Configuration files

Configuration files allow user to customize conversion process, so the output PDF document looks exactly how they’ve wanted. All information can be stored within XML files for further use.

pdfPost uses 3 types of configuration files:

XML Project Configuration File

contains information about entire pdfPost project (data files, color legend, plot layout etc.).

  1. XML Root element <pdfPost_Configuration>
    This node is required to read configuration data.
  2. <Document> element
    Contains all the main project attributes, such as WorkingDirectory, ProjectName etc.
<Document WorkingDirectory=”c:\pdfPost_Projects” ProjectName=”pdfPost_project_1″ DataInputType=”CSV” />


  • Only one (1) <Document> element is allowed
  • when attribute is not set, default value will be used during the read
  • list of document attributes can be found in section Project Configuration
  1. <Plot> element
    Contains plot properties like ColorMode, ColorLegend, PlotTitle PlotScale etc.
<Plot ColorMode=”Range” ColorLegend=”myRange.xml” PlotTitle=”My pdfPost stress plot” />


  • when attribute is not set, default value will be used during the read
  • list of plot attributes can be found in section Project Configuration
  1. <Component> element
    Contains component definition
<Component Name=”cmp1″ Alias=”Component 1″ Parent=”NULL” MeshType=”Plane” Active=”True” />
<Component Name=”cmp2″ Alias=”Component 2″ Parent=”Assembly” MeshType=”Plane” Active=”True” />
<Component Name=”cmp3″ Alias=”Component 3″ Parent=”Assembly” MeshType=”Solid” Active=”True” />


  • all component attributes must be set
  • list of component attributes can be found in section Project Configuration
  1. <Element> element
    Contains element definition
<Element TypeNo=”1″ ElementType=”pdfPost_PLANE4″ />
<Element TypeNo=”2″ ElementType=”pdfPost_LINE2″ />
<Element TypeNo=”5″ ElementType=”ANSYS_SHELL181″ />


  • all element attributes must be set
  • list of element attributes can be found in section Project Configuration

Color Legend File

Color legend file is used by pdfPost to color finite element according to its value.
<pdfPost_ColorLegend> root element – required for read.
<UndefinedColor> element – If a value assigned to a node or element is out of defined values/ranges of values, undefined color is used. This element is required (one instance).
<LegendColor> element – standard legend color.
Element attributes – each element has the same set of required attributes: Red, Green, Blue, Alpha and Primary. First four attributes have to be an integer (0 – 255, according to ARGB standard). Primary is a boolean (True/False).

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<UndefinedColor Red=”0″ Green=”0″ Blue=”0″ Alpha=”0″/>
<LegendColor Red=”128″ Green=”128″ Blue=”128″ Alpha=”255″ Primary=”True” />
<LegendColor Red=”141″ Green=”180″ Blue=”227″ Alpha=”255″ Primary=”True” />
<LegendColor Red=”83″ Green=”142″ Blue=”213″ Alpha=”255″ Primary=”True” />
<LegendColor Red=”23″ Green=”55″ Blue=”93″ Alpha=”255″ Primary=”True” />
<LegendColor Red=”217″ Green=”151″ Blue=”149″ Alpha=”255″ Primary=”True” />


  • it is recommended to use pdfPost built-in Color Legend Manager
  • it is advised not to overwrite pdfPost system ColorLegend files (in Documents\pdfPost folder).

Plot Layout File

Contains layout (page size, annotation position and size etc.) for PDF page with embeded 3D plot.

<PageSize Width=”297″ Height=”210″/>
<AnnotationDimmensions StartX=”0″ StartY=”5″ Width=”275″ Height=”185″/>
<PlotTitle StartX=”1″ StartY=”205″ FontSize=”5″/>
<PlotDescription StartX=”1″ StartY=”200″ FontSize=”3″/>
<Footer StartX=”1″ StartY=”1″ FontSize=”3″/>
<Legend StartX=”277″ StartY=”0″ Width=”20″ Height=”190″/>
<LegendColor Width=”15″ Height=”7″ FontSize=”3″/>

Symbol Definitions File

Contains definitions of symbols used to export line symbols associated with nodes (forces, moments, mass elements, min/max indicators)

<Symbol Label=”FX” Color=”255;0;0″>
<Point Number=”1″ X=”0.0″ Y=”0.0″ Z=”0.0″ />
<Point Number=”2″ X=”1.0″ Y=”0.0″ Z=”0.0″ />
<Point Number=”3″ X=”0.75″ Y=”0.0″ Z=”0.1″ />
<Point Number=”4″ X=”0.75″ Y=”0.0″ Z=”-0.1″ />
<Point Number=”5″ X=”0.75″ Y=”0.1″ Z=”0.0″ />
<Point Number=”6″ X=”0.75″ Y=”-0.1″ Z=”0.0″ />
<Line P1=”1″ P2=”2″ />
<Line P1=”2″ P2=”3″ />
<Line P1=”2″ P2=”4″ />
<Line P1=”2″ P2=”5″ />
<Line P1=”2″ P2=”6″ />
<Symbol Label=”FY” Color=”255;0;0″>
<Point Number=”7″ X=”0.0″ Y=”0.0″ Z=”0.0″ />
<Point Number=”8″ X=”0.0″ Y=”1.0″ Z=”0.0″ />
<Point Number=”9″ X=”0.0″ Y=”0.75″ Z=”0.1″ />
<Point Number=”10″ X=”0.0″ Y=”0.75″ Z=”-0.1″ />
<Point Number=”11″ X=”0.1″ Y=”0.75″ Z=”0.0″ />
<Point Number=”12″ X=”-0.1″ Y=”0.75″ Z=”0.0″ />
<Line P1=”7″ P2=”8″ />
<Line P1=”8″ P2=”9″ />
<Line P1=”8″ P2=”10″ />
<Line P1=”8″ P2=”11″ />
<Line P1=”8″ P2=”12″ />


  • Nodes are common for all symbols. Node numbers should be continous through all definitions
  • All nodes must have unique numbers

XML Configuration Batch

Contains list of the standard pdfPost XML Configuration files.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<ConfigurationFile FileName=”E:\Projects\Tutorials\Tutorial 6 – Batch Mode\batch1.xml” FileActive=”True” />
<ConfigurationFile FileName=”E:\Projects\Tutorials\Tutorial 6 – Batch Mode\batch2.xml” FileActive=”True” />


  • XML configuration files will be processed one after another. If single configuration file is corrupted or has errors, batch process will stop.