Microsoft Office

UNSW has a site licence for MS Office. There is a copy on the QED network server.

Don't use excel for data analysis - use Igor.

UNSW also has a site licence for EndNote, the citation manager that integrates with Word and LaTex.

Do not use Office to write theses if you can help it. Use LaTex.


A system for producing superb looking documents, theses and scientific papers. For anything longer than 10 pages (with figures), it beat MS Office hands down. Go to the LaTex page for more information.

Graphics and Design

UNSW staff and students can use all AutoDesk products for free - see
Useful for mask design.
AutoDesk Eagle is used for the design of PCBs for testing/measurement setups etc. AutoDesk Fusion 360 is able to import PCB designs as well as mechanical CAD designs (You can create the latter in this software as well) and is therefore excellent for making mechanical mounts for measurement boards. Both Eagle and Fusion 360 have online library/project spaces where PCB and CAD designs can be kept, shared and easily edited by team members. For access message Scott Liles, Erik van Rhenen or Alex Hamilton.

For drawing work and posters, there is the open-source freeware Inkscape, or CorelXara (student copies are very cheap and encouraged).

Do not use CorelDraw to alter your EPS files. It will royally mess them up, with negative bounding boxes. They won't compile properly in dvipdf, and you will have to fix the files by hand. Each and every time you make a change.


Nanometer Pattern Generation System (NPGS) is used in conjuction with Design Cad to design and expose EBL patterns.

IssuesWithVista /7 is a link to some known issues with Vista or Windows 7 and suggestions from Joe Nabity to address these issues.

Alternatively, NPGS can be run in XP mode of Windows 7 (as Andrew does), or using Virtual Box in Vista (as Adam B is using).

Data Taking

Our data taking program, QedMeas, runs under LabView. LabView is available as a UNSW site licence, and a copy is on the server. It only needs to be installed on data-taking computers.

Data Analysis and Graphing


IgorPro is the program used for data analysis and graphing. It has a slight learning curve but is very powerful. Version 6 has some nice new features. Student copies are very cheap and encouraged.


Matlab is also available as a UNSW site licence.


UNSW has a site licence for Mathematica - contact for more information.

Student versions of Mathematica can also be obtained quite cheaply.


Backup your data. All of it. Regularly. Hard drives fail frequently, and you don't want to waste hours, or days redoing analysis.

See ComputerDataBackups for advice on how to do this.

It is an ARC/UNSW requiredment that all data and analysis is kept on the QED network drive


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Topic revision: r9 - 28 Jan 2020, ScottLiles
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