Glossary of Terms

Understanding the terminology we use in this document will make it easier to learn Mira Pro. The sections below define what is meant when the instructions tell you to drag the mouse or to be sure a window has focus.

The Mouse

The table below describes terms used in this document to describe using the mouse.

Mouse Terminology


The action of pressing, then releasing the mouse button. Usually you do this to execute a command like that associated with a button, check box, or other control.


The action of moving the mouse while holding down the primary mouse button. During a drag operation, something will be moving or adjusting such as an image being centered or a line vector being stretched.

Mouse Cursor

The normal mouse pointer when it moves into an Image Window. The Image Window displays image coordinates and value as the pointer is moved over the image. This differentiates it from the Image Cursor which marks reference positions on the image but does not give continuous updating of the image coordinate.

Mouse Down

The action of pressing the "primary" mouse button (normally the left button). Usually the mouse is held down to drag some user interface object. Many procedures in Mira require you to press and hold the mouse button while you move the mouse.

Mouse Up

The action of releasing the primary mouse button after some operation such as "dragging".

Right Click

The action of clicking the secondary mouse button, which is normally the right button. This is used to open Context Menus and for only a few other purposes.

Window Terminology

The table below describes terms used in this document to describe using windows.

Window Terminology


A keystroke combination that performs an operation that otherwise requires multiple keystrokes or mouse clicks. The accelerator would be a special key, like "Ctrl + O" for opening a file.

Context Menu

A popup menu that appears inside a view window by right clicking inside the window. In Mira , most View Windows have Context Menus. These open by right clicking inside the window you are working with. The name "Context Menu" derives from the fact that you do not lose your context (i.e., your train of thought) by right clicking where you are looking, as opposed to moving out of the window to hunt for a command in a menu somewhere else.

Dialog Window

(or Dialog)

A type of window that is used to interact (i.e., to have a dialog) with the software. A Dialog doesn't usually show you any data or results. Images, plots, measurements, and other types of data or results are shown in View windows. Some dialogs take control of Mira and require you to click [OK] [Cancel], or [Close] before you can proceed. Others allow you to work with other windows while they are open. However, in both cases, a Dialog Window stays on top.

Drop Dialog

A dialog window that can expand downward to expose additional controls and information. These dialogs help you save screen space when you don't need to see everything.


Refers to a window that accepts input from the mouse or keyboard. When a window has focus, information about what you type or where you click the mouse is sent to that window. Usually, the window having focus is in front of other windows. This is known as "top-most" window.

Menu Bar

A menu containing pull down menus. The standard menu bars are located at the top of the Mira application window. Click the menu item on the menu bar to drop, or "pull down" a menu from the bar. Each type of View Window (Image, Plot, Report, Text Editor, and others) load their own specific menu bar containing commands appropriate for their type of control.

Modal Dialog

A window that takes control of the user interface. When a modal dialog is open in Mira , you cannot interact with any part of Mira outside that dialog.

Modeless Dialog

A Dialog Window that allows you to use other windows while open.


A parameter or setting that controls some aspect of the software. A number, a check box, a selection from a list—these are all "preferences". Usually preferences are displayed in a Dialog Window and changed by using dialog controls.


A row or column of buttons connected to commands, or software "tools". A toolbar attaches itself to the border of a window, usually along the top or left edge. Most toolbars may be detached from their parent window by dragging them after grabbing an area outside of the buttons.

Top-most Window

The window on top of other windows. Usually this refers to View windows containing data (images, plots, text, reports, 3-D plots, etc.). The top-most view window has the "focus" for keyboard entry.

View Window

A type of window that displays data, such as an image, plot, a table of measurements, or text. Usually a view window can be resized to give you a larger or smaller view of the data.

Related Topics

User Interface