Read data from disk or pipes, read variables from netCDF or HDF files, read and write plot parameters, read block data, write one or more xmgr datasets, set the current working directory, set the printer options, print (hardcopy), and exit.


Open an existing binary or ASCII xmgr file, abandoning the current plot.


Save the current plot using the last specified name and save format.

Save as

Select the name and format for saving the current plot.


Add a text description to a plot. This will only be saved if binary format is used.

Read sets

Read one or more data sets. The list item at the top of the popup displays the contents of the current directory. Select a file or directory by clicking on the item with the right mouse button. The selection is placed in the text item labeled `File:' and checked to see if it is a directory or a file. Selecting a directory causes xmgr to change to the new directory and reload the file list with the contents of the new directory. Selecting a file does nothing until the `Accept' button is pressed or < return > is entered. Before `Accept'ing the file, the items describing the file type, file source, and the graph in which to read the data need to be properly set. The type of data file can be one of several formats:

Read from: sets the source of the data, either a disk file or a pipe. In the case of a pipe, the information provided by the file filter item is not used, as the `file' in this case will be a command as typed at the UNIX prompt.

Read to graph: selects a particular graph to serve as the repository for the incoming data. The `Current' graph is the graph that has the focus, and can be any of the available graphs. If you aren't sure which graph is current, the locator item on the main panel displays the current graph number.

Selecting Autoscale on read: forces an autoscale of the target graph each time a set is read.

Note: Data are read into the next available set. All data are assumed to be delimited by tabs or blanks.

For the xy, xydx, xydy, xydxdx, xydydy, xydxdy, xyz, xyr data file formats, sets are separated by a line containing non-numeric characters, that are neither comment lines (lines with a '#' in column 1) nor parameter lines (lines beginning with an `@'). Data files can have embedded comments by placing a `#' in the first column of the comment line. Plot parameters can be set by placing a `@' in the first column of the line followed immediately by the parameter name and setting. See the command line reference for a description of plot parameters and other commands that may be placed in a data file using the `@' character. Comment lines and parameter lines can occur at any place in the data file, and are not used to indicate data set separators. I recommend a single `&' on a line to use as a data set separator.

Press Accept to read the data. If the read was successful, the graph of the data is drawn using the current plot scaling parameters. If the data lies outside the current plotting limits, the new set(s) will not be visible until the plotting limits are changed by autoscaling or manually through the View/Define world popup.

Press Cancel to close the popup.

Open the Status popup to get information on the state of sets. If reading the file generates more than 10 errors you'll be prompted by an alert requesting whether or not you'd like to continue. These errors generally arise when an attempt is made to read a text file - xmgr relies on the interpretive capabilities of sscanf() to parse the data. xmgr will read data sets until there are no more sets available, after the maximum number of sets have been used, you'll need to free some sets using the [Kill] or [Kill all] items in the Edit/Set operations pullright.

Read netCDF

File/Read netCDF

Select X: Select Y:

netCDF file:

Load to set:

Autoscale on read

Accept Files... Update Query Done


Enter the name of the netCDF file in the text item labeled netCDF file: then click on "Update" (note that if -netcdf [filename] was used on the command line, this step is not needed, as the lists will be loaded automatically). This will read the names of all one dimensional variables into the two scrolled lists. The leftmost list is for X and the rightmost for Y. There is an additional item in the X list called INDEX (I'm hoping here that no one names a variable INDEX, maybe I need to change this) that indicates that for X, use the index of the Y variable (numbering starts from 1).

Select on a variable from the X list to use for X and select a variable from the Y list (only single selections for now).

If information about the selected variables is desired, click on Query.

Select a set using "Load to set:" - the default is to load to the next available set.

If things look OK, click on Accept to read the data and load the set. Use "Autoscale on read" to set/unset autoscaling after a successful read.

To read data from a new CDF file, enter the filename, or use File... to scan the directory. Click on Update to freshen up the X and Y selection lists.

Note: Presently, only sets of type XY are created.

Note: xmgr scans and replaces commas with blanks and the `D' in Fortran double precision exponential formats with `e'.

Read parameters

Enter the parameter file name on the line labeled "File:", press "Accept" to read a saved state of adjustable parameters, legends, strings, etc, to the graph selected by the `Read to graph' cycle. As the graph number is saved in the parameter file this isn't used at the present time.

Read block data

Select the data source, either Disk or Pipe and enter the block data file name in the text item labeled "File:" to read a data set in block data file format. The block data file format consists of columns of data. For example, the following is a block data file consisting of 4 columns:

    1   2   3   4   5
    6   7   8   9  10
    11 12  13  14  15

After reading the file of block data, the popup will close if no errors were found, and the Edit/Block data popup will take its place. Use the functions in the Edit/Block data popup to create sets from the block data.

NOTE: All items are assumed delimited by spaces or tabs. There is presently a 30 column limit. Only one set of block data per session, i.e., reading another set of block data will obliterate the previous set of block data.

Write sets

Write one or all sets to disk. Select the set to write using the cycle displaying the set numbers (there is an item for selecting all active sets). The item denoted "Format" is the C language format string that will be used to format the data for output - the default should work well for most cases. Enter the file name on the line labeled "File:" and press the button marked [Accept], to write the data. The item, `Embed parameters,' causes xmgr to write not only the data, but the parameters describing the graph or graphs as well.

A complete dump of the contents of xmgr may be accomplished by selecting all sets, embed parameters, and all active graphs. The file generated this way can then be read as a normal data file, and should recreate the originating environment.

Write parameters

Select the graph from which to save the parameters. This can be the current graph, any particular graph, or all active graphs. Enter the parameter file name on the line labeled "Write parameters to", press "Accept" to write the current state of adjustable parameters, legends, strings, etc. A prompt will appear if the action would overwrite an existing file. allowing the operation to be canceled.

Clear all

Kill all sets, graphs, and annotative text, lines, and boxes. After performing this action, it will be necessary to activate a graph using View/Graphs/Activate graphs.


Generate a hardcopy of the current plot on the device specified in the File/Printer setup popup.

Printer setup

Set the hardcopy device parameters. Select the device, where to print (either the printer or a file), and the string to use as a spooling command for the print job, or file name if output is directed to disk. Click on the `Accept' button to make the selections above current, or `Done' to close the popup and cancel the operation. If the selection is accepted, the next time File/Print is selected, hardcopy output will be to the selected device. Click on the `Print' button to accept the settings and print a hardcopy.


Click on the Exit button to terminate the session with xmgr.