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1 How to Use This Manual


This manual serves as a reference guide and cookbook for the WIP interactive graphics package. The manual is split into three parts. The first part introduces you to the WIP package and its general concepts. The next part explains more advanced plotting techniques. The last part of this manual contains appendices with a variety of details as well as some plotting examples.

Part i is a general introduction. It contains Chapter 2 which describes the interactive user interface and how to start up WIP. Chapter 3 describes some general plotting concepts. Chapter 4 describes some of the commands used to generate simple plots and Chapter 5 explains the commands associated with images .

Part ii describes more advanced plotting techniques. Chapter 6 illustrates how to perform various fits on data and then display the results. Chapter 7 describes how to define and edit macros . Chapter 8 explains user variables   and how to use them. Finally, Chapter 9 shows how to have more control over which commands are executed.

Lastly, Part iii contains the appendices. Appendix A describes how to set up a file which can be used to customize your WIP environment. Appendix B discusses the options that may be specified on the command line  when starting WIP. Appendix C is a glossary which describes and defines often-used terms for easy reference. Appendix D lists, in alphabetical order, the commands WIP currently understands. Next, Appendix E contains several examples of command files used to create the accompanying plots. And, finally, Appendix F presents a list of frequently asked questions along with explanations and solutions.


In the examples throughout this manual the prompt from WIP is shown. In most examples this is done symbolically by the string WIP> followed by the text typed by the user. For example:


illustrates the use of the WIP prompt followed by the WIP command to define a new device. When trying this example out, the user should not type the characters of the prompt; just the text that follows it. When the example is illustrating a command issued at the operating system level, it will always be done with the percent sign. For example, the command:
wip -d /tek

shows how to start WIP with a device other than the default.

In addition, almost every example illustrates one important feature of WIP: the use of comments . While not required, comments are quite useful in WIP plot files, especially several weeks or months later when you return to adopt a plot file for use in another plot. Comments begin with the comment character (#)  and continue to the end of the current line. Comments may appear anywhere except on command lines that require a text string as an argument. In this case, comments should not be included as they will be incorporated into the text string.

There's always help:

As mentioned previously,  Appendix D lists all the commands currently understood by WIP. This listing is the same as the listing generated on-line by the command help xxx    where xxx is any WIP command name (see Section 3.2). Many times in this manual, a list of commands will appear relevant to a particular style of plotting. Rather than go into great detail in these sections about command arguments and options, the reader should investigate the command syntax presented in Appendix D. Additionally, command arguments or options are more likely to change with improvements to WIP while their general concepts will not. For this reason, the discussions about individual commands will, in general, be postponed until Appendix D where individual commands will be kept up to date. If ever a discrepancy exists between this manual and the on-line help command, the on-line version is to be taken as correct.

Other useful sources of help in this manual include examples of actual WIP commands accompanied by the generated plot and a list of frequently asked questions about WIP. The examples can be found in Appendix E. The frequently asked questions, as well as answers and examples, can be found in Appendix F.


The WIP user interface has been written in such a way that, if it exists, the Readline library     of routines can be linked into WIP when it is compiled. Doing this gives WIP the command line recall and editing characteristic of Emacs. By default, this capability is not present. However, if it is present, a message will appear each time WIP is started identifying which command listing file is being read. These commands will not be executed but will be available to be recalled and edited. This name is also the file which WIP will, on exiting, write the history of commands executed. Even if this option is added when WIP is compiled, it can be dynamically ignored via command line  options (see Appendix B).


The lower level work of WIP is done primarily by a collection of graphical subroutines (developed by Tim Pearson) called PGPLOT . The PGPLOT subroutines may be obtained free--of--charge because the software was written under Unites States government support, although it is copyrighted by California Institute of Technology. PGPLOT is provided ``as is'' and carries no promise that it will work in your configuration, but all source code is included. Information/questions about PGPLOT should be addressed care of:

Tim Pearson
Astronomy Dept 105-24, Caltech, Pasadena, California 91125, USA
Internet: or
NSI-Decnet (SPAN): Deimos::TJP or 15237::TJP
Telephone:         +1 818 395-4980
WWW:               ""

World Wide Web:

The WIP User Manual can also be viewed via the World Wide Web (WWW). There is also the WIP home page which contains general information about WIP as well as information on how to obtain the latest WIP distribution.

next up previous contents index
Next: 2 The User Interface Up: Part I: General Concepts Previous: Part I: General Concepts