SED navigation bar go to SED home page go to Dataplot home page go to NIST home page SED Home Page SED Staff SED Projects SED Products and Publications Search Dataplot Pages
Dataplot Vol 1 Vol 2

Dataplot Reference Manual
Volume 1: Commands

Chapter 11: Color

The graphics devices that Dataplot supports vary widely in the degree to which they support color. However, for the sake of device independence, all devices will recognize the same set of color names and color indices. If a given device does not support a requested color, DATAPLOT maps it to the closest available supported color (closest is somewhat arbitrary, although we tried to be reasonably consistent).

Dataplot adopted its color scheme from Release 3 of X11 with a few additions from Release 4. It also uses the RGB values from Release 4 for those devices that support direct RGB specification. Although these values should be reasonably robust, different devices will generate different colors from them.

Note 2020/11

    Dataplot added additional colors from the current X11 versions. Specifically, colors 89 to 162 in the list below were added in the 2020/11 version.

Note 2020/11

    Dataplot added support for specifying colors as RGB triplets. This is implemented via RGB COLOR commands. For example, there is now a LINE RGB COLOR command in addition to the LINE COLOR command.

    Dataplot still supports a number of devices that do not provide full RGB color support. To handle this, Dataplot first checks if the device has full RGB color support. If so, Dataplot uses the settings from the RGB COLOR command (if given). If the device does not support full RGB colors or if no RGB COLOR command was issued, then the setting from the COLOR command is used.

    Dataplot does not provide any built-in templates for RGB color schemes. However, the following website provides 165 different RGB color schemes developed by Cynthia Brewer (you can download an Excel file that contains the schemes).

    Numerous other RGB color templates are available.

The following is the list of colors that DATAPLOT recognizes. Only the first 4 characters of the color name are significant and colors can also be specified by an index.

    Color Index Dataplot
    Name
    WHITE 0 WHIT
    BLACK 1 BLAC
    RED 2 RED
    BLUE 3 BLUE
    GREEN 4 GREE
    MAGENTA 5 MAGE
    ORANGE 6 ORAN
    CYAN 7 CYAN
    YELLOW 8 YELL
    YELLOW GREEN 9 YGRE
    DARK GREEN 10 DGRE
    LIGHT BLUE 11 LBLU
    BLUE VIOLET 12 VBLU
    VIOLET RED 13 VRED
    DARK SLATE GRAY 14 DGRA,DGRY
    LIGHT GRAY 15 LGRA,LGRY
    AQUAMARINE 16 AQMA
    BROWN 17 BROW
    CADET BLUE 18 CABL
    CORAL 19 CORA
    CORNFLOWER BLUE 20 CBLU
    DARK OLIVE GREEN 21 DOGR
    DARK ORCHID 22 DORC
    DARK SLATE BLUE 23 DSBL
    DARK TURQUOISE 24 DTUR
    FIREBRICK 25 FIRE
    FOREST GREEN 26 FGRE
    GOLD 27 GOLD
    GOLDENROD 28 GLDR
    GRAY 29 GRAY, GREY
    INDIAN RED 30 IRED
    KHAKI 31 KHAK
    DIM GRAY 32 DMGR
    LIGHT STEEL BLUE 33 LSBL
    LIME GREEN 34 LGRE
    MAROON 35 MARO
    MEDIUM AQUAMARINE 36 MAQU
    MEDIUM BLUE 37 MBLU
    MEDIUM FOREST GREEN 38 MFGR
    LIGHT GOLDENROD YELLOW 39 MGLD
    MEDIUM ORCHID 40 MORC
    MEDIUM SEA GREEN 41 MSGR
    MEDIUM SLATE BLUE 42 MSBL
    MEDIUM SPRING GREEN 43 MSPG
    MEDIUM TURQUOISE 44 MTUR
    MEDIUM VIOLET RED 45 MVRD
    MIDNIGHT BLUE 46 MDBL
    NAVY BLUE 47 NAVY
    ORANGE RED 48 ORED
    ORCHID 49 ORCH
    PALE GREEN 50 PGRE
    PINK 51 PINK
    PLUM 52 PLUM
    PURPLE 53 PURP
    SALMON 54 SALM
    SEA GREEN 55 SGRE
    SIENNA 56 SIEN
    SKY BLUE 57 SKBL, SKYB
    SLATE BLUE 58 SBLU
    SPRING GREEN 59 SPGR
    STEEL BLUE 60 STBL
    TAN 61 TAN
    THISTLE 62 THIS
    TURQUOISE 63 TURQ
    VIOLET 64 VIOL
    WHEAT 65 WHEA
    GREEN YELLOW 66 GYEL
    LIGHT CYAN 67 LCYA
    BLUE2 68 BLU2
    BLUE3 69 BLU3
    BLUE4 70 BLU4
    CYAN2 71 CYA2
    CYAN3 72 CYA3
    CYAN4 73 CYA4
    GREEN2 74 GRE2
    GREEN3 75 GRE3
    GREEN4 76 GRE4
    YELLOW2 77 YEL2
    YELLOW3 78 YEL3
    YELLOW4 79 YEL4
    ORANGE2 80 ORA2
    ORANGE3 81 ORA3
    ORANGE4 82 ORA4
    RED2 83 RED2, LRED
    RED3 84 RED3
    RED4 85 RED4
    MAGENTA2 86 MAG2, LMAG
    MAGENTA3 87 MAG3
    MAGENTA4 88 MAG4
    LIGHT CORAL 89 LCOR
    DARK SALMON 90 DSAL
    LIGHT SALMON 91 LSAL
    CRIMSON 92 CRIM
    DARK RED 93 DRED
    LIGHT PINK 94 LPIN
    HOT PINK 95 HPIN
    DEEP PINK 96 DPIN
    PALEVIOLETRED 97 PVRE
    TOMATO 98 TOMA
    DARK ORANGE 99 DORA
    LIGHT YELLOW 100 LYEL
    LEMON CHIFON 101 LCHI
    PAPAYA WHIP 102 PAPW
    MOCASIN 103 MOCA
    PEACH PUFF 104 PPUF
    PALE GOLDENROD 105 PGRO
    DARK KHAKI 106 DKHA
    LAVENDER 107 LAVE
    FUCHSIA 108 FUCH
    MEDIUM PURPLE 109 MPUR
    AMETHYST 110 AMET
    DARK VIOLET 111 DVIO
    DARK MAGENTA 112 DMAG
    INDIGO 113 INDI
    CHARTEUSE 114 CHAR
    LAWN GREEN 115 LAGR
    LIME 116 LIME
    LIGHT GREEN 117 LIGR
    OLIVE DRAB 118 ODRA
    OLIVE 119 OLIV
    DARK SEA GREEN 120 DSGR
    LIGHT SEA GREEN 121 LSGR
    DARK CYAN 122 DCYA
    TEAL 123 TEAL
    PALE TURQUOISE 124 PTUR
    AQUA 125 AQUA
    POWDER BLUE 126 PBLU
    LIGHT SKY BLUE 127 LSKB
    DARK SKY BLUE 128 DSKB
    DODGER BLUE 129 DODB
    ROYAL BLUE 130 RBLU
    DARK BLUE 131 DSKB
    CORNSILK 132 CORN
    BLANCHED ALMOND 133 BLAL
    BISQUE 134 BISQ
    NAVAJO WHITE 135 NAVW
    BURLY WOOD 136 BWOO
    ROSY BROWN 137 ROSB
    SANDY BROWN 138 SANB
    DARK GOLDENROD 139 DGRO
    PERU 140 PERU
    CHOCOLATE 141 CHOC
    SADDIE BROWN 142 SADB
    SNOW 143 SNOW
    HONEYDEW 144 HONE
    MINT CREAM 145 MCRE
    AZURE 146 AZUR
    ALICE BLUE 147 ABLU
    GHOST WHITE 148 GHOS
    WHITE SMOKE 149 WSMO
    SEA SHELL 150 SEAS
    BEIGE 151 BEIG
    OLD LACE 152 OLDL
    FLORAL WHITE 153 FLOR
    IVORY 154 IVOR
    ANTIQUE WHITE 155 ANTI
    LINEN 156 LINE
    MISTY ROSE 157 MROS
    GAINSBORO 158 GAIN
    SILVER 159 SILV
    DARK GRAY 160 DAGR
    LIGHT SLATE GRAY 161 LSLG
    SLATE GRAY 162 SLGR

