Working with Film and Paper documents

Opening an Existing File

Select “Open” under the “File” menu, or click on the “Open” toolbar icon. If the file you’re interested appears in the list of “recent” files under the “File”menu, you can select it directly. In all cases the file will open with the curve family displayed.

Creating a New File

To create a new file you can either select “New Film,” “New Paper,” or “New Match” from the file menu or click on the corresponding toolbar symbol. A dialog window, “New Plotter File,” will open asking if you want to import a Step Tablet file for use with your new file. If you answer “Yes” you’ll be prompted to search through your saved data files for a suitable step tablet file.

Importing a Step Tablet File

If the step tablet file you want to use does not exist, answer "No" to the Import query above, then select "Step Tablet" from the File menu. The window that opens offers you the option of importing an existing step tablet file, using one of two previously saved default step tablet files, or assigning the current step tablet file as a default file. You can view the two default files and select either one as the active file.

If none of these options is satisfactory, cancel this window and the "Curve Family Details" window will appear.

Film Curve Family Details

The "Date" field will be filled for you. You can advance from field to field by pressing the Tab key. Enter the film name and size in the "Name" field. Enter the manufacturer’s assigned ISO speed number in the "Film ISO" field. Enter the name of the film developer, the dilution ratio, the developing temperature, the volume of developer working solution, and the agitation method in the appropriate fields. The temperature defaults to "F" (for Fahrenheit); be sure to change it to "C" if you prefer to use a Celsius thermometer. Finally, enter any pertinent comments about the test conditions in the "Notes" field, Click on the OK button or press Enter.

A new window labeled "Film 1" will open displaying two columns of numbers: Curve numbers on the left are followed by a column labeled "Step Tablet." If this is not the step tablet you want to use, replace the existing numbers with your new values. At this point you can save the step tablet file itself if you want to, giving it a descriptive name such as "My Step Tablet." Otherwise, select "New Curve" and proceed to enter your test density values, starting with the highest density.

Importing Curves

If you want to combine curves from different tests you can import one or more curves from an existing file by selecting “Import Curve” from the “File” menu. The “Import Curve From File” dialog window will appear, allowing you to open the file of your choice. An “Import Curves” dialog window displays the curve list from which you can select one or more of the curves. When you’ve made your selection and clicked the “Import” button, the chosen curve(s) data will appear in your “Data” tab window and a dialog window confirms the action.

Working With Expo/Dev

The Palm and PocketPC Expo/Dev programs have been revised and enhanced so that they can now import their essential working data—Film/developer types, ES, EFS, and reciprocity compensation—directly from the Plotter program.

With a film file loaded, select “Export to Expo/Dev” under the File menu. A window opens displaying the name of the film and developer combination you’re working with, and the ES value you’ve used in the Plotter analysis. By default the exported file will include reciprocity compensation but you must first select the appropriate data. Click on the “Common Films” button to display an extensive list of film/developer combinations, each assigned a letter/number compensation code. Highlight the item of your choice and when you return to the Export screen you’ll see the appropriate code values entered for you.

The code letter selects exposure compensation; the code number chooses the appropriate development compensation. If you’re curious to see the charts and equations from which these numbers are derived click on the “View Charts” button.

When you’ve completed these choices the Plotter will create a tiny xdf file that you can load into the “ExpoDev Manager” program for the Palm or PocketPC for installation into your handheld PDA the next time you HotSync.