The Control Window
The Control Window is the main window from which all of TOPCAT's activities are controlled. It lists the known tables, summarises their characteristics, and allows you to open other windows for more specialised tasks. When TOPCAT starts up you will see this window - it may or may not have some tables loaded into it according to how you invoked the program.
The window consists of two main parts: the Table List panel on the left, and the Current Table Properties panel on the right. Tables loaded into TOPCAT are shown in the Table List, each identified by an index number which never changes for a given table, and a label which is initially set from its location, but can be changed for convenience.
One of the tables in the list is highlighted, which means it is the currently selected table; you can change the selection by clicking on an item in the list. Information about the selected table is shown in the properties panel on the right. This shows such things as the number of rows and columns, current sort order, current row subset selection and so on. It contains some controls which allow you to change these properties. Additionally, many of the buttons in the toolbar relate to the currently selected table.
Additionally there is a toolbar and some menus at the top which display windows and perform other actions, there is a memory monitor at the bottom left, and there may, depending on how TOPCAT was invoked, be a panel labelled SAMP at the bottom of the right hand panel.
The Table List, Current Table Properties panel, memory monitor, SAMP panel, and actions available from the Control Window's toolbar and menus are described in the following subsections.