Optimizing Cary 60 UV-Vis Analyses – Part 2 of 2

The Cary 60 UV-Vis’ Cary WinUV software 

Cary WinUV software and its many data plotting tools

In the first part of this series, we looked at some straightforward hardware approaches for extra spectral fidelity in routine analyses from the incredibly versatile Cary 60 UV-Vis spectrophotometer. Having now acquired data, let’s break down some easy methods of brightening our spectra right in the Cary WinUV software itself, thereby eliminating the need to export and replot data in external software. From fonts, plot styles and colors to annotations, pictures, and more, Cary WinUV has a suite of formatting options to make any data look its best onscreen.

Formatting data plots in Cary WinUV

The first task is to ensure that all the basic elements of dataplots look ready for presentation. Right-clicking on any dataplot in Cary WinUV and selecting “Graph Preferences” will display the following window, which includes options to set various fonts, sizes, styles, gridlines and colors of the currently selected dataplot.

 tandard Graph preferences for formatting dataplots in the Cary WinUV software

Navigating to the Advanced tab of this window reveals settings for “major ticks” (numerical degredations) along both axes as well as their number of decimal figures.

Advanced Graph preferences for formatting dataplots in the Cary WinUV software

Right-clicking anew on the dataplot and selecting “Peak Labels” will bring up a window for highlighting spectral peaks. The threshold and type of peaks selected can be configured here, as well peak label decimal figures and label positions (under the “Peak Label Details” tab).

Peak labelling options for dataplots in the Cary WinUV software

These peak options assume the spectrum is in absorbance units, so to highlight peaks in % transmission and reflection spectra, one would select “Valleys” as the peak type instead. Also of note is the peak threshold value, which is defined as the minimum rise and fall on either side of peaks, as demonstrated by “x’s” in the following diagram.

  How the peak threshold value is defined in the Cary WinUV software

Drawing attention to spectral details using annotations

With basic formatting sorted, let’s take a look at highlighting the most important bits of dataplots. Right-clicking once more on a dataplot and selecting “Add Label” allows adding annotations to the dataplot, as shown below. The coordinates where the user right-clicked are shown in the text field by default, however this can be replaced with any user-entered text.


Once the annotation is added, it can be moved around anywhere on the dataplot.

Annotations can be moved around dataplots in the Cary WinUV software

While this is a useful feature by itself, it is even possible to add pictures as annotations to dataplots in similar fashion. This time, selecting “Add Picture” from the right-click menu, any compatible picture file (PNG, JPG, BMP, etc.) can be added to the dataplot. This provides a wide range of possibilities, such as adding before and after photos, corporate logos, symbols, and much more, all directly onto the dataplot.

Adding pictures to dataplots in the Cary WinUV software

Pictures can also be moved around dataplots in the Cary WinUV software

Now let’s see this in action!

Here’s a quick example showing the drastic improvement in presentation one can achieve using only the tools found within Cary WinUV.

Default formatting of dataplots in the Cary WinUV software

Using formatting tools to brighten up dataplots in the Cary WinUV software

It’s quite amazing what can be done in Cary WinUV without the need to export data and replot it in other software!

Can we copy these beautiful spectra into Powerpoint? Yup!

Our last Cary WinUV trick is a simple, yet immensely useful one. Right-clicking on any dataplot and selecting “Copy Graph” allows copying and pasting said dataplot into any other software which supports image insertion, such as Microsoft Powerpoint/Word, LibreOffice Impress/Writer, Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, etc.

Dataplots can be copied from Cary WinUV and pasted directly into Powerpoint!

In addition, if multiple dataplots are displayed in Cary WinUV, right-clicking on empty space inbetween and selecting “Copy Graph” will copy all of the graphs as they are shown, thereby saving even more time. Now these data are ready to be presented in all their glory!

Further reading

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Got a question? Leave a note on the comments below or send your query directly to our expert spectroscopy team.

  • Hi Sabbas,

    The "Peaks and Valleys" option can be used to label both peaks and valleys on the same spectrum.

    Right-click on any dataplot and click "Peak Labels", and under "Peak Type", select "Peaks and Valleys". If the "Threshold" value is set up according to the 3rd highest peak or valley in the spectrum (please see the blog post above for an explanation on how the Threshold value works), then any peak and valley with a rise/fall above this value will be labelled.

    EDIT: Edited for clarity.

  • How is the best way to identify and label the three highest peaks and lowest valleys in the sample scan?

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