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Microdrop is a graphical user interface for the DropBot Digital Microfluidics control system

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MicroDrop is a graphical user interface for the [DropBot][1] digital
microfluidics control system (described in detail in [Fobel et al., Appl. Phys.
Lett. 102, 193513 (2013)][2]).

If you use this information in work that you publish, please cite as

<!-- START doctoc generated TOC please keep comment here to allow auto update -->
**Table of Contents** *generated with [DocToc](*

- [Installation](#installation)
- [No existing Python 2.7 32-bit Windows installation **(recommended)**](#no-existing-python-27-32-bit-windows-installation-recommended)
- [Existing `anaconda` (Python 2.7 32-bit Windows) installation **(recommended)**](#existing-anaconda-python-27-32-bit-windows-installation-recommended)
- [Create a separate `conda` environment for MicroDrop](#create-a-separate-conda-environment-for-microdrop)
- [Other Python 2.7 32-bit Windows installation (using `pip`)](#other-python-27-32-bit-windows-installation-using-pip)
- [**Shortcuts**](#shortcuts)
- [**Import** profile](#import-profile)
- [Profile Manager **(new)**](#profile-manager-new)
- [Import profile](#import-profile)
- [Remove profile](#remove-profile)
- [Install plugins](#install-plugins)
- [Featured plugins](#featured-plugins)
- [Install plugins through MicroDrop plugin manager (`mpm`)](#install-plugins-through-microdrop-plugin-manager-mpm)
- [Install plugins through MicroDrop GUI](#install-plugins-through-microdrop-gui)
- [Credits](#credits)

<!-- END doctoc generated TOC please keep comment here to allow auto update -->

# Installation #

MicroDrop can be installed using any of the methods below.

### No existing Python 2.7 32-bit Windows installation **(recommended)** ###

Download installer for latest [MicroDrop 1.0 release][4].

This installer is a customized distribution of the popular [`Miniconda`][5]

### Existing `anaconda` (Python 2.7 32-bit Windows) installation **(recommended)** ###


conda install -c wheeler-microfluidics "microdrop>=1.0,<2.0" microdrop-launcher

**Note** *the `-c wheeler-microfluidics` flag allows installing conda packages
from the `wheeler-microfluidics` channel*.

### Create a separate `conda` environment for MicroDrop ###


conda create -n microdrop -c wheeler-microfluidics "microdrop>=1.0,<2.0" microdrop-launcher

To activate the MicroDrop `conda` environment, run:

activate microdrop

To deactivate the MicroDrop `conda` environment, run:


See ["Managing environments"][15] section of Conda documentation for more

### Other Python 2.7 32-bit Windows installation (using `pip`, **not recommended**) ###

1. Update `pip`:

pip install -U pip

2. Install microdrop from [PyPi][3]:

pip install --find-links --trusted-host "microdrop>=1.0,<2.0"

**Note** *`` is the IP address of the official MicroDrop update
server where MicroDrop dependencies not available on PyPI are stored as

<img align="right" src="microdrop/static/images/microdrop-shortcuts.png" />

## **Shortcuts** ##

If MicroDrop is installed using a Conda Python distribution (including the [official installer][1])

- **Documentation**: Open [online MicroDrop documentation][readthedocs].
- **GitHub project**: Open MicroDrop [GitHub project page][github].
- **MicroDrop Profile Manager**: Launch MicroDrop profile manager.
- **MicroDrop environment prompt**: Launch Windows command prompt with
MicroDrop Conda environment activated.
- **MicroDrop**: Launch MicroDrop if only one **profile** is available
*(default)*. Otherwise, launch **MicroDrop Profile Manager** to select
**profile** to launch.
* **Tip**: Right-click on shortcut to **pin** to **taskbar** for easy

## **Import** profile ##

If existing **profile** directory is not automatically found, it can be
manually **imported** by launching the **"MicroDrop Profile Manager"**

See [Profile Manager](#profile-manager-new) section below.

# Profile Manager **(new)** #

In environments where, for example, multiple users are using the same computer
to perform MicroDrop experiments, it can be helpful to create separate
MicroDrop **profiles**. Each MicroDrop **profile** contains **devices** and
**plugins**, as well as **experiment logs**.

The **MicroDrop Profile Manager** provides an interface to manage one or more
MicroDrop profiles. Initially, the **default profile path** (i.e.,
`<Documents>\Microdrop`) is listed.

As shown below:

- Profiles are **listed** according when they were last launched, with the
**most recently used profile first**.
- Existing profiles may be **imported**.
- Listed profiles may be **removed** from the profile list (and optionally
**deleted** entirely).
- Listed profiles may be **opened** in the system file browser.
- MicroDrop may be **launched** using any of the listed profiles.

![MicroDrop Profile Manager][microdrop-profile-manager]

## Import profile ##

When an existing **profile** is imported, **plugin** dependencies are installed
while the following dialog is displayed:

![MicroDrop Profile Manager - install dependencies][install-dependencies]

## Remove profile ##

The following **dialog** is displayed when the **Remove** button for a listed
profile is **clicked**:

![MicroDrop Profile Manager - remove profile][remove-profile]

Clicking the **Remove** button in the dialog removes the corresponding
**profile** from the list, but **does not** delete any files. The **profile**
can be imported to add it back to the profile list.

**Warning:** Clicking the **Remove with data** button in the dialog removes the
corresponding **profile** from the list, **and deletes the profile directory**.
This **cannot be undone**.

# Install plugins #

Plugins can either be installed using the [MicroDrop plugin
manager](#install-plugins-through-microdrop-plugin-manager-mpm) command-line
tool, or through the [MicroDrop user

### Featured plugin ###

- [`dmf_control_board`][7]
* Control actuation parameters for the [DropBot][12] open-source Digital
Microfluidic (DMF) automation system.

### Install plugins through MicroDrop plugin manager (`mpm`) ###

The Microdrop plugin manager is a command-line tool (inspired by `pip`) for
managing (e.g., install, uninstall) Microdrop plugins.

For full usage details, see the [project home page][14].

Basic usage to install a plugin:

- Start MicroDrop environment command prompt using the following shortcut:


- In MicroDrop environment command prompt, run:

python -m mpm -c <microdrop settings directory>\microdrop.ini install plugin [plugin [plugin ...]]

To install featured plugin:

python -m mpm -c <microdrop settings directory>\microdrop.ini install dmf_control_board

### Install plugins through MicroDrop GUI ###

1. Install plugins:

![Install MicroDrop plugins][install-plugins]

2. Relaunch MicroDrop.


[install-plugins]: microdrop/static/images/plugins-install.gif
[microdrop-environment-shortcut]: microdrop/static/images/microdrop-environment-shortcut.png
[microdrop-profile-manager]: microdrop/static/images/microdrop-plugin-manager-annotated.png
[install-dependencies]: microdrop/static/images/plugin-manager-install-dependencies.png
[remove-profile]: microdrop/static/images/plugin-manager-remove.png


Ryan Fobel <>

Christian Fobel <>

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