SPECTRE's chief purpose is the manipulation of single-order spectra, and it performs many of the tasks contained in such IRAF routines as "splot" and "rv". It is not meant to replace the much more general capabilities of IRAF, but does some functions in a manner that some might find useful. A brief list of SPECTRE tasks are:
- spectrum smoothing
- equivalent width calculation
- continuum rectification, noise spike excision, and
- spectrum comparison.
SPECTRE was written to manipulate coude spectra, and thus is probably most useful for working on high dispersion spectra. Echelle spectra can be gathered from various observatories, reduced to singly-dimensioned spectra using IRAF, then written out as FITS files, thus becoming accessible to SPECTRE. Three different spectra may be manipulated and displayed simultaneously. SPECTRE, written in standard FORTRAN77, can be used only with the SM graphics package.