An easy-to-use software tool enables engineers, scientists and system developers to simplify and expedite the development of machine vision and scientific imaging applications. The IMAQ Vision Builder lets developers work within an interactive vision development environment complete with a full set of machine vision and image processing functions. With the tool, they can easily and quickly prototype advanced vision applications, perform what-if tests, explore various vision strategies and learn how specific vision functions will work, without having to do any programming at all.The tool generates an application recipe containing the function calls and parameters that developers need to build their chosen vision system. Working from this recipe, they can then rapidly build and optimize their application for speed using the IMAQ Vision Builder tool in the company's LabVIEW, BridgeVIEW, or LabWindows/CVI environments or in ActiveX containers.The IMAQ Vision Builder software, which is fully optimized for speed with Intel's MMX processors, features a complete set of machine vision and image processing tools. These include functions for quantitative analysis, image enhancement, gray scale, color, morphology, blob analysis and pattern matching. The interactive environment can also return critical tolerance measurements, such as distances, areas and locations. With the tools, users can load images from files or capture images from analog or digital cameras. They can also display a single image or multiple images in the environment and zoom, pan, extract or scroll through them as they choose.