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The application plotmtv is a fast multi-purpose plotting program for visualization of scientific data in and X11- window environment. In accepts the MTV Plot Data Format and provides the following display capabilities

Each plot comes with a simple, but functional, Graphical User Interface, which allows users to zoom in or pan to areas of interest on the plot or to toggle between 2D and 3D plots.

The application plotmtv and supporting documentation are available via anony- mous ftp from:

Plotmtv is run from the command line and has the following command line options:

plotmtv [-Pprinter] [-3d] [-colorps] [-debug] [-l] [-nodate] [-nopixmap] [-noxplot] [-pfg foreground color] [-pbg background_color] [-plotall] [-print] [-printcmd command] [-scale scale] [-v] datafile1 datafile2...

A complete description of all of the command line options can be found in the plotmtv man page. Some of the more frequently used flags are:

-colorps Instructs the postscript rendereer to include colors in the description of the plot.

-nodate Suppresses the printing of and time and date stamp on postscript hardcopy.

-l(andscape) Prints the postscript plot in landscape (rotated) mode.

-pfg foreground_color Specifies a preferred foreground color (e.g. WHITE, GREEN)

-pbg background_color Specifies a preferred background color (e.g. RED, YELLOW)

-plotall Plots all the data sets found in a single plot.

If no command line options are invoked, the simplest use of plotmtv would be as follows:

where file.dat is a data file in the MTVDAT format. Most of this quick start document will focus on examples of creating data files in MTVDAT format.

A file in MTVDAT format consists of command lines (beginning with a $); instruction lines (beginning with a %); comment lines (beginning with a #) ; annotation lines (beginning with a @); and data lines (beginning with a data value, i.e. a number). These data set descriptors are summarized in Table 1.

Both command and instruction lines consist of = pairs, that is, an argument or keyword separated from a value by an optional equals sign "=". In general, the argument is case insensitive, while the value string is case sensitive. Multiple = pairs can be specified on a single line provided that they are separated by tabs or spaces. To provide a quick introduction to the use of plotmtv and to illustrate the creation of data sets in the MTV data format, a few example codes are presented.