Stuff I've added to gnuplot and other work in progress

This web page has samples of recent features in the development version of gnuplot, plus a few that aren't yet even in the development version because they are still being worked on.

Work in progress (December 2016)

Angular tics around perimeter of polar plot
  • "set ttics" defines tic labels around the outermost circle of the polar grid. Options are like those for other "set [axis]tics" commands.
  • The polar grid itself can now be controlled separately from the polar coordinate mode. That is, you can place a polar grid on a plot that uses cartesian x/y coordinates.

Work in progress (March 2016)

Nonlinear axes
Patchset 728 on Sourceforge (now in CVS for 5.1) implements a general mechanism for defining nonlinear axes. Here are examples of how this can be used.

New terminal (December 2016)

New sixel terminal
Patchset 742 from Bastian Maerkisch ( now in CVS for 5.1 ) adds a new sixel terminal based on libgd and sixel code from To get the full benefit on linux you need a terminal emulator that supports 256-color sixel graphics. The ones I know of that work out-of-the-box are mlterm and rlogin. The standard xterm and its derivatives emulate only the 16-color vt340 by default; sixel graphics and 256 color support are configuration options that may or may not have been chosen when your copy of the program was built. If you know of other alternatives, please let me know!
New sixel terminal

Some lesser-known features in Gnuplot

Alignment of 2D and 3D plot boundaries

The "set [lrtb]margin at screen XX" command allows lining up multiplot components so that their edges match up exactly

Use of 3D impulses to display heat maps

This technique works well when you have individual values for many x/y data points rather than a smooth surface.

Clusters of Stacked Histograms

Plot generated by the following input script and data file.

Extra information associated with each point in a data file

Here is a neat plot that uses the "with labels" style to place city names at their geographic coordinates, with the population indicated by font size.
Click for full-size image

Ethan A Merritt
December 2016