Using the Pixel Inspector

The Pixel Inspector tool Pixel Inspector is used to view the pixel values of your raster dataset when displayed in ArcMap. It is similar to the Identify tool; however, it will display an array of pixel values instead of a single pixel value. The number of pixels identified depends on the size of your Pixel Inspector window. To see more pixel values, you can expand the size of the window. Either the raw pixel values or the rendered values can be displayed, depending on the tab you choose. A raster dataset with an RGB renderer will allow you to choose any of the three bands that are currently rendered or the rendered value with its color tile. The Pixel Inspector tool does not work for raster catalogs.

Below is an example of the Pixel Inspector window for a three-band image. On the right is the Pixel Inspector cursor and the query grid, which can be seen clearly when zoomed in to a displayed raster dataset.

Pixel Inspector window
Pixel inspection grid

When you initially click the Pixel Inspector tool, the Pixel Inspector window opens with the pixel values of the upper left corner displayed. To view the values in another area of pixels, click on another area in your display window. The pixel value highlighted in the Pixel Inspector window is the actual pixel you clicked. If you want to change the pixel on which to center your query, click a different cell in the Pixel Inspector window. The query area is shown as a grid in the display if you click and hold the mouse button. The dimensions of the query area grid match the number of rows and columns in the Pixel Inspector window. Click the Layer drop-down arrow to check a raster layer to inspect.

  1. Zoom in to the area you want to examine.
  2. Click the Pixel Inspector button Pixel Inspector to open the Pixel Inspector.

    The Pixel Inspector is a dockable window. By clicking and holding the top of the window, you can move it away from the ArcMap window or dock it to the ArcMap window.

  3. If you have more than one raster dataset layer in the table of contents, click the Layer drop-down arrow on the Pixel Inspector to be sure you are inspecting the pixels of the desired layer.
  4. Click within the raster image over the area you want to examine.

    The pixel you clicked is selected in the Pixel Inspector, and the surrounding pixel values are displayed in the query grid.

  5. If you click and hold, the Pixel Inspector displays the values as you move around the raster dataset. Also notice the query grid around your pointer. You can adjust the query grid by setting the dimensions of the Pixel Inspector window.
  6. To recenter the grid, click to highlight a new cell location within the Pixel Inspector.
  7. Click the Rendered Values tab to view the cell values being displayed.
  8. Click the Raw Values tab for a single-band image or click one of the Band tabs (for example, Band_1, Band_2, or Band_3) to see the raw pixel values.

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