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Home » , , » PLplot is a cross-platform software package for creating scientific plots.

PLplot is a cross-platform software package for creating scientific plots.

PlPlot is a cross-platform software package for creating scientific plots. To help accomplish that task it is organized as a core C library, language bindings for that library, and device drivers which control how the plots are presented in non-interactive and interactive plotting contexts.

The PLplot core library can be used to create standard x-y plots, semi-log plots, log-log plots, contour plots, 3D surface plots, mesh plots, bar charts and pie charts.

Multiple graphs (of the same or different sizes) may be placed on a single page, and multiple pages are allowed for those device formats that support them.

PLplot has core support for Unicode. This means for our many Unicode-aware devices that plots can be labelled using the enormous selection of Unicode mathematical symbols.


A large subset of our Unicode-aware devices also support complex text layout (CTL) languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Indic and Indic-derived CTL scripts such as Devanagari, Thai, Lao, and Tibetan.

A number of compiled and interpreted languages have access to PLplot, see our list of language bindings.

PLplot device drivers support a number of different file formats for non-interactive plotting and a number of different platforms that are suitable for interactive plotting. It is easy to add new device drivers to PLplot by writing a small number of device dependent routines.

PLplot is free software primarily licensed under the LGPL.

Cross Platform.
PLplot is currently known to work on the following platforms:
    Linux, Mac OS X, and other Unices
    Windows (2000, XP and Vista)
PLplot is built on the above platforms using our CMake-based build system.
Language Bindings
There are many bindings to the PLplot library

    Fortran 77/90
Output file formats
PLplot device drivers support a number of plotting file formats.
Interactive Platforms
PLplot device drivers support a number of platforms that are suitable for interactive plotting.


Source Code.

All our Windows users and many of our Unix users build PLplot from source code using our build system that is implemented with CMake following the directions in our wiki. PLplot source code can be accessed a number of ways. You can obtain the latest stable version of PLplot from our file release site. Alternatively, you can obtain the cutting-edge version of PLplot (but with no promises about stability) using

git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/plplot/plplot plplot.git

Finally, you can browse our git repository here.

Binary Packages.

A number of third-party binary packages for PLplot are available. Binary packages are provided by at least the following Linux distributions:

Binary packages are provided by at least the following Mac OS X distributions:

To our knowledge no binary packages for PLplot are currently available for Windows platforms so our Windows users must build PLplot from source.


These examples were generated with the pngcairo device and reflect the status of PLplot-5.9.7.
Select a thumbnail to view full-size image and source code.

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