DIPimage User Manual » Customizing the DIPimage Environment

Figure windows

The single most important thing that can be customized in the DIPimage environment is the way that images are displayed to figure windows. It is possible to link a variable name with a figure handle, such that that variable is always displayed in that same window. If a variable is not linked to any window, a new one will be opened to display it. The command dipfig is used to create these links (see Creating, linking and clearing figure windows: dipfig and dipclf).

Graphical user interface

The DIPimage toolbox contains a GUI with a menu system for easy calling of toolbox functions. It is not necessary to use this GUI, but it is the easy way of finding the functions defined in the toolbox (see The GUI: dipimage). The menu structure can be modified at will, see Adding functions to the GUI for instructions.

The DIPimage GUI will call the dipinit command when starting. It initializes the working environment. See Initialization file.

Another thing that can be customized in the GUI is whether the command it executes should be printed to MATLAB's command window. This is useful for copying and pasting the command being executed to some script or function. It is on by default, and can be switched off by typing

dipsetpref('PutInCommandWindow','off')

Adding functions to the GUI

To add a function to the GUI, it must be on the MATLAB path, and you must make information about it available to the GUI. The second requirement is accomplished by writing a function localdipmenus. The function should be defined by itself in a file called localdipmenus.m and be somewhere on the MATLAB path. See help addpath to learn about the MATLAB path. localdipmenus is defined as follows:

function [menulist,funclist] = localdipmenus(menulist)

menulist = [menulist;{'My Menu',{'myfunction'}}];
I = strcmp('Restoration',menulist(:,1));
menulist(I,:) = []; % remove the 'Restoration' menu
I = strcmp('readtimeseries',menulist{1,2});
menulist{1,2}(I) = []; % remove the 'readtimeseries' function from the first menu

funclist = containers.Map('KeyType','char','ValueType','any');
funclist('myfunction') = struct(...
   'display','My Function',...
   'inparams',struct('description',{'Parameter 1','Parameter 2'},...
                     'type',       {'image',      'array'},...
                     'constraint', {{'real'},     []},...
                     'default',    {'a',          3.7}),...
   'outparams',{{'Output image'}});

There are two things happening in this function:

1- The variable menulist is being edited. It defines what the menu structure in the GUI looks like. You can add menus, add items to menus, as well as remove items and menus. You can even ignore the input menulist and create one from scratch. See the function dipmenus for the definition of the default menulist structure. In the code above, we added a menu called "My Menu", which contains a single command, myfunction. myfunction must be a function on the MATLAB path.

2- A map object is created that contains a single entry for myfunction. This map will be added to the default map defined in dipmenus, which provides information about all the DIPimage functions in the GUI menu. The structure assigned to the myfunction entry in the map is rather complex. We describe it in detail below.

The cell array menulist has two columns. The left column gives the names of the menus, the right column contains cell arrays with the function names and menu names that are to be put under each menu. Names in the right column that start with # are menu names, and put the corresponding menu as a sub-menu at that point. A string '-' inserts a menu separator at that point. See the code for dipmenus to see how it is defined.

The structure that describes the input and output parameters of a function contains three values:

ValueMeaning
displayName for the function in the menu (string)
inparamsStructure array with input parameters
outparamsStructure array with output parameters

Both inparams and outparams are optional, if not provided the function does not accept input or output parameters.

paramlist.outparams is a cell array with strings that describe the output parameters

paramlist.inparams is a struct array that defines the input parameters, and contains the following fields for each parameter:

ValueMeaning
descriptionDescription to show the user (string).
typeExpected data type (string).
constraintMeaning depends on the parameter type.
defaultDefault value to use if the parameter is not given.

Each parameter type produces different controls in the GUI. Recognized types are listed below. Please examine the dipmenus function to learn more about this structure.

'image'

An object of type dip_image. The GUI presents an edit box where you can type any expression. Furthermore, a right-click in this edit box brings up a list with variables of class dip_image defined in the base workspace.

constraint is used to specify the type of image expected. It determines which images are shown in the right-click menu for the control. It is a cell array containing the following optional components:

