The program ascii_chart

This program takes data in a two column ascii format (labels, data; see Sample data files) and plots them using the libplot routine of the plotutils package. It is based on the piechart program of  Bernhard Reiter, without which I could not have written the code which plotted the linebars. Both this program and its piechart basis are released under the GPL version 2.

To install it you need the makefile and source listed below and the plotutils-2.2 package.  This is best downloaded fom a mirror of the site.
You will have to alter the Makefile to reflect the places in which you put the library the binary files (eg plot) and the source files from the plotutils package.

To run  the program use a command line like thes two examples where the display type, title, axis labels etc are provided by command line parameters and the data from an ascii file

ascii_chart -TX -t title -X "x axis" -Y "y axis" < months.dat
ascii_chart -TX -t title -P -r 0.6 -d 0.2 < spring.dat
Output can be sent to an X display, tektronix 4014 display, to a gif, ps or pcl file, or several other devices supported by the plotutils library. The gif files from the sample data look like this (click the image to see enlarged version)
A clickable pie chart imageclickable image of a bar chart output

Command line switches

Use Pie rather than Bar chart ( switches -X -Y not allowed )
-t Title  set "Title" as chart title
-X XTitle set "XTitle" as barchart X axis title
-Y YTitle  set "YTitle" as barchart Y axis title
-T Display-Type use one of X, ps, fig, hpgl, tek, meta, ai, pnm, gif as display
      (or whatever your libplot version supports)
      (meta is the default)
You may need to pipe the output to a file or app  for some display types
-r radius  size of chart  - float from 0.1 to 1.2  default: 0.8
-d textdistance text distance around chart -  float from -radius to 1.2 default: 0.0
-C colornames comma separated list of colornames; if there are less colors than bars, the colors are reused in turn
      (see valid names in color.txt of plotutils doc.)
-h  print this help and exit
-V  print version and exit

Download at own risk!

README.txt  A plain text copy of some of this file
ascii_chart.c  This source contains all the code for the program

Sample Data files


Chris Elliott,, 15 Sept 1999