Neu in Version 4
1. TableCurve 3D Explorer and Notebook Files
TableCurve 3D v4 offers a full notebook paradigm for managing
data. Whereas the prior versions focused on analyzing data one
set at a time, v4 offers an efficient method for managing as
many data sources and XYZ data sets as desired. This is done
using the TableCurve 3D Explorer, a hierarchical analysis
management system that resembles Windows Explorer. This
notebook management system assembles data sources, XYZ sets
from those sources, the operations on those sets that retain
an XYZ data format (such as interpolating to a grid,
smoothing, or applying a calculation), as well as adding
specific parametric and non-parametric fitted output.
The TableCurve 3D Explorer is in the left pane of the new
tri-pane main window. The upper right or main graph pane
contains a surface graph appropriate to the item currently
selected. If it is an XYZ data set, a non-parametric rendering
of the surface is given. If it is a 3D Loess smoothed surface,
that operation is graphically shown. If the item is a surface
fit equation, this is graphed in this main window. The lower
right or main statistics pane contains a numeric window that
offers a statistical summary of the raw data or surface fit.
Because the TableCurve 3D explorer represents a major shift
in design, certain elements from v3 have changed. The
principal Import procedure from v3, which read a single XYZ
set into the program no longer exists. There is now an Import
Data Source option that is used to add the whole of a data
source, such as an Excel file, to the current notebook. This
is followed by the specification of all XYZ data sets in the
source, or in a specific worksheet of the source, using the
Autospecify All XYZ Data Items option, or by the specification
of individual XYZ sets using the Specify XYZ Data Item option.
If you can arrange your data source as a sequence of XYZ
triplets or as an XY many Z structure, it is possible to
import an Excel file and have hundreds or even thousands of
XYZ data sets at your fingertips in a single step.
A TableCurve SNB notebook file is a small compact record of
data links and the analytical operations on that data. It is
possible to store custom graphs from any procedure, as well as
any number of analytical operations. Much of this can be
accomplished by the familiar drag and drop or copy and paste.
To smooth another data set in the same manner as an existing
smoothed set is as simple as dragging the smoothed item to a
different data object. Appending sets is as simple as dragging
one data set onto another.
The main surface graph can be animated with a simple click
of a button, and the animation can continue even while
changing the selected item in the TableCurve 3D explorer.
The notebook structure makes it simple to add as many
parametric or non-parametric surface fits as desired to any
data object. Any object can be easily updated. Clicking on a
surface fit graph in the main window opens the Review with the
exact equation set, surface fit results, and graph settings as
present at the time the fit was added to the notebook.
2. Batch Automation
While TC3D is designed to be interactive, there are those
instances where a large number of similar data sets need to be
processed using only one or two different surface fit
equations, or by a specific non-parametric estimation or
smoothing procedure. For these data sets, TC3D v4 offers an
integrated automation that enables large numbers of data sets
to be processed in an unattended fashion.
The batch automation uses an MS Excel file as the data
source. If the data are not already there, you simply place
all your data sets in an Excel spreadsheet. These multiple
sets are then automatically processed with the ease of a
single set. The automation output can be written to an MS Word
(or generic RTF) file for all graphs and numeric summaries,
and to MS Excel for numeric data. It is a simple matter to
specify one sheet in the spreadsheet or the full file. Import
from MS Excel 95, 97, 2000, and XP is supported. Export to MS
Excel 95, 97/2000/XP and MS Word 95, 97/2000/XP are supported.
If you do not use MS Word, the exported reports can use a
generic RTF format that can be read by any word processor,
including Wordpad which ships with Windows.
Automation is integrated into each of TC3D?s major
procedures. It is thus possible to smooth 100 data sets in one
unattended step. In a second unattended step, these smoothed
sets can each be fit to a target equation. Since Excel is used
for the numeric output of the automation, these files can be
used as the input to any other TableCurve 3D procedure, in
Excel, or in any other program that support XLS input.
TC3D?s automation also includes DLL support for those who
want to write an external acquisition interface. Included is a
very simple DLL as well as a professional DLL automation
interface for instrument manufacturers that want TC3D?s
functionality available within their own software.
