Predominance diagrams

Speciation plots

Reaction path calculations


Installation notes

Installing PhreePlot for the first time

If you experience problems with one or all of the installers, please let me know (

Use the Download link from the PhreePlot homepage or one of the menus. The Win32 version runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems. The 64-bit version only runs on 64-bit versions of Windows. It runs slightly faster than the 32-bit version and has access to more memory if available. There is also an x64 'noadmin' version available for those without administrator rights during installation. This version can store the executables in any folder whereas the preferred versions store them in the protected Program Files folder.

You will be asked to accept the License agreement (read here) and will not be able to go any further without doing so. PhreePlot is essentially free to use.

You will then be asked to select an installation directory. You can create a new directory from there.

It is probably best to make the lowest member of your chosen directory 'PhreePlot' so that you can remember what is there!

Do not make this directory your Program Files directory. This is where the executables are stored.

Three sub-directories will be created below this: system, doc and demo. The 'noadmin' version makes a fourth \bin directory for the executables.

You will be asked whether to Associate ppi files with PhreePlot (apart from the 'noadmin' version). It is best to take the default (tick yes) because the ppi extension is used for the main PhreePlot input files and this will enable them to be executed directly by double clicking a ppi file in Windows Explorer or similar. It is important to restart (not just Shut down) your PC after installing in order that the changes made can be applied, particularly the file association. This file association can easily be set manually using the file properites of a .ppi file or by entering 'file association' in the run box and following the guidance.

PhreePlot does not have a GUI. It is run either from a console or from Windows Explorer or similar making use of the .ppi -> pp.exe file association. You can opt to install a demo shortcut onto your desktop during installation. This will generate a pdf file which should be opened with your pdf viewer.

The PhreePlot executable, pp.exe, will normally be installed into your Program Files directory, e.g. C:\Program Files\PhreePlot\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\PhreePlot\ unless you choose the 'noadmin' version. This separation between executable program and program data makes subsequent access easier and safer in line with Windows conventions. The name of the PhreePlot executable is the same for both 32- and 64-bit versions but when run, the version can be seen from the banner on the screen and log file. After installation, the PATH environment variable will automatically be set to the installed path if requested.

Installing a more up-to-date copy of PhreePlot

Repeat the installation above. It will default to the same user Application Data directory and version sub-directory as before and will overwrite all of the previously-installed files. If you want to change the installation directory or want to keep the installation directory 'clean', first delete the previous version of PhreePlot with the uninsxxx.exe uninstaller found in the original application directory. Then run the installer. This uninstallation will not delete any files that have been added or generated since the initial installation.

If simply updating, there is no need to update the path settings or to reboot (restart).

Setting the environment variables

PhreePlot finds its files via environment variables and so these must be set. The PHREEPLOT environment variable must be set to the application directory, i.e. the directory chosen during installation, e.g. C:\Users\Fred\AppData\Roaming\PhreePlot. The PHREEPLOT_PATH variable should be set to the directory containing the executables. These variables will normally be set during installation.

You can check their values by opening a command prompt and typing 'echo %PHREEPLOT%' which should echo the relevant folder; you could also use 'set' to examine all the settings. If either of these has not been set, enter 'Edit the system environment variables' in the run box and then choose Advanced|Environment variables. Alternatively, use Control Panel and search for 'Edit environment variables'. Once set, re-log in to apply.

Installing Ghostscript and GSview

PhreePlot produces native Postscript (ps) files. Ghostscript enables PhreePlot to make conversions to other formats such as png, pdf, jpg and eps. As of 2018, PhreePlot comes with Ghostscript optionally pre-installed but you can install and use your own copy separately.

GSview (Ghostgum) is a separate viewer, also based on Ghostscript, that is useful. Follow the links on the PhreePlot homepage if you want to download this program.

If installed, it is useful to associate ps files with GSview or similar. If you are using the internal version of Ghostscript, GSview will initially report that it cannot find Ghostscript. So change the two paths required in GSview, e.g. : Options|Advanced Configure|Ghostscript DLL|C:\Program Files\PhreePlot\gsdll64.dll and Ghostscript Include Path|C:\Program Files\PhreePlot\.

It is possible to use either Win32 or x64 versions of both Ghostscript and GSview with PhreePlot providing that the paths and settings have been set appropriately. The x64 version is recommended if you have a 64-bit PC. Starting with version 9.53.0, Ghostscript changed its version numbering system such that GSview will no longer work with this or later versions. If you want to use GSview, stay with earlier versions as with the download links on the home page.

The pdfMaker setting in pp.set is used to locate the Ghostscript executable (gswinxxc.exe) and libraries (gsdllxx.dll) used in the conversions (xx = 32 or 64). If the path given by pdfMaker has not been set, then the internal version will be used if present. If you would prefer the default image type to be png, say, set 'png TRUE' in \system\pp.set.

Missing dll's

PhreePlot uses various libraries that are either incorporated into the pp.exe file, already available in your setup or have to be installed. These include some of the redistributable libraries from Microsoft Visual Studio and Intel's oneAPI compiler suite.

If your system reports missing dll's, check if they are in the missingdlls-***.zip file found in the PHREEPLOT_PATH (e.g. Program Files\PhreePlot) folder, or the more complete set online for x64 or x32. If so, extract the missing file(s) to the same folder as pp.exe and retry. A more complete approach is to install the runtime libraries from the Intel website, firstly the latest 'Intel Fortran Compiler Runtime for Windows', then if necessary, the C++ one. You could also check to see if your system needs repairing by running 'sfc /scannow' from a command console opened with administrator rights, or search online for the missing library. If none of these approaches work, please report.

Uninstalling PhreePlot

You can either do this through the Settings (Control Panel in older versions of Windows) or by going to the PhreePlot root folder and executing the uninstaller, uninsxxx.exe, where xxx is the version number. Even though administrator privileges are not required for the 'noadmin' installation, if you do install with administrator privileges, you will also have to run the uninstaller, uninsxxx.exe, with similar privileges. This will remove all the files and settings added during installation but will not remove any that have been added or generated after that.

Being kept informed of updates

Enable the checkForUpdate setting in pp.set. This will check the PhreePlot server for the latest version at user-defined intervals. See the Guide.

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