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Downloading Dataplot for Windows 7/8/10

Contact Information September 2016

Alan Heckert
Statistical Engineering Division
National Institute Of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-8980
(301) 975-2899
Jim Filliben
Statistical Engineering Division
National Institute Of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-8980
(301) 975-2855

Windows 7/8/10 The version of the Dataplot setup file given here is for Windows 7, 8, or 10. Windows 95/98/NT/ME/2000/2000/XP are no longer supported.

Introduction The setup file installs two distinct Dataplot executable files.
  1. 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 displaying graphs.

  2. 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.
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.

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 Unix implementations.

Software Requirements
Some hardware/software requirements for Dataplot:
  • This installation of Dataplot runs under Windows 7/8/10.

  • 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.

    The FAQS 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 interested.

Step 1: Download the Dataplot Files In order to install the Dataplot under Windows Vista, download the following files:
  • setup.exe (approximately 27.3 MB). This file contains the basic Dataplot installation. Tcl/Tk, Ghostscript, and Ghostview need to be downloaded and installed separately.

    Last updated 09/30/2016.

    The following previous versions are also available:
    setup_2016_07_06.exe (approximately 27.0 MB).
    setup_2016_04_29.exe (approximately 27.0 MB).
    setup_2016_03_01.exe (approximately 27.0 MB).
    setup_2015_12_02.exe (approximately 26.9 MB).
    setup_2015_10_08.exe (approximately 26.9 MB).
    setup_2013_12_20.exe (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 8.6.4. Dataplot should run with any version 8.4 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

    For convenience, you can download them here

    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 installation directory ("C:\Program Files\NIST\DATAPLOT" or "C:\Program Files (x86)\NIST\DATAPLOT" for 64-bit machines). Specifically, look for the lines starting with


    For convenience, you can download the default versions here

    If you download different versions of Ghostscript/Ghostview, you should edit the three lines mentioned above in the DPLOGF.TEX file.

    Note that Ghostscript should be installed before Ghostview. 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.

Non-English Platforms The Dataplot installation assumes that the Dataplot files are located in

    C:\Program Files\NIST\DATAPLOT or
    C:\Program Files (x86)\NIST\DATAPLOT or

Non-English platforms will typically use a more native spelling for "Program Files". The Install Shield installation automatically adjusts for this.

Problems With Downloading If you have problems downloading Dataplot, contact Alan Heckert for assistance.
Step 2: Perform the Installation The following assumes you download the files to the "C:\DOWNLOAD" directory. However, you can download the files to any location that is convenient to you. 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 prompts.

  • C:\DOWNLOAD\SETUP.EXE - this performs the basic Dataplot installation.

    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" menu.

    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:\DOWNLOAD\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:\DOWNLOAD\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:\DOWNLOAD\ActiveTcl8.6.1...msi - this installs version 8.6 of Tcl/Tk. The specific name will vary depending on when you downloaded this file.
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 not updated as frequently as the Install Shield based installation 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. Specifically,
    1. Options for the shortcuts.
    2. Customizing the Dataplot startup file DPLOGF.TEX.
    3. Customizing the configuration file for the GUI.
    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.
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 the following:
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 screen).

Enter the following command:

    LET A = PI**2
The following text will appear in the text window:
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 be generated.

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.
Installation Problems If you have problems with the installation, contact Alan Heckert.
    phone: 301-975-2899
Your e-mail should specify the following:
  • Your platform (XP, Vista, etc.).
  • The installation steps you followed.
  • What specifically is the error you are getting.
If the GUI does not seem to be working, go through the following checklist before contacting me:
  • Did you install Tcl/TK?

  • If you did not install Dataplot in the default location ("C:\Program Files\NIST\DATAPLOT"), 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 FRSCRIPT directory.
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 as a Unix tar file. 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 Alan Heckert for guidance.

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.

  1. 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 too difficult.

    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 Fortran compiler.

  2. 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 ABSOFT compiler.

    I have built a console based (i.e., no screen graphics) version using gfortran from the MYSYS/MINGW project. The Linux/Cygwin/Mac OS X versions are also built using gfortran.

  3. 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.

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Date created: 08/10/2007
Last updated: 09/30/2016

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