3. MS Excel and MS Word Enhancements
In addition to supporting all releases of Excel through
Office XP for data import, data can now be saved from any
procedure in an Excel 95 or Excel 97/2000/XP format for import
by TC3D, for use in Excel, or in some other application.
Most procedures offer a new MS Word or RTF export. The MS
Word export is a streamed export that automatically opens MS
Word and transfers the graphs and reports directly, all with a
single button click. The graphs can be half or full page, and
a number of controls are offered including landscape or
portrait mode. In fact, the file-based (RTF) export allows you
to export a mixture of landscape graphs and portrait reports,
all in a single document.
4. Improved Robust Fitting
The robust fitting has been improved to offer scale-invariant
fitting for the Lorentzian and Pearson VII Limit
minimizations. In prior versions, a robust fit would give
different results when the Z data were scaled multiplicatively
by any constant. Fitting Z in mm, for example, would result in
different results than fitting z in microns. In v4, for the
Lorentzian and Pearson VII Limit robust methods, the residuals
in the merit function are scaled by the standard deviation of
the Z values in the original data. This results in true scale
invariance of the dependent or Z variable.
5. Matlab, C++, and JAVA Code Generation
With v4, the code export option now adds the generation of
Matlab [.m] files. This makes it a very simple matter to add
any surface fit model to the Matlab environment. Even the most
complex TableCurve 3D models are supported.
For those using object-oriented languages, TC3D v4 adds code
generation capability for both C++ and JAVA. Classes are
generated which contain root finding as well as straight
6. Photorealistic 3D Rendering
TableCurve 3D v4 offers new high resolution 3D graphics. The
surface plots can now be created with up to 62,500 mesh
elements for a true photorealistic surface rendering. The v3
limit was 14,400 mesh elements. The new plots are visually
striking and far more powerful in the surface detail that can
be rendered. Whereas the v3 shaded surfaces were constructed
from 32 gradations in color, the v4 shaded surfaces use 160
color gradations. The result is smooth continuous color
transitions that exactly match the surface contours.
The photorealism enhancements were also extended to the
spectrum gradient plots. A new Full Spectrum gradient plot
offers the means to have smooth, continuous color transitions
without the bands that were traditionally observed with the
24-color gradients in v3. An intermediate higher color
density, a 48-color spectrum plot, is also new in v4.
7. Improved Evaluation Procedure
The Evaluation option now uses a single sorted list window.
The columns can be sorted by x, y, or z values, or by the
magnitude of confidence interval. The numeric precision is
adjustable and the previous input values and current table are
saved across sessions. Evaluation export is now
spreadsheet-tailored to manage the different kinds of
You can now save and recall evaluation sequences. Further,
evaluation sequences are now automatically updated whenever an
equation or algorithm setting changes.
8. Automatic Window Placement in Review
The Surface-Fit graph's control panel (or Window menu) now
offers six predefined tile options to automatically open and
place various Review windows.
The Window menu also offers options to save and import the
window state (the windows currently open and their positions).
9. SigmaPlot 2000 and 2001 Import/Export
TableCurve 3D v4 supports the new SigmaPlot 2000 and 2001
formats for data import and now writes a fully updated
SigmaPlot 2000/2001 export in the Surface-Fit Review. The
exported JNB notebook files contain attractive SigmaPlot 3D
surface graphs and scatterplots.
10. Office XP-Style Toolbars
TableCurve 3D v4 adds toolbars similar to those in the
Microsoft Office XP family of products. The toolbars can be
anchored at any position or can be free floating. The
positions are saved across sessions.
11. Miscellaneous Enhancements
To support the creation of sectioned data objects in the new
notebook-centric user interface, there is now a separate
Section Data option. The sectioning functionality, partial or
full, has been removed from all other procedures.
The Microsoft Intellimouse and other wheel mice are now
supported through Windows XP and Windows 2000. As the wheel is
rotated, key program surface graphs can be rotated in the XY
or Z direction. The XY or Z rotation can be toggled with a
click on the wheel button.
The online documentation now reflects the full content of the
printed material, both within the help system and within a PDF
that fully reflects the printed user's manual.