ictrans(1) interactive NCAR CGM translator


ictrans [ -d device ] [ -font font ] [ -e script ]* [ -soft ] [ -bell ] [ -lmin min ] [ -lmax max ] [ -lscale scale ] [ -pal pal_fname ] [ -Version ] [ -wid window_id ] [ device-specific options ] metafile...


ictrans is the user interface to the Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) translator ctrans. ictrans will enter command interpreter mode upon invocation and await instructions from the user. When waiting for commands from the user, ictrans displays the prompt `ictrans>'.

Upon invocation ictrans performs a configuration of its spooled device table. The table is configured by processing several sources. ictrans first searches for the file ncarv_spool in the $NCARG_ROOT/lib/ncarg directory. If the file exists ictrans will load it into the spooled device table. Next, ictrans searches for the file .ncarv_spool in the user's home directory. If found, its contents are merged into the spooler table. Finally, the NCARV_SPOOL environment variable may contain the definition for a single spooler. If this variable is set, its contents also are merged into the table. Each entry in the above set of sources is identified by a name. If a conflict in names exists then the last entry encountered takes precedence. i.e. the previous entry of the same name is overridden.


Ring the bell at the end of each frame. The default is to run in silent mode. This option is not supported by all devices.
-d device
Device name. ictrans will use the Graphcap (if it exists) or the appropriate graphics library indicated by device;
If device is preceded by a UNIX directory path then ictrans will look in that directory for the specified graphcap. Otherwise ictrans searches the directory $NCARG_ROOT/lib/ncarg/graphcaps for the graphcap.
For all device specifications except X11 output is directed to standard out. In the case of X11 translation results in appropriate calls to the X11 libraries. See graphcap(5NCARG) for a description of supported devices. See gcaps(1NCARG) for a list of devices supported by your particular configuration of ctrans.
This option overrides the GRAPHCAP environment variable.
-e script
script is a single ictrans command. The valid ictrans commands are discussed in the COMMANDS section below. Multiple -e options may appear on a single command line. Be careful to use quotes if your command contains spaces or metacharacters that might be interpreted by the shell. When this option is used ictrans does not enter interactive mode. It simply performs the given commands and then exits.
-font fontcap
Fontcap file to be used for stroking text. When interpreting CGM TEXT command elements use fontcap as the default font for textual translation. Note: CGMs may contain textual descriptions which are not embedded in CGM TEXT elements. Hence they are not influenced by fontcap specifications. Note also that a CGM may explicitly specify a named font which may override a font provided on the command line. The environment variable FONTCAP may also be used to specify a default fontcap.
If fontcap is preceded by a UNIX directory path then ictrans will look in that directory for the specified fontcap. Otherwise ictrans searches the directory $NCARG_ROOT/lib/ncarg/fontcaps for the fontcap.
See fontcap(5NCARG) for a description of the available fontcaps. See fcap(1NCARG) for a list of the fontcaps installed on your system.
This option overrides the FONTCAP environment variable.
-lmin min
On devices which support line width scaling all lines are guaranteed to be scaled at least min times the default line width for that device. This option effectively insures that the minimum value for the CGM element "LINE WIDTH" is min.
-lmax max
On devices which support line width scaling all lines are guaranteed to be scaled at most max times the default line width for that device. This option effectively insures that the maximum value for the CGM element "LINE WIDTH" is max. The results of setting max less then min are undefined.
-lscale scale
On devices which support line width scaling all line width specifications within the metafile will be scaled by scale. will be scaled scale This option is subject to modification by the -lmin and -lmax options.
-pal pal_fname
Use the color palette defined in the file pal_fname for subsequent translation of the metafile. This palette will override any color map defined by the CGM being translated. For a description of the format of pal_fname see ras_palette(5NCARG).
Unconditionally perform software filling of all filled polygons. This option may be useful for devices which have limits on the number of vertices describing a polygon. On some devices this number is known and software filling is performed, as appropriate, without user specification.
Print the version number and then exit.


ictrans accepts an identical set of device-specific options to that of ctrans. For a description of the device-specific options see ctrans(1NCARG).


