MultiTrace Tutorial: Screen layout

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MultiTrace 3: Tutorial

You now already know the basic features and workflow of MultiTrace. You are able to open references and samples, integrate ion traces, assign evaluations to parameters, to filter the result table and to print table or graphical reports.

All this is possible directly from the main view in an intuitive and straight-forward manner. You can customise the main view to show even more information. For the first section of the tutorial we reduced the main view complexity as much as possible, but now we offer you the so-far hidden features.


Screen Layout

Please click the screen layout button to open the screen layout dialog.


The table setting changes the size and visibility of the result table and ion trace graphs.

  • You may select to see the ion traces only. Each ion trace will have more space and can show more details. The result table is hidden. This option is particularly useful for low screen resolutions and small monitors. You can activate this view with the hotkey "t" (like "traces") from the main view, which is faster than using the screen layout dialog. You may easily toggle between "only traces" and "only full table" by pressing the TAB key (the key on your keyboard left of "q").
  • The reduced table view is the default setting. The table is as small as possible and shows only the essential columns. However, the reduced table view offers all functionality to fully evaluate samples. (Hotkey "r")
  • The expanded table view show several additional columns. This uses up more space, so the ion traces will be smaller. You can select for yourself which columns are shown in the reduced and expanded table view (see below). This view is mostly meant for high screen resolutions and large monitors. (Hotkey "e")
  • The full table view shows all available columns. You can activate it using the TAB key. Pressing the TAB key again returns to the previous screen layout, whatever it was.

We recommend to use the default view which is the reduced table. Only if the screen resolution is to low and the monitor to small, we recommend to toggle between "only traces" and "full table" using the TAB key.


The options dialog (which you already know from the print options) offers an individual set-up of which result table columns are visible in reduced and expanded view. Please leave the screen layout dialog, open the options dialog and select the layout tab sheet to have a look.



The orientation setting lets you decide whether the ion traces should be side-by-side from left-to-right or top-to-bottom. (Hotkey "w" from the main view)

We recommend vertical (left-to-right) orientation, which is the default setting. Visible resolution along the intensity axis is more important than along the time axis.



Number of traces

The number of traces setting controls how many ion trace graphs are visible.

  • The option "automatic" adjusts the number of visible trace graphs to the number of ions used in the method definition of each parameter. MultiTrace will switch the number of graphs each time you select a parameter. Advantage is that the available space is used perfectly and no space for empty ion trace graphs is wasted. Disadvantage is that switching from one parameter to another lets the screen flicker and the values shown in the upper corners of the trace graphs are on different locations of the screen, dependent on how many traces a certain parameter has.
  • The option at least two shows always at least two trace graphs, no matter whether a certain parameter uses one or two ions. Only if a parameter uses three ions, MultiTrace automatically switches to three trace graphs. This options let the screen appear calm and steady. We recommend this option, if you method definition has only parameters with one or two ions.
  • The option at least three shows always at least three trace graphs, no matter whether a certain parameter uses one, two, or three ions. Only if a parameter uses more than three ions, MultiTrace automatically switches to the appropriate number of trace graphs. This options let the screen appear calm and steady. We recommend this option, if you method definition has mostly parameters with three or less ions. This is the default setting.

Additional panels

Mass spectra

MultiTrace can display the mass spectra of the current retention time of the selected peak. This makes visuablly comparing m/z ratios between reference and sample ions very easy. The relative values are also given as percentage numbers in the upper corner of each trace graph.

When measuring full scan spectra, the mass spectra are helpful for qualifiying and asserting identity of the parameters. Method definitions can also hold library mass spectra which enable direct comparison of reference and sample mass spectra with library spectra.

Administrators setting up method definition files can easily see which ions have been measured in this time window. They can also use the mouse to add or remove ions from the method definition interactively.

You can show or hide the mass spectra panel by using the hotkey "m".


Query panel

The query panel displays the data fields that you already know from the header fields of the print options, i.e. sample name, misc info, maxtrix, customer, dilution factor, weight factor and so on. It is called "query panel", because most of the fields are results of a database query or LIMS access.

You can show or hide the query panel by using the hotkey "q".

Dilution and weight factor -- Please click with the mouse on the field "dilution factor" or "weight factor". A dialog will pop up which allows to edit both values. The old value is already selected, so you can simply start to type in the new value without need to delete the old value. You can jump from one field to the other by using the TAB key. You may use the ENTER key to close the dialog.

References -- It is posible to use several reference data files simultaneously, e.g. if certain reference compounds are not stabile when mixed together into one single solution, or because commercially offered parameter lists are added like building blocks, or you want to compare old and new reference solutions, or you measured the reference several times in the sequence or for many other reasons. You may open several references at the same time and can switch between then by click on the reference table list in the lower right corner of the query table. Method definitions can pre-select certain reference numbers or names automatically. You can only change the reference while the paramenter is unknown and has not yet an evaluation assigned.

Test codes -- The field test is an exclusive feature for the Eurofins holding and displays the test name and test code of the LIMS. If activated, you may click on the test field to open a dialog to semi-automatically edit the test and see its associated LIMS method. The correct test information is essential for exporting result data to Eva 2.x.



This option is currently disabled. We intend to offer multi-point calibration in the future and this option would show panels with the calibration curves and their linear regressive functions.

Continue with the next lesson of this tutorial: MultiTrace Tutorial: Creating methods

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