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GRAPH PLOTTERS are output devices that produce graphics, such as diagrams, maps, images, statistical charts etc, on paper.

GRAPH PLOTTERS use pens of different types, varying thickness & different colours, in order to plot.  The pens are usually under the direct or indirect influence of electronic pulses output by the computer.

Plotters are described/ named depending on the type of the base onto which the stationery is placed for the graphical output to be produced onto the paper.

The 2 commonly available Graph plotters are: –

  • The Drum plotter.
  • The Flatbed plotter.

Characteristics of Graph Plotters.

  • They are large in size.
  • They use Ammonia papers.
  • They use special ink.
  • Have a wide carrying capacity.

Uses/ applications of Graph Plotters.

Graph Plotters are used: –

  • In Computer Aided Design (CAD) – are mainly used for printing large architectural or engineering drawings.  In this case, the computer is used to form the graphical design & the Plotter produces the output.
  • In Weather forecasting for drawing Isobars on weather maps.
  • In Statistical work for producing graphs or complicated mathematical formulas.
  • In Cartography to produce contour maps.
  • In Craft & Textile industry for drawing designs.

Advantages of Graph Plotters.

  • Can produce information in an easily understandable form.
  • Their presentation is quick & reliable.
  • They produce large graphical designs of high quality, which are easy to read & use.
  • A Plotter can be used to print even on A1 sized papers, while the largest paper size that can be used with a normal printer is A3.

Disadvantages of Graph Plotters.

  • They require Graphic software, which is usually very expensive.
  • Graph plotters operate at low speeds, hence are normally connected in an Off-line mode to avoid wasting the computer time.


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