I have tried various tools for making scientific plots and graphs in my papers and have almost exclusively used Matlab, mainly because of its capabilities of exporting to eps for integration in LaTeX. Recently, I was challenged with a large dataset contained in a LibreOffice Calc spreadsheet. I wanted to be able to plot various interactions in the data and easy generate several plots from the same dataset. The software package Veusz (pronounced “views”) came to the rescue: http://home.gna.org/veusz/

The programme is written in python, is crossplatform, and uses PyQt and numpy to make its plots. The main features I enjoyed when creating the figures for my paper were:

  • Export to numerous formats, including pdf, eps, svg, etc.
  • Dataset creation and, importantly, manipulation (statistics such as min, max, avg, etc.)
  • Easy import from spreadsheets by first exporting to CSV and then importing to Veusz
  • Nice tree structure for sorting and handling several figures at the same time
  • Full control and tailoring of colours, symbols, sizes, axes, etc.
  • Everything is stored in a single human-readable text file containing the generated python code (Veusz is basically just a frontend to a list of python commands)

I am very inclined to use this programme for future scientific plots and graphs.

See the website for screenshots and example plots.

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