Gwyddion (software)

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Gwyddion logo.png
Original author(s) David Nečas (Yeti), Petr Klapetek
Developer(s) Czech Metrology Institute
Initial release 2 March 2004 (preview version 0.99.1).
Stable release 2.50 (February 2, 2018; 4 months ago (2018-02-02)) [±]
Preview release Non [±]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written in C
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in English
Type SPM Data Analysis Program
License GPL (Free software)

Gwyddion is a multiplatform modular free software for visualization and analysis of data from scanning probe microscopy (SPM) techniques (like AFM, MFM, STM, SNOM/NSOM).[1] The project is led by its main developers David Nečas (Yeti) and Petr Klapetek who work together with several various developers across the world. The software is made available as free software under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The name “Gwyddion” is that of a prominent god of Welsh Mythology, see Gwydion

It is created for the analysis of height fields and other 2D (image) data. While it is primarily intended for data originating from scanning probe microscopy techniques (like AFM, MFM, STM, SNOM/NSOM), it may also be used for the analysis of profilometry data, for instance. Data is calculated and stored in the native file format (.gwy) in double precision.

Gwyddion supports many different file types and performs many image-based functions. Among others it can open and save the following graphics file formats:

Technical features[edit]

Quote from homepage of Gwyddion: 'Gwyddion uses a fairly general physical unit system, there are no principal limitations on the types of physical quantities data (and lateral dimensions) can represent. Units of slopes, areas, volumes, and other derived quantities are correctly calculated. SI unit system is used whenever possible.

Tools and other dialogs remember their parameters, not only between tool invocations during one session, but also between sessions. Gwyddion native file format (.gwy) supports saving all data specific settings: false color palette, masks, presentations, selections, associated 3D view parameters, graphs associated with that data and their settings, etc.'

Gwyddion is mainly developed on Linux platform using GNU set of compilers and utilities. Its graphical user interface is based on the popular interface toolkit GTK+.

Availability and versions[edit]

It is available for Linux platforms and has got ported to other unix flavors that has support the GNU Autotools or its equivalent. Windows version is slightly incomplete due to limitation of platform, but support nearly all major features. Mac OS version is can be built using Xcode (some pre-built binaries available).

The only major platform not thoroughly tested and/or developed with for Gwyddion is Apple Darwin, or OpenDarwin, which in recent months has been stopped. Also, theoretically, this program could be ported to other branches of the BSD operating system.


  1. ^ D Nečas & P Klapetek. "Gwyddion: an open-source software for SPM data analysis". Central European Journal of Physics. 10 (1): 181. doi:10.2478/s11534-011-0096-2. 
  2. ^ Complete list of currently supported file formats

External links[edit]