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Dataset Properties - Object Inspector

The Object Inspector window contains three tabs:

  • Properties
  • Display
  • Information

The Display and Information tabs are not filled in until the dataset is loaded using the Apply button on the Properties tab.

The Display tab will show different options depending on the view type selected in the Render View. The options available for the chart and spreadsheet views are covered at the bottom of this page.



The Properties tab has three main buttons at the top of the tab. The rest consists of parameters which can be modified to manipulate the dataset.
  • The Apply button must be clicked to view a new dataset when it is added to the pipeline or every time properties have been altered.
  • The Reset button is used to reset property values to what they were the last time Apply was used. The properties will be reset to their default values if the Apply button has not yet been used.
  • The Delete button removes the selected dataset from the pipeline. A dataset with a filter cannot be deleted; the filter must be removed before the dataset can be removed. If multiple objects are selected in the pipeline, the Delete option will remove the object that was selected last.

Depending on the object selected, the lower section contains additional parameters that can be included in the visual representation. Whenever a change is made, the Apply button needs to be used to update the visualization. Imported datasets which output from readers do not have any properties, therefore their geometric or property values cannot be changed, you can only change the way you view them.


The Display tab is comprised of different sections that determine the overall appearance of the data.

When a value is changed on the Display tab, the changes are immediately applied to the data without the use of the Apply button.

Note: The properties that are available on the Display tab will change depending on the render view type of the active view. This section covers the options for the 3D and 2D views. The properties that appear for the Bar Chart, XY Plot and Spreadsheet views are covered at the bottom of this page.


The View section allows you to toggle visibility of the single dataset with the check-box. You can also set the camera to the selected dataset with the Zoom to Data button.


In the Color section, you can choose how to color your dataset.

  • The Interpolate Colors check-box relates only to data arrays. Interpolation determines the colors that do not lie at points in the dataset. If the check-box is checked, the colors are interpolated across cell faces before they are mapped. When unchecked, OpenGL performs the interpolation and determines the colors used.
  • The Map Scalars check-box relates to three-component unsigned char data arrays. While checked, data value colors are determined by a color map. When unchecked, the three components of the array specify the color components.
  • Textures can be applied to some objects by using the Apply Texture drop-down menu. The menu contains a None option for no texture and Load to browse for a texture. Any textures that are already loaded into the session are also displayed in the list. For instance, all images have a texture applied, and the names of all loaded images will appear in the menu.
    • Since version 1.4.14, if you try to apply a texture that is no longer available (the file has been moved, renamed or deleted), a dialog box will display asking if you want to delete the texture from the state file. The drop-down also has a Delete option which displays all loaded textures and has check-boxes to select which textures should be removed from the state file.
  • The drop-down menu Color by gives the option of selecting a Solid Color or a data array. Point-centered data arrays are identified by a point symbol
      (seen with the TextureCoordinates option) and cell-centered arrays are identified by a box symbol
      (seen with the cellNormals option).
    • If you chose Solid Color, click on Set Solid Color to select the appropriate color. If a dataset is displayed in solid color, the rest of the controls in the Color section are inactive.
    • Selecting an array name colors the dataset based on the underlying values in the array and activates any other applicable options.
  • The drop-down menu on the far side determines which vector component to map the color to. The default is the magnitude of the vector, but X, Y and Z can also be chosen.
  • You can set a color map to a certain property by clicking on Edit Color Map once a data array is selected from the drop-down menu. You can either use the default color map, select Choose Preset or import a custom color map to suit the dataset. See the Coloring Datasets page for more details on color maps.


The Slice section is only active when a Slice representation is chosen in the Style section. Slices only apply to uniform rectilinear grids.

  • The Slice Direction drop-down contains options for the three planes, XY, YZ and XZ, from which the slices can be cut.
  • The Slice section allows you to choose which slice of the whole to display. The number of slices depends on the size of the object.


The Style section lets you visualize your dataset under various forms.

  • The Representation setting allows you to view your dataset as either a point set of the vertices, an outline of the object, a wireframe of the edges, a surface (with or without edges), a volume (for unstructured and uniform rectilinear grids only), or a slice of the whole (for uniform rectilinear grids only).
  • The Interpolation feature determines the color of areas which do not lie on points directly. There are two types of interpolation to choose from: the default Gouraud shading interpolates values across each polygon if the dataset has point-centered normals. The second is the Flat option which applies an intensity value to each polygon therefore different polygons will have different but single intensities. The end result of the Gouraud interpolation looks smoother than the Flat one. If the dataset does not have point-centered normals, Gouraud has no effect. You can add these normals by applying the Normals Generation filter to get the Gouraud interpolation.
  • The Point Size option increases the vertex size when you enter a real value greater than 1. This option only affects the Points representation of the dataset. Similarly, Line Width affects only the Wireframe and Outline representations.
  • Transparency can be applied to surfaces by changing the Opacity from 0 being invisible to 1 being opaque.
    • Note: In version 1.4.13 the opacity defaults to 100 and it is not possible to enter a period in the entry field; you can change the opacity to 1 or 0, but intermediate values can not be entered. The default of 100 does not impact the visibility of objects, but for text you will need to change the opacity to 1.

Edge Style

The Edge Style section is used to set the coloring for the edges of the object. As such, this section is only available when the Style Representation is set to Surface with Edges.

Selecting the Set Edge Color option opens the Select Color window where a Basic or Custom color can be selected and applied.


The Annotation section gives the option to show the cube axes around the corresponding dataset. Check the box to show the X, Y and Z axes of the object. Click on Edit to open the Edit Cube Axes Properties window, where the way the axes are displayed can be modified.

