Exporting figures from cell quest: how?

Roger Smith rosmith at POP.tamu.edu
Wed Mar 26 08:19:37 EST 1997

I have used the same technique that Derek describes, of copying the plot to
the clipboard and pasting into a drawing program. I totally agree that BD
needs to add an export function to CQ, one that allows export as PICT,
TIFF, or other formats.

When the plot is pasted into another program, it is a bit-mapped image,
with several layers grouped. One consequence of bit-mapping is all text
prints poorly, like using a dot-matrix printer. For publications and
slides, I have edited those out and added my own labels to the axes.

To do that, one must first ungroup the figure (I use programs like Canvas
and ClarisDraw, but others are likely to work, as well). I was immediately
surprised to learn that the axes and labels are in one layer and the data
(dots or contours) are in several other layers, apparently corresponding to
"cuts" in the data. So, for a contour plot, there is one layer that
includes all contours, another that includes all but the inner contours,
another that includes all but the inner 2 contours, ad nauseum. One way to
speed up printing, is to send the top layer, that includes all data
(contours or dots), to the back, then delete all other layers. (As I
recall, the axes and labels are the top layer, so that must also be sent to
the back, even to be able to select the various layers of dots or contours.)

I echo Derek's recommendation of "getting the plots into as near the
finished article as possible before exporting." Because the pasted figure
is bit-mapped, any resizing will increase the size of dots or thickness of
lines. It will look ugly. When I want to group several histograms for
export, I use a single plot in CQ, that I have adjusted to the final size
that I want. Then I load the data for each sample into the same plot, to
assure that all plots will be the same size in the finished version.

Also, I would note a common error the I make is to select the plot
incorrectly when copying. If you click on the plot, not on the border
around the plot, the copy command is not active. I have been surprised at
times, when I thought I copied a plot, then pasted something altogether
different into my drawing program.

Hopefully, BD will implement a better way in a future release.


>Hello there,
>I have had a lot of trouble with this very problem. It does seem
>ridiculous that there isnt the facility for exporting CQ documents as a
>graphical format.
>Using the clipboard is fine as long as the program you want is on the same
>computer and you have time to play with it etc. The approach I am using is
>to use an intermediary program to dump the CQ graphics in and then save as
>a PICT file.
>I am using a shareware program called Graphic Converter which is
>obtainable from the Info-Mac archives at Sumex. The location (off the top
>of my head) is:
>This enables one to paste the dot-plots, histograms or WHY into a document
>which can then be saved in any number of commonly used graphical formats
>eg BMP, GIF, JPG, PICT and TIFF. As far as Im aware, most common programs
>used to generate slides such as Photoshop, PowerPoint, Claris and Word can
>read PICT files so that is what I normally recommend (I believe filesize
>is smaller as well).
>Even so, I would still recommend getting the plots into as near the
>finished article as possible before exporting.
>Hope this is of some help, but if anyone is using a different approach I'm
>sure we'd all be happy to hear about it.

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