Dataplot generates graphics output in Postscript format.
Typically Ghostview has been used to view and print
Dataplot Postscript files for Windows platforms. However,
Ghostview is no longer being supported. It should work
well for Windows 7/8/10 platforms. However, there seems
to be issues with it on Windows 11 platforms. We provide
some alternatives to Ghostview here.
Note that programs for viewing Postscript files will typically also support PDF format files (and possibly other formats). However, many viewers for PDF files do not support Postscript format files.
Although we identify certain software on this page, such identification is not intended to imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, nor is it intended to imply that the softwares are necessarily the best available for the purpose.
Windows Programs for Viewing Postscript Files
We mention several programs that can be used for
viewing and printing Postscript files. We limit the
discussion to freely available software. This list is
not meant to be exhaustive, but simply to provide a few
alternatives to Ghostview.
Version 6.0 of Ghostview
There is a version 6.0 of Ghostview that works under Windows 11.
You can download an installation file for version 6.0 of Ghostview
Note that version 6.0 of Ghostview expects the Postscript file to have a ".ps" file extension. Dataplot's default name for DEVICE 2 is "dppl1f.dat" and its default name for DEVICE 3 output is "dppl2f.dat". To change the default names to have ".ps" extensions, see the comments below for the Evince program below for instructions on how to do this (these instructions apply to any Posrscript viewer that expects a ".ps" file extension).
Evince is a popular open source viewer on Linux platforms.
There is also a Windows version. Evince is primarily used
for viewing Postscript files. It does not support conversion
to other formats such as PDF and does not support editing of
the Postscript file.
You can download an installation file for Evince here
Note that Evince expects the Postscript file to have a ".ps" file extension. Dataplot's default name for DEVICE 2 is "dppl1f.dat" and its default name for DEVICE 3 output is "dppl2f.dat". To change the default names to have ".ps" extensions, edit the file (this is a startup file that is run when Dataplot is initiated)
Look for the block of code
ELSE IF FLAGUSER = 3; . Custom commands for generic user (interactive) . SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH C:\GS\GS7.04\BIN\; . Ghostscript version 7.04 . SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH "C:\GS\GS8.50\BIN\"; . Ghostscript version 8.5 . SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH "C:\Program Files\GS\GS8.54\BIN\"; . Ghostscript version 8.54 . SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH "C:\Program Files\GS\GS9.10\BIN\"; . Ghostscript version 9.10 . SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH "C:\Program Files\GS\GS9.23\BIN\"; . Ghostscript version 9.23 . . Ghostview versions 4.2 (and older) . SET GHOSTVIEW PATH C:\GHOSTGUM\GSVIEW\; . Ghostview version 4.2 . SET POSTSCRIPT VIEWER "C:\GHOSTGUM\GSVIEW\GSVIEW32.EXE" . . 32-bit Ghostview versions 4.6, 4.8, 4.9, and 5.0 . SET GHOSTVIEW PATH "C:\Program Files\GHOSTGUM\GSVIEW\" . SET GHOSTSCRIPT VERSION 32 . SET POSTSCRIPT VIEWER "C:\Program Files\GHOSTGUM\GSVIEW\GSVIEW32.EXE" SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH "C:\Program Files\GS\GS9.27\BIN\"; . Ghostscript version 9.27 SET GHOSTVIEW PATH "C:\Program Files\GHOSTGUM\GSVIEW\" SET GHOSTSCRIPT VERSION 64 SET POSTSCRIPT VIEWER "C:\Program Files\GHOSTGUM\GSVIEW\GSVIEW64.EXE" . SET QWIN FONT VERDONNA . SET QWIN FONT ARIAL SET QWIN FONT COURIER SET POSTSCRIPT DEFAULT COLOR ON SET POSTSCRIPT FONT HELVETICA BOLD; . versus arial or verdanna or . . . SET GHOSTSCRIPT PRINTER ON DEVICE 2 POSTSCRIPT . . Put your own custom commands here .
