FAQ

We have had an increasing number of reports from users of Igor and Patcher's Power Tools of occasional crashes.

Regrettably, this appears to be a bug in the PPT.xop compiled code, whose source code is not available to us.

Because development and support of PPT has ceased, Igor users will have to turn to alternative solutions.

A solution for loading HEKA Patch and PatchMaster files on macOS and Windows is Bruxton's DataAccess product.

A solution for analyzing electrophysiological data is NeuroMatic which features import functions for Axograph, Pclamp (ABF) and HDF5 files.

A Windows-only, Igor 32-bit-only solution for reading pClamp ABF 1.x and 2.x binary files and Pulse and PatchMaster data into Igor Pro is the bpc_ReadAbf XOP.

This is likely caused by an interaction with the Dell Backup and Recovery application. A detailed description of the problem and the solution is provided here.

Using Macintosh Spaces with Igor requires care. The common use case for Spaces and Igor is to put all Igor windows into one Space so that Igor windows can be hidden or shown all at once. That use works fine.

Problems can arise if you have Igor windows existing in different Spaces. In particular, if you have two monitors, and you have turned on the Mission Control setting "Displays have separate Spaces", you can see one possible problem with this sequence:

Make two graphs.
Drag one graph to your second monitor, which puts it into a different Space.
With that graph as the active window, pull down the Graph menu on that monitor. Select Packages->Make Traces Different.

You will see the Make Traces Different control panel appear first on your main monitor, then move to the second monitor. Appearing on the main monitor causes that Space on that monitor to become active, and the first graph becomes the active window at the same time. Now elements of the control panel appear in the graph and run-time errors occur. The control panel is a mess.

We don't have a good solution to tracking changes in window activation when we don't expect it. So our recommendations are:

  1. We don't recommend the "Displays have separate Spaces" setting.
  2. But if you're careful, you can use that setting, but you need to keep all of Igor's windows in one Space.
  3. Those with just one monitor won't have the "Displays have separate Spaces" setting, but you might still have multiple Spaces on your one monitor. The recommendation still stands: make sure Igor windows are all in one Space.

This is an expected consequence of Igor Pro 7 and later using Unicode (UTF-8), and Igor Pro 6 using system text encoding. I'm afraid that this is something we will have to live with.

There are many other consequences of switching to UTF-8. If you're interested, execute this for the details:

DisplayHelpTopic "Text Encodings"

Execute the following command to bring up a help topic that explains this situation in more detail:

DisplayHelpTopic "Windows High-DPI Recommendations"

The Data Browser was completely rewritten for Igor Pro 7, and the tree view control we are now using works differently in some respects than the Data Browser in Igor Pro 6. The item(s) below are know issues that may be addressed in the future:

  1. In order to edit multiple waves in a table, you should select them, right click, and choose Edit. Previously you could double click on the group of selected waves to edit them. It is still possible to double click a single wave to edit it in a table.

The technology used to implement these grouped windows in Igor Pro 6 is no longer available in Cocoa, which is Apple's current graphics API. We've done the best we can to replicate the Igor Pro 6 behavior in Igor 7 and later, but unfortunately the OS simply does not provide the functionality we need to get the exact same behavior.

Execute the following command to bring up a help topic that explains this situation in more detail:

DisplayHelpTopic "Symbol Font"

We don't know for sure what causes this but this problem is specific to OS X 10.11 (and possibly 10.10). Typically this happens when you switch from Igor to another application (either by hiding Igor using Cmd+H or by clicking on the desktop or the Dock icon for another application). We know that having had the Igor Debugger visible can result in this behavior, but we aren't certain that the Debugger is required. Sometimes Igor also crashes after being in this state, so if you get into this state it is best to save your experiment and restart Igor.

The only certain workaround we know for this problem is to upgrade your OS to macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or later.

Apple has announced that High Sierra (macOS 10.13) will be the "last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromise". Because of this, and the fact that the vast majority of our Igor Pro 7 Macintosh users are already using the 64-bit Igor application, we have dropped the 32-bit Macintosh application for Igor Pro 8. Unless you are using a 32-bit only XOP on Macintosh this change should not affect you.

On Windows, the Igor Pro 8 installer installs both 32-bit and 64-bit applications.

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