For each Axis, the Axis Title can be specified, and check-boxes exist to show or hide the Axis, Ticks, Minor Ticks and Grid Lines. Other options include the Fly Mode, Tick Location, Corner Offset and the Axes Color.


The Lighting section controls some of the options for the lighting of the 3D scene.

  • The Specular Intensity controls the brightness of the lighting, ranging from 0 to 1.
  • The Specular Focus determines how focused the lighting is, with lower values highlighting a larger area and values closer to 100 focusing on smaller areas in the 3D scene.
  • The color of the specular highlight (bright spot) is affected by the Specular White check-box. When checked, the highlight is lighter and more noticeable. When unchecked, the bright spot is closer to the color of the object. The effects are more easily recognized if the object is not colored white.


The last section is the Transformation section, where you can move your object in 3D space. These transformations do not affect the internal coordinates of the datasets. The first, second and third columns of text boxes correspond to the X, Y and Z axes respectively for all transformations in this section.

  • Translate moves your object along the X, Y or Z axis by the distance entered in the respective text boxes.
  • The Scale option multiplies the length, width or height of a dataset by the value in each text box.
  • Enter a value in degrees in one of the text boxes of the Orientation option to rotate it along that axis. This rotation will occur around the Origin specified below the Orientation option.


The Information tab provides information about different components of the selected dataset. Information on all datasets can be found in the Statistics View.
  • The Properties section displays the Filename of the dataset in question. It appears only if a dataset is the output of a reader. Therefore, this section is not present on filters and sources.
  • The Statistics section gives the Type and size of the dataset. The size is represented by Number of Cells, Number of Points (vertices) and it’s Memory size (for the dataset alone, not for the representation).
  • The Data Arrays section lists all point-centered and cell-centered data arrays. Point-centered arrays have data stored at specific points – all other areas of the dataset are interpolated to get a value. Cell-centered arrays have values stored in each element. No interpolation can be applied to this type of array since each area of the dataset is inside an element which holds a single value. These arrays are displayed with a symbol followed by a name. The point-centered arrays are represented by a point symbol
    , and the cell-centered arrays by a box symbol
    such as the ones in the Color by drop-down menu. This section also indicates the Data Type and Data Ranges for the arrays.
    The table headings can be re-arranged by clicking and dragging the headers.

  • An Extents section appears for some data types (such as AMR dataset and uniform rectilinear grid images) which displays the extents of the X, Y and Z range of the dataset
  • The Bounds section gives the magnitude of each X, Y, and Z range of the dataset.
  • Finally, if the dataset contains time values, an index with each time step is displayed in the Time section.

Note: Some datasets, such as a hierarchical fractal, will also display a Data Hierarchy section at the top of the Information page, which contains the levels of the data. Selecting a level updates all the other sections to show information specific to that level only, whereas selecting the top of the hierarchy shows information for the whole. If the dataset contains an animation, a Time section will show the indices and their values.

Bar Chart View

When a render window displays a dataset in a Bar Chart view (such as the output of a Histogram filter), the Display tab shows only three sections.

The View section toggles the visibility of the dataset.

The X Axis section controls the X axis of the bar chart. If the Use Points option is checked, the X axis values are derived from the coordinates of the points in the dataset. The Component drop-down determines which component (X, Y or Z) of the point coordinates is used. If the Use Points option is unchecked, the Array Name drop-down is available and lists the possible arrays to control the values on the X axis. The Edit Color Map button can be used to open the Color Scale Editor where the colors used in the bar chart can be changed. The Rescale to Data Range button rescales the color map to match the underlying array.

The Y Axis section only has an Array Name drop-down, and this determines which array is used to control the height of the bars in the chart.

XY Plot View

The Display tab for an XY Plot view (possibly the output of a Plot over Line filter) contains the options that can be controlled for the chart.

The Show Line Series in Chart checkbox toggles the visibility of the plot. The Plot Type drop-down contains options to display a Line Plot or a Scatter Plot. Attribute Mode has two options available; Point Data to display point-centered scalar variables and Cell Data for cell-centered scalar variables.

The scale of the X axis is controlled in the X Axis Data section. If the Use Array Index from Y Axis Data option is checked, the X axis is an index over the number of values being plotted. If the option is unchecked, the Use Data Array drop-down is used to select an array name so that the range of the scalar values in the array is used for the values along the X axis. Depending on the data array selected, the Component drop-down allows you to select which component (Magnitude, Distance, X, Y or Z) of the point coordinates is used.

The Line Series section determines which arrays are plotted and the color used for the line graph of that array. The visibility of the line plot is toggled using the check-box beside the array name, and the colored squares indicate the color used for the line. The color can be changed by clicking the colored square and choosing a new color from the dialog box, or by selecting the variable and changing the variable properties below the variable list. The Enable Line Series check-box allows you to toggle the visibility of the variable, and you can also change the Line Color, Thickness and Style, as well as the location of the Chart Axes. By default, all the visible variables use the same chart axes location when the XY Plot is initially created.

Spreadsheet View

The properties available for a Spreadsheet view are related to the visibility of data in the spreadsheet.

The Show Data check-box toggles the visibility of data in the spreadsheet.

Selecting the Show only selected elements check-box will narrow the list to show only rows that were highlighted. If none are highlighted, no data will appear. When the narrowed list is viewed, the Point Coordinates column disappears in the spreadsheet view.

The Select Attributes to Show drop-down controls which attribute of the data is shown; Cell Data, Point Data or Field Data. Depending on the dataset selected, not all attributes will contain information. When the Field Data option is chosen, a Process ID field appears to select which process to display.

For some datasets, a Structure section displays below Select Attributes to Show. The check-boxes in this section can be used to toggle the data being displayed in the Spreadsheet.

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