NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

Help Available with Newest Versions of the Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT)

News Feature June 27, 2017

Screenshot from the Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT) showing how to access various user help features.
Screenshot from the Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT) showing how to access various user help features.

In our continuing efforts to provide user support materials, the JWST project has recently released a new version of the Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT) and various supporting documentation. The APT Help article on the JWST User Documentation site contains details and links to the support materials. Highlights are provided below.

Context-sensitive Help in APT

New with APT version 25.1.1 (released in early June 2017), when you hover your cursor over many of the JWST GUI keywords, a pop-up question mark appears which indicates that the keyword is clickable. These items are linked to newly-published APT guidance information on that topic.  General APT help is available via this mechanism, as well as individual instrument observation template assistance. This is intended to help you get directly to the information you need to understand a topic when you need it.

JWST Demonstration Proposals in APT

For JWST, APT uses observation templates to help you enter the required information for each available instrument mode. We provide simple examples of what templates look like when filled out. These proposal files are available within APT, by selecting "JWST Demonstration Proposals" in the File drop-down menu.

APT Text and Video Tutorials

Some procedures in APT are better demonstrated via an annotated sequence of screen grabs or by way of short instructional training videos (more appropriately called "screencasts") that demonstrate the flow of actions in APT to accomplish a specific task. Most screencasts are 5 minutes or less, and are a quick and easy way to learn or refresh your memory on how some aspect of APT works.  Several of the tutorials were developed specifically to support JWST users. Others were made for HST, but are generic enough to be useful starting points for JWST users as well.

You can access these tutorials in two ways:

  1. Through the APT Help article on the JWST User Documentation site.  
  2. Within APT, by viewing the "JWST What's New" tab on the top toolbar.

Since the APT context-sensitive help and the JWST video tutorials are new, please let us know via the JWST Help Desk if you find any problems with them or have suggestions for improvements.