We describe a simple software tool, 'matrix2png', for creating color images of matrix data. Originally designed with the display of microarray data sets in mind, it is a general tool that can be used to make simple visualizations of matrices for use in figures, web pages, slide presentations and the like. It can also be used to generate images 'on the fly' in web applications. Both continuous-valued and discrete-valued (categorical) data sets can be displayed. Many options are available to the user, including the colors used, the display of row and column labels, and scale bars. In this note we describe some of matrix2png's features and describe some places it has been useful in the authors' work.
Availability: A simple web interface is available, and Unix binaries are available from http://microarray.cpmc.columbia.edu/matrix2png. Source code is available on request.