Command Structure

ictrans commands have a simple and regular structure. Commands which operate directly on the metafile being processed may be preceded by a frame_list which designate the frames to which the command applies. Some commands accept arguments. Anything following a command name is regarded as an argument:

( frame [ ,frame ])* command ( argument )*

A comma-separated pair of frames implies the inclusive list of frames. If a frame list is omitted and a command requires a frame then the current frame is used as the default. If no argument list is specified and one is required then a default argument is used whenever possible.

For example, the command 1,5 8 save /tmp/foo would write the first through fifth and the eighth frame of the metafile to the file /tmp/foo.

Commands will ignore any unexpected arguments. Command names may be abbreviated up to the point that they are unique.

Frame Lists

Frames can be addressed in several ways:

By frame number. Frames are assigned a relative number from first to last in the metafile. The first frame is numbered 1.
The last frame in the file.
The current frame. ictrans keeps track of the last frame upon which an operation was performed. This frame is called the "current frame".
A frame number followed by a plus sign (+) or a minus sign (-), followed by a decimal number, specifies the frame plus or minus the indicated number of frames. frame may be omitted in which case the current frame is assumed. For example, `10+2' addresses frame 12 in the metafile.


! command
Run command as a shell command on the local machine.
alias [ name [ def ] ]
Assign def to the alias name. If def is omitted, the alias name is displayed along with its current definition. If both name and def are omitted, all aliases are displayed. def is of the form:

: [ ctrans_args ] : [ filter_chain ]

where ctrans_args is list of command line arguments for the metafile translator ctrans and filter_chain is a set of simple commands separated by |. filter_chain may be terminated by > or >> filename. For example:

