This tutorial comes from Gnuplot home page.

**1 **GNUPLOT – version 4.0

Gnuplot is a free, command-driven,interactive, function and data plotting program. Pre-compiled, executeables and source code for Gnuplot 4.0 may be downloaded for Windows, OS2, DOS, and Linux.

The important enhancements provided by version 4.0 are described here.

On Unix/Linux systems start Gnuplot by simply typing:

gnuplot

For help on any topic type **help** followed by the name of the topic.

Full documentation is provided here.

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**2. FUNCTIONS **

In general, any mathematical expression accepted by C, FORTRAN, Pascal, or

BASIC may be plotted. The precedence of operators is determined by the

specifications of the C programming language.

The supported functions include:

__________________________________________________________ Function Returns ----------- ------------------------------------------ abs(x) absolute value of x, |x| acos(x) arc-cosine of x asin(x) arc-sine of x atan(x) arc-tangent of x cos(x) cosine of x, x is in radians. cosh(x) hyperbolic cosine of x, x is in radians erf(x) error function of x exp(x) exponential function of x, base e inverf(x) inverse error function of x invnorm(x) inverse normal distribution of x log(x) log of x, base e log10(x) log of x, base 10 norm(x) normal Gaussian distribution function rand(x) pseudo-random number generator sgn(x) 1 if x > 0, -1 if x < 0, 0 if x=0 sin(x) sine of x, x is in radians sinh(x) hyperbolic sine of x, x is in radians sqrt(x) the square root of x tan(x) tangent of x, x is in radians tanh(x) hyperbolic tangent of x, x is in radians ___________________________________________________________ Bessel, gamma, ibeta, igamma, and lgamma functions are also supported. Many functions can take complex arguments. Binary and unary operators are also supported. Â

The supported operators in Gnuplot are the same as the corresponding

operators in the C programming language, except that most operators accept

integer, real, and complex arguments. The ** operator (exponentiation) is

supported as in FORTRAN. Parentheses may be used to change the order of

evaluation. The variable names x, y, and z are used as the default independent

variables.

**3. THE plot AND splot COMMANDS **

**plot** and **splot** are the primary commands in Gnuplot. They plot

functions and data in many many ways. **plot** is used to plot 2-d functions

and data, while **splot** plots 3-d surfaces and data.

Syntax: plot {[ranges]} {[function] | {"[datafile]" {datafile-modifiers}}} {axes [axes] } { [title-spec] } {with [style] } {, {definitions,} [function] ...} Â

where either a [function] or the name of a data file enclosed in quotes is

supplied. For more complete descriptions, type: help plot help plot with help

plot using or help plot smooth .

**3.1 Plotting Functions **

To plot functions simply type: plot [function] at the gnuplot> prompt.

For example, try:

gnuplot> plot sin(x) gnuplot> splot sin(x*y/20) gnuplot> plot sin(x) title 'Sine Function', tan(x) title 'Tangent'

**3.2 Plotting Data **

Discrete data contained in a file can be displayed by specifying the name of

the data file (enclosed in quotes) on the **plot** or **splot** command

line. Data files should have the data arranged in columns of numbers. Columns

should be separated by white space (tabs or spaces) only, (no commas). Lines

beginning with a # character are treated as comments and are ignored by Gnuplot.

A blank line in the data file results in a break in the line connecting data

points.

For example your data file, force.dat , might look like:

# This file is called force.dat # Force-Deflection data for a beam and a bar # Deflection Col-Force Beam-Force 0.000 0 0 0.001 104 51 0.002 202 101 0.003 298 148 0.0031 290 149 0.004 289 201 0.0041 291 209 0.005 310 250 0.010 311 260 0.020 280 240

You can display your data by typing:

gnuplot> plot "force.dat" using 1:2 title 'Column', "force.dat" using 1:3 title 'Beam' Â

Do not type blank space after the line continuation character, “” .

Your

data may be in multiple data files. In this case you may make your plot by using

a command like:

gnuplot> plot "fileA.dat" using 1:2 title 'data A', "fileB.dat" using 1:3 title 'data B'

For information on plotting 3-D data, type:

gnuplot> help splot datafile