Procedures <Prev Next>

Exporting Plots

There are various ways to export the plots generated by PGOPHER for use by other programs, depending on the required result. For most plots, right click on the plot and select "Copy to clipboard" or "Export to file..." as discussed below, though for the main plot window use Edit, Copy Main Plot  or File, Export, Main Plot.

Text File with Numbers

This is produced by exporting to a file and choosing .txt or .dat as the file type, or copying and then pasting into another application. The produces a text file, with curves as a simple list of x,y points, one pair on each line. If there is more than one curve in the plot (a simulation and overlay for example) the curves are one after each other in the file, with a blank line separating the curve. These files should be easily readable by spreadsheets or scientific plotting programs. Notes:


Key Tip: Shrink the main PGOPHER window to 1/4 - 1/8 of full screen before producing the plot. (This will give larger lettering and symbols in the plot produced, which is usually required for paper illustrations and PowerPoint slides.)

The easiest method is system dependent, though exporting to a file can also produce SVG, Xfig, PPTX, WMF or EMF plot files on any system. For all these plot options note two settings in the Plot Menu under Plot Options (also available by right clicking on other plots):
Variable Char Size
Selected by default, allowing character size on printout, clipboard and export to reflect on screen proportions. The on-screen plots typically have rather small characters, but if the main window is reduced in size then the characters in the plot produced are increased in size in the resulting plot. If the option is not selected the character size remains fixed as the window size is changed.
Limit Line Segments Select (default) to limit number of segments on a plotted curve. It can be helpful to unselect this option if you intend to edit exported plots. The only drawback is that the resulting plots can be too complicated for some programs to handle.


Use copy to the clipboard and then Edit, Paste Special in Microsoft Office or other applications. This will allow you to select as the type one of (depending on the application):
(If you use normal Edit, Paste in the receiving application you will often just see a list of numbers.) To edit plots imported in this way in Microsoft Office applications you may need to un-group the plot - right click on it and select "edit picture" and then "ungroup". Editing plots generated this way directly in Word can be awkward; I have found it easier to edit plots in PowerPoint and then copy and paste into Word. Other drawing programs will have something similar.


It is not currently possible to export plots via the clipboard; export to one of the vector graphics formats below. Alternatively, installation of the cups-pdf package (available on most Linux systems) provides a "fake" printer that produces pdf files. Simply use File, Print and select "Cups-PDF" as the printer.


It is not currently possible to export plots via the clipboard on a Mac and I recommend exporting via one of the the vector graphics formats listed below. For Microsoft Office, the .pptx format is likely to give the best results. Microsoft Office will read the EMF format, but unfortunately (at least in the 2016 version) the ungrouping described above for Windows is not available on the Mac. You will have to use another image editing program for touching up exported plots. Alternatively, a pdf or postscript file can be produced from File, Print and clicking on  the "PDF" button.

Vector Graphics Files

File, Export, Main Plot allows the vector graphics formats listed below to be produced. While many programs will read these, expect some minor editing after import to be required for best results.