ictrans> alias name1 : -d xwd : | cat > outfile


ictrans> alias name2 : -d ps.mono : | filter1 | lpr

dup [number]
This command is used to set the number of times each frame is displayed during subsequent plotting. The default is one. If dup is invoked without any arguments the current value of dup is returned.
Reports number of frames contained in the file.
Reports the current frame.
file [ metafile ]
The file metafile will be used for subsequent translation. ictrans uses the shell defined by the environment variable SHELL (/bin/sh by default) to perform filename substitution on metafile. The rules governing filename substitution are as defined by the working shell. If no argument is given the current metafile name is reported.
font [ font ]
Set the fontcap to font for future translation. This function is identical to that of the -font option. If font is omitted the current fontcap name is reported.
help [ command ]
Print a usage statement for command. If command is omitted a brief description of all commands is given.
[ frames ] list
Provide brief information about each metafile frame in frames. If frames is omitted then the current frame is used. If frames is omitted and the current frame is not the last frame then the current frame is incremented to the next frame in the metafile.
< frame1 > < frame2 > merge
Plot frame number frame1 and then plot frame number frame2 over the first frame without clearing the device. The result is a "merge" of the two plots. The current frame is not changed. There are no defaults for frame1 or frame2. The resulting plot might not be what was expected. Attributes from the first frame, such as color, may override attributes in the second frame.
Toggle loop mode on or off. When loop mode is on subsequent plot commands will cause the requested frames to be plotted and then ictrans will proceed to either the first frame in the defined segment or the last and repeatedly display the first through last (last through first) frames. Looping continues until an interrupt signal is received. The determination of which order to loop, forwards or backwards, is made as follows: If the last group of frames plotted was in ascending order loop forward. If the last group of frames plotted was in descending order loop backwards. If the order cannot be determined don't loop. For example; if loop mode is set "1 3,4 plot" will result in forward looping, "1 4,3 plot" will result in backward looping, and "3,4 1 plot" will result in no looping because the last group of frames plotted, "1", is a single frame.
movie [ time ]
Display each frame for time seconds before proceding to the next frame during subsequent plots. If time is omitted then movie mode is toggled off or on. In the case the movie mode is toggled on the default time is zero seconds. If movie mode is toggled to off a newline must be received before advancing to the next frame during plotting.
Multiple files may be specified on the ictrans command line. To edit the next file in the argument list use the next command.
[ frames ] plot
Plot the addressed frames. If frames is omitted then the current frame is plotted and if possible, the current frame number is incremented. If "movie" mode is set ictrans will wait time seconds after displaying each plot before continuing. time is set with the movie command. If "movie" mode is not set ictrans will wait for a newline character before advancing to the next frame. plot will report the number of frames and the last frame in frames. Plotting will be terminated and ictrans will reenter command mode after the last frame is plotted or upon receiving a interrupt signal, SIGINT.
[ frames ] Print
The addressed frames are translated and sent to the current spooling device. Translation is performed by a spawned translator. The spooler command may be used to select a spooling device. See ncarv_spool(5NCARG).
Terminate the session.
[ frames ] save [ metafile ]
Save the addressed frames to metafile. If metafile does not exist then it is created. Filename substitution is performed on metafile. If metafile is omitted than the last file saved to is used. If frames is omitted than the current frame is used.
[ frames ] Save [ metafile ]
Same as the save command except Save does not confirm its actions with the user in the case that the file exists. If the file exists but is not a valid NCGM it is overwritten. If the file exists and is a valid NCGM it is appended to.
skip [ number ]
Set number of frames to skip over during subsequent plotting. For example, if "skip" is set to 1 and a request is made to plot frames 1 through 10 frames 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 will be displayed. With no arguments skip reports its current value. The default is zero.
spooler [ spooler_alias ]
With no arguments the current spooler alias name is reported. If spooler_alias is a valid alias either defined by the alias command, or in a ncarv_spool configuration file, or by the NCARV_SPOOL environment variable, then spooler alias becomes the current spooler. Subsequent Print commands will use the spooler definition defined by the current spooler. See ncarv_spool(5NCARG).
[ start frame ] start
This command defines the first frame in a segment of frames. start, together with the stop command, define the boundaries of a segment of metafile frames. When ictrans is in loop mode the contents of this segment are repeatedly displayed. The default start frame is the first frame in the metafile, 1. If no arguments are given start reports the first frame in the current segment.
[ stop frame ] stop
This command defines the last frame in a segment of frames. The default stop frame is the last frame in the metafile, $. If no arguments are given stop reports the last frame in the current segment.
zoom [ llx [ lly [ urx [ ury ]]]]
The zoom command allows for specification of a workstation window (in the GKS sense). Four coordinates are specified which define a rectangular window which is a subset of the normalized VDC rectangle with corner points (0.0, 0.0) and (1.0, 1,0). The specified window is then mapped onto the entire viewport. For example

ictrans> zoom 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.5

would result in the lower left quarter of subsequent plots being blown up to fill the entire display. Specification of such a window may be used for zooming and panning.

The range with which one may zoom in on a plot may be limited by the integer addressing precision of the device.


The following example shows how ictrans might be used in a batch mode to translate a metafile called gmeta and send the translated results of the entire file to a spooled device called "imagen" which might be defined in the system ncarv_spool file:

% ictrans -e 'spooler imagen' -e '1,$Print' gmeta


Default fontcap specifier.
Default output device specifier.
Path to root of NCAR Graphics installation.
If set this variable contains the path to the installed NCAR Graphics libraries. NCARG_LIB overrides NCARG_ROOT.
If set, this environment variable contains a directory path to be used for temporary files. On most systems the default is /tmp. On some systems the default is /usr/tmp.
If NCARG_TMP is not set this environment variable specifies the directory path for scratch disk space. If neither NCARG_TMP TMPDIR is set a site-dependent, hard-coded default is used.


local ictrans spooler config file
user's ictrans spooler config file


Metafile frames written to an existing file via the save command will be subject to the effects of any global "attribute elements" contained within the file.


Copyright (C) 1987-2009
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

The use of this Software is governed by a License Agreement.