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FTOOLS that Plot

FPLOT, GQAPLOT, SQAPLOT and SISCLEAN are tasks within the FTOOLS package for plotting datasets taken from FITS tables. Most of the tasks in the Xronos subpackage also plot. All these tasks are based on the QDP/PLT plotting program by Allyn Tennant of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. QDP/PLT is itself based on PGPLOT by T.J. Pearson of California Institute of Technology. Because of the multiple layers of software dependencies found under these tasks, not all sites may be able to install them. All of the necessary source code is included, so an industrious system administrator may be able to complete the installation. (If this is the case, please send the necessary changes back to the FTOOLS group.) IRAF users should not despair, all can be linked with the rest of the FTOOLS package under IRAF as an external system task, complete with an IRAF like parameter interface and help pages. In IRAF, the Xronos tasks are built as native IRAF tasks; however, their plotting capability is currently disabled. In addition, SQAPLOT (and SISRMG) are not available on VMS or the ALPHAs at this time.

To use FPLOT, GQAPLOT, SQAPLOT and SISCLEAN follow the directions in section 2.2 of this document. The FTOOLS script is configured to recognize FPLOT, GQAPLOT, SQAPLOT and SISCLEAN when they exist. In order to have these tasks label the plots produced, the environment variable PGPLOT_FONT must be defined. This variable must point to the grfont.dat file. It is set in the mkftools and init_ftools scripts. If you are not running the appropriate script, it is recommended that the following line be added to your .login or .cshrc file:

>setenv PGPLOT_FONT ~ ftools/ftools/host/grfont.dat

or for VMS:

$assign ftools:[host]grfont.dat pgplot_font

Serious users of FTOOLS that plot should consult the QDP/PLT User's Guide by Allyn Tennant, NASA Technical Memorandum 4301. A copy of this manual can be found on the FTOOLS web site in the ``other documents'' area:

next up previous
Next: The Calibration Database Up: Users' Guide to FTOOLS Previous: FHELP

Lawrence Elwin Brown
Wed Aug 6 11:33:26 EDT 1997


If FTOOLS has been useful in your research, please reference this site ( and use the ASCL reference for HEASoft [ascl:1408.004] or the ASCL reference for the original FTOOLs paper [ascl:9912.002]:

Blackburn, J. K. 1995, in ASP Conf. Ser., Vol. 77, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems IV, ed. R. A. Shaw, H. E. Payne, and J. J. E. Hayes (San Francisco: ASP), 367.

Web page maintained by: Bryan K. Irby