The Data Tab


Two columns of numbers appear when a new Film or Paper data window opens. The Step Tablet step numbers are displayed in the first column and the density values of your selected (or default) Step Tablet are displayed in the second column. Enlarge the window, if necessary, by dragging its lower right hand corner so that you can see all 21 steps, then click on “New Curve” to begin entering your test film densities.

A new column of fields labeled “Curve 1” appears and a “Curve Details” dialog asks for this test film’s developing time; replace the default “Curve 1” display with the developing time. You can enter times in conventional "minute:second" format (e.g. 5:30) or as decimals (e.g. 5.5), and you can add the abbreviation "mins" if you want to, but don't enter a leading letter (e.g., N5.5) or the curve will not be displayed in "Dev" charts. Add any comments you care to make in the “Notes” field. A check box labeled “Don’t connect in chart,” in the lower left corner of the dialog window, should be left unchecked for now. Click on OK or press Enter to proceed.

The first field of the “Curve 1” column is active (as indicated by its dotted outline) so your typed entry will appear there automatically. Enter the highest density number in this field. Press Enter or the “down arrow” key to advance to the next field and continue entering the test densities, from highest to lowest, until the column is complete. You can edit these numbers at any time by clicking on the chosen field, or by selecting it with the arrow keys, then typing in the corrected number.

Auto Fill

The program has an “auto-fill” feature that will fill in the high density values for you if you begin the data entry at some field other than step 1. This is handy primarily for paper files. For example, if the first 5 numbers in the test data are identical. Skip to step 5, enter the value, and proceed with the following values, as usual. The four blank fields will remain blank until you select some other column, but when the curve is displayed it will show that the first four values have been filled in.

You can also auto-fill the lower densities. After entering the lowest number, press Ctrl+Enter to extend that field’s value through the rest of the column. You can do this at any time by selecting the chosen low value, pressing F2 to highlight the number, then pressing Ctrl+Enter to fill the remaining fields.



The procedures for creating a new paper file, or opening an existing one, are the same as those described for film files. In other words, the features and options available in the “Data” and “Family” tab windows apply to both file types. Of course the materials’ descriptions are different; in the “Paper Curve Family Details” window you’ll be asked to supply the paper’s Name, the Printing method (contact or projection), the Developer type and dilution, the Temperature (Fahrenheit is the default), the developing Time, the type of Toner used, the print Drying method, and any pertinent Notes. There’s also a difference in the “Curve Details” dialog window; instead of “Time” (requested for film curves) you’ll be asked for the “ID or Name” of each paper curve.

Entering the Paper Test Data

When film densities are read the densitometer should be zeroed on the raw light source so that the film’s B+F density is included in the density readings. For paper density readings the densitometer can either be zeroed on the reference plaque “white” or on an unexposed area of the paper base itself. If zeroed on the plaque, which is whiter than most paper bases, the paper’s B+F density will typically read about 0.06 to about 0.09. If the densitometer is zeroed on the paper base the B+F will, of course, always be zero, regardless of the actual color or reflectance of the paper.

Because materials’ “matches” in the Matcher portion of this program, are aligned on their B+F densities, papers to be included in the match comparisons should have a common “zero” density, or the columns won’t be aligned correctly. We strongly recommend zeroing your densitometer on the paper base itself to avoid the possibility of this misalignment problem when you use your paper files in match comparisons later on.

Deleting a Curve

You can delete any curve from the Data tab screen by selecting the curve and clicking on the “Delete Curve” button. A dialog window will ask you to confirm the delete. Click on “Yes” to remove the curve data; click on “No” to leave the curve data in place. If you have not selected a curve column the program will assume you want to delete the first curve. To select another curve either click somewhere in the curve column or select the curve with the right/left arrow keys.

Changing the Curve Order

You can rearrange the curve sequence by clicking on the “Arrange Curves” button. A dialog window will appear, displaying the curve list in order. If a curve is out of place in the order, highlight it in the list and move it up or down in the list order by using the “Move Up” or “Move Down” buttons. Although this feature allows you to arrange the curves in any order you like, remember that they should normally be arranged in order of increasing developing time to insure that the chart data points will be plotted correctly.