Getting Started with Tecplot 360

You have arrived at a one-stop shop for getting started with Tecplot 360. Technical Support is available to help you install your software and get up and running with your data and workflows. If you need help at any time as your work through this material, email your questions to Here’s an index to this Getting Started Page with links to each section.

Step 1: Collecting Your Training Resources

Download the Getting Started Bundle (ZIP)

Step 2: Loading Your Data

Tecplot 360 Supports the Following Data Formats

Not finding the data loaders that you’re looking for? Email and if possible, please attach/share your data with us. If you’re a Python user, check-out our Python API which opens more doors for loading your XY and 2D-structured data.

Working with Tecplot File Types (Videos)

Step 3: Exploring Your Data

The four video series below (External Flow, Transient Data, Comparing Grids, Finite Element Analysis) each walk you through how to work with key features and data files. Similar step-by-step tutorial instructions are written up in our Getting Started Guide (PDF).

External Flow Series

The External Flow series covers loading data, producing a basic plot, slicing, streamtraces, iso-surfaces, probing, and comparing simulated and experimental data, including normalizing the data. These videos use data from the Onera M6 wing model. The five videos in this playlist include:

  1. Loading and Manipulating Data
  2. Exploring a CFD Solution
  3. Comparing a CFD Simulation with Experimental Data
  4. Automation and Macros
  5. CFD Analyzer and Variable Calculation

Transient Data Series

The Transient Data series uses a wind turbine data set with 127 time steps to understand how transient (time-based) data is structured. The five videos in this playlist cover how to produce animated contour plots, extract data over time for analysis, and calculate additional variables.

  1. Introduction to Transient Data
  2. Understanding Transient Data Through Extractions
  3. Fourier Transforms
  4. Calculating Variables and Using Contour Color Cutoff
  5. Frame Linking

Comparing Grids Series

The Comparing Grids series walks through comparing different datasets with the same grid in both Tecplot 360 and Tecplot Chorus. The third video compares two data sets with differing meshes. Videos in this playlist include:

  • Comparing Grids in Tecplot 360
  • Comparing Grids in Tecplot Chorus
  • Interpolation of Differing Meshes

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Series

This video series uses a transient FEA dataset of a connecting rod created with LSDYNA. The series shows progressive techniques for visualizing the maximum Von Mises Stress of the rotating rod. Videos in this playlist include:

  • Identifying Regions of Maximum Stress
  • Data Alter using IF Conditions
  • Extracting Maximum Stress Using Macros

Step 4: Tecplot 360 Tips and Tricks

Structured 2D Data

Watch the YouTube Clip on Structured 2D Data in Tecplot 360

Extend your knowledge of Tecplot 360. The videos and articles below cover essential topics to maximize your effectiveness while post-processing with Tecplot 360.

The Tecplot 360 Workspace

Plotting Data

Linked Cp Curves

Watch the video on Frame Linking

Contouring and Contour Groups

Isosurfaces, Slices, and Streamtraces

Creating a New Variable

Variables can be calculated using the CFD Analyzer tool in Tecplot 360 or using the Specify Equations dialog. Below are videos and articles showing you how and when to use both.

CFD Analyzer

Specify Equations Dialog

Exporting an Image or Animation
Watch the YouTube clip on exporting images and animations.

Step 5: Automating Your Workflows

Workflows can be automated in Tecplot 360 using our macro language or our Python API, PyTecplot. In the Scripting menu, both can be recorded. You can also list and play macros using the Quick Macro Panel.