Stand-alone / pop-out windows

aoa
Posts: 30
Joined: 2015-10-30
Location: United States

It would be great if there was a way to have stand-alone / pop-out windows (particularly graphs, images, and panels) that can move outside of the confines of the main experiment window. I would find this particularly useful during data acquisition with Igor. During acquisition, every inch of screen space feels like it matters.

Ideally, the main experiment window could be minimized while the stand-alone window remains visible.

A related possibility, which would also be a nice addition, is an option to convert the entire experiment window into its stand-alone parts (e.g., a command line window, a drop-down menu window (File, Edit, Data, etc.), a Data Browser, the graphs, and so on, each of which could be handled independently.


Posts: 800
Joined: 2007-03-01
Location: United States

I assume you're using Igor on Windows.

aoa wrote:
It would be great if there was a way to have stand-alone / pop-out windows (particularly graphs, images, and panels) that can move outside of the confines of the main experiment window. I would find this particularly useful during data acquisition with Igor. During acquisition, every inch of screen space feels like it matters.

Why not just expand Igor's main window to be larger? It can span over multiple monitors.

aoa wrote:
A related possibility, which would also be a nice addition, is an option to convert the entire experiment window into its stand-alone parts (e.g., a command line window, a drop-down menu window (File, Edit, Data, etc.), a Data Browser, the graphs, and so on, each of which could be handled independently.

During Igor 7 development, we had experimented with the possibility of allowing Igor to be an MDI application on Macintosh (similar to how it behaves on Windows), and an SDI application on Windows (similar to how it behaves on Macintosh). But we weren't able to make this work well enough to feel comfortable supporting it. It also complicated testing of the user interface greatly (now we have 4 modes instead of 2) and we didn't feel that the feature would be used widely enough to justify further development.


aoa
Posts: 30
Joined: 2015-10-30
Location: United States

aclight wrote:
Why not just expand Igor's main window to be larger? It can span over multiple monitors
...
During Igor 7 development, we had experimented with the possibility of allowing Igor to be an MDI application on Macintosh (similar to how it behaves on Windows), and an SDI application on Windows (similar to how it behaves on Macintosh).
I think having the option would be fantastic. (I've only used Igor on Windows.)

On Windows, the major benefit of having independent windows would be to use all available screen space more economically in conjunction with other programs. At least in patch-clamp electrophysiology, it's not uncommon to need to see a readout from at least ~4 programs at once (e.g., one for a camera attached to a microscope, one listening to manipulator/stage positions, one for data acquisition, one for notekeeping, one or more for auxiliary peripheral equipment). Ideally, all of these things could be done in one program (like Igor!) and then perhaps the full-screen window solution would work. Even then though, one might still want to align windows from multiple instances of Igor (e.g., when one xop requires 32-bit Igor--a situation I'm in--or to avoid memory limitations). In our lab, (sadly) most people are doing all of those example tasks in different programs, so the possibility of making stand-alone windows from Igor would be attractive.


Posts: 1884
Joined: 2007-06-29
Location: United States

I wouldn't recommend it in general, but for your specific application you might put a graph subwindow into a floating control panel. Naturally, it will float above other windows, and no doubt disappear if Igor isn't the active application. But you can position it outside Igor's MDI frame.

John Weeks
WaveMetrics, Inc.
support@wavemetrics.com


aoa
Posts: 30
Joined: 2015-10-30
Location: United States

Thanks, Adam and John. I'd overlooked that newpanel/FLT floating panel option. It does look like a reasonable solution, apart from its troublesome caveats compared to a normal panel (though support for SDI on Windows would also be great). If not for those, I'd say there should be a /FLT flag for every window!


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