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       plot [ options ] [ files ]


       plot  translates  files  in  GNU  metafile format to other
       graphics formats, or displays them on an X  Window  System
       display.  GNU metafile format is a device-independent for­
       mat for the storage of graphic data.  It  is  the  default
       output  format  of  the  programs  graph(1),  pic2plot(1),
       tek2plot(1), and plotfont(1), and is further documented in
       plot(5),  since  it  is  an enhanced version of the tradi­
       tional plot(5) format found on non-GNU  systems.   It  can
       also  be  produced  by the GNU libplot 2-D graphics export
       library (see plot(3)).

       The output format or display type is specified with the -T
       option.  The possible output formats and display types are
       the same as  those  supported  by  graph(1),  plotfont(1),
       pic2plot(1),  and  tek2plot(1).  If an output file is pro­
       duced, it is written to standard output.

       Options and file names may be interspersed on the  command
       line,  but the options are processed before the file names
       are read.  If -- is seen, it is interpreted as the end  of
       the  options.  If no file names are specified, or the file
       name - is encountered, the standard input is read.


   General Options
       -T type
       --display-type type
              Select type as the output format or  display  type.
              It  may  be  "X", "png", "pnm", "gif", "svg", "ai",
              "ps", "cgm", "fig", "pcl", "hpgl", "regis",  "tek",
              or  "meta" (the default).  These refer respectively
              to the  X  Window  System,  PNG  (Portable  Network
              Graphics)    format,    portable    anymap   format
              (PBM/PGM/PPM), a pseudo-GIF format  that  does  not
              use LZW encoding, the new XML-based Scalable Vector
              Graphics format, the format used by Adobe Illustra­
              tor,  Postscript  or  Encapsulated Postscript (EPS)
              that can be edited with idraw(1),  CGM  format  (by
              default,  confirming  to  the  WebCGM profile), the
              format used by  the  xfig(1)  drawing  editor,  the
              Hewlett-Packard   PCL   5   printer  language,  the
              Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language,  ReGIS  graphics
              format  (which  can  be  displayed by the dxterm(1)
              terminal emulator or by a VT330 or VT340 terminal),
              Tektronix  format  (which  can  be displayed by the
              xterm(1) terminal emulator), and device-independent
              GNU metafile format itself.  Unless type is "X", an
              output file is produced  and  written  to  standard
              and "HersheySerif" for "png", "pnm", "gif", "hpgl",
              "regis", "tek", and "meta".

       -p n
       --page-number n
              Output only page number n, within the  metafile  or
              sequence of metafiles that is being translated.

              Metafiles  may  consist  of one or more pages, num­
              bered beginning with 1.  Also, each page  may  con­
              tain  multiple `frames'.  plot -T X, plot -T regis,
              and plot -T tek, which plot in real time, will sep­
              arate  successive  frames by screen erasures.  plot
              -T png, plot -T pnm, plot -T gif, plot -T svg, plot
              -T  ai,  plot -T ps, plot -T cgm, plot -T fig, plot
              -T pcl, and plot -T hpgl, which do not plot in real
              time, will output only the last frame of any multi-
              frame page.

              The default behavior, if -p is not used, is to out­
              put  all  pages.   For  example, plot -T X displays
              each page in its own X window.  If the -T  png,  -T
              pnm,  -T  gif, -T ai, or -T fig option is used, the
              default  behavior  is  to  output  only  the  first
              nonempty  page, since files in those output formats
              contain only a single page of graphics.

              Metafiles produced by graph(1) and plotfont(1) con­
              tain  only  a single page (page #1), which consists
              of two frames: an empty frame to clear the display,
              and a second frame that contains the graphics.

              Merge  all  displayed pages into a single page, and
              also merge all `frames'.

              This option is useful when merging together single-
              page plots from different sources.  For example, it
              can be used to merge together plots  obtained  from
              separate invocations of graph(1).

