Tools Toolbar

Main Menu: View > Tools
Shortcut:
F5

The Tools Toolbar contains tools for making "point and click" manual measurements, such as counting points, measuring angles, distances, perimeters or areas on the image.

By default  the Tools Toolbar is aligned to the left, but it can be rearranged as a floating palette or aligned to any other side of the main window as well.

The basic steps involved in taking manual measurements are:

  1. Selecting the appropriate tool in the Tools Toolbar, shown to the right, depending on which measurement. you need to take (polygon, segment, automatic area, etc.).

  2. Taking the actual measurement in your image. Each tool has its own way of obtaining a measurement. See How the different measurement tools work below for instructions about the process for each different  tool.

  3. When you take a measurement, it appears on the image along with its label (see ), and also is automatically recorded in the Measurements Pane data sheet.

  4. Alternatively, after all the measurements on the image are done, they can be exported to the Results window, in order to consolidate measurements from different images in a single datasheet or divide them in series to perform statistical analysis or generate charts.

Note:
You may want to set the Conversion Factor before taking any measurements.

How the different measurement tools work

The tools on the top: Angle:   or , Segment:   Polygon   and Arc/Circle insert control points with each click. The points are connected between them by lines (except in the Arc/Circle tool). The angle and the arc/circle tools only use three points and the segment tool just two, but the Polygon tool can add any number of points, to measure multiple segments, perimeters or areas:

If the angle tool is set to use segments for determining angles it will look and work differently. Learn more.

To invert the angle (from clockwise to counter-clockwise or vice versa), open the Measurements Pane and select "Inv. Angle"  in the Options column.

The Polygon tool  allows closing the drawing path (to measure an area). To do so click on the first point. You will notice that the cursor changes to a link:

Clicking on the first point will close the path and write the measurement. In case you need to move the first point without actually closing the path, press the Alt key while clicking it.

 

The Rectangle and Ellipse tools place a 10x10 pixels size rectangular or elliptical shape on the image (that size may be modified at Preferences tab). To move or resize the measurement click the shape control points. If the SHIFT key is pressed while resizing the shape it will have exactly the same width and height, so it will become a perfect square or a circle.

To write the measurement right click and select Write measurement, or choose Unselect (Cancel) if you want to cancel it.

The freehand tool draws a line following the mouse movements, until the mouse button is released. Then asks if you want to close the shape. If you want to measure area you should close the shape, otherwise only length will be measured.

Each measurement will be numbered sequentially, but if you delete some measurement that may cause gaps in the measurement numbering sequence. To clear such gaps use the Clear counting gaps command on the Measurements menu.

Use the Measurement Selection tool  to modify the position of the points or add new points to measurements already written.

Some measurements tools ( ) cannot be selected with  the Measurement Selection tool. To select those measurements open the Measurements Pane and mark as selected the measurement or measurements you want to select.

Configuring predetermined options

Some tools can be work in different ways depending on its settings. To define how tools work right click on the tool you want to configure, or just select the Edit > Preferences menu command to open the  Preferences window.

The following table describes how each tool work.

Options: CF: Uses the Conversion Factor. CO: Supports copying.

Tool
Options
Description

Angle Measurement Tool

 

The angle tool can be configured in two different ways in Preferences window:
  1.   The Angle tool allows you to determine the angle defined by three points within the digital image.
    Angles are drawn by clicking on three points: on one point subtending the angle, the vertex and the second point on the rays subtending the angle to be measured. Place the cursor over the initial point (1), click, point to the angle center (2) and click other time, point to the final point (3), and click again.

To write the measurement right click and choose Write measurement.

Angle measurements can be duplicated.

If End segment and angle measurement automatically is set ON in Preferences window, the measurement will be written automatically as soon you click for a third time.

  1. The angle tool will work differently, instead clicking three times to draw an angle, the user should select consecutively two segments previously drawn on the image.

After two segments are selected, an angle based on the two selected segments will be automatically drawn.

Also, in the preferences, it can be set how the angle will be inverted, when Invert angle is selected from the Measurement Pane. Angles can be inverted by subtracting the angle from 360 or from 180, depending on how it was set in the Preferences window.

Line Measurement Tool

CF

The Line tool allows you to determine the distance defined between two points within the image.
To draw a single-segment line, click at one end of the line, point to the other end and click again.

To write the measurement right click and choose Write measurement.
If
End segment and angle measurement automatically is set ON in Preferences window, the measurement will be written automatically as soon you click for a second time.

Line measurements can be duplicated, optionally rotating them 90 degrees.

Manual Tags and Counter Tool

 

The Manual Tag and Counter Tool allows counting manually objects within an image. Each time you click on an image , a tag appears on it  and both  the current image and the global counters are increased by one.  Each tag is stored in the Measurements Pane and numbered accordingly to the current image counter.

To change the counter  for the current image right-click .

The global counter counts the clicks done on many  images. See Measurements->Counter menu.

