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General Text Loader


This video will show you how to use the General Text Loader to load CONVERGE cell-averaged output files (*.out files).

To do this we will use the General Text Loader, which is one of several text data loaders in Tecplot 360. The General Text Loader, by default, only identifies files with a .txt extension.

The first thing we want to do when we load our data (File > Load Data) is to select All Supported Files or All Files.

Next we select the emissions.out file, and instruct Tecplot to use the General Text Loader. This will be a slightly different workflow on Linux but it is very similar. Now we will go ahead and click Open.

Open the Output File

Now, we will need to instruct the General Text Loader on some of the attributes of our data file. Open the output file (emissions.out) in any general text editor.

We can see that line 3 starts with a hash mark. The hash mark is interpreted as a comment, and we will show you how to process this.

Line 3 lists our variable names.

Line 6 is where our data starts and the data goes all the way to the end of the file. And those are the three bits of information that we need to know to load this dataset.

  1. First we will tell the General Text Loader where to look for the variable names, which again are on line 3.
  2. We will tell the loader where to find the data, which starts on line 6 and goes through to the end of the file.
  3. And then under General Filters we will tell it to ignore information in column number 1, which is where we saw the hash mark on line 3.

Scan for Errors

To scan for errors, select View Processed Data and Scan File. This is a check to confirm that the loader picked up all of the information about our data and variables, and there were no errors reported.

Click OK and now our data is loaded into Tecplot 360.

Our variables of interest are NOx and carbon monoxide. To view them, open the Mapping Style dialog.

Line Maps

Tecplot 360 automatically creates Line Maps only for the first variable in our file, and not for any other variables in the file. But we want to look at NOx and carbon monoxide, so we will deselect the first variable and select NOx and carbon monoxide. Then we can close the Mapping Style dialog.

To fit the data, click Ctrl+F. Now we can see the two line maps. We also see that they have very different scales.

We want to choose a separate scale for carbon monoxide. To do this, open the Mapping Style dialog, select the carbon monoxide row, right click on the Which Y-Axis column, and select Y2.

This puts carbon monoxide on our secondary axis. Now click Ctrl+F to fit carbon monoxide on the new axis. We now see that the data are scaled similarly but with different values. We can also adjust the label layout by choosing the Adjust Tool and moving the labels where we want them.

To associate the line plots with their respective axes, we can color the axis to match the color of the line plot. If we open the Mapping Style dialog and click the Lines tab, we see that the pink line is carbon monoxide.

To color the Y2 axis, right-click on it to open the Axis Details dialog. Select Y2 and the Line tab, and choose the Color to match the line plot. Now we can see which line plot is associated with which axis.

Additionally, we can toggle on the Line Legend to see the mapping for each plotted line.

Thanks for watching!