Downloading Dataplot for 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
The following are some hardware/software requirements for Dataplot
(these should not be an issue on any reasonably current machine).
Download and Run the SETUP.EXE File
In order to install the Dataplot under Windows 7/8/10, download
setup.exe (approximately 43.35 MB, last
updated 2023/08/29). 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
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
Your e-mail should specify the following:
Dataplot Startup File
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.
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)
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 Dataplot directory is added to the PATH environment variable. So if you prefer, you can open a command prompt window and enter something like
Non-Default Locations for Ghostscript, Ghostview and
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
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 2019/09) of Tcl/Tk is 8.6.9. 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.
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.
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