Manual area/perimeter measurement

 

Polygonal Area/Perimeter Measurement
Tool

CF,
CO

Click on the first point, and continue moving and clicking until you have marked all segments. To measure a polygonal area click on the first point at the end of the measurement in order to close the polygon.
To write the measurement right click.

Polygonal measurements can be duplicated.

Rectangular Area/Perimeter Measurement Tool (*)

CF,
CO

Drag on the image to select a rectangular area.

You may adjust the boundaries and position of a rectangular selection while it is active. To adjust a boundary, place the cursor along the edge or corner of the rectangle selection and drag it when the 2-way cursor appears. To move the rectangle selection, place your cursor in the middle of the rectangle and drag it when the 4-way cursor appears.

To write the measurement right click and choose Write measurement.

Rectangular measurements can be duplicated.

Elliptical Area/Perimeter Measurement Tool (*)

CF,  CO

Drag on the image to select an elliptical area. The selecting is drawn from the center. To move the selection, place your cursor in the middle of the rectangle and drag it when the 4-way cursor appears.

To rotate elliptical area measurements use the rounded handler on the top right side of the ellipse. A line will be drawn to indicate the former horizontal axis of the ellipse.

To write the measurement right click and choose Write measurement or Write measurement and extended information.

Elliptical measurements can be duplicated.

NOTES:

Comparing the Elliptical and Automatic Area Measurement Tools

FreeForm Tool

CF

Draws irregular shapes and calculates length/perimeter and area.

Start drawing by holding down the mouse button while drawing the shape. Continue to hold the mouse button while you draw free hand.

When you release the mouse button select if you want to close the shape (to measure area and perimeter) or not (to measure only length).

(*)

Both and tools draw a predetermined size rectangular or circular selection when you click, the size of that shape is predetermined by the Rectangle/Size default size, set in Preferences window.

Arc/Circle measurement with three clicks

Arc/Circle Measurement Tool

CF

Easy three point measurement or arcs and circles, obtaining the length of an arc or the circumference of a circle. Also it will calculate the circle or  arc sector area.

To measure a circle/arc, click on three points along its perimeter. First place the point at one end of the arc, then the middle point and finally the other ending point (the middle point should be always set with the second click).

By default the Arc/Circle tool measures the length of arcs, as well the area of arc sectors. To measure an inverted arc or a circle open  the Measurements Pane and in the grid line that shows the measurements for the arc select Inv. Arc or Circle in the Options column.

You will notice that in the Status column it is indicated if it is measuring an Arc, and Inverted Arc or a Circle. When selecting any of these three options, the measurements shown on the image and in the measurements grid will be updated automatically.

 

Automatic selection area measurement

Automatic Area Measurement Tool

CF

Makes automatic selections of pixel areas with similar color.

Click the color you want to select. A mask will mark the selection.

To modify the selection scope and modify other related settings,  open the Selection Settings palette.

NOTE:

Comparing the Elliptical and Automatic Area Measurement Tools

The following buttons are not measurement tools but perform other useful functions:

Measurement Selection Tool

Use the Measurement Selection Tool to edit measurements previously done with the , , , or tools.
To select a measurement click on any of its lines, after the measurement is selected its lines can moved or stretched.

Some measurements tools ( ) cannot be selected with  the Measurement Selection tool. To select those measurements open the Measurements Pane and mark as selected the measurement or measurements you want to select.

To write the measurement (replacing the previous measurement by the modified one) right click and choose Write measurement. To cancel all modifications and keep the previous measurement, right click and choose Unselect (Cancel).

Note: To modify a measurement done by the tool you should select it in the Measurements Pane and then open the Selection Settings palette.

Color Picker Tool

 

Use the Picker Tool to set the foreground color.
Click the color you want to pick.
Freehand Pencil Tool
Use the Freehand Pencil Tool to paint over the image.

Right click on the Pencil Tool to change its brush size.

Hand Grabbing Tool

Scrolls an image in any direction when the whole image is bigger than the image window.

 

Text Tool

To add Text on the images. The text will appear on the image using any typeface, color and size and have a maximum length of 255 characters.
After added, text can be deleted but not moved. Text will be placed where you clicked when creating it.

Note Tool

 

The Note tool lets you add the equivalent of a sticky note to your image.

When you add a note, a note icon and a pop-up windows appears (the Note editor). After you type the text in the Note editor click the OK button to close it.

Notes have a maximum length of 32000 characters.

To modify a Note text select the tool and double click the note. Also you can drag the note to another location after selecting it (sometimes it may be need to click the Note several times).

If you want the Note text to appear directly on the image use the Text Tool instead the Note Tool.

Foreground/Background Color

Click on the Foreground (at the top) or Background (at the bottom) boxes to open the color window and selecting a new color.

The Foreground color determines the color used to draw the new measurements, although after a measurement is done, its color can be modified at the Measurements Pane.

Click  to swap the Foreground and Background colors.