useful xmgrace tips

Xmgrace is a very nice piece of software to create publication
quality figures. Even better is that it stores your data and graph
layout options as plain text (which is especially nice in combination
with subversion or perl scripts).

But some things are not very intuitive, which is why I keep a list of some useful possibilities below:

  • Subscript, superscript
    x-squared: xS2N
    subscript: 3s10N
  • Greek letters, example: theta
  • Special symbols, example: Angstrom symbol
    (the c and C option are listed as deprecated in the xmgrace manual,
    but what is the new way?). For other characters, look at this list: ascii table with low and high characters.
    Just use the character from the left column between c and C to
    produce the one from the right column. I highlighted the most
    interesting characters (for a scientist).
  • Saving the default settings for new graphs:
    open xmgrace, make the desired settings, save them as:
    Unfortunately, this does not save the “print” settings, but see below.
  • Setting the default printer to print to .png files with 300dpi:
    create the file ~/.grace/gracerc.user and enter the following text:
    DEVICE "PNG" DPI 300
  • Changing the definition of the default colors:
    Just edit the lines that say
    @map color 7 to (220, 220, 220), "grey"
    in the saved file. Edit the default file (see above) if you wish to use the new colors everywhere from now on.

See also the Grace users guide and the grace forums.

If you have more helpful hints, please post them in the comments, so
that this blog post will become an interesting collection of tips that
can be turned into a useful “cheat sheet”.

  cited from

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2 Responses to useful xmgrace tips

  1. Chao says:

    it looks like the program we use to make pretty figures of protein structures :)I just checked some samples and it\’s very powerfulI realized that the biology figures are quite simple~~

  2. jian says:

    hehe, just some tools under linux, nothing specialmany people also use gnuplot, which has no graphic interface at all.but it\’s more convinient when you just want to have a quick plot and look at your data.

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