Downloading DATAPLOT for Windows 8/7/Vista/XP
Statistical Engineering Division
National Institute Of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-8980
Statistical Engineering Division
National Institute Of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-8980
The version of the Dataplot setup file given here is for
Windows 8, 7, Vista, or XP. Windows 95/98/NT/ME/2000 are
no longer supported.
The setup file installs two distinct Dataplot executable
Both of these executables are built using the Intel Fortran
compiler using essentially the same source code. The
distinction is that the GUI version has the screen graphics
disabled. This is required for the GUI so that the Tcl/Tk
scripts have control over all windows. It does not reflect
any inherent difference in capabilities.
- The DATAPLOT.EXE executable is used to run Dataplot
as a command line program. There is a text window
for entering commands and graphics window for
- The DPLAHEY.EXE executable is a console based program
that is used by a graphical user interface (GUI). The
GUI is built using the Tcl/Tk scripting language. This
version is referred to as the GUI version.
I find it useful to keep both the command line and GUI versions
installed. The command line version is useful for large data
files, to run canned macros, and for those who are already
familiar with the Dataplot command language. The GUI is useful
for exploring what Dataplot can do, for new users, and for those
who are infrequent or casual users of Dataplot.
The standard installation will install both the command line
version and the GUI version.
Note: Dataplot is now also supported in the cygwin environment
(this is a Linux-like environment that runs on Windows).
This is discussed under the
Some hardware/software requirements for Dataplot:
- This installation of Dataplot runs under
- Pentium-level machines should have sufficient CPU
speed and RAM to run Datplot.
- You should have approximately 100MB of free space on
your hard drive.
- The command line version will run in standard VGA
mode. At least super SVGA mode is preferable.
Higher resolutions are a matter of personal taste.
The GUI version requires a minimum of 800x600 to run.
However, you will get a warning message at this level
and some of the windows are minimized, so a resolution
greater than 800x600 is preferred for the GUI.
- Dataplot supports Postscript output for printers.
In general, we recommend the use of
Ghostview/Ghostsvript for viewing and printing the
Postscript files generated by Dataplot.
Links to Ghostview and Ghostscript are provided below.
addresses printing in the Windows environment and
importing graphics into other software programs such
as word processors.
The PC version is distributed in executable form since most
users do not have the necessary Fortran compilers. You can
download the source from the Unix download pages if you are
Step 1: Download the Dataplot Files
In order to install the Dataplot under Windows Vista, download
the following files:
- setup.exe (approximately 26.9 MB).
This file contains the basic Dataplot installation.
Tcl/Tk, Ghostscript, and Ghostview need to be downloaded
and installed separately.
Last updated 10/09/2015.
The following previous versions are also available:
(approximately 26.2 MB).
- The Dataplot GUI is implemented using the Tcl/Tk scripting
language which can be downloaded from
The current version of Tcl/Tk is 8.6.1. Dataplot should run
with any version 8.3 or higher. The Dataplot installation
assumes that you have installed version 8.6. If you install
an earlier version, then you need to do the following
after the Dataplot installation:
- Right click on the "DP_GUI" shortcut and select
Properties. In the "Target" field, you should
see the command line arguments "C 6" (this means
version 6 of Tcl/Tk is installed on drive C). Change
the version number to match your system (e.g., if
you have version 8.5, change "C 6" to "C 5").
- Under the Control Panel, select "System" and then
select "Advanced system options". Select
"Environment Variables". Under "User variables",
you need to edit the TCL_LIBRARY and TK_LIBRARY
variables. Change "tcl8.6" and "tk8.6" to
the appropriate values for your system (e.g.,
"tcl8.5" and "tk8.5").
- Dataplot uses Ghostscript/Ghostview to view and print
Postscript graphics files. If you do not already have
these programs installed, you can install them from
Note that Ghostscript should be installed before Ghostview.
Dataplot is not sensitive to the particular versions you
install. However, there are a few Dataplot commands that
invoke Ghostscript/Ghostview behind the scenes. The Dataplot
installation assumes that you have the current versions
(9.10 for Ghostscript and 5.0 for Ghostview). If you have
earlier versions installed, then after the Dataplot
installation, edit the file DPLOGF.TEX in the Dataplot
("C:\Program Files\NIST\DATAPLOT" or
"C:\Program Files (x86)\NIST\DATAPLOT" for 64-bit machines).
