File Menu

Creates a new image window or stack. A dialog box allows you to specify the image title, type, dimensions and initial content. new

Name is the title that will be used for the Window. Type is the image type: 8-bit grayscale, 16-bit grayscale (unsigned), 32-bit (float) grayscale or RGB color. Fill With (White, Black, Ramp, or Clipboard Contents) specifies how the image is initialized. Width and Height specify the image dimensions in pixels. Width and Height are ignored if Fill With is set to Clipboard Contents. Set Slices to a value greater than one to create a stack.

Reads an image and displays it in a separate window. Files must be in TIFF (uncompressed), GIF, JPEG, DICOM, BMP, PGM or FITS format. Also opens SalsaJ and NIH Image lookup tables (with ".lut" extension). Additional file formats are supported via plugins installed in the Import submenu.

TIFF images can be 1-bit, 8-bits, 16-bits (unsigned), 32-bit (real) or RGB color. File must be uncompressed. 
FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) image is the format adopted by the astronomical community for data interchange and archival storage. Use Image/Show Info to display the FITS header. Information about FITS is available from

This submenu lists the installed image acquisition plugins.

Image Sequence...
Opens a sequence of images in a folder as a stack. The images must all be the same size and type. They can be in TIFF, JPEG, DICOM, BMP, GIF, FITS or PGM format. There are two dialog boxes: one to select the folder and one to specify options. In the first dialog box, select one of the images in the folder and click "Open". Use the second (shown below) to specify which images in the folder to open and/or to have the images converted to 8-bits or reduced in size.


Use the Number of Images field to specify how many images to open. Set Starting Image to n to start with the nth image in the folder. Set Increment to "2" to open every other image, to "3" to read every third image, etc. Type a string into the File Name Contains field and SalsaJ will only open files whose name contains that string. Checking Convert to 8-bit Grayscale reduces memory requirements by 50% for 16-bit images and by 75% for 32-bit and RGB images. Checking Open 1/2 Size reduces memory requirements 75%. The size (widthxheightxdepth) of the stack that will be created is displayed at the bottom on the dialog box.

Opens an NIH Image lookup table, or a raw lookup table. The raw LUT file must be 768 bytes long and contain 256 reds, 256 blues and 256 greens. If no image is open, a 256x32 ramp image is created to display the LUT. Lookup tables with file names ending in ".lut" can also be opened using File/Open.

Text Image...
Opens a tab-delimited text file as a 32-bit real image. The image's width and height are determined by scanning the file and counting the number of words and lines. Use Image/Lookup Tables/Invert LUT to correctly display text files imported from NIH Image. For text files with integer values no larger than 255, use Image/Type/8-bits to convert to 8-bits. Before converting, disable "Scale When Converting" in Edit/Options/Miscellaneous to prevent the image from being scaled to 0-255.

Text File...
Opens a text file. Right click (command-click on the Mac) in a text window to activate a pop-up menu with Save As, Cut, Copy,Paste and Select All commands. Most text files can also be opened using File/Open.

Downloads and displays a  TIFFJPEG, DICOM, BMP, GIF or FITS image specified by a URL. Here are some example URLs: to load a jpg image, of the Orion Nebula just type:

It is possible to connect to virtual observatory images. For example, if you want to retrieve the Orion Nebula, enter:

where  r=right ascension d=declination of the object


Use this command to import images that are not in a file format directly supported by SalsaJ. You will need to know certain information about the layout of the image file, including the size of the image, and the offset to the beginning of the image data.

import raw

Use the pop-up menu at the top of the dialog box to specify the image type. There are nine choices:

  • 8-bit unsigned integer
  • 16-bit signed integer (converted to unsigned by adding 32768)
  • 16-bit unsigned integer
  • 32-bit signed integer (converted to float)
  • 32-bit floating-point
  • 24-bit RGB colour (interleaved)
  • 24-bit RGB colour (planar)
  • 32-bit ARGB colour
  • 1-bit Bitmap (converted to 8-bit)
Interleaved RGB images have pixels stored contiguously (rgbrgbrgb...) in a single image plane. Planar RGB images have the red, green and blue image data stored in separate 8-bit sample planes. SalsaJ saves RGB images (both TIFF and raw) in interleaved format.

