Navigation:  Transferring data >

Transferring DPlot plots to other applications

Print this Topic Previous pageReturn to chapter overviewNext page

Copy a metafile and/or bitmap to the Clipboard.

Select the Copy Picture command (or press CTRL+C) to copy a metafile and/or a bitmap image to the Clipboard. In the target application, select the Paste command (generally on the Edit menu) or Paste Special to choose among the available image formats.

A metafile preserves all of the information content of a plot and is much easier to edit than a bitmap. A metafile is device-independent, so the resolution of the image will be that of the final destination output device. DPlot produces both a standard metafile and an enhanced metafile. If the target application supports it, an enhanced metafile is generally preferable. However, DPlot will not produce either type of metafile for 3D views of 3D or 4D plots or for 2D views of surface plots that use shaded color bands. For those plot types a bitmap will be the only available format.

For problems with importing metafiles into another application, particularly into Microsoft Office products, please see the Known Problems section.

Note that a much more limited number of applications can support metafiles than bitmaps, and in some cases the metafile will be automatically converted to a bitmap.

The Copy command also creates a bitmap image and transfers that image to the Clipboard. The bitmap image created by the Copy command uses the dimensions specified by the Copy Dimensions command. Bitmaps are supported by a wide variety of applications. Bitmap images do not generally scale well relative to metafiles.

Save an image to a disk file.

Many graphic applications and word processors will allow you to import a picture file from disk. In Microsoft Word, for example, you can insert an image in a document by selecting Insert>Picture>From file. DPlot can export:




Standard Windows Metafile


Enhanced Metafile

The same restrictions mentioned above apply to WMF and EMF files: DPlot will not produce metafiles for 3D views of 3D or 4D data or for 2D views of surface plots that use shaded color bands.


Windows Bitmap

Choose from 8- or 24-bit color depth, and optionally choose run-length encoding for 8-bit files. Though RLE-encoding of bitmaps is not often used, it is supported by most popular graphics applications and results in a significantly smaller file for typical DPlot graphs.


Graphics Interchange Format

The image will be limited to 256 colors. For XY plots this is generally not a limitation, but may result in loss of detail in 3D images with many colors.


JPEG Picture

For quality settings other than "Lossless", the resulting image will have artifacts typical of JPEG files. For a better quality plot in a usually smaller file, PNG is recommended.


Portable Network Graphics

Unlike JPEG, PNG compression is lossless. And unlike GIF, 24- or 32-bit images can be saved. Compression of DPlot plots is generally superior to the poorest quality JPEG files and is comparable to GIF. However, PNG is not as widely supported as any of the other bitmap formats.


Tagged Image File Format

DPlot will always use LZW compression. Files saved with this plugin will generally be larger than the corresponding PNG image.

To save any of these formats, select the Save As command on the File menu, then select the desired format in the Save As Type box. For the bitmap formats you will then be prompted for a width and height (in pixels) and resolution of the image.

If the width or height values are set to 0 and the resolution is set to 100 or less dpi, the saved image will essentially be a screenshot. If the resolution is set to greater than 100 then font sizes, line widths, the plot size and other dimensions as shown on your display will be scaled up by resolution/(screen resolution), so that the saved image will have the same proportions as the graph shown on your display. For best results with a resolution setting greater than 100, always specify the plot size with a Size command or the Extents/Intervals/Size menu command. Otherwise you risk generating an Insufficient memory error for high resolution settings.

If you are saving to an 8-bit color depth and your image has a colored background, you will generally get superior results if you check the Improved color quantization box. For large images (large in this case defined as wider than 3500 pixels), the improved quantization method will be used regardless of your selection here, primarily because the default method performs poorly with large images.

NOTE: For images with many unique colors and/or antialiased lines and symbols and for 3D views of 3D/4D data in which one of the light source models is used, you will get better results saving the image as 24- rather than 8-bits. If file size is paramount you can then use a dedicated image editor like Adobe Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro to reduce the color depth, with better results than you will get by saving to an 8-bit image in DPlot.



Page url: