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CGM Questions & Answers

Question 5

What applications can I use to generate and/or interpret CGM files on an Apple Mac?

Very few Mac applications can generate/interpret CGM files by themselves. However two utilities, GraphPorter and MetaPICT, do allow CGMs to be, respectively, generated and interpreted and used with any Mac application.

GraphPorter is a program which allows CGMs to be generated from most Apple Macintosh applications. It is a device driver which is selected from the Chooser and so, in theory, can be used with any Mac application. The GraphPorter driver is selected instead of the normal LaserWriter driver and from then on Print produces a CGM instead of a PostScript file. The resulting CGM can be transferred to another platform such as a PC or workstation.

MetaPICT is an application for the Apple Macintosh which converts from CGM into PICT format. The PICT format is used by most Mac applications. This allows CGMs to be converted into PICT and then imported into most Mac applications. The picture can also be viewed on the Mac screen with MetaPICT and the contents of the CGM can be dumped to a text file in a human-readable form (this is not the same as the Clear Text encoding of CGM).

MetaPICT allows the user to choose whether the background colour should be taken from the CGM or should be a colour selected by the user. This is a useful feature when handling CGMs which have not specified a background colour. MetaPICT also offers other options for selecting how the CGM should be interpreted.

Both GraphPorter and MetaPICT are from GSC Associates and are available via CHEST.

Queries about CGM can be posted to the CHEST-CGM list at Mailbase.

Alan Francis