Image Width is the number of pixels in each row of image data and Image Height is the number of rows in the image. Offset to First Image is the number of bytes in the file before the first byte of image data.

Number of Images is the number of images stored in the file. If this value is greater than the actual number of images the resulting stack will get truncated to the actual size.

Gap Between Images is the number of bytes from the end of one image to the beginning of the next. Set this value to width x height x bytes-per-pixel x n to skip n images for each image read.

Check Black is Zero if black pixels are represented using numbers that are less than the numbers used for white pixels. If your images look like photographic negatives, changing this field should fix the problem.

Little Endian Byte Order will probably need to be checked when importing 16-bit or 32-bit grayscale images from little-endian machines such as Intel based PCs.

Check Open All and SalsaJ will import all the images in the folder as a stack. The images must all be the same size and type.

Closes the currently active image window. If the image has changed, you will be asked if you want to save the changes.

Saves the active image or stack. To save only a selected area, create a rectangular selection and use the Image/Duplicate command.

Save As
Use this submenu to save the active image in TIFF, JPEG, GIF or FITS, or "raw" format. Can also be used to save measurement results, lookup tables, selections, and selection XY coordinates.

Saves the active image in FITS format. The header information  is created with  information of the original  image.

Saves the active image or stack in TIFF format. TIFF is the only format (other than "raw") that supports all SalsaJ data types and the only format that saves spatial and density calibration.

Saves the active image in GIFformat. The image must be 8-bits in depth. If it is not, convert it to 8-bit color using Image/Type/8-bit Color or to 8-bit grayscale using Image/Type/8-bit.

Saves the active image in JPEG format. Use Edit/Options/JPEG Quality to specify the JPEG compression level (0-100). Lower values produce smaller files but poorer quality. Larger values produce larger files but better quality. Warning: the JPEG format uses lossy compression that can result in artefacts. This format should not be used if you plan to make measurements on the image or to do further processing.

Saves the active image or stack as a TIFF file inside a compressed ZIP archive.

Raw Data...
Saves the active image or stack as raw pixel data without a header. 16-bit images are saved as unsigned shorts. 16-bit and float images are saved using big-endian byte order.

Text Image...

Saves the active image as a spreadsheet compatible tab-delimited text file.

Image Sequence...
Saves all the slices in the active stack as separate TIFF, JPEG, GIF or raw files.

Saves the active stack as an uncompressed AVI file. Windows users can use VirtualDub to open uncompressed AVI files and resave as a compressed AVI. Macintosh users can use the QuickTime Movie Player program to open uncompressed AVI files and, with the Pro version, resave in compressed QuickTime format.

Saves the active image's lookup table to a file. The 768 byte file consists of 256 red values, 256 green values and 256 blue values.

Exports the contents of the "Results" window as a tab-delimited text file.

Saves the current area selection boundary to a file. Use File/Open to restore the selection.

XY Coordinates...
Exports the XY coordinates of the line selection or area selection boundary as a two column, tab-delimited text file. Coordinates of rectangular, oval and straight line selections can not be exported. Use the Path Writer plugin plugin to save coordinates at evenly spaced one pixel intervals.

Replaces the active image with the last saved version. This is a shortcut for closing the window without saving, and then re-opening it. The command currently does not work with stacks.

Page Setup...
The Page Setup dialog allows you to control the size of printed output, plus other printing options.

page set up

Scale values less than 100% reduce the size of printed images and values greater than 100% increase the size. 100% corresponds to 72 pixels per inch, about the unzoomed screen size of the image. The size of the printed image is determined by the Scale value and the width and height of the image in pixels. Spatial calibration is ignored.

Check Draw Border to have SalsaJ print a one pixel wide black border around the image. Check Center on Page and the image will be printed in the center of the page instead of in the upper left corner. Check Print Title to have the title of the image printed at the top of the page.

Prints the active image. The size of the printed image will normally be slightly less its size on the screen (unzoomed). Use the Page Setup dialog to increase of decrease the size of printed images. Images larger than the page are scaled to fit.

Exits SalsaJ. If you have not saved any images, you will be prompted to do so. You can also exit by clicking on the close button in the SalsaJ window's title bar.