PixInsight 1.5

The Officially Unofficial Reference Guide

Rev.0.1 – 3/29/2010

Compiled by Rogelio Bernal Andreo

About this guide

I created this reference guide for several reasons:

  1. Because I had the time, the interest and the will to do it.

  2. Because it would also be an interesting experience for me to review all the possibilities “parameter-wise” of PixInsight, as well as looking in detail to some tools and parameters I may have ignored until now.

  3. Because almost every time I have mentioned PixInsight, I've always found people who complain about the lack of a reference guide. Some advanced PixInsight users are quickly to say that the best way to learn PixInsight is by reading the tutorials online, experimenting, and asking questions on PixInsight's web forum. And while that's not too far from the truth, even if a reference guide will not teach you how to process astroimages, having such reference guide also adds a sense of security to new users. Knowing it's there is a lot better than knowing there's none. And while some of the new processing windows come with some detailed screentips (extended tooltips), most of the more veteran functions do not – at least not yet!

What this reference will NOT do for you:

  1. This Reference Guide will NOT teach you how to process your images.

  2. It will NOT show you practical examples.

  3. It will NOT describe processing workflows

What this reference will (hopefully) do for you is:

  1. It will give you a - hopefully clear - description of the main purpose of each processing tool in PixInsight and all of their parameters.

  2. It may sometimes describe the effects of giving a parameter one value or another, so you may have a better understanding about how you can use it to achieve your processing goals.

  3. It will stop everyone on Earth from saying PixInsight doesn't have a complete Reference Guide of all processes and their parameters :-)

  4. Maybe, just maybe, it will “teach” you something!

How is this guide structured

This reference guide is structured in a very simple way.

It follows the same classification you can find when you select the Process menu item in PixInsight 1.5, grouping several processes under a number of categories.

Categories are sorted in alphabetical order, and within each category, the processes are too sorted in alphabetical order.

Is this a perfect guide?

What? No! :-)

Although I have put great care into making sure that I don't goof up, I have reason to believe I have made mistakes, misinterpretations and oversights. Hopefully this guide will be read by people much more knowledgeable than myself, and they will be kind enough to let me know about all the unforgivable mistakes I have made.

Needless to say, this guide is made available to you for informational purposes only, and any use you make of it will be at your own risk.

Unofficial? So... where is the Official version?

At the time of writing this, PixInsight does not have an official Reference Guide.... Yet! I am of course making this guide available to the PixInsight team – after all, there's a wealth of information in this guide that came from information produced by the PixInsight team – so they can hopefully use it to produce the “official” version, and keep updating it as PixInsight continues to evolve, at which point, this guide may become obsolete or simply a less desirable choice than the OFFICIAL guide when it is released.

What about future versions of this guide?

This Unofficial Reference Guide is based on PixInsight version 1.5. At the time of this writing, PixInsight 1.6 is very close to being released. While I cannot guarantee that I will be updating this guide for every single new release of PixInsight, as I explained earlier, I am making this work available to the PixInsight team. It is unlikely that PixInsight 1.6 will come with the official version of this guide, but hopefully it will do so in the next version.

Can I make copies of this guide?

You can print this guide if you like, for personal use only. You can NOT publish or distribute copies of this guide anywhere, whether electronically, printed media, etc. other than for your own private and personal use.

While most of the content I post on the Internet uses a CreativeCommons license, the reason this guide uses a more traditional copyright is for a very good reason: PixInsight is a constantly evolving software. While up until now PixInsight hasn't had an official Reference Guide, this work will hopefully become the first step into an official, permanent and constantly updated Reference Guide. If you were allowed to publish or distribute copies of this guide as it is right now, it could very well be that several months from today, or even earlier, one could find outdated versions of this Reference Guide all over the place, which, in short, it's not a very good thing. Also, this guide contains text that is copyrighted by Pleiades Software, the makers of PixInsight, so technically, part of this guide is already copyrighted (the reason I have used copyrighted material to write this guide is because, as I said earlier, the goal is to use this guide as a starting point to create the official guide, and I had the approval from "the powers that be"). So to avoid you breaking the law, and to avoid the distribution of copies of this guide that WILL become outdated before you know it, please do NOT distribute this guide.

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