       --bitmap-size bitmap_size
              Set  the  size of the graphics display in which the
              plot will be drawn,  in  terms  of  pixels,  to  be
              bitmap_size.   The  default  is "570x570".  This is
              relevant only to plot -T X, plot -T  png,  plot  -T
              pnm, and plot -T gif, all of which produce bitmaps.
              If you choose  a  rectangular  (non-square)  window
              size,   the  fonts  in  the  plot  will  be  scaled
              anisotropically, i.e., by different factors in  the
              horizontal and vertical directions.  For plot -T X,
              output  for a PCL 5 device.  (Many monochrome PCL 5
              devices, such as monochrome LaserJets,  do  a  poor
              job  of  emulating  color  on  their own.)  You may
              equally well request color emulation by setting the
              environment variable EMULATE_COLOR to "yes".

       --max-line-length max_line_length
              Set  the  maximum number of points that a polygonal
              line may contain, before it is flushed out,  to  be
              max_line_length.   If  this  flushing  occurs,  the
              polygonal line will be split into two or more  sub-
              lines,  though  the splitting should not be notice­
              able.  The default value of max_line_length is 500.

              The  reason  for  splitting long polygonal lines is
              that some display  devices  (e.g.,  old  Postscript
              printers  and  pen  HP-GL  plotters)  have  limited
              buffer    sizes.     The    environment    variable
              MAX_LINE_LENGTH  can  also  be  used to specify the
              maximum line length.

       --page-size pagesize
              Set the size of the page on which the plot will  be
              positioned.   This is relevant only to plot -T svg,
              plot -T ai, plot -T ps, plot -T cgm, plot  -T  fig,
              plot  -T  pcl,  and  plot  -T hpgl.  The default is
              "letter", which means an 8.5 inch by 11 inch  page.
              Any  ISO page size in the range "a0"..."a4" or ANSI
              page size in the range "a"..."e" may  be  specified
              ("letter"  is  an alias for "a" and "tabloid" is an
              alias for "b").  "legal" and  "ledger"  are  recog­
              nized  page  sizes  also.  The environment variable
              PAGESIZE can equally well be used  to  specify  the
              page size.

              The  graphics  display  in  which the plot is drawn
              will, by default, be a square region that  occupies
              nearly  the  full  width of the specified page.  An
              alternative size for the graphics  display  can  be
              specified.   For  example,  the  page size could be
              specified   as   "letter,xsize=4in,ysize=6in",   or
              "a4,xsize=5.0cm,ysize=100mm".  For all of the above
              except plot -T hpgl, the graphics display will,  by
              default,  be  centered on the page.  For all of the
              above except plot -T  svg  and  plot  -T  cgm,  the
              graphics  display  may be repositioned manually, by
              specifying the location of its lower  left  corner,
              relative to the lower left corner of the page.  For
              example, the page size could be specified as  "let­
              ter,xorigin=2in,yorigin=3in",      or     "a4,xori­
              gin=0.5cm,yorigin=0.5cm".  It is also  possible  to
              specify  an  offset  vector.  For example, the page

       The following options set the initial  values  of  drawing
       parameters.   However,  all  of these may be overridden by
       directives in a metafile.  In fact, these options are use­
       ful  primarily  when  plotting old metafiles in the tradi­
       tional (pre-GNU) plot(5) format,  which  did  not  support
       such directives.

       --bg-color name
              Set  the color initially used for the background to
              be name.  This is relevant only to plot -T X,  plot
              -T png, plot -T pnm, plot -T gif, plot -T svg, plot
              -T cgm, and plot -T regis.   An  unrecognized  name
              sets  the  color  to the default, which is "white".
              The environment variable BG_COLOR can equally  well
              be used to specify the background color.

              If the -T png or -T gif option is used, a transpar­
              ent PNG file or a transparent  pseudo-GIF,  respec­
              tively,  may  be  produced by setting the TRANSPAR­
              ENT_COLOR environment variable to the name  of  the
              background  color.   If the -T svg or -T cgm option
              is used, an output file without a background may be
              produced by setting the background color to "none".

       -f size
       --font-size size
              Set the size of the font initially used for render­
              ing  text, as a fraction of the width of the graph­
              ics display, to be size.  The default is 0.0525.

       -F name
       --font-name name
              Set the font initially used for text  to  be  name.
              Font  names are case-insensitive.  If the specified
              font is not available, the  default  font  will  be
              used.   Which  fonts are available, and the default
              font, depend on which -T option is  specified  (see
              above).   A list of available fonts can be obtained
              with the --help-fonts option (see below).

