gnuplot command examples – The


Gnuplot is a versatile and widely used graph plotting program capable of creating graphs and charts in a variety of formats. It is especially popular in the scientific and engineering communities for visualizing data and mathematical functions. Gnuplot supports a wide range of output formats, including interactive displays, image files, and various vector and raster formats. Here are some of the key features and aspects of Gnuplot:

  • plotting capabilities: Gnuplot allows users to create 2D and 3D plots of data sets and mathematical functions. It is suitable for visualizing scientific, engineering and mathematical data.
  • Wide range of output formats: Gnuplot supports output in many formats including interactive displays, PostScript, PNG, GIF, JPEG, LaTeX, PDF and many more. This flexibility makes it easy to integrate Gnuplot into a variety of documents and presentations.
  • command line interface: Gnuplot operates primarily through a command-line interface, which allows users to create plots and customize their appearance by entering commands. This makes it scriptable and suitable for automated data visualization.
  • Scripting and Automation: Users can create scripts to automate the process of creating plots. This is especially useful for repetitive tasks or when dealing with large datasets.
  • multiplatform support: Gnuplot is compatible with various operating systems, including Unix/Linux, macOS, and Windows, making it accessible to a wide range of users.
  • mathematical expressions: Gnuplot supports mathematical expressions, allowing users to plot functions and equations directly. It is beneficial for visualizing mathematical concepts and simulations.
  • Adaptation: Users can customize various aspects of the plot, such as axis labels, titles, row styles, colors, and more. This provides a high level of control over the appearance of the generated graph.
  • Community and Documentation: Gnuplot has an active user community, and its official website (offers extensive documentation, tutorials, and examples to help users get started and get the most of the software.

gnuplot command example

1. Start the interactive graph plotting shell:

2. Plot the graph for the specified graph definition file:

# gnuplot /path/to/definition.plt

3. Set the output format by executing a command before loading the definition file:

# gnuplot -e "set output "//" size 1024,768" /path/to/definition.plt

4. Continue to the graph plot preview window after exiting gnuplot:

# gnuplot --persist /path/to/definition.plt


Whether for academic, scientific or technical purposes, Gnuplot remains a popular choice for creating high-quality visualizations. Its versatility and ease of use make it a valuable tool for those who need to analyze and communicate data through graphical representations.

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By Ranjan