In addition, gray scale can be specified with the following scheme:

    G0 = BLACK
    G1-G99 = GRAY SCALE FROM BLACK TO WHITE
    G100 = WHITE

Gray scale values can also be specified with negative indices (that is, -1 through -100).

Devices that do not support gray scale will map gray scale colors to either black or white. These are primarily older essentially obsolete devices.

Penplotters no longer automatically map an index to the corresponding slot. Dataplot assumes the following slot to color mapping:

    4 PENS 8 PENS
    BLACK BLACK
    RED RED
    BLUE BLUE
    GREEN GREEN
      MAGENTA
      ORANGE
      CYAN
      YELLOW

You can use the <HPGL/CALCOMP/ZETA> PEN MAP command to specify a different slot to color mapping for HP-GL, Calcomp, and Zeta plotters respectively.

The following command shows the available colors.

    SHOW COLORS

The following commands show the colors available on the various color devices that DATAPLOT supports. That is, they show the color you actually get with the requested DATAPLOT color for that device.

    SHOW COLORS TEKT 4115
    SHOW COLORS TEKT 4662
    SHOW COLORS TEKT 4027
    SHOW COLORS HP 2622
    SHOW COLORS CALCOMP
    SHOW COLORS ZETA
    SHOW COLORS CGM
    SHOW COLORS GENERAL
    SHOW COLORS SUN
    SHOW COLORS REGIS
    SHOW COLORS POSTSCRIPT
    SHOW COLORS X11
    SHOW COLORS PC

For some color display terminals (e.g., Tektronix 4105/7/9/15), the color can be altered locally after the plot has been generated on the screen. This gives the analyst a "second chance" if the original color choices do not mix well.

Finally, be wary of the idiosyncracies of color hardcopy devices. They rarely capture the same color hues as on the screen (e.g., the Tektronix 4662 ink jet plotter maps a brilliant blue on the 4105/7/9/15 screen into a drab purple on the hardcopy). Also note that it is common for color hardcopies to map screen white into hardcopy black and vice versa.

Note that the Postscript device is set to black and white by default. To activate color for Postscript devices, do the following:

    DEVICE 2 POSTSCRIPT
    DEVICE 2 COLOR ON

Note that the order of these commands is relevant. Alternatively, you can specify that Postscript devices should be color be default by entering the command (before the DEVICE 2 POSTSCRIPT command)

    SET POSTSCRIPT COLOR DEFAULT ON

Privacy Policy/Security Notice
Disclaimer | FOIA

NIST is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Date created: 11/19/2020
Last updated: 05/17/2021

Please email comments on this WWW page to alan.heckert@nist.gov.