Download or export plots and figures as images, SVG, and PDF


There are various ways to get images out of the Cytobank platform. Click the links to jump to the sections below. 

Exporting high-resolution images

        • Bitmap images 
        • SVG graphics 

Export individual plots and complete figures 

    Print view of the illustrations   

Exporting high-resolution images: Bitmap versus SVG 

Images in the Cytobank platform can be broadly classified into two categories with regard to the way in which they store information and their ability to scale to different sizes: 

1) Bitmap or Raster images are grids of pixels, where each pixel in the grid has a color. Common formats are .png, .jpg, or .gif. These images have limited ability to scale to a large size without compromising quality, as is apparent in the following example: 


(two of the same plot images exported at different resolutions, but shown at the same size. Low resolution images cannot scale to a large size)  

 Plot size or plot resolution can be adjusted easily in the Plot tab of the Illustration Editor navigation bar:  


(Adjust plot size / resolution)  

2) Vector or SVG images don't store their underlying information with coordinates, but instead with relationships between image components that are represented mathematically and proportionally. Because the components of the image emerge from equations that describe their relationships relative to each other, and not from exact coordinates, vector images can scale infinitely without compromising quality. 

Export individual plots or complete Illustration layouts 

In the Cytobank platform the Illustration Editor uses SVG for fonts and labels, but normal bitmap images embedded for the data visualization within the plots. As a result, data plots themselves will look the same independently of the type of file that you select to export and would only vary dependent on the plot size selected. If you select PNG as your exporting format, the entire illustration (plots, fonts and labels) would be a bitmap image. However, if you choose to export the illustrations as SVG the labels would appear in crisp vector format ready for presentation, publication, or further modification to styling and layout in a vector image editing software. See instructions below for exporting complete illustrations as SVG or individual plots as SVG. 

Export Complete Illustration layouts 

The Cytobank platform supports the export of complete illustrations as PNG, SVG or PDF files. As discussed above, when exported, the plots within the illustration will be bitmap image embedded. If PDF or SVG is chosen as export file, labels and layout will be vector-based. This allows for simple adjustments to label text and the layout of groups of plots created in an illustration.  


(demonstration of changing label font size and layout of an exported illustration) 


To export an entire illustration, click on the Export tab of the Illustration Editor navigation bar. A drop-down menu will appear with the following settings: 

  • Name of the file 
  • Type of file: select .pdf, .png or .svg 
  • Export options (see below) 

Choose the Export options to include other experiment information in the exported image and decide whether to attach the exported figure to your experiment as an attachment. 

Once you have selected the settings click on the Export button and the file will be automatically downloaded to your computer. 


(Export tab and drop-down menu to export an entire illustration) 

You can also use the Copy button to copy the entire illustration to your clipboard and paste as a PNG into other applications such as PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, and Adobe illustratorThe Copy function is only available with the Google Chrome browser and may not work for all combinations of browser, operating system , and software. Please contact Cytobank Support if you have any questions. 

Export Individual plots via Export or Copy function 

If you want to export just some individual plots, mouse over the plot and a window will automatically appear. Click on the Export button in the upper right corner of the window. A drop-down menu will appear with the SVG, PDF and PNG options. Select one and the file will automatically download to your computer. As discussed above, when exported, the plots will be bitmap images embedded with vector-based labels if SVG or PDF was selected. Note that Individual plot export is not available for heatmaps. 

(Export of an individual plot) 


You can also copy the individual plot by clicking on the Copy button beneath the Export button. This will allow you to copy the plot with all the axis labels and color scale if applicable to your clipboard and paste it to other applications. Again, this feature is only available with the Google Chrome browser and may not work for all combinations of browsers, operating systems , and software. Please contact Cytobank Support if you have any questions.   

Drag and drop an image to other applications 

You can drag an image from the Illustration to other applications such as PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, and Adobe IllustratorThe image exported via this method will only contain the plots without the axis labels. If you wish to export the plot with labels, you can use the Copy button from the plot hover menu as mentioned above. 

Right-click on an image to save or copy the image  

After right-clicking on a plot you will have the option to copy or save it. After copying, you can use Paste Special as Picture to PowerPoint or Microsoft Word. You can also select Save image as to save the plot to your computer. Plots exported using this method will not include the axis labels 


 (any image can be right-clicked for a context menu from which it can be copied or saved) 

Take a Screenshot 

Taking a screenshot is often the fastest and easiest way to share an image for sending to a colleague if they do not have access to the Cytobank platform or you have no need to give them access to the experiment. 

If you have a PC: If your version of Windows does not have the snipping tool, search  on the web for the many free alternatives. 
If you have a Mac: Apple computers have a simple and fast native screenshot tool. 

Print view of the illustrations 

For a print view of any Cytobank Illustration, click the Print view button. If you have issues with illustration formatting with the normal print view, use the Export tab of the Illustration Editor navigation bar discussed before. 

(open a printer-friendly view of the Working Illustration)  

Export SPADE trees, Sunburst and Population Tree 

In the Cytobank platform, SPADE trees, the Sunburst, and the Population Tree can be exported as PDF.  

Use Open Print View, then print as pdf. The PDF is going to contain vector images for the SPADE tree, Population Sunburst, and  Population Tree.  You could also download the SPADE tree as a PDF from Actions>Download PDFs as bitmap images 


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