[ImageJ-devel] Advice for GUI Plugin development

Oliver Tills oliver.tills at plymouth.ac.uk
Wed Jan 2 04:53:37 CST 2013

Hi All,

This is my first post to this list and I am very new to writing code etc so I apologise if I have overlooked something obvious. I've been learning Java and am starting to get comfortable with creating functional swing interfaces, however I'm encountering some issues when I try and get these functioning within ImageJ (in NetBeans). I have read and been using the Writing Image J Plugins Tutorial and this has been a real help.

I am using Image J to develop an educational resource whereby students will be presented with a GUI which allows them to choose a treatment, this will then call up appropriate images sequences which they then perform measurements (size/count) using. These measurements will be entered into a table and a plot facility will allow them to visualise the results of their experiment. My plan is to achieve this by creating Image J plugins, however I have several questions -

Firstly,  is what I describe (very briefly) achievable using Image J plugins (Image J seems to largely be made up of plugins so I couldn't find a reason why this shouldn't be feasible)?

I've been using Swing to create GUI's as I found this creates a nicer looking interface (this may well just be my inexperience using AWT), however I see that PlugInFrame is AWT based and if I try to bring the Swing designed windows into a PlugInFrame this does not work (perhaps not surprisingly). Therefore should I be switching to AWT for this project or can I continue using Swing and get Image J functions working with this?

I would also ideally like to embed the Image J image windows within a window to provide some control over the layout of  various components (i.e. a control bar for play/pause/measure options positioned next to the window – I was going to hide the main Image J window to provide control over the features available).  Is this possible and if so what is the best way of achieving it?

Many thanks for reading and I would appreciate any advice you can provide.


Oliver Tills
Videos of developing aquatic embryos produced in our lab

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