PGPLOT version 5.2.0

This version includes bug fixes, improvements in existing routines, new routines, and new device drivers. All changes are intended to be compatible: existing programs should run unchanged and produce the same output (except for a few bug fixes).

Tested Systems

Version 5.2.0 has been tested with the following operating systems and compilers. Drivers tested include: GI, GL, NU, PG, PP, PS, TT, TK, VT, WD, X2, XM, XW (but not all combinations of drivers and systems have been tested exhaustively).

New PGPLOT routines

The following routines are documented in the list of subroutines, and will be explained more fully in the manual.

Draw a linear or logarithmic axis (more options will be added in later versions).
Shade area between two contours.
Draw a single error bar (useful for systems which cannot pass a scalar to a routine that expects an array).
Draw a single graph marker (useful for systems which cannot pass a scalar to a routine that expects an array).
pgsclp, pgqclp
Set/query clipping status (used by PGBOX and PGAXIS to ensure that axes are not clipped against the viewport).
pgqdt, pgqndt
Inquiry routines used to determine the list of device types available in a PGPLOT installation; useful for building menus, etc.
Scroll a rectangular region of the screen; useful for making animated displays without redrawing the whole screen; currently only supported on X Window and related devices.
Used by pgaxis to draw single labelled tick mark; may be called directly, e.g., for special non-linear axes.

Modified PGPLOT routines

Internal changes that do not affect the API are not listed. Several routines have been modified to improve their descriptions or improve speed.

The behavior of the arguments "brightness" and "contrast" has been changed slightly. The color indices set by this routine will be slightly changed from earlier versions of PGPLOT, except when these arguments have their "default" values (0.5 and 1.0). The routine is designed for use in an interactive environment in which the user can explore the effect of changing these parameters; in the new version they behave somewhat more as one might expect.
Added ability to determine whether a device supports pgscrl.

New device drivers

pgdriv (device type /PGMF)
Creates a disk file in a private PGPLOT Metafile format. This is a portable file format using only printable ASCII characters. It is intended to replace the old metafile (created by MFDRIV) which uses a binary, machine-dependent format. Subroutines are being prepared to allow a PGPLOT program to read and display files written in this format (an example program is provided in directory pgplot/pgmf). The driver uses only standard Fortran-77 and so should be portable to all operating systems on which PGPLOT is supported.
tkdriv (device type /XTK)
For plotting in PGPLOT Tcl/Tk widgets under the X Window System (UNIX systems only). An example program is included. Feedback on this driver would be appreciated: send e-mail to Martin Shepherd (

Modified device drivers

LaTeX picture environment driver. Fixed bug: picture size can now be adjusted with PGPAP. (Note: The PostScript driver gives much better results than this one, if your LaTeX environmant allows PostScript files to be included in LaTeX documents.)
Motif widget driver. Added support for scrolling; improved cursor handling; bug fixes.
X Window driver. Added support for scrolling; bug fixes. The PGPLOT cursor can now be moved horizontally and vertically with the keyboard arrow keys, which can be more precise than using the mouse. Each keystroke moves the cursor by one pixel, or 10 pixels if the SHIFT key is depressed.

Deprecated drivers

The following drivers are probably no longer useful, and their use is discouraged. They have been moved from pgplot/drivers to pgplot/drivers/old. If you still need any of these drivers, please contact Tim Pearson.

imdriv, vidriv
Imagen printers.
Silicon Graphics workstations: use the X-window drivers instead.
Sun workstations running SunView: use the X-window drivers instead.

Changes to installation procedures

The installation instructions have been rewritten. There are two changes you should be aware of:
  1. All the UNIX configuration files (pgplot/sys_*/*.conf) have been modified to add new parameters that may be required for the new widget drivers. If you have made modifications to configuration files and haven't sent them back to Tim Pearson, you will need to change them again.
  2. If you need to modify a configuration file for your system, it is now recommended that you make a new configuration file called "local.conf" in the build directory, by editing a configuration file for a related system. makemake will now read this file if you do not specify a configuration on the makemake command line.

New and modified demonstration programs

Now uses new routine pgpt1 when a single marker is to be drawn.
Modified text-sample page.
Added demo of new routine pgconf. Demo of pgvect has been moved to pgdemo15.
Demo of pgimag: modified to use slightly more realistic transformation matrices, to show the use of pgctab, and to show how the color palette may be modified interactively.
Now uses new routine pgpt1 when a single marker is to be drawn.
Now uses new routine pgpt1 when a single marker is to be drawn.
New demo for routine pgvect (formerly in pgdemo3).
New demo for bar and column charts. This uses a general-purpose subroutine that may get included in a future version of pgplot, although not exactly in this form.
New demo, from Dr Martin Weisser, showing animated rotation of a molecular structure.

Changes to C binding

The program that creates the PGPLOT C binding (pgbind) can now generate a binding for MS-Powerstation (Windows).

Tim Pearson, California Institute of Technology, tjp·
Copyright © 1997 California Institute of Technology