Q: How do I print or save a plot I created with
the data visualization applets?
Applets running from a web browser are not able to
access your computer's storage devices or printers. Java was designed
this way for security -- otherwise a malicious programmer could,
for example, write an applet to use up your printer paper and fill
your hard drive with garbage.
This means that to save your work you will need to
be a little creative. Here are some ways to do it. (These instructions
are written for Windows. Similar techniques and programs
are available for other operating systems -- send us the details
of what works for you and we'll add it to this page.)
Method 1: Use "Alt - Print Screen"
While holding down the "Alt" key
on your keyboard, press the "Print Screen" key.
This will copy the current window to the Clipboard.
Switch to a program that supports pasting images from the Clipboard,
such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Word or Excel. Paste the image and
edit, save or print it from here. You can paste into the Paint program
that comes with Windows (usually found in the Start >>
Programs >> Accessories menu). From Paint you can
edit, print, or save the image.
This method is quick and easy, but the image is of
the entire window -- including the borders and title and status
bars -- see example:
You can edit the image to remove the
borders (look up "crop" in your program's Help section).
It can be a little cumbersome using the image editing
in Paint or most word processor programs. And Paint only allows
you to save the image as a bitmap -- the file size is much smaller
if these images are saved as GIF or JPG files. (Update: The current
version of Paint does allow saving in other
formats.) For more flexibility you might want to try the next
Method 2: Use a Screen Capture Utility
There are many programs that include screen capture
features that will work very well for our needs. Here are several
examples, but there are many more programs available that work just
as well. If you have some other graphics program already installed
on your computer check to see if it can handle screen capturing.
Shop Pro (PSP)
Many schools have this program installed on their computers.
It is available for evaluation at http://www.jasc.com/products/paintshoppro/.
In the PSP menu go to Capture >> Setup to set the options.
Then press the Capture Now button.
With the settings shown above, PSP will create an image
of the client area (the contents of the current window -- excluding
the window title and borders) every time Ctrl-F11 is pressed.
The new images can be printed, and saved in a wide variety
of graphics formats.
This program is free for noncommercial use (and only $10 for
anyone else). It's hard to beat at any price. It does a lot
more than screen captures.
In the Irfanview menu go to Options >> Capture.
This little utility only does screen captures, but it does
them well, it's small, and it's free.
It can be set to capture the client area to the clipboard, to
a file, or both.
Yet another (free) screen capture utility, with some interesting