  • A two-element vector [m,n] defining the allowed image dimensionalities. m is the lowest dimensionality and n is the highest dimensionality allowed. The expressions 0 and [] map to [0,Inf], meaning any dimensionality is OK. Any scalar m maps to [m,m], meaning only images with m dimensions are allowed. If not given, [0,Inf] is presumed. For example, to limit your function to 2D and 3D images, use [2,3].
  • A set of strings defining the allowed image types: 'scalar' (requires isscalar to be true), 'vector' (isvector is true), 'color' (iscolor is true), or 'tensor' or 'array' (any dip_image object is OK). 'tensor' is the default.
  • A set of strings defining the allowed data types. Allowed are any combination of dip_image data types (see Creating a dip_image object) as well as the data type aliases defined in the table below. 'all' is the default.
Data type aliasMaps to
'any''complex' + bin
'complex''real' + scomplex + dcomplex
'noncomplex''real' + bin
'real''float' + 'integer'
'int' or 'integer''signed' + 'unsigned'
'float'sfloat + dfloat
'sint' or 'signed'sint8 + sint16 + sint32 + sint64
'uint' or 'unsigned'uint8 + uint16 + uint32 + uint64

Note that the numeric vector defining the dimensionality must come first if present. The other elements are all strings, and can be presented in any order.

default is a string to be evaluated in the base workspace (therefore, you can use any expression with names of variables in the base workspace). The toolbox typically uses letters such as 'a' or 'b' as a default value for an image, under the assumption that these letters are used to store images. But it is also possible to specify something like '[1,1,1;1,1,1;1,1,1]' as a default image (as does the function convolve).

'measurement'

An object of type dip_measurement. This input is treated the same as one of type 'image', except that constraint is not used; set it to [] to avoid problems if this value becomes significant in the future.

'dataset'

An object of type dataset (from PRTOOLS). This input is treated the same as one of type 'image', except that constraint is not used; set it to [] to avoid problems if this value becomes significant in the future.

'array'

An array of doubles. constraint is not used; set it to [] to avoid problems if this value becomes significant in the future.

The type anytypearray is identical, but does not convert numeric data to doubles, allowing numeric arrays of other types (integer, float, etc).

'measureid'

A measurement ID in a dip_measurement object.

constraint is a positive integer that points to a parameter of type 'measurement' (note that counting starts at 1). The GUI shows, in a drop-down list, all measurement IDs present in the referenced object.

default is ignored. The default is always the first measurement in the dip_measurement object.

'option'

A value (numerical or string) selected from a list. The GUI presents a drop-down list with options to choose from.

constraint is a cell array with possible options, for example:

  • {1,2,3,4}
  • {'rectangular','elliptic','parabolic'}

default is any one value from the list.

'optionarray'

A cell array (with numbers or strings) selected from a list. The GUI presents an edit box with a button. Pressing the button brings up a dialog box that allows selecting one or more items from a list.

constraint is as in 'option'. default is a cell array with values from the list, or a single value.

'cellarray'

A cell array (with arbitrary cell content). constraint is ignored. default must be a cellarray.

'infile'

The name of an existing file (for input). The GUI presents an edit box and a button that, when pressed, presents an "Open..." dialog box.

constraint is a string containing the mask for the file name, and default is a string with the default file name.

'outfile'

The name of a file (for output). The GUI presents an edit box and a button that, when pressed, presents an "Save as..." dialog box. See the comments for 'infile'.

'indir'

The GUI presents an edit box and a button that, when pressed, presents an "Select a directory ..." dialog box. constraint is ignored, default gives the default directory.

'handle'

The handle of a figure window created by dipshow. The GUI shows a drop-down list with the titles of all figure windows that fit the description. Right-clicking the control shows a context menu with the option to reload the control, which can be used when new windows were created after the dialog box was displayed.

constraint is a cell array with strings that specify the type of figure window required. All figure windows that satisfy any of the strings are valid. Examples are:

  • {'1D','2D','3D'} : either one-, two- or three-dimensional displays.
  • {'Color','Grey','Binary'} : either color, grey-value or binary displays.
  • {'1D_Color','2D_Grey'} : either 1D color or 2D grey-value displays.

An empty array means that any window created by dipshow is acceptable. Note that these strings are not case-sensitive. It is, however, important that the order shown here is maintained. No window will satisfy the string 'Binary_2D', for example, but '2D_Binary' is valid.

default is ignored. The default value is always gcf (the current figure).

'string'

Any string. constraint is ignored. default must be a string.

'boolean'

The value true or false. The GUI presents a drop-down box with the words "yes" and "no". constraint is ignored. default should be a scalar value (true, false, 0 or 1), or yes or no.

