Creating informative graphs with plotutils

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Further Possibilities

Apart from the Graph program, plotutils provides other useful programs. Among the options are Plot , a universal converter for Graph output; Pic2plot , which translates Pic drawings, Plotfont for displaying character maps of fonts; and Spline for "smoothing" data. Additional exotic programs can be used for more specialized tasks.

Spline reads data either from standard input or from a file, processes it, and then writes it out as a data stream in the standard output channel. The data can then be fished out for Graph processing:

$ spline input_data | graph -TX ...

In Figure 9, you can see the example of a curve that was "smoothed" by Spline and output to Graph.

Figure 9: Data "smoothed" by Spline.


Viewing numerical data as graphs using plotutils is a pleasure – provided the data is in a reasonable format and can be quickly converted. Because of X mode, you don't need to generate an output file, and automatically closing the output window with a mouse click proves ideal for this purpose.

If you want cleanly created graphs for presentations or other purposes, you should definitely consider generating SVG output and then editing it with Inkscape. The original documentation [2] for plotutils reveals many more details.

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