External data in this context refers to data not stored in the principal database. The external data format is a simple text file that can be either space- or comma-delimited. In most cases, the files consist of a set of coordinates followed by a numeric value to be plotted (e.g., X, Y, value). In some instances, such as 3D contouring and 3D classed post plots, the files also include an elevation value (e.g., X, Y, Z, value).
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