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The Plotutils Package

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4.2 pic2plot command-line options

The pic2plot program translates files in the pic language, which is used for creating box-and-arrow diagrams of the kind frequently found in technical papers and textbooks, to other graphics formats. The output format or display type is specified with the `-T' option. The possible output formats are the same formats that are supported by the GNU graph and plot programs.

Input file names may be specified anywhere on the command line. That is, the relative order of file names and command-line options does not matter. If no files are specified, or the file name `-' is specified, the standard input is read. An output file is written to standard output, unless the `-T X' option is specified. In that case the output is displayed in one or more windows on an X Window System display, and there is no output file.

The full set of command-line options is listed below. There are three sorts of option:

  1. General options.
  2. Options relevant only to raw pic2plot, i.e., relevant only if no display type or output format is specified with the `-T' option.
  3. Options requesting information (e.g., `--help').

Each option that takes an argument is followed, in parentheses, by the type and default value of the argument.

The following are general options.

`-T type'
`--display-type type'
(String, default "meta".) Select a display type or output format of type type, which may be one of the strings "X", "png", "pnm", "gif", "svg", "ai", "ps", "cgm", "fig", "pcl", "hpgl", "regis", "tek", and "meta". These refer respectively to the X Window System, PNG format, portable anymap (PBM/PGM/PPM) format, pseudo-GIF format, the new XML-based Scalable Vector Graphics format, the format used by Adobe Illustrator, idraw-editable Postscript, the WebCGM format for Web-based vector graphics, the format used by the xfig drawing editor, the Hewlett--Packard PCL 5 printer language, the Hewlett--Packard Graphics Language (by default, HP-GL/2), the ReGIS (remote graphics instruction set) format developed by DEC, Tektronix format, and device-independent GNU graphics metafile format.

`-d'
`--precision-dashing'
Draw dashed and dotted lines carefully, i.e., draw each dash and dot as a separately positioned object. The default is to use the support for dashed and dotted lines provided by the underlying graphics library, GNU libplot.

This option may produce slightly better-looking dashed and dotted lines. However, it will come at a price: if an editable output file is produced (i.e., an output file in Illustrator, Postscript or Fig format), it will be difficulty to modify its dashed and dotted lines with a drawing editor.

`-f font_size'
`--font-size font_size'
(Float, default 0.0175.) Set the size of the font used for rendering text, as a fraction of the width of the graphics display, to font_size.

`-F font_name'
`--font-name font_name'
(String, default "Helvetica" except for pic2plot -T pcl, for which "Univers" is the default, and pic2plot -T png, pic2plot -T pnm, pic2plot -T gif, pic2plot -T hpgl, pic2plot -T regis, pic2plot -T tek, and raw pic2plot, for all of which "HersheySerif" is the default.) Set the font used for text to font_name. Font names are case-insensitive. If the specified font is not available, the default font will be used. Which fonts are available depends on which `-T' option is used. For a list of all fonts, see A.1 Available text fonts. The plotfont utility will produce a character map of any available font. See section 6. The plotfont Utility.

`-n'
`--no-centering'
Turn off the automatic centering of each figure. If this option is specified, the position of the objects in each figure may be specified in terms of absolute coordinates. E.g., `line from (0,0) to (4,4)' will draw a line segment from the lower left corner to the center of the graphics display, since the display width and display height are defined to equal 8 virtual inches.

`-W line_width'
`--line-width line_width'
(Float, default -1.0.) Set the default thickness of lines, as a fraction of the size (i.e., minimum dimension) of the graphics display, to line_width. A negative value means that the default value provided by the GNU libplot graphics library should be used. This is usually 1/850 times the size of the display, although if `-T X', `-T png', `-T pnm', or `-T gif' is specified, it is zero. By convention, a zero-thickness line is the thinnest line that can be drawn. This is the case in all output formats. Note, however, that the drawing editors idraw and xfig treat zero-thickness lines as invisible.

pic2plot -T hpgl does not support drawing lines with other than a default thickness if the environment variable HPGL_VERSION is set to a value less than "2" (the default).

`--bg-color name'
(String, default "white".) Set the color used for the background to be name. This is relevant only to pic2plot -T X, pic2plot -T png, pic2plot -T pnm, pic2plot -T gif, pic2plot -T cgm, pic2plot -T regis, and pic2plot -T meta. An unrecognized name sets the color to the default. For information on what names are recognized, see B. Specifying Colors by Name. The environment variable BG_COLOR can equally well be used to specify the background color.

If the `-T png' or `-T gif' option is used, a transparent PNG file or a transparent pseudo-GIF, respectively, may be produced by setting the TRANSPARENT_COLOR environment variable to the name of the background color. See section 4.3 Environment variables. If the `-T svg' or `-T cgm' option is used, an output file without a background may be produced by setting the background color to "none".

`--bitmap-size bitmap_size'
(String, default "570x570".) Set the size of the graphics display in which the plot will be drawn, in terms of pixels, to be bitmap_size. This is relevant only to pic2plot -T X, pic2plot -T png, pic2plot -T pnm, and pic2plot -T gif, for all of which the size can be expressed in terms of pixels. The environment variable BITMAPSIZE may equally well be used to specify the size.

The graphics display used by pic2plot -T X is a popped-up X window. Command-line positioning of this window on an X Window System display is supported. For example, if bitmap_size is "570x570+0+0" then the window will be popped up in the upper left corner.