       -W line_width
       --line-width line_width
              Set the initial width of lines, as  a  fraction  of
              the width of the display, to be line_width.  A neg­
              ative value means that a default  value  should  be
              used.   This value is format-dependent.  The inter­
              pretation of zero line width is also  format-depen­
              dent  (in some output formats, a zero-width line is
              the thinnest line that can be drawn; in  others,  a
              zero-width line is invisible).

       --pen-color name
              (the default).  The format of the binary version is

   Options for Backward Compatibility
       By  default,  plot  assumes  that its input file(s) are in
       either the binary version or the portable version  of  GNU
       metafile  format.   You  may  specify  that  the input is,
       instead,  in  the  traditional  Unix  (pre-GNU)   graphics
       metafile format, which is documented in plot(5).  The tra­
       ditional graphics metafile format was produced by  pre-GNU
       versions of graph(1).

              Input  file(s)  are  assumed  to  be in the binary,
              `high byte first' version of  traditional  metafile
              format.  This variant is uncommon.

              Input file(s) are assumed to be in the binary, `low
              byte first' version of traditional metafile format.
              This variant is the most common.

              Input  file(s)  are  assumed  to  be  in  the ASCII
              (human-readable) variant  of  traditional  metafile
              format.   On  some older Unix systems, this variant
              was produced by plottoa(1).

   Informational Options
       --help Print a list of command-line options, and exit.

              Print a table of available fonts,  and  exit.   The
              table will depend on which output format or display
              type is specified with the -T option.  plot  -T  X,
              plot  -T  svg, plot -T ai, plot -T ps, plot -T cgm,
              and plot  -T  fig  each  support  the  35  standard
              Postscript  fonts.   plot  -T svg, plot -T pcl, and
              plot -T hpgl support the 45 standard PCL  5  fonts,
              and   the   latter   two   support   a   number  of
              Hewlett-Packard vector fonts.  All seven support  a
              set  of 22 Hershey vector fonts, as do plot -T png,
              plot -T pnm, plot -T gif, plot -T regis,  and  plot
              -T tek.  plot without a -T option in principle sup­
              ports any of these fonts, since its output must  be
              translated to other formats by a further invocation
              of plot.

              The plotfont(1) utility may be  used  to  obtain  a

       ups    for   the   options   --bitmap-size,   --page-size,
       --bg-color,   --emulate-color,   --max-line-length,    and
       --rotation, respectively.  The remaining environment vari­
       ables are specific to individual output formats.

       plot -T X, which pops up a window on an  X  Window  System
       display and draws graphics in it, checks the DISPLAY envi­
       ronment variable.  Its value determines the  display  that
       will be used.

       plot  -T  png and plot -T gif, which produce output in PNG
       format and pseudo-GIF format respectively, are affected by
       the  INTERLACE  environment  variable.   If  its  value is
       "yes", the output will be interlaced.  Also, if the TRANS­
       PARENT_COLOR  environment variable is set to the name of a
       color, that color will be treated as  transparent  in  the

       plot  -T  pnm,  which  produces  output in portable anymap
       (PBM/PGM/PPM) format,  is  affected  by  the  PNM_PORTABLE
       environment  variable.   If its value is "yes", the output
       will be in a human-readable format rather than binary (the

       plot -T cgm, which produces output in CGM (Computer Graph­
       ics Metafile) format, is affected by  the  CGM_MAX_VERSION
       and  CGM_ENCODING  environment  variables.  By default, it
       produces a binary-encoded version of CGM version 3 format.
       For  backward  compatibility,  the  version  number may be
       reduced by setting CGM_MAX_VERSION to "2" or  "1".   Irre­
       spective  of  version,  the  output  CGM file will use the
       human-readable clear text encoding if CGM_ENCODING is  set
       to  "clear_text".   However, only binary-encoded CGM files
       conform to the WebCGM profile.

