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Plotting Routine for IDL



This is a basic plotting routine that I have written to save myself time when using IDL. All of the default behaviors are the typical settings that I use for plotting. Since I use the command line in IDL, this routine allows me to type the fewest possible characters in order to achieve the plot output I desire. A rainbow color table can be loaded automatically and the main plot color can be set. An image file can be generated through this routine.

Since this routine is basically a shortcut for generating plots, I will add new features to it as I need them. This will likely include a plot-within-a-plot feature and automatic range determination.

The routine is not fancy, and it may serve its best purpose as an example for people who are new to IDL.


The following examples are plots of a sine wave. There is a time axis and the actual sine function. Figure 1 is a plot illustrating the most basic usage and was generated with the following command:

IDL> plomake, time, sine, sf = 'plomake_001'

basic example of plomake output
Basic example of plomake output.

Figure 2 demonstrates the labeling methods. This image was generated with the following command:

IDL> plomake, time, sine, xlab = 'Time', ylab = 'Amplitude', t = 'Example', /nf, sf = 'plomake_002'

fully labeled output from plomake
Fully labeled output from plomake.




  • 02/28/2006 - Commented for public release.
  • 03/20/2006 - Major revisions, essentially a new routine.

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Initial Posting: Tuesday, 28 February 2006
Last Updated: Monday, 03 November 2008