Scripting-customised microscopy tools for Digital MicrographTM
Software is an integral part of all electron microscopy systems, encompassing hardware control, data acquisition and processing. It is unlikely that any one software system will meet all the requirements of experienced users. However, if the software supports custom scripting, then users are well placed to address any shortcomings by writing their own software. In this paper, we highlight the scripting capability within Gatan Inc.'s Digital Micrograph TM (DM) software, a widely used program for TEM imaging and EELS spectroscopy. We show how scripting can greatly extend the capabilities of the DM software, in tasks ranging in complexity from simple image manipulation through to full-blown microscope/imaging filter control and data acquisition. Scripting enables customised software tools to be developed to meet individual experimental needs, something which no software manufacturer could ever hope to do on a commercial basis. In essence, scripting allows the microscopist to drive the software rather than the software drive the microscopist. To foster an increased awareness and interest in DM scripting we have developed a web-based archive for DM scripts, which is freely accessible via the internet.