idl program package spectre

The SPECTRE package was written to process stacks of image data which are obtained for example in XPEEM.

Image types supported by the SPECTRE software:

  • All image types which are supported by IDL (BMP, DICOM, JPEG, MrSID, PICT, PPM, SRF, TIFF).
  • The Princeton Instruments SPE format.
  • Elmitec's UVIEW DAT images.
A special case are PNG files, because the spectroscopic images of the Nanospectroscopy Beamline at Elettra are saved as 16 bit image in two 8 bit color channels of a PNG file. For more information, click here.

In order to run the program, first get the IDL Virtual Machine software which is free of charge. The current version (which I use to compile the code) is 7.0. If you use another version and have trouble running the program, you should consider upgrading your version of IDL. Next, download the SPECTRE program package.

To be able to use the AVI features, you must ensure that IDL finds the IDL_AviGenerator.dll and IDL_AviGenerator.dlm files (which are included in this SPECTRE distribution). To do so, copy both files to the proper binaries folder in your IDL distribution (for example, to C:\Program Files\ITT\IDL70\bin\bin.x86). With this, you can read and save AVI movies. In detail, when you read a movie, its frames are saved in individual JPEG images, which are saved on disk and then loaded in the program for further processing. If you also want to read and save MPEG movies, you need to install the avisynth frame server which is available at

Once you installed the program, double click on the file 'spectre.sav'. That's it!

You might consider reading the IDL Spectre Manual.

Download a sample dataset (300kB).

Here you can find a brief documentation of the IDL routines in this package.

Acknowledgements: The SPECTRE program uses routines originally written by Frank Varosi, Robert S. Mallozzi, Ronn Kling, and Robert M. Dimeo.

For any feedback (questions, bug reports, suggestions), please feel free to contact me.



Dr. Stefan Heun
Senior Scientist

NEST, Istituto Nanoscienze-CNR and Scuola Normale Superiore
Piazza San Silvestro 12
56127 Pisa, Italy

tel. office +39-050-509 472
SGM lab. +39-050-509 467
STM lab. +39-050-509 461
fax. +39-050-509 417