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Version 2.0 API How do I

This page covers how to accomplish many common tasks with the Micro-Manager 2.0 API. It is intended to be a migration assistant for people familiar with the 1.4 API, and a getting-started guide for those who have never written Micro-Manager control code before.

In the below examples, reference will be made to an mm object. This is the Studio interface for Micro-Manager's java layer. It's available as "mm" by default in the Scripting Panel of Micro-Manager, hence the name.

For clarity, the types returned by the function calls are included. The Beanshell environment in the Script Panel does not know all these types. You can either import those types explicitly, e.g.


or you can leave out the type altogether.

This page makes use of many objects that are more fully described in the main 2.0 API documentation.

How do I...

Snap an image?

If you just want to snap an image and have it pop up in the viewer, then you want to access the SnapLiveManager object:

import java.util.List;
List images =;

The boolean value passed in will tell the SnapLiveManager that you want to see the images that were snapped; the returned List of Image objects is the images acquired. There will only be multiple images if you're using a multi-camera setup.

Display an image?

If you have an Image object - for instance, by snapping one:

images =;
image = images.get(0);

and you want to create a new display window and display it, you can use the DisplayManager object:

Datastore store = mm.displays().show(image);

This will create a new Datastore and DisplayWindow, add the image to the Datastore, and return it. You can then add new images to the Datastore (using Datastore.putImage(image)) and they will also be displayed in the window.

Access image data and metadata?

If you have data in an open window that you want to access, you can readily do that through the DisplayManager interface:

Datastore store = mm.displays().getCurrentWindow().getDatastore();

The above code will retrieve the topmost DisplayWindow and then extract the Datastore that contains the data that the DisplayWindow presents.

From there, you can request images via their Coords:

Coords.CoordsBuilder builder =;
builder = builder.z(2).time(5).channel(1).stagePosition(0);
Coords coords =;
Image image = store.getImage(coords);

You can access the image's Metadata:

Metadata metadata = image.getMetadata();
Double exposure = metadata.getExposureMs();

You can access the dataset's SummaryMetadata as a whole:

SummaryMetadata summary = store.getSummaryMetadata();
String[] channels = summary.getChannelNames();

If the dataset has not been frozen, then you can modify it, for example by adding new images:

import java.util.List;
List newImages =;
Image newImage = newImages.get(0);
newImage = newImage.copyAtCoords(coords.copy().time(6).build());

Control live mode?

As above, you want the SnapLiveManager object. You can ask if live mode is on or off using:

boolean isOn =;

And you can turn live mode on or off with:;

For example, would turn live mode off, regardless of whether or not it was currently on.

If you need to temporarily halt live mode to perform some action (for example, changing the ROI of a camera that can't change ROIs mid-acquisition), but want to restore live mode to the state it was in after you have performed that action, then you can suspend live mode:;
...perform some action...;

If live mode is on, then it will turn off when you call setSuspended(true), and it will re-start when you call setSuspended(false). If live mode was off, then it will remain off.

Run an acquisition using the MDA settings?

You have two similar options here:



mm.acquisitions().runAcquisition(String name, String root);

Both will run an acquisition using the current MDA settings; the latter method will also allow you to specify where data should be saved. Both methods return a Datastore that contains the acquired images.

Note also this method:

mm.acquisitions().loadAcquisition(String path);

This method allows you to load a previously-saved set of acquisition settings, automatically populating the fields in the MDA dialog. You can create one of these acquisition settings files via the "Save as..." button in the MDA dialog.

Manually perform an acquisition?

Probably the simplest way to do this is to can snap images using the SnapLiveManager, and display them using a DisplayWindow, while adjusting other hardware properties (like the stage position or illumination source) by talking to the Core. By changing the coordinates of the images, you can create a timeseries, Z-stack, multi-channel, et cetera dataset.

import java.util.List;
// A RAM datastore stores all of its images on RAM, not on the hard drive.
// There are other options as described in the DataManager documentation.
Datastore store =;
// Create a display for the datastore. This won't actually show up until there
// are images to see, though.
// Snap an image. Don't display it in the snap/live display.
List images =;
// Let's assume for now that we aren't using a multi-camera setup, so the
// above list only has one element.
Image image = images.get(0);
// Set the time and channel indices for this image. Coordinate axes that you
// don't care about can be left alone.
Coords.CoordsBuilder builder =;
builder = builder.time(0).channel(0);
image = image.copyAtCoords(;
// Snap another image.
image =;
// Put it as the next channel.
builder =;
image = image.copyAtCoords(;
// Save the datastore.
String savePath = "path to where you want to save data";, savePath);

Control the core?

The MMCore is the same as it's always been, so methods for setting hardware properties, snapping images, manually running sequences, etc. are unchanged. You can access the core via



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