The Grace ASCII Import Wizard

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Grace ASCII Import Wizard

The Grace ASCII Import Wizard ("gaiw") is a cross-platform, Qt-based GUI allowing Grace users to create 2D XY plots from ASCII data files very easily.
Grace is a very powerful, cross-platform, open-source 2D-plotting program which enjoys an excellent reputation of quality. However, few people actually create their data sets manually and the import functionality delivered with Grace makes the creation of complex plots (many graphs with many curves in each graph, with data coming from different files) somewhat tedious.

The idea behind this "Grace ASCII Import Wizard" is to provide an intuitive, convenient, user-friendly GUI that makes the initial creation of complex plots from ASCII data files a breeze.
In order to achieve this, gaiw makes use of Grace's batch scripting language to feed Grace the information it needs to initialize the plot. Once that is done and the Grace window is open, the user can benefit from Grace's advanced features (data analysis, transformations, setting individual properties of all objects, etc...) as usual.

It should be clear at this point that gaiw is in no way a replacement for Grace ! Gaiw actually won't do anything useful unless Grace is installed on your system. It is just a small program created fo facilitate the import of ASCII data into Grace.
Prerequisites are the Qt library (included in all modern Linux distributions and freely available for other Unices), Grace, and for some minor functionality (subsampling on data read) gawk and a ksh-compatible shell.

  • freely available under an open-source licence (GPL)
  • runs on all Qt-supported Unix platforms. Windows is also supported by Qt, but gaiw has not yet been tested on that platform. Developers for Windows testing, make yourselves known here!
  • allows to create any number of graphs, each with any X and Y variable from any file ! Comparing variables across files is hence very easy.
  • reads all ASCII files, provided there is at least one header line with variable names
  • handles gzip'd or bzip2'd data files transparently
  • allows to predefine most common plot options (see screenshots for more detailed information)
  • allows to save batch commands for quick creation of batch scripts if you have to process several data files automatically
  • intuitive interface

Download it here.

Last modified: September 15th 2002.