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Write IGOR binary (.ibw) or text (.itx) files from numpy array

Project description


Write Igor Binary Wave (.ibw) or Igor Text (.itx) files from numpy array


  • Compatible with multi-dimensional arrays (up to 4 dimensions)

  • Supported numpy data types: uint, int, float, complex, bool, str, bytes, datetime64

  • Data units (IgorWave.set_datascale)

  • Dimension scaling (IgorWave.set_dimscale)

  • Dimension labels (IgorWave.set_dimlabel)


$ pip install igorwriter


Basic usage

>>> import numpy as np
>>> from igorwriter import IgorWave
>>> array = np.array([1,2,3,4,5,6])
>>> # make IgorWave objects
>>> wave = IgorWave(array, name='mywave')
>>> wave2 = IgorWave(array.astype(np.float32), name='mywave2')
>>> # save data
>>> wave.save_itx('mywave.itx')
>>> with open('multi_waves.itx', 'w') as fp:
>>>     # Igor Text files can contain multiples waves per file
>>>     wave.save_itx(fp)
>>>     wave2.save_itx(fp)

Data units, dimension scaling

>>> wave.set_datascale('DataUnit')
>>> wave.set_dimscale('x', 0, 0.01, 's')

A two-dimensional array with dimension labels

>>> a2 = np.random.random((10, 3))
>>> wave = IgorWave(a2, name='wave2d')
>>> # you may set optional dimension labels
>>> wave.set_dimlabel(0, -1, 'points') # label for entire rows
>>> wave.set_dimlabel(1, -1, 'values') # label for entire columns
>>> wave.set_dimlabel(1, 0, 'ValueA')  # label for column 0
>>> wave.set_dimlabel(1, 1, 'ValueB')  # label for column 1
>>> wave.set_dimlabel(1, 2, 'ValueC')  # label for column 2

Unicode support

From igorwriter 0.5.0, IgorWave stores texts with utf-8 encoding.

If you use Igor Pro 6 or older and want to use non-ascii characters, set unicode=False when calling IgorWave().

It will fall back to system text encoding (Windows-1252, Shift JIS, etc.).

Wave Names

There are restrictions on object names in IGOR. From v0.2.0, this package deals with illegal object names.

>>> wave = IgorWave(array, name='wave:0', on_errors='fix')  # fix illegal names automatically

RenameWarning: name ‘wave:0’ is fixed as ‘wave_0’ (reason: name must not contain “ ‘ : ; or any control characters.)



>>> wave = IgorWave(array, name='wave:0', on_errors='raise')  # raise errors

Traceback (most recent call last):

InvalidNameError: name must not contain “ ‘ : ; or any control characters.

Pint integration

If Pint Quantity objects are passed to IgorWave, data units will be set automatically.

>>> import pint
>>> ureg = pint.UnitRegistry()
>>> w = IgorWave([3, 4] * ureg.meter / ureg.second, name='wave_with_units')
>>> w.save_itx('wave_with_units.itx')

X SetScale d,0,0,”m / s”,’wave_with_units’

X SetScale /P x,0.0,1.0,””,’wave_with_units’

Pandas integration

You can easily export DataFrame objects with convenience functions.

>>> from igorwriter import utils
>>> utils.dataframe_to_itx(df, 'df.itx')   # all Series are exported in one file
>>> waves = utils.dataframe_to_ibw(df, prefix='df_bin')   # each Series is saved in a separate file, <prefix>_<column>.ibw
>>> waves  # dictionary of generated IgorWaves. You can change wave names, set data units, set dimension scaling, etc.

{‘col1’: <IgorWave ‘col1’ at 0x…>, ‘col2’: …}

IgorWriter tries to convert index info on pandas.Series objects.

  • If the index is evenly-spaced, wave dimension scaling is set accordingly.

  • Index names are interpreted as the dimension labels.

Notes on Image Plots

Image Plot in IGOR and imshow in matplotlib use different convention for x and y axes:

  • Rows as x, columns as y (IGOR)

  • Columns as x, rows as y (Matplotlib)

Thus, image parameter was introduced in save() and save_itx() methods.

If you use e.g.

>>>'path.ibw', image=True)

plt.imshow and Image Plot will give the same results.


v0.5.0 (2023-07-08)

  • UTF-8 as default encoding. You can instead use system text encoding by setting unicode=False to IgorWave().

  • Automatic conversion from pandas index to dimension scaling.

  • Exporting 64-bit integer waves (requires Igor Pro 7 or later).

  • BUG FIX: Igor Text files created from np.bool_ arrays were broken.

v0.4.1 (2023-07-02)

  • Added support for np.str_, np.bytes_ arrays.

  • Automatic type conversion for np.object_ arrays.

  • Added support for dimension scaling (IgorWave.set_simlabel).

v0.3.0 (2019-11-16)

  • Added utils.dict_to_{ibw, itx}

  • Set datascale automatically for pint Quantity object.

  • Added support for np.datetime64 array.

v0.2.3 (2019-11-09)

  • Added support for 64-bit integers (by automatically casting onto 32-bit integers on save).

v0.2.0 (2019-11-08)

  • Added utilities for pandas (utils.dataframe_to_{ibw, itx} ).

  • Added unittest scripts.

  • Added wave name validator.

  • BUG FIX: long (> 3 bytes) units for dimension scaling were ignored in


  • IgorWriter now uses system locale encoding rather than ASCII (the default behavior of

    IGOR Pro prior to ver. 7.00)

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