Friday, July 25, 2014

MView 2.1. New feature: Searching MDF files

Searching MDF files

Multiphoton experiments eventually generate lots of data files. This trend will continue with the use of the MOM in automated high-content screening experiments. Annotation and indexing of data files with relevant meta-data information is one of the strengths of the MOM Computer System. MDF files already store a large number of pre-set tags such as Frame Width, Comments, etc… In addition, users can add arbitrary pairs of Property Name/Property Value such as “Animal Age=21” during acquisition, either
  • automatically, by specifying these values when the user logs into MScan; in this case, all data files generated during the current session will be tagged with the same extra meta-data
  • manually, by clicking on the File Comments button on the MOM Control Panel
  • or programmatically, using the ActiveX Automation feature of MScan which can also be called from within a script.

Finding out if a data file contains a specific Property Name/Property value can be done in several ways:
  • Right-clicking on the file, clicking and Properties menu item and choosing the Custom or Details tabs in the Properties window will display the list of Property Name/Property Values 
  • In MView, by accessing the Custom Properties tab of the File Properties on the File Manager window
  • In MCSX.OCX by using the ReadParameter function.

MView 2.1. provides powerful tools to make data analysis even more efficient.

Metadata in MDF files are now automatically indexed by Windows Search, the  desktop search platform available on any computer running Vista or later versions of Windows. This allows MView users to query Windows to show the list of all MCS files at chosen locations that have specific metadata in their header such as “Animal ID =GCamp6_25” and “Tag1=Grating_45”.

Complex searches using logical operators can be done from MView using Structured Query Language (SQL). In addition, data mining can be made even more efficient by programmatically controlling Windows Search to find MCS files using an application programming interface based on OLE DB/SQL.


  1. Hi MCSP,

    It would be great to add the option (within the GUI) to export all ROIs into an excell/txt sheet in the new MView version.


    1. Hi,

      That would depend on what users prefer. Since there are many possibilities, (some users may prefer XML over Excel or Text) it is probably best is to write a script.

      If you prefer to run Excel from MView and start putting data into cells, you can try in the Initialization part of the script to execute some of the code listed in

      Best regards.