01 December 2008

Plotting software

Time for some collective wisdom. What are some good, noncommercial (or at least not expensively commercial; matlab does a good job, but the price tag has 4 digits left of the decimal, 2 would be ok) plotting packages? One of the best I ever encountered was CricketGraph, but that was back in 1990 or so. They seem defunct and it's getting hard to run on modern computers. (Impossible with Mac OSX 10.5, doable in 10.4, but it came out in the era of OS 6). Mac or *nix platforms.

I'm not trying to do anything elaborate, just view some data, perhaps multiple x or y axes, logarithmic axes, put labels where I'd like (at a click, not by computing displacements, to name a flaw of GrADS). Data to come from plain text files. I suppose I can insert commas if the software insisted. I'd as soon be able to go to a few hundred thousand data points, and 10,000 or so is definitely required. If it turns out that 'grapher' (shipped with Macs) does the job, I'll register my embarrassment and ask how to make it read in a data file.


Tim Lambert said...

gnuplot: free, and a CLI. Works for me.

Bora Zivkovic said...

I still used CricketGraph III, just keep buying old, used Macs with OS9 or 10 on them. I used them also for another program, Circadia, which has not been updated since 1992, and is essential for my type of data.

quasarpulse said...

Did you get my e-mail re: this topic?

Phil Austin said...

If you already know matlab, then




might not be a huge leap, see:

getting started


scipy for matlab

regards, Phil

Anonymous said...

I use GraphPad Prism.

Not free, but cheap, easy to use, and produces excellent quality graphics. I use it for most of my publications.

The other obvious one is R - it is more fiddly, but useful for certain types of plots and of course has the advantage of being within my programming/stats environment.

John Mashey said...

Another free one is Dataplot, from NIST. I don't know how up to date it is these days.

Anonymous said...

There's also NCL, the "NCAR Command Language" which makes beautiful graphics and is adequate for pretty serious analysis. They also have a python module called PyNGL that replicates NCL in python. Both are free and open source and work great on Macs.

An alternative to matlab is octave, essentially a free clone of matlab. I've had mixed results with it.

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia has a page on this.

You might also like to give MathGV a drive.

If you know Matlab, then give Scilab a try. Other links to Matlab clones can be found here

P. Lewis.

Alex said...

Try also new MagicPlot version. It's free for noncommercial.