All interactive tools and some other processing methods allow to select geometrical shapes on data with mouse: points, lines, rectangles, circles/ellipses. Existing selections can be similarly modified by dragging corners, endpoints, or complete selections. When mouse cursor is moved near to an editable point of a selection, is changes its shape to indicate the possibility to edit this point.
Each tool typically uses only one type of selection and when it is activated on a data window, it sets the selection mode to this type. Selections of other types than currently displayed are remembered and they are recalled when a tool which uses them is activated again. E.g. when you select several lines with Profile extraction tool, then switch to Statistical quantities (the lines disappear) and select a rectangular area to calculate its statistical characteristics, and then switch back to Profile extraction, the rectangle disappears and the lines appear again.
Tools that use the same type of selection – e.g. both Statistical functions and Statistical quantities use rectangular selection – share it. To calculate height distribution of the same rectangle you have selected for statistical quantities, it is sufficient to switch the tool.
If you save data in Gwyddion native file format
.gwy), all selections are saved together with data
and recalled the next time the file is opened and appropriate tool
Pressing Shift during selection restricts the degrees of freedom of the shape, making it easier to draw shapes from a specific subset. Specifically, pressing Shift restricts
The selection manager is a special tool that displays the list of all selections in a channel and enables to copy them to other channels.
For each selection, the tool shows the name, which is how the
selection is identified in the
.gwy file; the
selection type and the number of objects (points, lines, rectangles, …)
selected. Usually, there is at most one selection of any type because
they are shared among the tools as
described above. Neverthesless,
sometimes there are special or private selections present as shown on the
following figure displaying two point-wise selections.
Selection chosen in the list is displayed in the data window.
It is possible to delete individual selections by choosing them in the list and pressing Delete – this is equivalent to clearing the selection in the corresponding tool. The button removes all selections.
However, the most interesting function of Selection Manager is selection copying. There are two ways to copy a selection to another channel:
Selections are copied only to channels with compatible lateral units. This means that a selection in a normal channel with meters as the lateral units will not be distributed to a two-dimensional PSDF channel or a two-dimensional slope distribution.
If the physical dimensions of the target data are not sufficient to contain all the objects of the copied selection then only those objects that fit are copied (this can also mean nothing is copied).