Field Precision releases UniScale, screen measurement system for scientists and engineers

December 26, 2011 - The Field Precision Universal Scale is a high-accuracy spatial measurement system for all types of information displayed on a computer screens: graphs in reports and publications, drawings, medical images and photographs. With the program, users can:

  • Create movable screen rulers precisely calibrated to images with a choice of colors and transparency.
  • Save and reload rulers for standard measurements.
  • Measure points on published graphs, even with rotated or distorted scans.
  • Find coordinates and dimensions of mechanical drawings and diagrams.
  • Digitize graphed curves.
  • Transfer numerical information to other applications via the clipboard or data files.

Field Precision LLC has made the universal scale available at no charge as a service to the scientific and engineering communities by Field Precision LLC.

FP Uniscale was inspired by the Gerber Variable Scale, a popular device from the 1950s. The idea was straightforward — the ruler consisted of a precision spring that could be adjusted to any length to match graphs or oscillographs. Today, measurements are typically performed on computer screens rather than paper. Previously-available freeware screen rulers had limited utility. They were designed to measure literal distances on the computer screen (in pixels, mm, …) rather than the lengths of objects displayed on the screen. The approach is analogous to a physical ruler that can measure the size of a sheet of paper, but not the dimensions of information printed on the paper. In contrast, FP Uniscale allows users to create custom rulers calibrated to graphical objects displayed on computer screens by any program. Calibration sheets are the key to the program's operation. They are translucent windows that act like tracing paper that can be moved over any displayed graphical material. After specifying a calibration length and total ruler length, the user clicks the mouse on any known dimension in the graphical object to create a movable ruler overlay. The program supports two independent rulers in horizontal or vertical orientation. Each screen rulers may be hidden or toggled between horizontal and vertical orientations. Screen rulers may be saved and reloaded, a useful feature for the analysis of a series of standard photographs or graphical objects.

Screen rulers are only part of the function of FP UniScale. The program can be used to measure points on published graphs and material curves. After specifying the axis lengths, the user calibrates the origin and axis endpoints. The program draws a confirming blueline grid over the graph area and locks the calibration sheet. A left click on a point anywhere inside the area returns absolute graph coordinates that are recorded in a list box. Values may be exported to other programs via the clipboard or a CSV data file. With its normal coordinate analysis functions, FP UniScale returns accurate values even from badly-scanned graphs with rotations and distortions. In digitization mode, the user slides the mouse along a curve to record a series of evenly spaced points. The third function of the program is to extract dimensions from drawings and diagrams the have been sent in non-CAD format (such as PDF).

Although a complete instruction manual is supplied with FP Uniscale, it is not essential for use. The program is designed to be self-explanatory. It can be applied immediately, even if not used for several months. FP UniScale is available for free download at

About Field Precision
Field Precision LLC has created easy-to-use 2D and 3D simulation software for personal computers since 1989. Application areas include electrostatics, permanent magnets, charged-particle devices, microwave equipment, biomedical engineering and X-ray technology. The company is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It's educational texts on charged particle physics and technology are in use by over 20,000 students and researchers. For detailed information (customer lists, research projects and publications), please see

Field Precision LLC
Dr. Stanley Humphries
E mail: Email Contact
Telephone: +1-505-220-3975
FAX: +1-617-752-9077

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