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Downloading Dataplot for Windows 10/11

Contact Information June 2024

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

Windows 10/11 The version of the Dataplot setup file given here is for Windows 10 or 11.
Prerequistes Dataplot makes use of the following programs. You can download them here (once downloaded, use File Explorer to double click on them to initate the installation).

  • gs10031w64.exe - version 10.03.1 of Ghostscript. Dataplot generates graph files in Postscript format and Ghostscript is a Postscript interpreter.

  • gsview_setuo_6.0.exe - version 6.0 of Ghostview. Ghostview is used to view or print Postscript files.

    Note: - Dataplot previously suggested the use of version 5.0 of Ghostview. However, Ghostview 5.0 is no longer supported and does not work on Windows 11 and the most recent versions of Windows 10 (you will see a message that it cannot find Ghostscript even though Ghostscript is installed). Although Ghostview 6.0 is also no longer supported, it still works under Windows 10/11. See alternatives to using Ghostview for some alternatives to using Ghostview.

  • tcl-8.6.10-installer-1.14.0-x64.msi - version 1.14 of MagicSplat implementation of version 8.6.14 of Tcl/Tk.

Ghostscript is a Postscript interpreter that can convert Postscript files to PDF and various other file formats. Ghostview is a program that uses Ghostscript to view and print Postscript files. Although Ghostscript and Ghostview are not strictly required, Dataplot generates graphics output in Postscript format and several commands can make use of Ghostscript/Ghostview if they are installed.

The Dataplot Graphical User Interface (GUI) is implemented using the Tcl/Tk scripting language. You can skip downloading Tcl/Tk if you do not intend to use the GUI version of Dataplot. By default, MagicSplat installs Tcl/Tk for a single user. To install for all users, select the "Advanced" button on the license memu during the install. If you install for all users, you will need to make an edit on the Dataplot GUI shortcut. This is discussed below.

The Dataplot installation assumes the versions of these programs given here. If you have different versions of these programs already installed on your system, you should be able to use them. However, you will need to make a few tweaks after installing Dataplot. This is discussed below.

Introduction The Dataplot setup file installs both a command line version of Dataplot and a GUI version implemented using the Tcl/Tk scripting language. Dataplot is most commonly run using the command line version. However, new and casual users may find the GUI version useful.

Note: Dataplot is 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
The following are some hardware/software requirements for Dataplot (these should not be an issue on any reasonably current machine).
  • This installation of Dataplot runs under Windows 10/11.

  • Machines with sufficient CPU and RAM to run Windows 10/11 should have sufficient CPU and RAM to run Dataplot.

  • 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. For viewing and printing the Postscript files generated by Dataplot see alternatives to using Ghostview.

    The FAQS addresses printing in the Windows environment and importing graphics into other software programs such as word processors.

Download and Run the SETUP.EXE File In order to install the Dataplot under Windows 10/11, download setup.exe (approximately 43.33 MB, last updated 2024/06/12). As noted above, Tcl/Tk, Ghostscript and Ghostview are downloaded and installed separately.

Once you have downloaded the setup.exe file, use the File Explorer to navigate to the file and double click on the file to initiate the installation.

The following previous versions are also available.

When you run the SETUP.EXE program, the Dataplot files will be installed in the following directory

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

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

Testing the Installation To test the command line version, double left click on the "Dataplot" shortcut. When you initiate Dataplot, a large window (the Dataplot "frame window") should appear. Within the frame window, there should appear a smaller window labeled "Dataplot Text Window". This is the window where you enter Dataplot commands and see the output generated by Dataplot. You should also see a second window, labeled "Dataplot graphics", where Dataplot graphics will appear. You can resize both of these windows with the mouse to suit your taste.

A good general test is to execute the command


Exit out of Dataplot by entering any of the following:


To test the GUI version double click on the "DP_GUI" shortcut. If the GUI version does not initiate properly, this most likely cause is that Dataplot cannot find the Tcl/Tk scripts. See the section on installing Tcl/Tk in a non-default location below.

Problems With Downloading or Installation If you have problems downloading or installing Dataplot, contact for assistance.

Your e-mail should specify the following:

  • Your platform (7, 10, etc.).
  • The installation steps you followed.
  • What specifically is the error you are getting.
Post Downloading
Dataplot Startup File The file

    c:\Program Files (x86)\NIST\DATAPLOT\DPLOGF.TEX

is a file containing Dataplot commands that is executed when you start Dataplot. Although you do not need to edit this immediately, you may want to have a look after you have some experience with Dataplot. This file can be edited with the ASCII editor of your choice. The file is heavily commented, so it should be straighforward to make any desired changes to the defaults set in this file.

In particular, this file lets you set the path for Ghostscript and Ghostview and to set your default browser.

Dataplot Shortcuts The Dataplot installation creates two shortcuts: one for the command line version (labeled "Dataplot") and the other for the GUI version (labeled "DP_GUI").

The shortcut defines the default directory for Dataplot when the shortcut is initiated. You can change this default by right clicking on the shortcut and then editing the "Start in:" field. You can change this to whatever is most convenient for you.

You can change this field as often as you like. For example, if you have multiple projects with the associated Dataplot files in different directories, you may want to change the "Start in" field when you work on a specific project.

For the command line version shortcut, the "Target:" field under the "Properties" menu ends with "-large -tile".

The "-tile" option specifies that the command window and the graphics window will appear vertically side-by-side with no overlap. If you prefer to have the graphics window to have landscape orientation, then remove the -tile option (in this case, the command window and graphics window will overlap).