Before the line "DEVICE 2 POSTSCRIPT", add the following lines
SET IPL1NA dppl1f.ps DEVICE 3 CLOSE SET IPL2NA dppl2f.ps
In this block, you should also change the line
SET POSTSCRIPT VIEWER "C:\Program Files\GHOSTGUM\GSVIEW\GSVIEW64.EXE"
SET POSTSCRIPT VIEWER C:\Users\heckert\AppData\Local\Apps\evince-18.104.22.168\bin\evince.exe
Replace "heckert" in the above path with the appropriate user name for your system. This is if you installed Evince just for yourself. If you installed it for all users of your computer (you need to select the "Advanced" option in the setup to select this), then use
SET POSTSCRIPT VIEWER "C:\Program Files (x86)\evince-22.214.171.124\bin\evince.exe"
Gimp is an open source program for viewing, printing
and editing image files in many different formats.
The advantage of Gimp is that it allows you to convert
to other formats and it allows you to edit the image.
The primary disadvantage is that it is intended for
viewing/editing a single plot. The DEVICE 2 output will
typically contain multiple plots (the DEVICE 3 output in
dppl2f.dat contains the most recent plot only, so it will
have only a single plot).
The web site for Gimp is https://www.gimp.org
Converting the Postscript File to PDF
An alternative to using a Postscript viewer is to first convert
the file to PDF format and then use a PDF viewer to view or
print the file. Most Windows installations are likely to
have the Adobe Acrobat reader installed, but there are a
number of both open source and commercial PDF viewers available.
The Ghostscript installation provides a script for converting
Postscript files to PDF files. This can be run after exiting
Be aware that Ghostscript puts this in its LIB directory. For version 9.27 of Ghostscript, to convert the default DEVICE 2 output file dppl1f.dat open a command prompt window (and CD to the directory containing the dppl1f.dat file) and enter
This will create the PDF file dppl1f.pdf.
If you are running a version of Ghostscript other than 9.27, modify "GS9.27" in the above path to reflect the version you are running.
Automatic Conversion of Postscript Files to PDF
To simplify things, you can have Dataplot automatically
use Ghostscript to convert the Postscript output from
DEVICE 2 and DEVICE 3 by using the
SET POSTSCRIPT CONVERT command.
The conversion is performed whenever the DEVICE 2 or DEVICE 3 file is closed. For DEVICE 2, this is when a DEVICE 2 CLOSE command is entered or when you exit Dataplot. The DEVICE 3 output is managed automatically by Dataplot.
The Dataplot startup file
can be set to do this automatically. Look for the block of code
ELSE IF FLAGUSER = 3; . User customized settings (interactive use) LET IBROWSE = 6; . Edge LET IOPS = 2; . Windows 7/8/10 64-bit LET FLAGCOLO = 1; . Color settings LET FLAGWS = 1; . Workspace settings LET FLAGDECI = 1; . Number of decimals in output LET FLAGTOFF = 1; . Tic offset LET FLAGCASE = 1; . Case (upper/lower/asis) LET FLAGTITL = 1; . Title offset LET FLAGTITS = 1; . Title size LET FLAGSHAD = 1; . Box shadow LET FLAGX3LA = 1; . x3label automatic LET FLAGHEAD = 1; . Header sizes LET FLAGLABE = 1; . Label sizes LET FLAGERRO = 1; . Response to error LET FLAGVERS = 1; . Print version info LET FLAG4PLO = 1; . 4-Plot uses MULTIPLOT CORNER COORDINATES LET FLAGDEVI = 1; . Print message about devices LET FLAGHELP = 1; . Print various search/help options LET FLAGPDPI = 1; . Postscript dpi LET FLAGPDF = 1; . Automatic creation of pdf files LET FLAGLIST = 1; . Set number of list lines, open new window for LIST, HELP
If LET FLAGPDF = 1 is set, the Postscript files will automatically be converted to PDF. If LET FLAGPDF = 0 is set, this conversion will not be performed.
NIST is an agency of the U.S.
Date created: 08/30/2022
NIST is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.
Date created: 08/30/2022