Create scientific plots using gnuplot

October 6th, 2010 | 12 Comments

If we want to plot a single point, we can do this by creating a data file, containing only one line:

# x   y
1   2

But there exist an easier method without any additional data file. In Fig. 1 three points with different symbols are plotted.

Three points

Fig. 1 Plot of three single points (code to produce this figure)

To achieve this we just use the following command:

plot '-' w p ls 1, '-' w p ls 2, '-' w p ls 3
1 2
2 1
3 1.5

We use the possibility to tell Gnuplot with the '-' input to read from standard input. Here we tell Gnuplot to do this three times. After the plot command the data is entered. Every single data entry have to ended with the e line.
In order to have different symbols for the points we set them before:

set style line 1 lc rgb 'black' pt 5   # square
set style line 2 lc rgb 'black' pt 7   # circle
set style line 3 lc rgb 'black' pt 9   # triangle

Note: if we want to use the replot command then the above code will not work probably. But the same can be achieved by using:

plot "<echo '1 2'"   with points ls 1, \
     "<echo '2 1'"   with points ls 2, \
     "<echo '3 1.5'" with points ls 3