The "-large" option is used to specify the dimensions for the Dataplot frame. The following options are also available (you should only use one, the last one entered will be used)

    -svga - set frame width to 950 pixels and the frame height to 700 pixels
    -large - set frame width to 1150 pixels and the frame height to 1000 pixels
    -extrawide - set frame width to 1600 pixels and the frame height to 1000 pixels
    -w <value> - specify the number of horizontal pixels
    -h <value> - specify the number of vertical pixels

The choice of "-tile" and the desired size of the Dataplot frame are a matter of taste and can be changed as often as desired. The "-large" option is the default as this should work on laptops as well as desktops. However, if you have a larger screen, the "-extrawide" option may be preferred.

The Dataplot directory is added to the PATH environment variable. So if you prefer, you can open a command prompt window and enter something like

    dataplot -tile -extrawide
Non-Default Locations for Ghostscript, Ghostview and Tcl/Tk Dataplot assumes that you have installed the versions of Ghostscript, Ghostview and Tcl/Tk given above. Dataplot can be used with other versions of these programs, but a few tweaks are required.

There are several distributions of Tcl/Tk for Windows platforms. The two most common are ActiveState and MagicSplat. Although prior versions of Dataplot assumed the ActiveState version, we have switched to MagicSplat because the MagicSplat distribution does not restrict re-distribution and does not require registration as does the ActiveState version. Note that although we use the MagicSplat version by default, this does not constitute an endorsement of any specific distribution of Tcl/Tk. You are free to use whatever Tcl/Tk distribution you like (you can even build it from source if you are so inclined).

If you prefer to use the ActiveState version, you can freely download it at

The current version (as of 2024/06) of Tcl/Tk is 8.6.14. Dataplot is not sensitive to the version of Tcl/TK. It requires version 8.1 or higher, but it is unlikely that you would have a version previous to 8.5 installed. If you choose to use the ActiveState version, see below for the tweaks that are required.

If you did not install the default versions (e.g., you already had a prior version installed) or you installed them to a non-default location, you may need to make a few modifications.

  • For Ghostscript and Ghostview, you should edit the file

      C:\Program Files (x86)\NIST\DATAPLOT\DPLOGF.TEX

    Specifically, look for the lines

    . Set Ghostscript path
    . SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH "C:\Program Files\GS\GS9.27\BIN\"; . Ghostscript version 9.27
    SET GHOSTSCRIPT PATH "C:\Program Files\GS\GS10.03.1\BIN\"; . Ghostscript version 10.03.1
    . Set Ghostview path
    . SET GHOSTVIEW PATH "C:\Program Files\GHOSTGUM\GSVIEW\"; . Version 5.0 of Ghostview
    SET GHOSTVIEW PATH "C:\Program Files\Artifex Software\gsview6.0\bin"; . Version 6.0 of Ghostview
    SET POSTSCRIPT VIEWER "C:\Program Files\Artifex Software\gsview6.0\bin\gsview.exe"; . Version 6.0 of Ghostview

    Lines for earlier versions are commented out (lines starting with ". "). You should be able to comment out the current settings and activate the desired settings by removing the ". " for the lines corresponding to the versions you have (and commenting out the currently active lines).

    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.

  • If you installed the MagicSplat version of Tcl/Tk for All Users, then you should make the following tweak to the DATAPLOT_GUI shortcut.

    • Right click on the Dataplot_GUI shortcut.

    • Select Properties.

    • For the Target field of the Shortcut dialog, add a    -all    to the end of the line.

  • If you installed the MagicSplat version of Tcl/Tk on a drive other than the "C" drive, edit the file

      C:\Program Files (x86)\NIST\DATAPLOT\DP_MAGICSPLAT.BAT

    and modify the drive for on the TCLDIR line to match your local platform.

  • If you installed the ActiveState version of Tcl/Tk, you need to do the following.

    • Right click on the DP_GUI shortcut and select "Properties". In the "Target" field, change "dp_magicsplat.bat" to "dp_active_state.bat".

    • ActiveState changed the installation directory starting with version 8.6.6. If you have a version prior to this, edit the file

        C:\Program Files (x86)\NIST\DATAPLOT\DP_ACTIVE_STATE.BAT

      Look for the lines that define TCLVER, TCLDIR, TCL_LIBRARY, and TK_LIBRARY. There should be commented (comment lines start with REM) lines for the various versions. Comment out the currently active lines and uncomment the lines corresponding to the version on your local platform.

    • If you installed Tcl/Tk to a drive other than the "C" drive, edit the file

        C:\Program Files (x86)\NIST\DATAPLOT\DP_ACTIVE_STATE.BAT

      and modify the "SET TCLDRV" line to match the location on your local platform.

    • You should also modify the environment variables TCL_LIBRARY and TK_LIBRARY to reflect the ActiveState locations. To do this in Windows 10, bring up the Control Panel, select "System and Security", then select "System", then select "Advanced system settings" and then select "Environment Variables". Under "User Variables", look for TCL_LIBRARY and TK_LIBRARY. Use the Edit menu to modify these. For ActiveState Tcl/Tk, these should be set to "C:\ActiveTcl\lib\tcl86" and "C:\ActiveTcl\lib\tk8.6".
WinZip Installation The standard Dataplot installation is created using the Install Shield software. We also provide a WinZip based installation. The WinZip version does not install to "Program Files (x86)" and does not make any changes to the Windows Registry.

The WinZip installation might be useful if you do not have system administrator privleges on your machine.

The WinZip version is not updated as frequently as the Install Shield based installation.

Source Code The Windows version is distributed in executable form since most users do not have the necessary Fortran compilers. For those who are interested, the Dataplot source code is available on the following github site

Date created: 08/10/2007
Last updated: 06/12/2024

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