       plot  -T  pcl,   which   produces   PCL   5   output   for
       Hewlett-Packard  printers and plotters, is affected by the
       environment variable PCL_ASSIGN_COLORS.  It should be  set
       to  "yes"  when producing PCL 5 output for a color printer
       or other color device.  This will  ensure  accurate  color
       reproduction  by giving the output device complete freedom
       in assigning colors, internally, to  its  "logical  pens".
       If it is "no" then the device will use a fixed set of col­
       ored pens, and will emulate other colors by shading.   The
       default  is  "no"  because monochrome PCL 5 devices, which
       are much more common than colored ones, must  use  shading
       to emulate color.

       plot -T hpgl, which produces Hewlett-Packard Graphics Lan­
       guage output, is affected  by  several  environment  vari­
       ables.   The  most important is HPGL_VERSION, which may be
       page can be rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise by setting
       the  HPGL_ROTATE  environment  variable to "yes".  This is
       not the same as the rotation obtained with the  --rotation
       option,  since  it  both  rotates the graphics display and
       repositions its lower left corner toward another corner of
       the  page.   Besides "no" and "yes", recognized values for
       HPGL_ROTATE are "0", "90", "180",  and  "270".   "no"  and
       "yes" are equivalent to "0" and "90", respectively.  "180"
       and "270" are supported only if HPGL_VERSION is  "2"  (the

       By  default,  plot  -T  hpgl will draw with a fixed set of
       pens.  Which pens are present may be specified by  setting
       the  HPGL_PENS  environment  variable.  If HPGL_VERSION is
       "1", the default  value  of  HPGL_PENS  is  "1=black";  if
       HPGL_VERSION  is  "1.5"  or  "2",  the  default  value  of
       HPGL_PENS         is         "1=black:2=red:3=green:4=yel­
       low:5=blue:6=magenta:7=cyan".   The format should be self-
       explanatory.  By setting HPGL_PENS you may specify a color
       for any pen in the range #1...#31.  All color names recog­
       nized by the X Window System may be  used.   Pen  #1  must
       always be present, though it need not be black.  Any other
       pen in the range #1...#31 may be omitted.

       If HPGL_VERSION is "2" then plot  -T  hpgl  will  also  be
       affected  by  the environment variable HPGL_ASSIGN_COLORS.
       If its value is "yes", then  plot  -T  hpgl  will  not  be
       restricted  to the palette specified in HPGL_PENS: it will
       assign colors to "logical pens" in the range #1...#31,  as
       needed.   The  default  value  is  "no" because other than
       color LaserJet printers and DesignJet plotters,  not  many
       HP-GL/2  devices allow the assignment of colors to logical

       Opaque filling and the drawing of visible white lines  are
       supported  only if HPGL_VERSION is "2" and the environment
       variable HPGL_OPAQUE_MODE is "yes" (the default).  If  its
       value  is  "no"  then white lines (if any), which are nor­
       mally drawn with pen #0, will not be drawn.  This  feature
       is  to  accommodate  older  HP-GL/2  devices.  HP-GL/2 pen
       plotters, for example, do not support opacity or  the  use
       of pen #0 to draw visible white lines.  Some older HP-GL/2
       devices may, in fact, malfunction if asked to draw  opaque

       plot  -T tek, which produces output for a Tektronix termi­
       nal or emulator, checks the TERM environment variable.  If
       the  value  of  TERM  is  a string beginning with "xterm",
       "nxterm", or "kterm", it is taken as a sign that  plot  is
       running  in  an X Window System VT100 terminal emulator: a
       copy of xterm(1), nxterm(1), or kterm(1).  Before  drawing
       graphics,  plot  -T  tek will emit an escape sequence that
       support, which is not normally the case (the 16 `ansi.sys'
       colors  will  be supported).  After drawing graphics, plot
       -T tek will emit an escape sequence that returns the  emu­
       lator  to VT100 mode.  The key sequence `ALT minus' can be
       employed manually within kermit to switch between the  two


       graph(1),  pic2plot(1), tek2plot(1), plotfont(1), plot(3),
       plot(5), and "The GNU Plotting Utilities Manual".


       plot  was  written  by  Robert  S.  Maier   (rsm@math.ari­


       Email bug reports to bug-gnu-utils@gnu.org.

FSF                          Jun 2000                     PLOT(1)

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