Shapefiles, (these are assumed to have the
Importing capabilities. From any iTool, select either File ® Open or File ® Import for JPEG2000 files having the
The new iMap tool allows you to easily display georeferenced image and contour data along with polyline, polygon and point data imported from ESRI Shapefiles. Several predefined shapefiles are provided, including continents, countries, rivers, lakes, US states and Canadian provinces. The iMap tool allows you to quickly display visualizations by defining the data to be warped to the desired map projection, and manipulate visualizations by customizing map projection parameters. See Working with Maps.
The iTools now provide a macro mechanism that lets you record and playback a sequence of interactive operations. You can record a series of actions in one or more iTools, save the series as a macro, and apply it to a new set of data to save you from having to repeat the actions manually. IDL keeps a history of the iTool actions that you perform in a session. You can use the new Macro Editor to create macros from these history items, as well as from other iTool and macro operations, and you can edit previously recorded macros. For more information on macros, see Working with Macros.
A MACRO_NAMES keyword has also been added to each iTool routine. For more information, see IDL Routine Enhancements.
The iTools now provide a style mechanism, which gives you a convenient way to store and apply a set of properties to selected items in an iTool. A new chapter in the iTool User's Guide describes the style capabilities and helps you get started using styles. For more information on styles, see Working with Styles.
A STYLE_NAME keyword has also been added to each iTool routine. For more information, see IDL Routine Enhancements.
The iImage tool has been enhanced for greater usability. The enhancements include:
New features in the iImage tool allow you to crop an image to a specified size. There are two ways to specify the region to be cropped:
When you crop an image, the original image data is replaced by the new, cropped image data. You can retrieve your original data by selecting Edit ® Undo Crop, or by reloading the original image data as a separate visualization.
The Crop operation allows you to crop the selected image to a specified size at a specified location. To activate the crop operation, select Operations ® Crop. The Crop manipulator is automatically activated and the Crop dialog appears.
The X and Y properties of the crop operation represent the location (in the units specified by the Units property) of the lower-left corner of the crop box, relative to the lower-left corner of the image.
The Width and Height properties of the crop operation represent the dimensions (in the units specified by the Units property) of the crop box.
If the X, Y, Width, and Height values have not been set previously, either via the Crop dialog or via the crop manipulator, they are initialized to match the full size of the selected image. If the crop operation has been applied to an image in the current iTool, the values are saved as the operation's new default properties. This allows you to apply the same crop to multiple images within the same tool simply by selecting each image in turn and reselecting the crop operation.
The Units property specifies the units of measure to be used for reporting crop box coordinates. The default is data units. This property will automatically reset to data units (and become de-sensitized) if multiple images are selected and their pixel origins or pixel sizes differ.
When the crop box is sized and positioned as you desire, crop the image either by clicking the Crop button on the Crop dialog, or by double-clicking anywhere within the crop box itself.
The crop manipulator allows you to interactively specify the location and size of the crop box by clicking and dragging a bounding box on the selected image with your mouse. Using the manipulator to create and position a crop box automatically sets the X, Y, Width, and Height properties of the crop operation. Activate the crop manipulator by clicking on the crop button on the manipulator toolbar.
When the crop manipulator is activated, if the crop box size and position properties of the crop operation apply for the first currently selected image, then the crop box visual will automatically appear in the primary visualization window. If the crop box information has never been set for the crop operation, or does not fit within the image, then no crop box automatically appears.
If no crop box visual is present, you can click using the mouse anywhere on an image and drag to create a crop box.
Once a crop box is present, you can reposition it by clicking and dragging anywhere within the crop box, or along its edges. You can also use the keyboard arrow keys to reposition the crop box.
You can change the size of the crop box by clicking and dragging on one of the scale handles. You can remove the current crop box and create a new one by clicking anywhere within the gray area outside of the current crop box.
When the crop box is sized and positioned as you desire, crop the image by:
Several operations have been expanded to modify a selected ROI drawn on an image. Previously these operations could only be applied to the entire image. These operations can now modify the data within the ROI, or the vertices of the ROI.
The following operations act on the data within the ROI:
The following operations act on the ROI vertices, but not data within the ROI:
See Operations on Regions of Interest for additional information.
The iTool Data Manager (Figure 1-3) has been significantly redesigned for greater ease of use. Information about the selected data item, including the iTool visualization in which it is used (if any), is now displayed in a property sheet to the right of the Data Manager tree view.
The iTool Parameter Editor and the Insert Visualization dialog (Figure 1-4), both of which incorporate the Data Manager, have also been redesigned. Parameters for the selected visualization are now shown in a property sheet directly beneath the Data Manager tree view, and the data types allowed for the selected visualization parameter are now displayed to the right of the parameter list.
The features of the redesigned iTool Data Manager are described in detail in Importing and Exporting Data. The features of the redesigned Parameter Editor and Insert Visualization dialog are described in Visualizations.
Drag quality defines the level of detail shown in your tool window when a visualization is translated, scaled, zoomed, or otherwise moved via the mouse. There are three levels of drag quality: Low, Medium, and High. The higher the quality the better the visualizations appear during movement, but at a potential speed decrease (depending on the size of the visualization involved). The default setting is High quality.
You can alter the drag quality in two ways:
A new BACKGROUND_COLOR keyword has been added to the iTool launch routines (ICONTOUR, IIMAGE, etc.) to allow you to set an initial background color for a view from the command line.
The Insert ® Legend menu item has been renamed Insert ® New Legend. The Add to Legend toolbar manipulator has been removed and replaced by the Insert ® Legend Item menu item.
The iVolume tool has the following new properties available in the visualization property sheet:
The iTools now feature keyboard accelerators for the following operations:
The new ITRESOLVE procedure is a convenience routine that resolves (compiles) all of the files used by the iTools system. This is useful when constructing SAVE files containing user code that requires the iTools framework. See ITRESOLVE for details.
The new TOOL keyword to the ITGETCURRENT function allows you to retrieve an object reference to the currently selected iTool. See ITGETCURRENT for details. Also see Controlling iTools from the IDL Command Line, which describes how to programmatically control elements of an iTool.
The new ANNOTATION, FILE_READER, FILE_WRITER, and USER_INTERFACE keywords to the ITREGISTER procedure allow you to register additional iTool components with an iTool. See ITREGISTER for details.
New MACRO_NAMES, STYLE_NAME, and BACKGROUND_COLOR keywords have also been added to each iTool routine. For more information, see IDL Routine Enhancements.
When all visualizations have been removed from a tool, axes are no longer displayed. This functionality has been programmatically exposed through new IDLitVisualization methods. See IDLitVisualization for details.
Plot axis labels, colorbar labels, contour level labels and contour legend captions now allow you to choose from an expanded list of predefined format codes or define a custom format code. The following enhancements have been made:
additional predefined format options are available in the Tick format property.
additional predefined format options are available in the Tick format property.
the new Tick format code and Tick format properties allow you to choose from a list of predefined format codes or create a custom format code. These properties are available when the Label property is set to Value or Text.
three new properties have been added:
Additionally, examples of the predefined format codes are now shown in the Text format code drop-down list. A subset of the dropdown list items are shown in the following figure.
See Visualization Properties for details on all available properties.