Coyote Graphics Routines

Date: Fri Mar 27 12:14:20 2015

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top cgSymCat


result = cgSymCat(theInSymbol [, COLOR=varies] [, /NAMES] [, THICK=float])

This function provides a symbol catalog for specifying a number of plotting symbols.


theInSymbol in required type=varies

The number (or name) of the symbol you wish to use. Possible values are:

0 : No symbol. NONE 1 : Plus sign. PLUSSIGN 2 : Asterisk. ASTERISK 3 : Dot (period). DOT 4 : Open diamond. OPENDIAMOND 5 : Open upward triangle. OPENUPTRIANGLE 6 : Open square. OPENSQUARE 7 : X. X 8 : Defined by the user with USERSYM. USERSYM 9 : Open circle. OPENCIRCLE 10 : Histogram style plot. HISTOGRAM 11 : Open downward triangle. OPENDOWNTRIANGLE 12 : Open rightfacing triangle. OPENRIGHTTRIANGLE 13 : Open leftfacing triangle. OPENLEFTTRIANGLE 14 : Filled diamond. FILLEDDIAMOND 15 : Filled square. FILLEDSQUARE 16 : Filled circle. FILLEDCIRCLE 17 : Filled upward triangle. FILLEDUPTRIANGLE 18 : Filled downward triangle. FILLEDDOWNTRIANGLE 19 : Filled rightfacing triangle. FILLEDRIGHTTRIANGLE 20 : Filled leftfacing triangle. FILLEDLEFTTRIANGLE 21 : Hourglass. HOURGLASS 22 : Filled Hourglass. FILLEDHOURGLASS 23 : Bowtie. BOWTIE 24 : Filled bowtie. FILLEDBOWTIE 25 : Standing Bar. STANDINGBAR 26 : Filled Standing Bar. FILLEDSTANDINGBAR 27 : Laying Bar. LAYINGBAR 28 : Filled Laying Bar. FILLEDLAYINGBAR 29 : Hat up. HATUP 30 : Hat down. HATDOWN 31 : Hat right. HATRIGHT 32 : Hat down. HATDOWN 33 : Big cross. BIGCROSS 34 : Filled big cross. FILLEDBIGCROSS 35 : Circle with plus. CIRCLEWITHPLUS 36 : Circle with X. CIRCLEWITHX 37 : Upper half circle. UPPERHALFCIRCLE 38 : Filled upper half circle. FILLEDUPPERHALFCIRCLE 39 : Lower half circle. LOWERHALFCIRCLE 40 : Filled lower half circle. FILLEDLOWERHALFCIRCLE 41 : Left half circle. LEFTHALFCIRCLE 42 : Filled left half circle. FILLEDLEFTHALFCIRCLE 43 : Right half circle. RIGHTHALFCIRCLE 44 : Filled right half circle. FILLEDRIGHTHALFCIRCLE 45 : Star. STAR 46 : Filled star. FILLEDSTAR


COLOR in optional type=varies

Set this keyword to the color (color table index, 24-bit value, or color name) of the color desired.

NAMES in optional type=boolean default=0

If this keyword is set, the function returns the names of the symbols allowed. The index number of the name is its symbol number.

THICK in optional type=float default=1.0

Set this keyword to the thickness desired. Default is 1.


To use with normal IDL routines:

Plot, findgen(11), PSYM=cgSymCat(theSymbol)
To connect symbols with lines, use a negative value for the PSYM keyword:
Plot, findgen(11), PSYM=-cgSymCat(theSymbol)
To use with Coyote Library routines, you can call cgSymCat indirectly:
cgPlot, findgne(11), PSYM=16, SYMCOLOR='dodger blue'

Author information



David W. Fanning 1645 Sheely Drive Fort Collins, CO 80526 USA Phone: 970-221-0438 E-mail: Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming:


Copyright (c) 2006-2014, Fanning Software Consulting, Inc.


Change History:

Written by David W. Fanning, 2 September 2006. Loosely based on the program MC_SYMBOL introduced on the IDL newsgroup 1 September 2006, and MPI_PLOTCONFIG__DEFINE from the Coyote Library. Modified to allow PSYM=8 and PSYM=10 to have their normal meanings. This shifted previous symbols by two values from their old meanings. For example, an hourglass went from symbol number 19 to 21. 2 October 2006. DWF. Whoops! Added two symbols but forgot to change limits to allow for them. 4 May 2007. DWF. Added THICK keyword. 21 Aug 2007. DWF. Added COLOR keyword and made THICK keyword apply to all symbols. 11 Nov 2008. DWF. If you are using USERSYM, the "color" can get "stuck" on the last color used to draw a symbol. To "unstick" the color, you have to call USERSYM without a color keyword before calling it again with a color keyword. This is, without a doubt, the strangest bug I've ever seen in IDL! 20 June 2012. DWF. Changed the way I "unstick" the color from calling USERSYM to calling SYMCAT. This avoids a problem in changing the symbol when SYMCAT is used (unnecessarily) to pass a symbol into Coyote Graphics programs. 9 July 2012. DWF. Added the ability (via Jack Saba) to ask for symbols by name. 17 July 2012. DWF. Added the ability to ask for the color by name. 17 July 2012. DWF. Renamed to cgSYMCAT from SYMCAT. 17 July 2012. DWF. The previous problem with USERSYM colors "sticking" turned out to be a problem with cgGraphicsKeywords, so I removed previous "fix". 18 July 2012. DWF. Modified the program to allow a "negative" string to be used as the symbol name (e.g., PSYM="-star"). 30 July 2012. DWF. Modified to use 36 points in circle, rather than 72. 10 May 2013. DWF. Fixed a problem with using parentheses, rather than square brackets. 15 Dec 2014. DWF.

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