If you choose a rectangular (non-square) window size, the fonts in the plot will be scaled anisotropically, i.e., by different factors in the horizontal and vertical direction. For this, pic2plot -T X requires an X11R6 display. Any font that cannot be anisotropically scaled will be replaced by a default scalable font, such as the Hershey vector font "HersheySerif".

For backward compatibility, pic2plot -T X allows the user to set the window size and position by setting the X resource Xplot.geometry, instead of `--bitmap-size' or BITMAPSIZE.

`--emulate-color option'
(String, default "no".) If option is "yes", replace each color in the output by an appropriate shade of gray. This is seldom useful, except when using `pic2plot -T pcl' to prepare output for a PCL 5 device. (Many monochrome PCL 5 devices, such as monochrome LaserJets, do a poor job of emulating color on their own. They usually map HP-GL/2's seven standard pen colors, including even yellow, to black.) You may equally well request color emulation by setting the environment variable EMULATE_COLOR to "yes".

`--max-line-length max_line_length'
(Integer, default 500.) Set the maximum number of points that a polygonal line may contain, before it is flushed to the output device, to equal max_line_length. If this flushing occurs, the polygonal line will be split into two or more sub-lines, though the splitting should not be noticeable.

The reason for splitting long polygonal lines is that some display devices (e.g., old Postscript printers and HP-GL pen plotters) have limited buffer sizes. The environment variable MAX_LINE_LENGTH can also be used to specify the maximum line length. This option has no effect on raw pic2plot, since it draws polylines in real time and has no buffer limitations.

`--page-size pagesize'
(String, default "letter".) Set the size of the page on which the plot will be positioned. This is relevant only to pic2plot -T svg, pic2plot -T ai, pic2plot -T ps, pic2plot -T cgm, pic2plot -T fig, pic2plot -T pcl, and pic2plot -T hpgl. "letter" means an 8.5in by 11in page. Any ISO page size in the range "a0"..."a4" or ANSI page size in the range "a"..."e" may be specified ("letter" is an alias for "a" and "tabloid" is an alias for "b"). "legal", "ledger", and "b5" are recognized page sizes also. The environment variable PAGESIZE can equally well be used to specify the page size.

For pic2plot -T ai, pic2plot -T ps, pic2plot -T pcl, and pic2plot -T fig, the graphics display (or `viewport') within which the plot is drawn will be, by default, a square region centered on the specified page. For pic2plot -T hpgl, it will be a square region of the same size, but may be positioned differently. Either or both of the dimensions of the graphics display can be specified explicitly. For example, pagesize could be specified as "letter,xsize=4in", or "a4,xsize=10cm,ysize=15cm". The dimensions are allowed to be negative (a negative dimension results in a reflection).

The position of the graphics display, relative to its default position, may optionally be adjusted by specifying an offset vector. For example, pagesize could be specified as "letter,yoffset=1.2in", or "a4,xoffset=-5mm,yoffset=2.0cm". It is also possible to position the graphics display precisely, by specifying the location of its lower left corner relative to the lower left corner of the page. For example, pagesize could be specified as "letter,xorigin=2in,yorigin=3in", or "a4,xorigin=0.5cm,yorigin=0.5cm". The preceding options may be intermingled. pic2plot -T svg and pic2plot -T cgm ignore the "xoffset", "yoffset", "xorigin", and "yorigin" options, since SVG format and WebCGM format have no notion of the Web page on which the graphics display will ultimately be positioned. For more on page sizes, see C. Page Sizes and Viewport Sizes.

`--pen-color name'
(String, default "black".) Set the pen color to be name. An unrecognized name sets the pen color to the default. For information on what color names are recognized, see B. Specifying Colors by Name.

`--rotation angle'
(Integer, default 0.) Set the rotation angle of the graphics display to be angle degrees. Recognized values are 0, 90, 180, and 270. The rotation is counterclockwise. The environment variable ROTATION can equally well be used to specify the rotation angle.

This option is used for switching between portrait and landscape orientations. Postmodernists may also find it useful.

The following option is relevant only to raw pic2plot, i.e., relevant only if no display type or output format is specified with the `-T' option. In this case pic2plot outputs a graphics metafile, which may be translated to other formats by invoking plot.

`-O'
`--portable-output'
Output the portable (human-readable) version of GNU metafile format, rather than a binary version (the default). This can also be requested by setting the environment variable META_PORTABLE to "yes".

The following options request information.

`--help'
Print a list of command-line options, and then exit.

`--help-fonts'
Print a table of available fonts, and then exit. The table will depend on which display type or output format is specified with the `-T' option. pic2plot -T X, pic2plot -T svg, pic2plot -T ai, pic2plot -T ps, pic2plot -T cgm, and pic2plot -T fig each support the 35 standard Postscript fonts. pic2plot -T svg, pic2plot -T ai, pic2plot -T pcl, and pic2plot -T hpgl support the 45 standard PCL 5 fonts, and pic2plot -T pcl and pic2plot -T hpgl support a number of Hewlett--Packard vector fonts. All of the preceding, together with pic2plot -T png, pic2plot -T pnm, pic2plot -T gif, pic2plot -T regis, and pic2plot -T tek, support a set of 22 Hershey vector fonts. Raw pic2plot in principle supports any of these fonts, since its output must be translated to other formats with plot. The plotfont utility will produce a character map of any available font. See section 6. The plotfont Utility.

`--list-fonts'
Like `--help-fonts', but lists the fonts in a single column to facilitate piping to other programs. If no display type or output format is specified with the `-T' option, the full set of supported fonts is listed.

`--version'
Print the version number of pic2plot and the plotting utilities package, and exit.


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