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HP-GL Viewer

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This package was approved by moderator gep13 on 5/23/2018.

The HP-GL viewer developed at CERN provides fast and accurate display of HP-GL and HP-GL/2 files on a number of platforms and operating systems. It has an intuitive graphical interface and can be used to display, print, and convert files from HP-GL and HP-GL/2 to PostScript, Encapsulated PostScript, DXF, or CGM. It is available for various Unix, PC-Windows and MacIntosh platforms.

To install HP-GL Viewer, run the following command from the command line or from PowerShell:

C:\> choco install hpglviewer

To upgrade HP-GL Viewer, run the following command from the command line or from PowerShell:

C:\> choco upgrade hpglviewer


  • tools\chocolateyInstall.ps1 Show
    $ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop'  # stop on all errors
    $InstallArgs = @{
       packageName   = $env:ChocolateyPackageName
       Url           = '' 
       checksum      = 'cd9d35477c4b44e484b17ebc718780fa81230f8183599593a83efe2d2197c94b'
       checksumType  = 'sha256'
       UnzipLocation = Join-Path $env:ChocolateyPackageFolder "V$env:ChocolateyPackageVersion"
    Install-ChocolateyZipPackage @InstallArgs
    $EscPath = $InstallArgs["UnzipLocation"] -replace '\\','\\'
    New-Item -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\.hp2' -Value 'HpglView' -force | Out-Null
    New-Item -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\.hpg' -Value 'HpglView' -force | Out-Null
    New-Item -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\.hpgl' -Value 'HpglView' -force | Out-Null
    New-Item -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\.plt' -Value 'HpglView' -force | Out-Null
    New-Item -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\HpglView' -Value 'HP-GL Image' -force | Out-Null
    New-Item -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\HpglView\shell' -Value 'open' -force | Out-Null
    New-Item -Path 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\HpglView\shell\open\command' -Value ('"\"' + $EscPath + '\\hpglview.exe\" \"%1\""') -force | Out-Null
  • tools\chocolateyUninstall.ps1 Show
    $ErrorActionPreference = 'Stop'  # stop on all errors
    remove-item 'hklm:\software\classes\.hp2' -Force -ErrorAction silentlycontinue
    remove-item 'hklm:\software\classes\.hpg' -Force -ErrorAction silentlycontinue
    remove-item 'hklm:\software\classes\.hpgl' -Force -ErrorAction silentlycontinue
    remove-item 'hklm:\software\classes\.plt' -Force -ErrorAction silentlycontinue
    remove-item 'hklm:\software\classes\HPGLView' -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction silentlycontinue
  • tools\LICENSE.txt Show
    No strict license for HPGLview exists.  Below are the only available
    statement regarding use and ownership.
    Quote from the hpglview website (
      "While in the past the CERN HP-GL viewer was sold commercially outside of the 
       High Energy Physics community, it is nowadays distributed free of charge. "
    Below is a copy of a document included with the download that includes
    some copyright and conditions of use.
                      Viewer and converter for HP-GL files
                                 Version 5.43
                           CERN, Geneva, December 2011
    1. Copyright
    The CERN HP-GL viewer software is copyright and sole property of CERN,
    European Organization for Nuclear Research, CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland.
    The viewer CGM module is derived from CGM Draw software produced by NIST,
    which in turn is based on gd 1.2, copyright 1994, 1995, Quest Protein
    Database Center, Cold Spring Harbor Labs, USA.
    2. Conditions of Use Outside CERN
    The software and documentation contained herein are provided for the sole
    use of the organization to which they are licensed and may not be
    redistributed or reproduced without the express approval of CERN.  The
    documentation gives information about authorship of the software.  Neither
    the software nor any accompanying material may be sold.  CERN must be given
    credit in all references, documentation, and publications based on the
    Documentation and other information concerning the use and licensing of the
    HP-GL viewer can be obtained via the URL:
    3. General Information
    The CERN HP-GL viewer is designed to display legal HP-GL and HP-GL/2 files
    on screen and to allow printing them and converting them to other formats.
    The primary design criteria have been correctness, speed, and portability
    to various platforms.  Versions of the viewer run on Microsoft Windows
    versions 95 and newer, Apple MacOS 8 and newer, and on various Unix variants
    including IBM AIX, Compaq/Digital OSF/1, Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, SGI IRIX,
    Linux, Sun Solaris, and Apple MaxOS X / Darwin.  The current version of the
    viewer understands most of the old HP-GL and the current HP-GL/2 standards
    and extensions with a few exceptions:
      - No support for the Dual-Context Extension, i.e., using raster commands
        belonging to HP RTL (Raster Transfer Language) or HP PCL (Printer Control
        Language) command sets, or using the Scalable or Bitmap Fonts command
        sets.  Such commands are syntactically parsed and skipped without
        interpreting them.
      - HP PJL (Printer Job Language) headers are parsed and skipped.  The only
        feature interpreted is the language mode (HPGL / HPGL2), which may,
        however, be overridden if the file is later found to contain commands
        belonging solely to the other mode.
      - Minimal support for built-in fonts.  The HP-GL/2 symbol sets supported
        are:  US ASCII, Roman Extensions, Roman8, Latin1, Latin2, Latin5, and
        HP-GL Drafting.  The only available typeface is the simple vector stick
        font.  No other font characteristics are supported.
      - No support for device output and control commands in the Technical
        Graphics Extension.
      - No support for the commands in the Digitizing Extension.
      - No support for configurable line attributes, i.e., different line ends
        and joins.
      - Minimal support for advanced merge control and pixel placement commands
        in the Advanced Drawing Extension.  The merge commands are propagated
        when saving the file in HP-GL/2 from the viewer but are not interpreted
        for screen display or for printing on non-HP-GL/2 printers.
    Practice has shown that few plot files heavily utilize features outside of
    the set currently supported by the viewer.  However, in the future most of
    the above items are expected to be supported with the exception of device
    control and digitizing commands, which make no sense in the viewer context.
    4. New and Changed Features in Version 5.43
    Version 5.43 is a bugfix version based on version 5.42 and as such contains
    no new features.
    5. Old Licence Files and Version 5.43
    Information in this section concerns only existing licensees of the CERN
    HP-GL viewer.
    Version 5.43 of the viewer is compatible with the licence files of versions
    5.00, 5.01, 5.20, 5.21, 5.22, 5.30, 5.40, 5.41, and 5.42.  However, since several
    items present in the licence file have been updated, it is highly recommended
    to convert the file to the new format.  Note also that a bug exist in licence
    files created before 2000, which renders the file unusable.  In this case
    a new licence file can be requested from CERN (see below for contact details).
    This can be done with the small utility named licconv available for different
    architectures via the URL:
    Usage instructions for the converter are contained in the included ReadMe
    6. Old Configuration Files and Version 5.43
    Version 5.43 of the viewer is able to read old configuration files of versions
    earlier than 5.43 but it only saves them in the new format, which may not be
    properly interpreted by older viewer versions.
    7. Contact Information
    Queries and comments concerning the CERN HP-GL viewer should be addressed to:
      Timo Hakulinen
      CERN / GS
      CH-1211, Geneva 23,
      email: [email protected]
      phone: +41 22 7679491
      fax:   +41 22 7667865

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This package has no dependencies.

Package Maintainer(s)

Software Author(s)

  • CERN
  • European Organization for Nuclear Research


Copyright © 2011 CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research


Release Notes

Version History

Version Downloads Last updated Status
HP-GL Viewer 5.43 421 Tuesday, May 3, 2016 approved

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