What’s new in pro Fit 7.1?
pro Fit 7.1 has numerous under-the-hood changes modernizing its architecture. It runs natively on both Apple Silicon and Intel processors, and supports LaTeX and Python 3.
pro Fit 7.1 requires Mac OS 12 (Monterey) or later.
Some details about the new features:
- If you have LaTeX installed on your computer, you can use it to create texts, mathematical expressions, and equations in drawing windows.
- Auto exporter frames in drawing documents allow to automatically export an area of a drawing as a file that uses a specific export format (such as PDF or PNG) whenever the main drawing document is saved.
- The Plot3D plug-in is available by default in the Plot menu. This is a preference that can be changed in Preferences -> Plot.
- pro Fit 7.1 has been rewritten to integrate Python 3.8 or 3.9 for function definitions and scripting. There is also preliminary support for Python 3.10.
(Note that Python 3 is not part of the default macOS and needs to be installed separately. pro FIt’s Python Selection Assistant, fund under the Help menu, can help in selecting which Python install to use.)
- pro Fit 7.1 supports dark mode.
- Window toolbars have been updated to use a more compact layout.
- Experimental tab support has been added to the windows. (Use “Show Tab Bar” from the Windows menu to get started.)
The full version of pro Fit 7.1 is available not only through FastSpring, but soon also on Apple’s App Store. See our section about buying pro Fit for more details.
pro Fit 7 feature list
This is a short summary of the main features and paradigms of the pro Fit 7 software.
The preview window is a unique pro Fit feature that provides super-quick visualization of data and functions. New data opened in pro Fit can be immediately seen in the preview window. New functions defined in pro Fit are immediately plotted and visualized in the preview window. A special curve allows to drag the function curve to change the value of any function parameter (a perfect tool to prepare for a curve fit). More about this below.
Three Different Types of Documents
Like its predecessors, pro Fit 7 uses several different kinds of documents (text documents for scripts or function definitions; data documents for lists of data and spreadsheets; drawings documents for graphs, plots, and other types of drawings) that appear in three different types of windows.
- All windows have a toolbar. Control-click on the toolbar, or choose “Customize toolbar…” from the file menu to change its appearance, e.g. make the icons smaller, remove the text, or add new items.
- Changes to open Windows are autosaved into their respective documents according to your System Preference settings. Previous versions of the same file can be retrieved using the “Revert To” entry in the File menu. Go to system preferences to determine if pro Fit will ask to keep changes before closing a document window, or if you want all pro Fit windows to be closed when you quit.
Drawing windows reveal pro Fit’s capabilities as a drawing editor. Numerous tools can be used to create complete vector-based drawings, with a side-by-side integration of general drawings and the graphs and plots produced from data and functions.
- An Inspector window can be used to view and edit shape coordinates, or modify shape settings like color, shadows, font style or rotation, and so on. Just explore the various editing options. They are too many to list here.
- To view the coordinates corresponding to the current position of the mouse pointer hold down the “C” key (just the letter, without any modifiers). Coordinates can be viewed in the units of the coordinate axes of graphs, or as page coordinates.
- Drawing windows also have a “quick access” panel in addition to the standard toolbar. This panel allows quick access to a subset of the shapes that are supported by pro Fit, and to a subset of shape properties (things like line width, or line dash). There area also keyboard equivalents to determine the shape to be drawn: they generally correspond to the first letter of their name
- Text shapes support a large number of user-settable text attributes.
- LaTeX text shapes support a large subset of the general LaTeX features for layout and math typesetting.
- Graphs can be edited using their own dedicated inspector-like window. This window can be used to drill down into any particular detail of a graph, form axes ranges to the length of tick marks, to the shape of the symbols used for data points. You can also zoom in and out of a graph by clicking and dragging with the option key down.
- There are some other kinds of shapes for special purposes, such as callouts, symmetric polygons, and stars.
- Drawing windows support a number of standard user-interface gestures, like pinching on the trackpad to zoom into a drawing.
Data is displayed in dedicated data windows that have a standard spreadsheet layout consisting of rows and columns.
- The window toolbar allows to access the commonly used commands.
- Default columns such as the “x-column” and the “y-column” are automatically displayed in the preview window, so that when new data is loaded it is immediately visualized
- Some data analysis tools (e.g. correlation, convolution, binning) are available via non-modal windows that they can be kept open while working on your data.
- Large data sets are neabled by pro Fit’s 64-bit support and optimized memory management.
- Data columns support solar time as well as daylight saving time.
Text documents are those used to define custom Functions or Scripts. User-defined Functions and other Scripts can be written using Python, or also using a simple Pascal-like language.
- Text windows use the standard text editing engine of macOS and support unicode.
- Syntax coloring helps to visually distinguish the various variables and objects in function definitions or scripts.
- The TAB and shift-TAB keys can be used to indent/unindent the selected lines in a text window if the current selection is non-empty.
The parameters window is a utility window that always displays all the parameter that affect the mathematical expressions (functions) that can be plotted or used for data analysis. These parameters can be activated or deactivated for curve fitting directly within this window, or their limits can be set. In addition, parameter values can be modified by using the preview window to grab and drag the plot of a function. As an example, the speed of an exponential decay can be changed by simply dragging the function curve in the preview window so that it more or less matches the data. This automatically changes the corresponding parameter in the parameters window, which is then used as an initial value for a subsequent curve-fitting operation.
Other notable features
There a number of other notable features supported by pro Fit 7:
- 64-bit architecture: pro Fit comes as a universal binary that supports both the newest Apple Silicon and intel processors.
- Global search: It is possible to search for a text string simultaneously in all text, data, and drawing windows.
- Sandboxing: pro Fit 7 is a sandboxed application, supporting all standard security features offered by macOS. pro Fit 7 has a plug-in folder that is located in the standard “sandbox container”. To locate it, choose “Reveal plug-in folder” from the “Customize” menu.
- Scripting: pro Fit 7 allows both the definition of scripts to automatize certain jobs, as well as the definition of the mathematical functions you need. For this task, it provides a large number of predefined utility functions that you can call from your Python code or from your pascal-like code. Please see the “programming” read me file for more details.
- The fitting engine can optionally use long-double precision for enhanced accuracy.
Since pro Fit 7 is sandboxed, it cannot access files outside its application container without explicit user permission. The application container is found under “~/Library/Containers/com.quansoft.profit” or “~/Library/Containers/pro Fit”.
- If you are running a script that accesses files outside pro Fit’s container, e.g. in your Documents folder, you must grant pro Fit explicit permission to do so: Choose Preferences form the pro Fit menu, and navigate to the tab Security. Then, add the desired directory to the list of accessible directories. The permission will be permanently stored, i.e. it will persist even if you quit and restart pro Fit.
- The “pro Fit plug-ins” folder, which contains scripts and plug-ins to be automatically loaded during start-up, is found in pro Fit’s container (under ~/Library/Containers/com.quansoft.profit/Data/Library/Application Support/com.quansoft.profit/pro Fit plug-ins). To navigate to that folder, choose “Reveal Plug-in folder” from the Customize menu.