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Ferret Color Palettes


How can I find a good color palette for my plot?


[Output Graphic]
The above illustrates several palettes used to plot SST and topography:
! Plot sst
     USE coads_climatology
     SET VIEW ul
     FILL/NOLABELS/PALETTE=ocean_temp sst; GO land

! plot temperature minus mean with a centered palette
     FILL/NOLABELS/PALETTE=white_centered sst - sst[x=@ave,y=@ave]; GO fland

! use a greyscale paletete
     FILL/NOLABELS/PALETTE=greyscale sst; GO land

! plot a relief map using the land_sea palette
     USE etopo120
     SET VIEW lr 
     FILL/NOLABELS/PALETTE=land_sea rose


A number of palette files are available with Ferret.  They are designed to highlight different kinds of data fields and to allow sets of plots to have a standard appearance.  Some trial and error may be necessary to choose the palette that looks best on a given printer or other output device. The palette files are illustrated below.

See the Ferret Users Guide Commands Reference section 20 (palettes), and Chapter6, section 5.2 (palette creation) for more on specifying a palette with the plot commands, and about the different kinds of palettes.  There is also a Palette demo about the different kinds of palettes.

Also see the FAQ, How can I produce a plot with both colors and patterns? for an example using the pattern fill and shade keys, and Got any good ideas for black & white graphics? for a discussion of filled plotting using black and white palettes and patterns.

Here is a table showing the available palettes. For the Percent palettes, the script "go try_palette palette_name" has been used to make the examples.  This shows the palette at several different resolutions. The Levels and Values palettes are shown with examples from datasets to point out their advantages.
Palette name Description Type of Palette Example Plot
default The default palette; range through a rainbow of colors percent
ocean_temp Shows range of ocean temperature by value, so plots with different ranges of values will have the same colors for given temperatures. These two plots are the same except for the region. value
rainbow_by_levels A variety of colors assigned by level: each level gets one color. The LEVELS qualifier is used to specify six levels for the first plot and eighteen for the second. level
rainbow The same as "default" percent
rnb The same as "default" percent
rnb2 Another rainbow of colors percent
saz2 Yet another rainbow of colors percent
light_rainbow Similar to rainbow, but with washed-out lighter colors percent
broad Designed to distinguish levels over a broad range percent
dark_land_sea For topography/ bathymetry plots. Brown and green on land, blue for sea percent
land_sea A lighter palette for topography/ bathymetry plots percent
ocean_blue A range of blues for bathymetry plots percent
dark_terrestrail A range of green and brown for topography plots percent
terrestrial A lighter palette for topography plots. percent
modulo A palette whose colors on either end match  percent
no_blue Palette with no blue tones percent
no_green Palette with no green tones percent
no_red Palette with no red tones percent
low_blue Palette with low ammount of blue percent
low_green Palette with low ammount of green percent
low_red Palette with low ammount of red percent
centered Distinguishes values above and below the middle level; warm colors above and cool colors below. percent
white_centered Another centered palette with white as the central color percent
no_blue_centered Another centered palette with no blue tones percent
no_green_centered Another centered palette with no green tones percent
no_red_centered Another centered palette with no red tones percent
grayscale (also greyscale) Series of grays percent
(and inverse greyscale)
With high and low reversed percent
bluescale Series of blues percent
inverse bluescale With high and low reversed percent
greenscale Series of greens percent
inverse_greenscale With high and low reversed percent
redscale Series of reds percent
inverse_redscale With high and low reversed percent
Single colors
  • black

  • blue, blue_light, blue_dark

  • brown, brown_light, brown_dark

  • cyan, cyan_light, cyan_dark

  • gray, gray_light, gray_dark
    grey, grey_light, grey_dark

  • green, green_light, green_dark

  • magenta, magenta_light, magenta_dark

  • orange, orange_light, orange_dark

  • pink, pink_light, pink_dark

  • purple, purple_light, purple_dark

  • red, red_light, red_dark

  • tan, tan_light, tan_dark

  • violet, violet_light, violet_dark

  • white

  • yellow, yellow_light, yellow_dark
One color in the palette.  These are useful for colorbars, filling between curves, making backgrounds, and filling polygons to make different colored dots on a plot, as in marking station locations. For examples see the FAQ: How can I fill between two curves? and the Ferret v5.6 release notes percent

poly/over/line/pal=pink xpts,ypts,,square
poly/over/line/pal=orange_dark xp,yp,,circle

Last modified: April 7, 2004 404 Not Found

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