Digitizer software (measurement not dna gels) for mac

Doug Eernisse Doug_Ee at um.cc.umich.edu
Mon Nov 8 18:05:03 EST 1993

In article <CFz90D.5o9 at usenet.ucs.indiana.edu>
Don Gilbert, gilbertd at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu writes:
>Does anyone have suggestions for digitizing software for Macintoshes
>(using a CalComp? digitizer board) that would record measurements
>of plant parts (projected from slides onto the digitizer pad)?
>The person looking knows that Jandel Scientific makes the right
>kind of software (expensive) for their (expensive) digitizer. This
>is called
>  Sigma-Scan 
>  (or possibly Sigma-Scan Calibrating File Converter version 3.9)
>Any suggested less expensive equivalents for recording measurements
>will be appreciated.  I am aware that NIH Image (and such general
>graphics programs like Canvas) can meaure images.  But I don't
>know details like (a) will Image or others allow meaurements to
>be automatically saved into spreadsheet type data files, (b) do
>digitizers act like mouse input on Macs so that you don't need special
>software for them.
Look at the Image site for an older program that saves coordinates,
called ????MacMeasure????,  although I don't remember that it 
supports the CalComp digitizer.
I had the author of PhotoShop add something similar for saving
coordinates from digitized images to an Excel format, but that
was before Adobe bought it and they yanked the "digitizing" tool.
 Image will work fine if you can get your images to a digital form 
 without a tablet. If you need outlines or line segment measurements
 saved directly from a tablet, and need to use a Mac, you may need 
 to go to more expensive digitizing systems, or write a custom 
I bought Sigma-Scan (for pcs) and their tablet years ago,
but was not at all impressed. I disliked it enough that I throw
away the frequent mailings I get from them wanting more $ for
an upgrade fee. If you can use a pc, I think there are a variety of
programs that are cheaper. 
As for digitizers that act like a mouse device,
many of the drawing tablets, like a Wacom tablet that I also have, 
can do that, but these are intended more for drawing, as in pressure-
sensitive capabilities. Programs like PhotoShop and Illustrator
support this tablet automatically.
A student here has done a lot of leaf area measurements with his
Mac, but I don't think he is concerned with coordinates.

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