Initialization file

The DIPimage GUI will call the dipinit command when starting. It initializes the working environment, setting up figure windows and the like. You can also call it yourself, to return the windows to their starting positions. You can edit this file to suit your need (or you can create a local copy, making sure that it sits on the MATLAB path before the original one; this is recommended in multi-user systems). Since it is a script, not a function, it can initialize some variables if you like. It can also be used to position the DIPimage GUI to the place of your liking:

set(0,'ShowHiddenHandles','on')
h = findobj('tag','DIPimage_Main_Window');
set(h,'Position',[500,600,500,100])
set(0,'ShowHiddenHandles','off')

Other settings

Other settings are available through the dipsetpref command (see Toolbox preferences: dipsetpref and dipgetpref). They are listed below:

BinaryDisplayColor

Value: 3x1 array of floats between 0 and 1

Default: [1 0 0]

This specifies the color used to display the object pixels in a binary image. Be default they are red, out of historical reasons. Some people prefer a different color, such as white ([1 1 1]) or green ([0 1 0]).

BringToFrontOnDisplay

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'on'

This setting controls whether dipshow brings a window to the front when displaying a new image, or updating an old one.

CheapSqueeze

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'on'

This setting affects the behavior of the squeeze method of dip_image objects. When set to 'off', it mimics the behavior of DIPimage 2, possibly incurring a data copy. See A note on the reshape and squeeze methods.

ComplexMappingDisplay

Value: string

Default: 'x+iy'

This only affects display of complex images in dipshow. When using the [Pixel testing]{} mode in the image display window, the pixel value can be displayed as real and imaginary components ('x+iy'), or as magnitude and phase components('r/phi').

CurrentImageFileDir

Value: string

Default: "

This setting stores the directory last visited by the file selection dialog boxes of readim, readtimeseries and writeim. It is used by these functions to open the file selection dialog box in the directory you last used.

CurrentImageSaveDir

Value: string

Default: "

This setting stores the directory last visited by the file selection dialog box of the "Save display..." option of the "File" menu of the figure windows. It is used to open the file selection dialog box in the directory you last used. An empty string means that the current directory is to be used.

DefaultActionState

Value: string

Default: 'diptest'

This is the action mode that will be enabled by dipshow when displaying an image to a new window, or to a window with a mode not compatible with the image being displayed. Possible values are 'none', 'diptest', 'dipzoom' and 'dipstep'. See Using the mouse in figure windows.

DefaultColorMap

Value: string

Default: 'grey'

This is the colormap that will be used by dipshow when displaying an image to a new window. Possible values are 'grey', 'periodic', 'saturation', 'zerobased' and 'labels'. See Figure window support: dipmapping and The figure window menus.

DefaultComplexMapping

Value: string

Default: 'abs'

This is the complex mapping mode that will be enabled by dipshow when displaying an image to a new window, or to a window with a mode not compatible with the image being displayed. Possible values are 'abs', 'phase', 'real' and 'imag'. See Figure window support: dipmapping and The figure window menus.

DefaultFigureHeight

Value: integer

Default: 256

This value determines the height of a window created by dipshow or dipfig, unless a size is explicitly given.

DefaultFigureWidth

Value: integer

Default: 256

This value determines the width of a window created by dipshow or dipfig, unless a size is explicitly given.

DefaultGlobalStretch

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'off'

Set this option if you want global stretching for 3D/4D images on by default in dipshow. See Figure window support: dipmapping and The figure window menus.

DefaultMappingMode

Value: string

Default: 'normal'

This is the mapping mode that will be enabled by dipshow when displaying an image to a new window, or to a window with a mode not compatible with the image being displayed. Possible values are 'lin', 'percentile', 'log', 'base', 'angle' and 'orientation'. See Figure window support: dipmapping and sec_dum_figurewindows_menus.

DefaultSlicing

Value: string

Default: 'xy'

Sets the direction in which 3D/4D volumes are sliced by default in dipshow. Possible values are 'xy', 'xz', 'yz', 'xt', 'yt' and 'zt'. But if you select one of the options with t, 3D images cannot be displayed. See Figure window support: dipmapping and The figure window menus.

DisplayFunction

Value: 'dipshow', 'viewslice' or 'view5d'

Default: 'dipshow'

This option selects how images are shown to a figure window when the command does not end with a semicolon. dipshow is the default method, yielding well-integrated display windows. See Figure Windows for more information on these figure windows.

Many of the settings described in this section apply only to the figure windows created by dipshow, not to the two alternatives described below. Similarly, dipfig, diptruesize, diptest, etc. only apply to figure windows created by dipshow, as do the interactive tools described in Interactive tools: dipgetcoords, diproi, et al..

viewslice is an alternate method. It uses the DIPviewer tool. This tool has no limitations to what type of images can be shown (i.e. it can show images with more than 4 dimensions, as well as tensor images). However, programmatic interaction with the figure windows is limited to basic window manipulation and updating the image. See the DIPviewer documentation for more information on how to interact with these figure windows.

view5d is yet another alternate method. It uses Rainer Heintzmann's View5D Java applet, which needs to be installed separately. See help view5d for instructions on installation. See the tool's documentation for instructions and tutorials. The applet allows updating the image shown, and a series of methods of the Java object can be invoked to programmatically control some aspects of the figure window.

