This page contains information related to XMapTools 3.4 which has been discontinued is and no longer updated. We recommend you to try XMapTools 4 here

XMapTools is a MATLAB©-­based graphic user interface (GUI) set of programs to process and standardise microprobe X-ray images and LA-ICP-MS trace element maps. XMapTools aims to make the treatment of petrological compositional maps easy. This package includes a large set of general and external functions in order to import and standardise and display compositional maps, to calculate structural formulae as well as equilibrium pressure and temperature conditions using semi-empirical calibrations. Many additional processing tools have been developed and will be frequently updated. In this website, the latest release of XMapTools software is available and includes online updates with additional tools and notices.

What is XMapTools and what calculations does it do?

XMapTools uses a Castaing approach (De Andrade et al., 2006; Lanari et al. 2019) to standardize “qualitative” X-ray map data from electron microprobe or SEM into maps of mineral oxide composition. The calibration is based on high-precision spot analyses used as internal standards. The phases are classified using a K-­means statistical approach. Once quantified the maps allow local bulk compositions to be determined for local domains (Lanari & Engi, 2017). One of the main advantages of XMapTools is the computation capabilities such as calculating compositions, structural formulae and phase equilibrium conditions like pressure and temperature, at each pixel on a thin section scale. An integrated textural interpretation of recorded physicochemical conditions can be easily made based on various empirical and semi-empirical thermometers or barometers (>50 functions available).


Chemical modules and add-ons

Several chemical modules are available in XMapTools such as Binary and TriPlot for XY and triangular diagrams and RGB for producing multi-channel images. These modules are available at any time for the identification of compositional variations and in-depth statistical analysis. For LA-ICP-MS trace element maps, the module Spider generates spider diagrams from the composition of pixels, lines and groups of pixels. It can also make movies for your presentation!


The XMapTools’ add-on system has been introduced in the version 2.3.1. Anyone can develop is own add-on and call it in the main GUI to use the data generated by XMapTools.

Navigating this website


I would like to thank O. Vidal, A.-M. Boullier, A. Verly, B. Gardonio, F. Bernier, L. Airaghi, E., Lewin, S. Guillot, S. Schwartz, M. Munoz, E. Janots, K. Malamoud, J. Braun, (ISTerre Grenoble) N. Riel (Durham University) M. Engi, J. Hermann, D. Rubatto, M. Burn, A. Berger, M. Tedeschi, A. Vho, E. Kempf, T. Bovay and F. Giuntoli (University of Bern) C. Loury, Y. Rolland (GeoAzur Nice) T. Raimondo (University of South Australia) E. Duesterhoeft and R. Bousquet (Kiel University) C. Martin (American Museum of Natural History) E. Grosch (University of Bergen) C. de Capitani, L. Frantz (University of Basel) A. Pourteau, R. Oberhänsli (University of Potsdam) S. Centrella (University of Münster) F. Guillot, M. Dupuis (Université de Lille) A. Robert (Université de Toulouse) B. Dubacq, P. Agard, M. jentzer (ISTEP Paris) V. De Andrade (NSLS II Brookhaven) M. Zucali (Univeristy of Milano) D. Waters (University of Oxford) G. Ortolano (Catania University) C. R. Cioffi (University of São Paulo) for help, suggestions, comments, data and/or collaborations in order to develop and test XMapTools.