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Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

(OP)
I need to plot lots (100's) of X-Y plots in an automated way to browwse and check 'off-line'.

Excel is fine and dandy for individual plots or small quantities in a spreadsheet but what are the best options I have for bulk plot generation ?

Integration in Fortran programs I have would be desireable too rather than having to run seperate programs (in my experience time being proportional to approx. the cube of the complexity of data processing programs used !!!

Naturally I've done a google but the various ones on offer are numerous and difficult to do a comparison of their capabilities and even moreso their limitations !

Any experiences or recommendations would be welcome. Thanks.

RE: Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

If you are happy with Excel for small quantities then Excel + VBA seems the obvious choice for automating the process.

You can call compiled programs from VBA, but if you want Fortran code more tightly integrated, so you can pass data directly rather than writing to a text file, I have found linking via Python works well, once you have got it sorted out. Search my blog linked below for Python and Fortran for examples.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

We all seem to be following the "recommend anything except Excel" standard practice, even me.

But unless you are familiar with any of the recommended alternatives I think just Excel + VBA is by far the easiest way to go.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

For a one off, maybe. And that assumes OP is familiar with VBA, which would be a steep learning curve compared with a clean sheet programming language. It's not that van is a tricky language, just that the usual way it can interface graphically back to the user is via excel, and the hookups between vba and excel are verbose and finicky and tedious. Unless things have changed.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

Greg - we probably shouldn't dispute matters of taste, but I find Excel+VBA much easier to work with than any other language I have used, including Python. I don't know why people are so quick to dismiss it for engineering/science use.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

(OP)
First, thanks everyone for all the suggestions so far.

Doug (IDS) thanks for the link - nice blog - nice to see appreciation of good musìc alongside engineering excel-ence smile. As you seem to like Bach you might appreciate this smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKYOEEcL2-M

I appreciate the option of Excel + VBA seems attractive but the specific need is for BULK plotting (often 100's, if not 1000's, multiple per page) with image files as output to be able to include them a, s easily as possible in a report Annex.
Excel + VBA could be complementary for specific individual plots for further individual detailed investigations if necessary but there's the need for 'archiving' of the full set of data.

IRStuff ...
I've already had a quick look at the capabilities of gnuplot but that seems to be based around it's own 'viewer' if I understand correctly from what little I've read and that wouldn't necessarily lend itself to being able to integrate into a FORTRAN program for running within it's own GUI and graphics window (alongside details of calcs) which is what ideally I'm looking for.
i.e. a library of plotting routines, preferably in Fortran but maybe also in C/C++, which could be called from the Fortran, then plotting all the graphs to (image) files with the option of selected ones being put on screen depending on the results.
During my search I thought I'd hit on the perfect solution with a program called PPLOT, but it unfortubately doesn't support the compiler I use (Silverfrost FTN95) and there doesn't sem to be the technical possibility nor appetite for them to try to make it work.
The programming world seems remarkably short of basic X-Y plotting routines for engineers/scientists. Maybe it's the towekl being thrown in in the face of 'mighty' yet imo often time wasting Excel (we've all spent too much time tweaking plots and coming up with fancy 'clever' ways of presenting data. I'm sure, I know I have) ?
FTN95 has a weird approach, namely for many years it has been reliant on an older library called 'Simpleplot', developed end of 90's early 00's but which has unfortunately become un-updateable because of the lack of the source code. Recent efforts to 'update it' shall we say in a less than thorough way have fallen short of a fully sturdy simple capability. which is a shame. Maybe that'll change in the future but for now I can't wait.
Greg, I wondered what the heck you were talking about at first when you referred to me as 'OP' in your comment ! ... so then I googled it and it's obvious but I never realised it was there on every post !!!
An interesting offshoot though is in doing that I dropped on a post on here explaining it, along with this (thanks to member 'rowing engineer' :

"Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud. After a while you realize that they like it "

- which is amazingly true, and funny ! LOL and justifies IDS's last wise comment in the first phrase of his last comment above !

RE: Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

Thanks for the music link, I might use that :)

I don't think there is going to be an easy way to do what you want. I'd probably try Python + Matplotlib (if I was convinced Excel wasn't up to it), as I've found it pretty good for linking to Fortran.

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

RE: Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

"i.e. a library of plotting routines, preferably in Fortran but maybe also in C/C++, which could be called from the Fortran, then plotting all the graphs to (image) files with the option of selected ones being put on screen depending on the results."

Um, that is what gnuplot is, or at least was, and has been built up from. Granted, what you want to do is about 1/1000 of 1% of what typical users want, so it is not very well described, but if you look on the gnuplot home page, there are links to the source code, and developer forums, etc. Or look here:

http://gnuplotfortran.sourceforge.net/

RE: Bulk X-Y Plotting ... Best Plotting Program(s) ?

"I've already had a quick look at the capabilities of gnuplot but that seems to be based around it's own 'viewer' if I understand correctly from what little I've read and that wouldn't necessarily lend itself to being able to integrate into a FORTRAN program for running within it's own GUI and graphics window (alongside details of calcs) which is what ideally I'm looking for. "

These make no sense to me. Under Windows, everything is in its own viewer. I suggest you visit the main Gnuplot website, particularly: http://gnuplot.sourceforge.net/demo_5.0/layout.htm...

Also:
https://www.eol.ucar.edu/cgi-bin/weather.cgi?site=...
https://www.gnu.org/software/octave/

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

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