DisplayToFigure

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'on'

When this setting is 'on', the display method of the dip_image object sends the image data to a figure window. When it is 'off', disp is called instead. The display method is called when a MATLAB command does not end with a semicolon. See Displaying dip_image objects for more information on this behavior.

EnableKeyboard

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'on'

If you set this value to 'off', the keyboard will be disabled when displaying an image with dipshow. This is useful for Windows machines, on which the figure window will get keyboard focus when displaying an image. This can be annoying when you want to continue typing. Enable the keyboard callback for a figure window using the appropriate menu item under "Actions".

FileWriteWarning

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'off'

If you set this to 'on' everything you write a non-standard TIFF image in terms of byte depth or compression a warning will be displayed on the screen. This is useful as many image viewers cannot read anything but uint8 uncompressed images (e.g. the standard Windows image TIFF viewer).

FtOption

Value: '', 'symmetric', 'corner' or 'fast'

Default: ''

This preference defines one option that will be added to the options input argument to ft and ift. Set this to 'symmetric' to ensure that all subsequent calls to ft and ift will use the symmetric normalization, and therefore behave like in DIPimage 2.

Gamma

NOTE: This setting is not currently used

Value: 3x1 array of floats

Default: [1 1 1]

These parameters control the display of all colour images shown by dipshow. If the values are different from unity a gamma correction is applied before displaying any image. The different values control the behaviour for the Red, Green and Blue channel respectively.

GammaGrey

NOTE: This setting is not currently used

Value: float

Default: 1

Similar to 'Gamma', but only for grey-value images. This parameter controls the display of all grey-value images shown by dipshow. If the value is different from unity a gamma correction is applied before displaying any image.

ImageFilePath

Value: string

Default: "

This setting stores the path used to find image files. The functions readim, readtiff, readics and readtimeseries look for a file first in the current directory, and then in each of the directories given by this option, unless the filename already contains a path. On UNIX and Linux systems, directories are separated by a colon (:), on Windows systems by a semicolon (;).

ImageSizeLimit

Value: integer

Default: 4096

This is the maximum size of an image automatically displayed through display. If any of the sizes of an image is larger, you will need to display it manually using dipshow or viewslice. The reason behind this behavior is that such an image is most likely to be created accidentally, and not meant for display anyway. For example, a(a>10) returns a 1D image with all pixel values of a larger than 10; this is very useful, but not interesting to look at. For a large a (such as a 3D image), the display of the resulting 1D image might require a lot of memory.

KeepDataType

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'off'

By default, DIPimage performs arithmetic computations in a floating-point type (either single or double precision depending on the types of the input). The output image is always of the type used in the computations.

Setting this option to 'on' causes these arithmetic operations to be more conservative with memory usage. If one of the operands is a single-pixel image (as is the case in img + 1), the type of the other image is used, except if the single-pixel image is complex, in which case a complex output image must be produced. Otherwise, a type is chosen that can hold values from both input types. Typically this means the larger of the two types is chosen, but when signed and unsigned integers are mixed, a larger type can result.

The function resample also responds to this setting, see help resample.

NumberOfThreads

Value: integer

Default: usually the number of cores in your system, or the value given by the OMP_NUM_THREAD environment variable.

The number of threads used for computation by DIPlib. This does not affect the computations performed by MATLAB itself.

PutInCommandWindow

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'on'

This option causes commands that are executed from the DIPimage GUI to be printed to the command window. This makes it possible to copy and paste commands being executed to a MATLAB script.

RespectVisibility

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'off'

By default, dipshow hides a window while it prepares for displaying a new image, then makes it visible again. This speeds up the process, and removes flickering. Setting 'RespectVisibility' to 'on' the window remains visible if it was visible (some flickering might occur), and hidden if it was hidden.

TrueSize

Value: 'on' or 'off'

Default: 'on'

This setting controls whether diptruesize is called after an image is displayed to a figure window with dipshow (see Figure window support: diptruesize).

UserManualLocation

Value: string

Default: The location where this manual is installed.

This setting stores the location of the DIPimage User Manual (a PDF file). You can change it to point to wherever you keep a local copy of the PDF file. A link on the Help menu of the DIPimage GUI is affected by this setting.