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IDL Graphics Programs

These programs use a "PANEL" package, which is included within the program code. Aside from the files listed, no extra downloads are needed. Please let me know if you have problems. I am still updating these programs as needed.

All of the plotting programs should behave correctly if you give either the standard POSITION keyword or no positioning information at all. They also accept an arcane "PANEL/SUBPANEL" notation which you should not worry about unless you want to. PLOTCUBE is a whimsical demonstration of PANELs -- an example of how to create a tight matrix of plots.

You can download the entire plotting archive here:

May 19 201632 kb cmplot.tar.gz  
May 19 201642 kb  
Jan 31 20001 kb GREADMEGeneral Documentation  
Dec 06 20031 kb INSTALLInstallation Instructions  

PLOTIMAGE - Display an image using a PLOT-like interface

Example Screen shot - the lower panel is created by PLOTIMAGE

PLOTIMAGE in particular makes it very easy to plot images or slices of images with proper coordinate axes. Once this is done, then overlays of other graphics like contours is very easy, since the coordinate system is already established. Display of images is essentially achieved in the same way that other data is plotted with PLOT. You can specify an XRANGE and YRANGE to include or exclude any part of the image, etc. OPLOTIMAGE will overlay an image on an existing plot, not necessarily created by PLOTIMAGE.

This new version (19 Apr 2000) has significant improvements. Display of true-color 8 and 24 bit images should work in both 8 and 24 graphics modes. By default the screen image is not smoothed; activate smoothing with the /INTERP keyword. Printed images can be automatically smoothed to achieve a minimum desired pixel resolution via the MIN_DPI keyword. Automatic intensity scaling of 8 bit images can be done via the RANGE keyword and its attendant color table selection keywords. The /PRESERVE_ASPECT keyword will maintain the aspect ratio of the image, keeping pixels square.

May 19 201630 kb  
Mar 25 20013 kb oplotimage.proREQUIRES  

PXPERFECT - Get 'pixel perfect' Postscript output which matches the on-screen version

PXPERFECT is designed to achieve nearly "pixel perfect" matching of plot layout when rendering a plot on the IDL Postscript device. The dimensions and character sizes of the current display device are used to construct a group of settings which can be passed to the Postscript device driver using the DEVICE procedure.

The key capability of PXPERFECT is to determine the size of fonts to match the on-screen size. Once this size is determined, IDL will adjust other Postscript output dimensions such as plot margins, font sizes, symbol sizes, etc, to match exactly the on-screen layout.

The current direct graphics device must be a screen display device, such as 'X' or 'WIN'. The user wouuld first call PXPERFECT() to determine what the appropriate settings for the Postscript device would be. At a later time, the user may switch to the Postscript device to render the plot for output.

This is the approximate order of calling:

  ;; Prerequisite: current graphics device is display device
  SET_PLOT, 'X'  ;; or 'WIN'
  TF = 1.0  ;; Thickness factor (see "Dealing with line thickness" below)

  ;; User adjusts the plot layout to taste
  PLOT, ... data ..., thick=1.0*TF

  ;; Capture layout settings and then initialize Postscript
  SET_PLOT, 'PS'       ;; NOTE: PXPERFECT() called *before* SET_PLOT

  ;; User calls same plot command(s) with no changes to layout
  PLOT, ... data ..., thick=1.0*TF

  ;; Close output plot file

PXPERFECT also has settings to re-size the page and adjust Postscript line thicknesses.
Oct 02 201211 kb  

PLOTCOLORFILL - Display colorful bar charts

Example Screen shot - a color-coded X-ray light curve

PLOTCOLORFILL plots nice and optionally colorful bar charts. The example code in the documentation shows how to make stacked bar charts.

Nov 23 20039 kb  

PLOTCUBE - Plot three dimensional data as a cube

Example Screen shot

PLOTCUBE is a whimsical demonstration of PANELs -- an example of how to create a tight matrix of plots which can be printed and folded to make a three dimensional cube.

Apr 30 20015 kb  

PLOTBIN - Plot fixed or variable-width histogram

PLOTBIN plots histograms. The width of the histogram bins can be variable by using the WIDTH keyword.

Apr 30 20046 kb  
Apr 30 20045 kb  

Copyright © 1997-2010 Craig B. Markwardt
Last Modified on 2017-01-03 13:57:28 by Craig Markwardt