One of the things COMPASS users frequently want to do is transfer data from COMPASS into a drawing or CAD program. COMPASS has an AutoCad converter, so one option is to use AuotCad's DXF file. Unfortunately, AutoCad keeps changing its file format, so the file converter doesn't work well with the latest versions of AutoCad and other CAD programs. Another option is 'Windows Meta Files,' but my experience is that these files have so many compatability problems, that they are not a very reliable medium for transfering data. Steve Reames developed a new technique for transfering COMPASS plot that seems to solve many of these problems. It uses HPGL, a graphics language designed by Hewlet Packard. The advantages of using HPGL are that it is recognized by most CAD/drawing programs and Windows automatically supports. Even more exciting, it is capable of capturing the entire COMPASS image including legend, labels, and passage walls. The first step is to install a printer driver for an HP plotter. For example, install the driver for an HP 7475 plotter. When the system asks for a port to connect it to, don't tell it LPT1, instead tell it to print to file. The next step is to use Compass to manipulate the cave any way you want to. (Safety tip: make the cave only cover 1/4 of the screen or the plotterfile will cut off the ends.) When you print, a dialog box will appear. Select the HP 7475 as the print device. When you click on 'OK' then the system will pop up another dialog box and ask you where you want to save the file. (Enter a full path name like C:TEMPCAVE.PLT or the result will be saved in a strange place.) Use a name like 'CAVERN.PLT' because '.PLT' files are recognized by many programs as HPGL files. Caution: don't confuse these plotter .PLT files with the Compass .PLT files! They are very different. If you need to remind yourself which is which, use a name like HP_xxxx.PLT so you remember that the file came from an HP plotter. The .PLT file that you create is in a vector format called HPGL. It turns out that this format is recognized by almost every illustration program on the planet. Start Corel Draw (or Freehand, or whatever) and then select File | Import and then use the drop-down menu to select HPGL format (sometimes just called plotter format). Notice that it assumes the HPGL file is *.PLT. Now give it the .PLT file you just created. Poof! The cave should appear on the screen as desired. Footnote: There are actually two different formats for plotters: HPGL and HPGL2. If you specify a newer plotter for your printer driver, then it will create HPGL2 which NO program can read! Be sure to specify one of the older HP plotters such as the 7475 or the 7580. Source.


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Last Modified: April 22, 2016 @ 5:08 pm