Frequently Asked Questions

General Features

Does PLT know about valence, bond angles, etc?
No, PLT is not a molecular mechanics program, and knows only a little chemistry (for example, it does know how to switch labels like CO2Me and MeO2C when you press <ctrl-R>). You decide where the bonds and atom labels go. PLT makes it easy to get accurate bond angles, perfectly bisecting bonds, properly positioned spiro fusions, accurately joined keto groups, etc, but it will not prevent you from drawing five bonds to carbon, triple bonds to helium, or anything alse you care to draw.

Drawing Features

Can WINPLT produce shaded objects?
PLT can produce rectangular, triangular, circular, and elliptical shaded objects. It can also produce shaded objects bounded by any sequence of lines, and objects bounded by an extended Bezier curve. Bitmap images can be incorporated into PLT drawings if simple figures like the above are not adequate.

How does one control color?
The user can set up multiple 16-color palettes, selected from all colors available on the computer system. Individual lines and labels can then be assigned one the 16 colors in the current palette of colors. Since the color palettes can be easily switched, the color schemes of drawings can be easily altered (for example, to fit different output devices). There is also a facility for printing colored drawings in black and white to avoid grey-scaling.

Can one control the line width of individual lines?
Yes. For each line (or group of lines, such as a triple bond) one can select from one of five line widths (extra thin, thin, normal, thick, extra thick). These line widths can be set by the user. In addition, base line width for all lines can be set (e.g., to 1.3). This scales the individual line widths.

How are complex ring systems handled.
PLT has a system of TEMPLATE files containing hundreds of structures which can be viewed and easily imported into drawings. You can add your own drawings to these files for quick reuse of complex structures.

Text Output Capabilities

Can WINPLT produce lines or paragraphs of text with individual words or phrases in different colors?
Yes, place {C=8} before the color change and {C} after it. Thus a label looks like: F > Black text {C=12}Red text{C} black text again.

Can WINPLT produce drawings with paragraphs of text fully justified?
No. PLT drawings can include text labels that are multiple lines long (i.e., paragraphs), and they can be left-justified (ragged right side) or right-justified (ragged left side) or centered, but the text cannot be right- and left-justified.

Output/Input Capabilities

Can WINPLT use files from earlier versions of PLT?
Yes. Files from all previous versions of PLT can be loaded.

Can WINPLT open ChemDraw/ChemWindow/ISIS Draw/WIMP files?

Does WINPLT support OLE (object Linking and Embedding)?
No. Drawings can be exported and imported as Windows Metafiles.

Can WINPLT produce EPS files (Encapsulated PostScript)?

Can WINPLT produce TIFF files?
Only if you have a Windows printer driver that supports TIFF files (Data Techniques (ImageIt) and Informatik (Tiffworks) advertize such drivers). The easiest way to produce bitmaps such as TIFF is to produce a BMP or GIF file with PLT and use a graphics program like Paint Shop to convert the graphics.

Can WINPLT directly produce GIF files commonly used for Web graphics?
Yes. In addition, PLT can automatically produce web pages including text and multiple graphics frames as GIF files.

Can WINPLT directly produce PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) files commonly used for Web presentations of complex documents?
Not directly, but if you own Adobe Acrobat Writer and/or Distiller you can create PDF files using the usual print option. There are also free products that will do this. For example PDF995 comes highly recommended.

WINPLT || Features

Last change: Sept. 15, 2003