Specifically, look for the lines starting with
SET GHOSTVIEW PATH ...
SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH ...
SET GHOSTSCRIPT VERSION ...
Change these lines to reflect the correct settings for
your system. Note that VERSION should be set to 64 if
you installed the 64-bit 9.x version of Ghostscript. For
the 32-bit version and for the 8.x versions of Ghostscript,
set this to 32. Note that lines starting with a period
(".") are comment lines. There are commented versions
of these commands for several earlier versions of
Ghostscript/Ghostview in the DPLOGF.TEX file.
The Dataplot installation assumes that the Dataplot files
are located in
Non-English platforms will typically use a more native spelling
for "Program Files". Although the Install Shield installation
automatically adjusts for this in most cases, there are 2 files
that you will need to manually edit. Use any ASCII editor
(e.g., Notepad or Wordpad) to edit the files
(where "Program Files" will have a non-English spelling). Look
for any occurences of Program Files" and change the spelling to
match the spelling on your local platform.
Problems With Downloading
Sometimes users do have problems downloading Dataplot from
the web pages. Note that I do not maintain the NIST ftp/web
servers (I do provide the content for Dataplot, but I am
not a system adminstrator for these servers). Downloading
problems may be caused by firewalls, ftp/browser
In particular, the following three problems can sometimes occur.
- Our anonymous ftp site performs an "nslookup" command
in order to identify the requesting site. The nslookup
command is used to query internet domain name servers.
If our ftp site rejects you, it is likely due to the
failure of this nslookup query to resolve your internet
name/address. If this happens, I cannot really provide
any assistance. My only suggestion would be to talk to
your local system administrators to see if there is some
reason why your machine is not resolved by nslookup. It
is unlikely that NIST will change its policy regarding
the use of nslookup to resolve names.
- Our ftp server also has a 60 user limit. This limit
is sometimes reached. If the ftp request is rejected,
you may want to try connecting at a time when the
site is likely to be less busy.
In general, I simply do not have the time or expertise to diagnose
these types of problems. I can check to see if our ftp server is
up, but not much beyond that.
Step 2: Perform the Installation
The following assumes you download the files to the "C:\"
directory. If you downloaded them to another directory, then
use the appropriate path in the instructions below.
Run the following files to perform the Dataplot installation.
You can either open a DOS prompt window and type the commands
listed or you can use Windows Explorer and double click on the
indicated files. All the files below use automatic installation
programs (e.g., Install Shield), so just respond to the menu
Although rare, we do occassionally have users who have problems
with the Install Shield installation. For this reason, we
provide a WinZip based installation.
The WinZip version does not install to "Program Files" and does
not make any changes to the Windows Registry. Note that this
version is somewhat out of date. I will be upgrading it to the
more current version in the near future.
- C:\SETUP.EXE - this performs the basic Dataplot
The installation program will create desktop shortcuts
for both the command line version and the GUI version
of Dataplot. It will also add them to your "Start/Programs"
NOTE: If you do not have administrator privleges under
Windows Vista, you need to right click on "setup.exe"
and select the "Run as Administrator" option.
- C:\GS910W64.EXE - this installs the 64-bit 9.10 version of
Ghostscript. If you downloaded a different version,
just replace with the appropriate file name.
- C:\GSV50W32.EXE - this installs version 5.0 of Ghostview.
If you downloaded a different version, just replace with
the appropriate file name. Note that you should install
Ghostscript before Ghostview.
- C:\ActiveTcl8.6.1...msi - this installs version 8.6 of
Tcl/Tk. The specific name will vary depending on when
you downloaded this file.
Step 3: Post Downloading Instructions
At the end of "SETUP.EXE", a README file is displayed. This
discusses a few post download instructions. In particular,
- If you did not install Tcl/Tk in the default location
(C:\Program Files\Tcl), you need to edit a line in the
DP.BAT file. Details are given in the README file.
- The README file discusses several configuration issues.
Details are provided in the README file. Note that
Dataplot should run without modifying these files. You
may want to take a quick look (to see what things can be
changed) at first and then come back to them after you
have more experience with Dataplot.
