Known issues and FAQ

The NOIRLab/IPAC/ESA/STScI/CfA FITS Liberator 4 is available. For more inforamation, visit FITS Liberator 4 page at NOIRLab.

Known issues in version 3.0

  • Mac: FITS Liberator application was not installed
    Problem: After installing FITS Liberator on OS X, the FITS Liberator application does not appear in the Applications folder.
    Workaround: Install FITS Liberator manually using the guide
  • Mac: Cannot navigate into folders when opening a FITS file
    Problem: When trying to open a new FITS file you cannot navigate into subfolders which are shown as inactive.
    Workaround: Navigate to the folder in Finder, and drag and drop the folder into the navigation window.
  • Mac: Trying to open more than one file at a time makes the program crash.
  • Mac/Windows: FITS file bigger than 2GB doesn't open.

Please note that we're working to fix all above problems, and release a version 3.0.1.

Known issues in version 2.3

FITS Liberator 2.3 only works with CS5 for Windows 32-bit. We are working on FITS Liberator 3.0 to be released by the end of September 2010 - we are after 6 years of Photoshop dependency going to break out and make a standalone version.

Some users have been getting an "Out of memory (RAM)" error when trying to use FITS Liberator 2.3 on Mac OS X. 

This problem is most likely not related to a lack of memory but rather a problem with the installation of the plug-in.

People have reported success with doing a manual installation instead of using the automatic installer. The procedure for doing this is as follows:

  1. Download libtbb.dylib and libtbbmalloc.dylib from the FITS Liberator website.

  2. Place the two files in /usr/lib. IMPORTANT: The location MUST be /usr/lib and NOT something like /Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS4/usr/lib. By using the Go command in Finder it is possible to navigate to /usr/lib.

  3. Download FITS Liberator.plugin

  4. Place the file in /Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS4/Plug-Ins/File Formats. NOTE: You should get a prompt for an administrator password at this point.

  5. Verify that FITS Liberator.plugin has the same icon as the other plug-ins in the same folder.

  6. If the icon is correct, please start Photoshop and select the menu Photoshop > About Plug-In > FITS Liberator 2. You should now see some information about the plug-in indicating the installation is completed.

  7. If the icon is not correct, open the Terminal application and enter the following:

    $ cd /Applications/Adobe\ Photoshop\ CS4/Plug-ins/File\ Formats

    $ sudo chown -R root:admin FITS\ Liberator.plugin

    $ sudo chmod -R 775 FITS\ Liberator.plugin

    IMPORTANT: If you are not using CS4 then replace the CS4 above with the version you are using.

  8. Now you the icon for FITS Liberator.plugin should look the same as the other icons and FITS Liberator should be installed.

Known issues in version 2.2

  1. FL 2.2 does not work with Photoshop CS4. We are working on FL 2.3 that hopefully will include support for CS4 (however, only CS4 32-bit will be supported, as supporting CS4 64-bit will require a major rewrite of the plug-in).

Known issues in version 2.1

  1. Intel Macs & Photoshop CS3: FL 2.1 should work with Photoshop CS3 if the application is forced to run under Rosetta. The next version will be a universal binary that can run native on Intel Macs and CS3, however a new release is not planned until the winter 2007/2008. To run Photoshop under Rosetta, right-click on the Photoshop application icon in Finder and choose "Get Info". In the opened window, check-mark the option "Open under Rosetta".
  2. Concatenator: Under Photoshop CS3 the composite image is too big and can often not be created because of a lack of memory.
  3. Windows Vista: There are some painting issues on the Preview page when the main window is initially displayed. Furthermore there are some painting issues with the stretch function and zoom drop down lists.

Note: Issues 1-3 below should have been corrected in version 1.01 that can be downloaded here.

Known issues in version 1.0

  1. Installation of the plug-in for Windows Elements 2.0 installed in a directory other than the default c:\program files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 2 may have to install the files manually. Read here.
  2. File association .fts does not work in Windows. Please rename the file to .fits.
  3. Users of Photoshop for other languages may have to install the files manually. Read here. A possible workaround is to write the path to the C:\Program
    Files\Adobe\Photoshop CS\Plugins\ in the Photoshop
    Settings (Plugins and Virtual Memory).
  4. Photoshop may have problems opening FITS files in a very deep file hierachy, e.g. c:\Documents and Settings\Jay Beck\My Documents\My Work\Lib\Pictures\Science\Astronomy\Planetary nebula NGC 6881\ . Move the file to a less deep file heirachy.
  5. Photoshop may have problems opening FITS files that reside in directories with brackets - () or [] - in the name. Move the file to directory without brackets.


FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

5. Q: Why is FITS Liberator no longer a Photoshop plugin?

A: After consultation with the image-processing community it was decided to make the FITS Liberator a stand-alone application, so that Adobe Photoshop is no longer required to run it. Although Adobe Photoshop is the preferred application for producers of advanced colour outreach images from large observatories worldwide, a stand-alone application will add more flexibility and be accessible by a wider user base. The FITS Liberator now saves TIFF files, and opens them with one click in virtually any image-processing software, including Photoshop. Furthermore the software allows several instances of the user interface to be open simultaneously on Windows, again leading to significant time savings.

4. Q: Why can't I open my FITS image?

A: There might be a couple of reasons:

  1. Maybe this image is stored inside a compressed archive like a zip archive. FITS Liberator does not support opening images directly from a compressed archive. Try extracting the image before opening it.
  2. Maybe the filename contains characters that FITS Liberator cannot handle. FITS Liberator only supports filenames that contain characters from the ASCII table (regular english characters and numbers). Try renaming the image to a simple name before opening it (note, same applies to directories on the path in which the file are stored).

3. Q: After downloading and trying the FITS Liberator, I was wondering if there existed a similar, easy, image-alignment tool.

A: Good point. To our knowledge it does not exist for Photoshop, although it would be an obvious place to have it here. The tool we use is Registar. We are investigating whether it is feasible to develop a registration tool for Photoshop. Follow, or participate in, the development by checking the draft specifications for v.2 that will soon be available in the menu to the left.

2. Q: The Photoshop action script does not download as expected on a Mac.

A: You have to "save linked file as", i.e. Alt-click on the file.

1. Q: I seem to have problems installing the plug-in with a non-English Photoshop.

A: Indeed. We are aware of this and are working on a solution.

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