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Chapter 1: Introduction

by Not dedicated last modified 2006-09-05 03:13 PM Miller S. Puckette
Pd Documentation chapter 1: introduction
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This is the HTML documentation for the Pd computer program. Pd is free and can be downloaded from the internet; go to to get it.

1.1. guide to the documentation

Pd's documentation consists of:

  • this HTML manual
  • "reference" patches, one for each kind of object in Pd
  • "example" patches showing how to do things
  • sample C code

This manual has five sections:

  1. this overview
  2. a theory of operations, explaining how Pd works
  3. instructions on installing Pd and getting it to run
  4. how to write C extensions to Pd
  5. release notes and known bugs

In order to consult the reference and example patches, you'll first have to get Pd started as explained in this manual.

For a list of all the objects you can use in Pd, see the text file, "0.INTRO.txt" in the directory, "../5.reference". To get help on any Pd object you can right click on it; or you can browse the help patches by choosing "Pure Documentation..." in the Pd help menu and looking in 5.reference.

The example patches are also available from the "Pure Documentation..." item in Pd's "help" menu. The example patches appear in subdirectories named "2.control.examples", "" and "4.fft.examples." Some additional patches in "7.stuff" might also be helpful.

To get started writing your own C extensions, refer to chapter 4 of this manual.

1.2. other resources

Most of the interesting resources related to Pd show up on the Pd mailing list, maintained by Iohannes Zmoelnig. To subscribe or browse the archives visit: . This is the best source of recent information regarding installation problems and bugs. It is perfectly reasonable to post "newbie" questions on this list; alternatively you can contact for help.

Many extensions to Pd are announced on the mailing list. In particular, for people interested in graphics, there is a A 3D graphics rendering package, named GEM, based on OpenGL, was written by Mark Danks, adapted to Linux by Guenter Geiger, and is now maintained by Iohannes Zmoelnig. GEM runs on Windows and Linux and probably will run with some coaxing on IRIX. You can get it from: .

A video processing package, Framestein, is by Juha Vehvilainen. This runs on Windows only: .

Here are some more Pd links (in the order I found them):
Miller Puckette's home page
Guenter Geiger's home page
Mark Dank's home page
Pd page on Wonk (Klaus)
Johannes M Zmoelnig
Norbert Math's Pd page
Thomas Musil's IEMLIB
jfm3's Pure Data FAQ and downloads (also available in Japanese translation).
Nicolas Lhommet's WikiWikiWeb page for Pd
Norbert's searchable list of all known Pd objects
Krzysztof Czaja's MIDI file support
David Sabine's Pd Documentation Project: new, highly detailed help windows
Fernando Pablo Lopez's augmented Pd RPMs from Planet CCRMA

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