Getting the most out of the ZS Xplorer software!

The latest system generation, the Zetasizer Ultra, and Zetasizer Pro, comes with an entirely new software platform: ZS Xplorer. With a more sample-centric workflow, you will find many routine operations quite intuitive, simple, and self-explanatory. If you previously used the classic Zetasizer Nano software, you may still get used to the new features. So in this Zetasizer Xplorer FAQ list, we address some of the frequent questions (FAQ) we receive.

How do you export data?

size distirbution by intensity in the ZSX Zetasizer Xplorer software, click on the three dots to expand the export menu. (image by Ulf Nobbmann) for ZSX FAQ

The ZS Xplorer software allows flexible exporting from almost any view/widget: just select the data you want to export and click on the three dots in the upper right corner. The menu will expand to show one option with the label “Copy Data”. It is also often possible to just highlight the parameters and then Ctrl-C to copy to clipboard. To create a report, place images and data into any editor, like Word, or into email.

The pictogram with the 6 dots represents the “Copy Data” option. The pictogram with the stylized graph is to “Copy Image”.

Is there a help file or manual?

FAQ screen grap showing location how to find the help file in the Zetasizer Xplorer software. (image by Ulf Nobbmann) for Zetasizer Xplorer FAQ

Yes! You can access the manual and help file by going to Home and then Help. This will open a web browser file to display Help, Manuals, and Videos. While there are some outgoing links (to specific resources on our website) you do not require an internet connection to view the majority of the content.

The information in the help file is quite extensive. If you have not looked at this, it is a treasure trove of useful hints for the new system. (And some of the answers in this ZSX FAQ come from that Zetasizer Xplorer help file).

This information is available on any system where the software is installed.

screen grab of initial help landing page, and indication of how to find and activate the quick start guides. (image by Ulf Nobbmann) for ZS Xlorer FAQ - where is the help file?

Where are the data stored?

The Zetasizer software stores measurements in a database. Projects are similar to previous data files and organize sets of measurements. You can find the actual database file at

C:\Users\username\Documents\Malvern Instruments\ZS XPLORER\Working File\ZetasizerWorkingFile.db

Any user-relevant settings are in the folder C:\Users\username\Documents\Malvern Instruments\ZS XPLORER

Can I delete a measurement?

You cannot delete individual measurements, but you can delete individual projects. We suggest creating a project called ‘delete’, open the project with the files you’d like to remove and click and drag them into the ‘delete’ project. You can leave these in there in case you decide later that you want them. Or you can delete the project itself in the Project Explorer section of the Analyze tab if you really want to delete.

How can I send select data to a colleague?

You can select the measurements within a project, and then export them into a specific file format. See more details on how to do this at ZS – how to import and export data. The post also explains how your colleague can download the software and contains instructions on how to import the file. And maybe it’s a good idea to backup data by exporting important groups to zmes files. (Although that is not a frequently asked question for the Zetasizer Xplorer FAQ).

Can I customize a workspace so that it sticks?

there is one customizable workspace in the ZSX software that sticks after software exit (image y Ulf Nobbmann). image for Zetasizer Xplorer FAQ blog.

You can customize the layout of the size workspace, for example the parameter table. However, when you switch to a different view or close and reopen the software your layout will revert to the default. Unfortunately, the default is fixed at this time. However, you can create a custom workspace under the Custom header. Please note that as of version 1.2 you can only have a single custom workspace. You cannot specifically save the custom layout but it will remain in whatever configuration you left off. A future version may implement further flexibility for user customization.

screen image of parameter table option to display specific parameter selections for customization in a work space. (image by Ulf Nobbmann). for Zetasizer Xplorer FAQ blog.

How can I find, display, export a specific parameter?

The ZS Xplorer software saves many data points for each measurement. So how can you get select data out to view or export? It is not always obvious where to find them because there are three different parameter families:

  1. Record View / Selector Table (on the left)
  2. Statistics Table (part of most default workspaces)
  3. Parameter Table (you must specifically enable it, for example in the custom workspace)

If you want change one of the widgets to the Parameter Table, click the ellipsis, and then click on the cog which will open up a pop-up box. You have access to several hundred parameters which can populate the Parameter Table. In the pop-up box, you can search for parameters by expanding the headings with a small triangle to the left of them, but you can also type in the box at the top to search. As an example, the ‘Destination Project Name’ can be listed.

You can now export the displayed values by highlighting a selection (drag mouse over it), then copy the selection with Ctrl-C and Paste with Ctrl-V into any other program or spreadsheet. For example, you can paste and export the selection into Excel.

What is my software version?

ZSX FAQ: Image on the current software version and how to display the ZSX software version. screen shows version - which is the latest as of 10 September 2010. (image by Ulf Nobbmann) for Zetasizer Xplorer FAQ blog post.

You can find the software version by clicking in the upper left corner (the button with the three horizontal lines).

Next go to ‘About’.

The top entry on that page will show the installed software version. You can update to the latest version by visiting our website and searching for “Zetasizer ultra-pro ZS xplorer software update“.

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If you have questions, please email Thanks! While opinions are those of the author, some parts are not due to editing.