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Preplot and SZL Convert Overview


This video Demonstrates the use of the Preplot and SZL convert tools to prepare your data for use in Tecplot 360.

The Data File Types video showed the benefits of using Tecplot binary format files over ASCII files. In this video we will cover three methods for getting your data into binary format.

Method #1: Convert Tecplot ASCII files into standard Tecplot PLT binary files

The Preplot tool can be found in the bin directory of the Tecplot installation. Using a terminal or command line window, enter the input ASCII file and the desired output file name. This method skips the “convert to binary” step normally performed during the loading of ASCII files from the Tecplot 360 application.

Now, with a copy of the file in binary format, time is saved on the initial load operation and the file size is smaller.

New feature in Tecplot 360 EX 2017 Release 1

The second and third methods use the –convert flag passed to the tec360 executable. Both methods output Tecplot SZL (.szplt) files and do not consume a license when run.

Method #2: Convert Tecplot ASCII or binary PLT to SZL format

The first of these two methods, allows conversion of any native Tecplot ASCII or PLT binary files to SZL format. From a terminal or command line window, call Tecplot 360 followed by the –convert flag. Then enter the input file name, -o flag, and the desired name of the output file.

Method #3: Pass a Macro

The second method involves passing a macro file consisting of a $!READDATASET command. It allows any Tecplot supported file type and appropriate data loader to generate a converted SZL file. Call Tecplot 360 with the –convert flag, this time followed by the appropriate macro file, -o flag, and the output file.

The macro file simply consists of a $!READDATASET command. This macro was generated in Tecplot 360 by recording the actions of the load operation. Using this macro file in a scripted environment, we can dynamically replace the hard-coded file name in order to convert many files without user intervention, and again without using a license.

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