[SciPy-user] plotting modules

Steve Schmerler elcorto at gmx.net
Thu Jun 24 12:32:28 CDT 2004

> hi there,
> the scipy documents presently mention three distinct
> plotting modules (gplt, plt, and xplt), and I'm wondering
> which one fits my needs best. I'm trying to rewrite some
> code that has previously been written for matlab, so what
> I'd like to be able to do is the following:
> * draw 2D and 3D plots/meshes/etc.
> * keep multiple figures open simultaneously and interact
>   with all of them
> * simple user interaction, such as zoom, rotation, querying
>   for coordinates (mouse-to-image mapped), overlay of graphics
>   (for example points, lines, polygons interactively drawn
>   with the mouse on top of a mesh or image)
> Is any of this already possible in one of the plotting modules ?
> If not, is this being worked on ? What are the long-term
> plans for scipy ? What should I be looking into if I wanted
> to contribute ? plt (wxpython) looks like the most advanced
> contender among the three, but I also read about vtk as a future
> candidate for a drawing/plotting module.
> Thanks for any tips,
> 		Stefan


here are some of my scipy-plotting-experiences ....


I've been using xplt for a while now. It's good for a short look at your
data etc. It's pretty fast. There is a mouse-click-zoom function, but this
one is a bit unhandy (compared to Matlab or plt). 3D-plotting is not
supported (or only _without_ a coord-sys, but I'm not sure).
You can find a manual at


xplt can export .eps with the eps(.. filemame ..) function wich is very
helpful for LaTeX-users.


I'll start playing around with it now that it works :) with scipy 0.3x and
wxPython . As you probably have experienced yourself plt has the
most Matlab-like syntax and output. The mouse-click-zoom function is much
better then xplt's. No 3D plots as far as I know. No .eps-export :( (at
least I haven't found a function for doing this; if anyone can give me a
hint ...)


I've played arourd with gplt a bit. If you come from Matlab the syntax may
be a little strange (or not if you are familiar with gnuplot). For example

   plot(x,y,'w lp')

gives lines with points but the title of the graph is a pathname.

   plot(x,y,'title "" w lp')

removes the annoying title, hmmm. The plots look fine, similar to plt. There
are some 3D capabilities as it is a wrapper for gnuplot (as you probably
have read on the scipy-page). On my machine it is the most slow plotting
package (on Win32, it calls wgnuplot). I havn't tested it on Linux jet.
I think I exported an .eps with the export(...) function, but it's been a


You may have a look at


where you can find further links to other plotting packages.

Have fun :)


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it is very, very good; and when it's bad, it
is better than nothing." -- Dick Brandon

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