Choose a program from the menu on the left to read its manual.

Getting Started:
Click here for a crash course to get aquainted with the program.

How to use the manual

Select an item from the menu on the left to go to one of the chapters. You may also get here from your program: To get help on one of the main window types, activate one of the windows in your program by clicking on it and then push the help iconhelp under the menu bar.
To go rapidly to a section in the manual dealing with a particular menu item or button (icon) in one of the tool bars, click the menu help button in your program and then select an item from the menu or click an icon in one of the tool bars. To know more about the options in a particular dialogue window, push the help button in the dialogue window concerned.
In this manual, Italic text refers to a menu or to menu items.


Programs from the Serf suite are meant to go from raw data to a final figure ready for publication. Each member of the suite accepts tab- or comma-delimited ASCII (*.txt files), Specific formats may be read depending on the program.The output is a vector drawing (*.his file; a serf format that may be exported to other vector drawing programs). Depending on the program in question, four types of window, each having its own menu and preference settings, may be encountered:
* Windows showing electrophysiology input records (input windows). This window and the menu associated with it, are used to i) select the records (sweeps) to be included in the current analysis and ii) to indicate which part of each sweep should be used.
* Windows showing sound records in 'wav' format (sound windows). Input data in *.dat format may be converted to a *.wav file and be played back using the sound tool, provided that your computer is equipped with a sound card. However, the major function of the routines associated with the sound window is to determine a systems impulse response. See the section at the end of the serfhelp.doc file in the program directory for details.
* Windows showing vector drawings (drawing sheets).
* Windows showing columns of numerical data (spreadsheets). Items in the latter two types of window may communicate such that a modification in a column in a spreadsheet results in a change in the associated graph. By using copy and paste functions from the menu, data from the input window may be copied to a spreadsheet or to a drawing sheet resulting in a column of numbers or a graph respectively.
Once the data on a spreadsheet have been created, a graph can be made by selecting several columns and issuing either the Modify/Stats>Line Plot or Modify/Stats>Bar Plot command from the menu.

What the programs are NOT:

Although the programs contain spreadsheets, they are NOT another copy of Excel. The underlying philosophy of each of the programs is to create and manipulate graphs and figures NOT columns of data. Because the graphs are the data, there is usually no reason whatsoever to save the spreadsheet on disk. In future versions of the program the possibility to save the spreadsheet may be even eliminated althogether. The columns of numbers that gave rise to a graph can be restored any time for manipulation anyway. Then why save the spreadsheet?


The file format of drawing sheets saved on disk by XLPlot and programs of the Serf Software Suite most likely can't be read by other programs. To present your graphs and images on computers that do not have Serf programs installed, a small file viewer, SViewer, has been created. It can be run from your USB stick or other portable media without installing it on the host computer. Be aware that because SViewer is not an installed program, the association between the SViewer.exe and the *.his and *.etf file extensions will not be made. This means that if one double-clicks on a file, the application does not start. Instead, one has to drop the *.his and *.etf files on the program or its icon or use Open from the File menu.
As its name suggests, SViewer is for viewing only. Hence, it is not possible to edit files and save changes made. Only a very limited number of actions remain possible such as moving objects around on the sheet and printing files.
To show a bitmap full screen, select it and then press <control> O. Type <escape> to return to the viewer. This function requires the FS1 application that should reside in the same device and folder as SViewer.  The FS1 file can be discarded if you don't need this option.

Thanks are due to those who have stimulated the development of this program with their useful comments.
I'd like to thank in particular Joseph Skopp at the University of Nebraska who sent me his error function routine.
This program contains the sixth public release of the Independent JPEG Group's free JPEG software. This software is the work of Tom Lane, Philip Gladstone, Luis Ortiz, Jim Boucher, Lee Crocker, Julian Minguillon, George Phillips, Davide Rossi, Ge' Weijers, and other members of the Independent JPEG Group.IJG is not affiliated with the official ISO JPEG standards committee.