Command line interface#

Basic usage#

To run cellfinder, use this general syntax

    cellfinder -s signal_channel_images  optional_signal_channel_images -b background_channel_images -o /path/to/output_directory -v 5 2 2 --orientation asl


All options can be found by running cellfinder -h



  • -s or --signal-planes-paths Path to the directory of the signal files. Can also be a text file pointing to the files. There can be as many signal channels as you like, and each will be treated independently.

  • -b or --background-planes-path Path to the directory of the background files. Can also be a text file pointing to the files. This background channel will be used for all signal channels

  • -o or --output-dir Output directory for all intermediate and final results


You must also specify the orientation and voxel size of your data, see Image definition.

The following options can also be used:#

Only run parts of cellfinder

If for some reason you don’t want some parts of cellfinder to run, you can use the following options. If a part of the pipeline is required by another part it will be run (i.e. --no-detection won’t do anything unless --no-classification is also used). cellfinder will attempt to work out what parts of the pipeline have already been run (in a given output directory) and not run them again if appropriate.

  • --no-register Do not run registration

  • --no-detection Do not run cell candidate detection

  • --no-classification Do not run cell classification

  • --no-analyse Do not analyse and export cell positions

  • --no-figures Do not create figures (e.g. heatmap)

Figures options

Figures cannot yet be customised much, but the current options are here:

  • --heatmap-smoothing Gaussian smoothing sigma, in um.

  • --no-mask-figs Don’t mask the figures (removing any areas outside the brain, from e.g. smoothing)

Performance, debugging and testing

  • --debug Increase verbosity of statements printed to console and save all intermediate files.

  • --n-free-cpus The number of CPU cores on the machine to leave unused by the program to spare resources.

  • --max-ram Maximum amount of RAM to use (in GB) — not currently fully implemented for all parts of cellfinder

Useful for testing or if you know your cells are only in a specific region

  • --start-plane The first plane to process in the Z dimension

  • --end-plane The last plane to process in the Z dimension

Standard space options

  • --transform-all Transform all cell positions (including artifacts).

Additional options#


If you’re using cellfinder at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, you may wish to see the instructions for using cellfinder on the SWC HPC system.