About NIH Image

NIH Image is a public domain image processing and analysis program for the Macintosh. It was developed at the Research Services Branch (RSB) of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It has been superseded by ImageJ, a Java program inspired by NIH Image that runs on the Macintosh, Linux and Windows.

Image can acquire, display, edit, enhance, analyze and animate images. It reads and writes TIFF, PICT, PICS and MacPaint files, providing compatibility with many other applications, including programs for scanning, processing, editing, publishing and analyzing images. It supports many standard image processing functions, including contrast enhancement, density profiling, smoothing, sharpening, edge detection, median filtering, and spatial convolution with user defined kernels.

Image can be used to measure area, mean, centroid, perimeter, etc. of user defined regions of interest. It also performs automated particle analysis and provides tools for measuring path lengths and angles. Spatial calibration is supported to provide real world area and length measurements. Density calibration can be done against radiation or optical density standards using user specified units. Results can be printed, exported to text files, or copied to the Clipboard.

A tool palette supports editing of color and gray scale images, including the ability to draw lines, rectangles and text. It can flip, rotate, invert and scale selections. It supports multiple windows and 8 levels of magnification. All editing, filtering, and measurement functions operate at any level of magnification and are undoable.

Image directly supports Data Translation and Scion frame grabber cards for capturing images or movie sequences using a TV camera. Acquired images can be shading corrected and frame averaged. Other frame grabbers are supported via plug-in modules.

Image can be customized in three ways: via a built-in Pascal-like macro language, via externally compiled plug-in modules and on the Pascal source code level. Example macros, plug-ins and complete source code can be downloaded from the Download page.

More information about NIH Image can be found in the Overview section of the manual.

System Requirements

Image requires a color capable Macintosh and at least 4MB of free RAM. 32MB or more of RAM is recommended for working with 3D images, 24-bit color or animation sequences. System 7.0 or later is required. Image directly supports, or is compatible with, large monitors, flatbed scanners, film recorders, graphics tablets, PostScript laser printers, photo typesetters and color printers.