The main features of this version of the graphic tasks are:
Up to eight catalogues (masters or personals) can be opened in a session and displayed using different marks, marks size and colors.The same catalogue can also be opened more than one time and contemporarly in the same session; in this way one can select and show different sets of objects coming from a catalogue. For each catalogue the user can select fields and impose constraints.
The graphic tasks work on all the graphic devices (terminal screens, plotters or laser printers) for which a driver is provided. The user can works on an old Tek4010 device but he will get better results by using a color raster terminal or a workstation. The graphic tasks have been developed thinking to an interactive terminal provided by cursor or mouse, with colors capabilities and many font types.
Using the graphic task the user have three different working areas:
The whole graphic screen (working and parameters windows) can be copied on a hard copy devices by an appropriate command although the task execution, or the hard copy device can be directly set as the graphic output for the task.
When an user is working with a graphic terminal and enter a hard copy command he must take in account the characteristics of the graphic screen in use, because the hard copy metafile contain data about the original terminal. A typical problem is due to the different number of colors of the two devices. When a plot is made on a screen with few colours is not possible to take advantage from a plotter with more colours. To avoid this problem the user can set the plotter as the graphic output of the task. Vice versa a plotter or a laser printer with few colours use proper technique to shows the additional colours, but this technique seems to work in a reasonable way. Moreover the font types and the pattern used to fill the areas can give different results on the graphic screen and on hard copy device.