Asylum Research


Thumbnail Viewer Software Utility

For Graphical Viewing of Files


The Asylum Research AFM system software, based in IGOR Pro, is a powerful data acquisition and analysis program. The experiment data files are generated in the IGOR Binary Wave (.ibw) format. Now, an easy-to-use utility allows users to visually identify all their data files while browsing outside the IGOR environment.

Asylum Research has developed the Thumbnail Viewer Utility to graphically display scanned images and force plots as thumbnails and icons that represent the first data. These images, along with other critical data from the .ibw files can be viewed in Windows without the need to open them in IGOR. This utility allows users a unique way to visually differentiate, sort, search and organize their experiment data files. Now, all .ibw data files created with the software will be graphically unique.

How It Works
The Thumbnail Viewer Utility integrates with the Windows Explorer as a shell extension to promote new specialized capabilities. Since AFM data files contain specific information, it is now possible to extend the shell to look at these files differently than others.

  • Once an .ibw file is created, a small thumbnail of the full size image is created and stored in the file as well as information specific to the experiment and conditions at the time of capture. This allows quick, easy access to the file data for immediate display when Windows makes a request for that file. Once the information is gathered, it is appropriately displayed based on the configured view settings. For experiment data, a request is made to retrieve information for display in a column (when in details mode) or as an info tip when the mouse hovers over the file.

Features and Configurations

  • Thumbnails and large or small icons of the first data channel in the .ibw file are displayed instead of the normal IGOR Pro icon (Figure 1). Force measurement files display both the extend and retract traces.

  • Thumbnails and icon display modes are configured from the View menu. Choices include Thumbnails, Tiles, Icons, List, or Details

  • “Infotips” (Figure 2) display the scan size, direction, mode, points and number of channels when the mouse hovers over the file.

  • In “Details View” (Figure 3), information is displayed in columnar format with user selectable parameters for the columns. (ie. scan size, scan points, scan direction, channels, imaging mode, etc.). Files may be sorted by column header in ascending or descending order.

  • "File Properties" (Figure 4) dialog shows larger views of the different data channels from the Asylum Research tab. Name/Value pairs from the note are shown in a scrollable listbox.


Click on the image for an enlarged view of the screen shot.

Figure 1: The Thumbnail Viewer displays icons of the .ibw IGOR Pro data files. This allows users to visually identify their experiment data files in the Windows browser.


Figure 2: “The Info Tips” popup box displays scan size, direction, mode, and points information when mousing over the file name.


Figure 3a

Figure 3b

Figure 3: The “Details View” (3a) displays all the information about the file in columnar format for easy viewing and sorting. Users may select trom a variety of file parameters that they want to display in "Choose Details".


Figure 4: The “File Properties” dialog box shows experiment-specific channel data and the corresponding settings.


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