Defining a Structure to be Traced

Before you start to trace anatomic structures, Tracer requires you to name the structure that you are tracing. The name that you choose will also be the name under which Tracer will save the structure if you choose to export the trace as a UCF file (spaces will be converted to underscores and .ucf will be appended, e.g., "left caudate" becomes "left_caudate.ucf"). Consequently, the name that you choose is effectively a file name. Tracer will not accept a name if the corresponding file already exists.

To define a new structure name

  1. Set the orientation of the main window to the orientation in which you will draw the structure
  2. Choose a name for the structure (e.g., "left upper hippocampus")
  3. From the "Contours" menu, select "Add Structure", this will hilight the text in the popup menu at the top of the control panel
  4. Type the name of the structure. This name can be preceded by a Unix style directory path if you like (e.g., "/data/patients/patient01/left upper hippocampus"). However it is best to avoid absolute paths if you want to be able to move the data to some other machine where /data/patients/patient01/ might not exist before exporting the data as a UCF.
  5. While the cursor is still in the popup menu, press "Enter" or "Return" on the keyboard
  6. If the structure has been successfully defined, the name that you entered will remain in the popup menu, and the text of the "Trace" button on the control panel will turn red indicating that Tracer is now in tracing mode.
  7. You can repeat the above steps to define additional structures if you like.

Structures are only defined for one orientation. For example, if you defined a structure with the images displayed transversely, that structure will not be accessible if you switch to a coronal or sagittal display. In the unusual circumstance that you want to trace the same structure in more than one orientation, you will need to define unique names for the structure in each orientation.

Back to main Tracer page ©2001 Roger P. Woods, M.D.

Modified: December 15, 2001