01 At a glance
impulse is an easy to use waveform viewer and analyser tool. This chapter gives you a first insight.
This article is based on impulse 1.8.
To open the viewer, select a wave file of a supported format in the Explorer or Navigator view, and use the context menu to open the file (as you would open a source file for editing). To use the example wave files, select Import->'impulse example wave files' .
The impulse viewer UI consists of the four main areas shown in the picture of the user interface below, namely:
- Signal Area
- View Configuration Tree
- Plot Area
- Cursor Details
Signal Area and Cursor Details can be set as hidden. Except for Cursor Details, all areas can be resized.
The Signal Area's main use is to find signals in the wave file and convert them into a plot that can be shown in the Plot Area. The Signal Area consists of three parts: the Scope Hierarchy, the Filter and the Filtered Signal Table.
The Scope Hierarchy in the upper part of the area contains the wave file (Record) and all its folders, modules and subsystem organization.
The Filter in the middle of the area consists of a text field and two buttons to control the filtering. If the text field is empty, then all children will be shown. The buttons have the following use:
- All children: The filter is applied not only to the direct children of the selected scope, but to all subsequent children as well.
- Diff: Only show signals that have the 'diff' flag (diff viewer).
- Regular: The filter interprets the text added in the text field as a regular expression.
- Conflict: Only show signals that have the 'conflict' flag.
- Signals: Show signals.
- Regular: Show proxies (signal references).
The Filtered Signal Table in the lower part of the area contains all filtered (or unfiltered) signals of the selected scope.
View Configuration Tree
The View Configuration Tree contains a hierarchy of plots and folders. For each element in the tree, there is a corresponding visualization in the Plot Area.
Each plot configuration describe how a signal (or signals) shall be visualized. Such a configuration contains a name , a description, the color, the link to the signal, the diagram type and a lot more. To add a signal to a view you just drag and drop it (or multiple signals/scopes) into the View Configuration Tree . To modify a plots you need to select one (or multiple), open the context menu (right click) and select Edit (or double-click the plot -- or press Enter).
Reorganization of the elements is possible with drag and drop or copy and paste. Furthermore, you can add folders (context menu) and manage the signals the way that you like.
The View Configuration Tree consists of two columns: one showing the name and icon and the second displaying the current value of the signal at the active cursor.
Find more in chapter: 03 Views and Plots.
The Plot Area contains the main axis (possibly showing time, frequency, etc.), the waveform plots, and cursors. You can use a cursor or the scroll bar to select the visible time frame. The Plot Area allows you to:
- Adjust the diagrams by changing the resolution (zoom) and time frame.
- Step between changes in the signal.
- Undertake quick measures.
- Value inspection (double-click on the plot).
- Search for signal patterns (CTRL-F).
Find more in chapter:04 Plots and Cursors.
Initially, this area is not visible but can be activated with the corresponding toolbar button.
The area contains:
- A list of all cursors and their actual time (or any unit that is used for the x-axis).
- A diagram that shows the delta between the cursors.
As editor or view
Using the main menu of the viewer, you can configure the appearance of the viewer.
- Show/Hide Signal Area
- Show/Hide Cursor Details Area
- Show/Hide Axis
- Show/Hide Grid
- Show/Hide Value Column
- Enable Fit Vertical
Fit Vertical tries to fit all plots into the vertical height of the viewer. If there is enough space, the elements are extended; if not, the elements are shown with minimal height. This can be very useful in the case of few plots (e.g., scope or charts).