WinPlot is a powerful desktop graphical analysis tool that allows the user to generate displays of unrestrictive amounts of data. It is designed to operate on a Windows 98/NT/2000 based desktop platform. WinPlot was developed to fulfill the need for fast and easily managed graphical displays of NASA test articles and facilities with extreme amount of test data in a desktop-computer environment. WinPlot features include seamless displays of real-time and post-test-time data with time and event synchronization of data from multiple sources. WinPlot also processes full scripting capability for automation of processes. Entire analysis procedures may be recorded and replayed with a single command. Users may record their actions within WinPlot or may write scripts using text editor. Scripts may also call and execute other scripts, providing even greater automation of tasks. WinPlot is also unique in its ability to plot large volumes of data on a desktop workstation. Up to 1,000 test data files may be opened simultaneously with plots generated containing up to 1,000 curves per plot. WinPlot also has extensive abilities in generation of “on-the-fly” calculations, reducing or eliminating the need for external programs to generate the data. Calculations may include a series of recorded parameters, constants, and math functions. WinPlot’s ability to export plots on a single mouse click can make easy work of preparing presentation material with office applications. One simply produces the plot with desired style and click of a button on the tool bar. Plots will be saved in a predefined folder with a sortable naming convention.

One then just pastes the files into one’s presentation. The ease of getting data on the screen is just the beginning with the user having many ways to manipulate data once on screen. The user can use the mouse to zoom in on any area of interest, use the arrow keys to pan around the view, or page up/down for general zooming. One may also use the mouse to select a slice of data and generate an instant report of min, max, average, range, sigma, or other values for plotted parameter within a slice. A single mouse click can export data into a spreadsheet and execute a spreadsheet application. A user may plot a parameter from a number to tests and instantly gather statistical data from the display.

Importing of data from spreadsheets is as simple as copying the data to the clipboard and, within WinPlot, importing the clipboard and selecting the parameters to plot. The software package runs on a standard Windows desktop system. Memory and storage requirements are driven by the amount of data desired to be viewed and/or stored locally. Under most circumstances, the recommended system requirements for the operating system is sufficient for WinPlot. The source code modules and dynamic libraries are included in the software, which allows user versatility in importing, defining, viewing, and printing data.

This program was written by John R. Moody of Computer Sciences Corp. for Marshall Space Flight Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at under the Software category. MFS-31664

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2004 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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