File Selector



The File Selector is used throughout IMAGINE to provide uniform access to the file system. The actual title in the dialog frame varies depending upon the application.

light_bulb_icon You can use a Windows File Dialog rather than the IMAGINE File Selector. See Windows File Dialog ERDAS-Specific Options topic.

The File Selector opens when you:

  • Click folder from the Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Click File button > folder Open.
  • Click File button > folder Open > and select from most options.
  • Click File button > floppy_disk_edit Save As > and select from most options.
  • In general, click the open.png icon in any dialog, tab, toolbar, or palette.

The File Selector contains these context-sensitive tabs (see below for details):

  • File
  • Raster Options
  • Vector Options
  • Annotation Options
  • AOI Options
  • Multiple
  • Sub-Images

reference_icon For instructions on how to create and compress a virtual mosaic from the File Selector, see Create a Virtual Mosaic workflow.


Click File tab to see the directory structures and files.

Look in    Recent or default directory is shown. Click the dropdown list button to change drives. Click the Up Folder icon to go up one level in the directory structure.

The prompted directory is the most recently opened directory unless the default directory preference is set. Each time you open any File Selector, it is considered a separate File Selector and the prompted directory depends on the default set up for that instance. If you set the default directory after you open a particular File Selector, the prompted directory does not change to the default even if you open it again. At that point the default is set and the File Selector does not check the default directory again. If you want to open the same input and output directory during your workflow, then set the default directory preference before you open any File Selector.

updir    Click to browse up one directory level.

newdir    Click to create a new directory.

defaultinput    Click to set the current directory as the default input directory. You can change this later in the User Interface and Session preferences.

defaultoutput    Click to set the current directory as the default output directory. You can change this later in the User Interface and Session preferences.

[File Window]    Files and directories located within the directory shown in the Look in field are listed. Click on a file to select it, then select any of the Options tabs if desired. You can also select multiple files. To open a file, double-click it. If a scroll bar is displayed, click and drag it to see all the files located in the current directory.

File name    Enter the name of the file, or select it from the scrolling list in the File Window.

  • When saving a file, IMAGINE forces the new file name to be in all lowercase letters, even though you enter the file name with uppercase letters. To maintain the case of the file name, rename the file with your Windows Explorer.
  • New file names cannot contain spaces. If you enter a file name that contains a space, the file name truncates at the space. For example, if you try to save a file named "test file.img", IMAGINE truncates the name to "test.img".

Files of Type    Click the dropdown list button and select the file type to display in the File Selector window. The Files of Type dropdown list contains all of the native IMAGINE file formats. Native file formats are those that are directly readable by IMAGINE. Non-native formats may be imported or exported through the Import Data or Export Data dialogs.

All supported data types are described in ERDAS Desktop Supported Data Formats. You may also find information about a file type by looking up its file name extension in File Specifications.

All File-based Raster Formats, All File-based Vector Formats Notes

When you select All File-based Raster Formats option, file types such as .xml, .txt, and .dat are visible since certain raster data can be supplied in these formats.

A valid file extension does not necessarily indicate a valid IMAGINE raster file format. You can turn off the Perform fast directory scans when possible? preference in User Interface & Session category of Preference Editor to prevent non-raster files from being displayed in the File Selector. This causes slower presentation of the listings because of longer processing time to verify each file.

When All File-based Raster Formats or All File-based Vector Formats is selected, directory-based files such as Arc Coverages are not included.

favorite    Click to set the current file type as the default file type to look for when you open the File Selector.

light_bulb_icon When told to open a file, IMAGINE first looks for georeferencing information within the file format itself (such as the HFA georeferencing nodes in an .img file). If these are not present, IMAGINE looks for a world file (for example, .ige with the same root name). If neither one of these is present, IMAGINE uses file coordinates as the reference system.

[File/Directory information bar]    For a raster image, this information bar shows the raster color/grayscale type, number of Rows, number of Columns, and number of Bands. For other file types, the information bar displays path and name of the file. For directories, the information bar displays number of files in the directory, number of any subdirectories, number of matches to the selected Files of type, and total memory available on the respective disk.

Raster Options

Click Raster Options tab to view the Raster Options. This is available only when opening a raster layer.

Vector Options

Click Vector Options tab to view the Vector Options. This is available only when opening a vector layer.

Annotation Options

Click Annotation Options tab to view the Annotation options when opening an Annotation layer.

Clear Display    Click to clear the View before opening the annotation layer.

AOI Options

Click AOI Options tab when saving AOI to a file.

Save Only Selected AOI Elements    Click to save only the AOI elements that are selected to a separate file.


Click Multiple tab to view the Multiple Files options, where you can specify how to handle opening of multiple files.


Click Sub-Images tab to view the Sub-Images options. This tab is available when you select a file which contains more than one image. Some formats that may contain Sub-Images include NITF, Sentinel-2, and some HDF data files, amongst others.

Opening Multiple Files

  • There are two ways to select multiple files. To select a range of files, press Shift and click the desired files. To select several nonadjacent files, press Ctrl and click individual files.
  • When opening multiple files at one time, the Orient Image to Map System option is not available thus the images may be rotated when opened. To fix the orientation, click Multiple tab > under Treat Multiple File Selection As, choose Multiple Images in Virtual Stack. Click Raster Options tab and check Orient Image to Map System. Another option is to check Orient Image(s) to map option in Viewer Preferences.
  • If you are having difficulty opening multiple files or large files, change Use multiple threads option to Never in Viewer category of Preference Editor to consume less memory.
  • If you are selecting Multiple Independent Files to use in a Map Composition Frame, make sure that you use Background Transparent option available on Raster Options tab.

Common Buttons

OK Click to use the selected file and close the dialog.

Recent Click to view a list of recently opened files. The List of Recent Files dialog opens.

Goto Click to view a list of recently opened directories. The Select A Directory dialog opens.

Cancel Click to cancel the selection and close the dialog.

Help Click to open this Help document.

Connect Click to connect to an external geographic information database. This button displays when you have selected one of the following types of files in the Files of Type list.

When you select this File Type

This dialog opens

ArcSDE Raster Image (*.sdi)

ArcSDE Vector Layer (*.sdv)

ArcGIS GeoDatabase (*.gdb)

Oracle Features Proxy (*.ofp)

Oracle GeoRaster (*.ogr)

Oracle Vector Layer (*.ogv)

SQL server Features Proxy (*.sfp)

light_bulb_icon You must have write permission in the current directory before Connect button enables for SDE Raster and SDE Vector images.

defaultfilter [Preview Chip]   This icon occupies the space that is used for the image preview chip if no chip exists for the selected file, or if you have disabled the preview function. The preview chip provides a miniature version of the selected file before the file opens. You may disable the preview function by setting the Image Chip Work Effort preference in User Interface & Session category of Preference Editor.