- Options for the shortcuts.
- Customizing the Dataplot startup file DPLOGF.TEX.
- Customizing the configuration file for the GUI.
Step 4: Testing the Installation
Before testing the GUI, it is a good idea to test the command
line executable first. Open a a DOS Prompt window and enter
You should see a sign-on banner after executing Dataplot. The
DEVICE 1 DISCRETE command tells Dataplot that you do not have
a screen graphics device (it will draw text-based graphs on the
DEVICE 1 DISCRETE
Enter the following command:
The following text will appear in the text window:
THE COMPUTED VALUE OF THE CONSTANT A = .9869605E+01
Enter the following command:
PLOT SIN(X) FOR X = 0 0.1 6
This will generate a plot of sin(x) evaluated at x = 0, with
increments of .1, up to x = 6. This will be a "character"
plot, not a screen graphics.
Test Dataplot's HELP command (for documentation) by entering
You should see some HELP text on the screen. After about 20
lines of text, Dataplot will ask for whether you desire to see
more help information. If you desire more, hit a carriage
return. if you do not wish to see any more help information,
enter N or NO followed by a carriage return. If you continually
choose to continue, about 5 screenfuls of text will ultimately
A good general test is to execute the command
Exit out of Dataplot by entering any of the following:
You can test the command line version in a similar fashion.
When you start up DATAPLOT.EXE, a large window
(the Dataplot "frame window") should appear. Within the frame
window, there should appear a smaller window labeled "Graphic1".
This is the Dataplot "text window" where you enter commands and
see the output generated by Dataplot. You may also see a second
window opened as well. This is the graphics window where plots
will be generated. You can resize both of these windows with the
mouse to suit your taste.
At this point, I recommend entering the command
as a good general test.
If you have problems with the installation, contact
Your e-mail should specify the following:
If the GUI does not seem to be working, go through the following
checklist before contacting me:
- Your platform (XP, Vista, etc.).
- The installation steps you followed.
- What specifically is the error you are getting.
- Did you install Tcl/TK?
- If you did not install Dataplot in the default location
did you edit the "DP.BAT" and DPCOMM.BAT"
files to reflect the correct locations? Also, you
need to modify the XdpConfig file in the
Downloading Dataplot Source Code
Since most users do not have Fortran compilers on the PC,
we distribute Dataplot in executable form. However, for
those who want it, the source code is available.
If you have WinZip, you can download the
Unix tar file. Otherwise,
you can do the following:
Typically, the primary reason for downloading the source
would be to make local modifications to the source. If you
wish to do this, I recommend that you contact
The Dataplot code is written to be portable. Most 32-bit
Fortran 77/90 compilers should be able to compile Dataplot.
However, there are two issues you need to be aware of.
- In order to generate screen graphics, you will need
to have a graphics device driver for the compiler.
Most 32-bit Fortran compilers will come with some type
of graphics library, so the coding should not be
One complication in the Windows world is that graphics
is often intertwined with Windows and GUI's. For
running Dataplot in a command line mode, you typically
need a "text" window for entering commands and a
"graphics" window for generating plots. The
Microsoft/Visual Fortran (Compaq/Intel) compiler
provides a "QuickWin" mode which handles this quite
nicely. However, the Lahey compiler uses the Winteractor
library. Although this is in fact a nice graphics
library, it does force you to write your application
as a GUI. This does not work well for Dataplot.
I have no experience with ABSOFT, the other major PC
- Related to the above is the issue of compatibility
with Tcl/Tk. If you want to use the GUI, then you
want to build Dataplot in a "console" mode since Tcl/Tk
needs control of the windows. However, even in console
mode there may be compatibility problems between
Dataplot Tcl/Tk. For the Microsoft version, the
console mode of Dataplot works with Windows NT, but
not Windows 95/98. The console executable built with
the Lahey LF90 compiler works in all the Windows
platforms supported. I have no experience with the
- System specific statements are contained in DP1.FOR
file. This defines machine constants, file operations,
issuing DOS commands, etc. It is generally
straightforward to develop a working version of
DP1.FOR for a given compiler.
NIST is an agency of the U.S.
Date created: 08/10/2007
Last updated: 10/09/2015
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