About Quickplot

a fast interactive 2D plotter

Version 1.0.1rc   repo version 187

Quickplot Home-page


What is Quickplot?

Quickplot is an interactive 2D plotter.  You can very quickly swim through data with Quickplot. 

What can Quickplot do other 2D plotters can't do?

The difference between Quickplot and most 2D plotters is that the primary purpose of Quickplot is to help you quickly interact with your data.  Of secondary importance is to make a pretty static picture of your data.  Features that distinguish Quickplot include: unlimited mouse press (pointer move) and release zooming, mouse grab and slide (new in version 0.9.0), any number of plots with different scales displayed at one time, value picking for any number of plots displayed at one time, and reading data from standard input (a pipe).  These features become indispensable when you're looking at data sets with 10,000 to 10,000,000 and more data points.  You can't look at a 2D plot with a million points unless you can quickly zoom.  If you need to look at hundreds of files each with 100,000 or more points Quickplot may save your sanity.

Quickplot has lots of command line options that let you customize your graphs in one command.  With the Quickplot graphical user interface (GUI) you can read files and remove buffers, add and remove plots in graphs, add and remove graphs, add and remove main windows with any number of graphs, change individual plot line and point widths, change colors of lines, points, background and grid, change graph grid line spacings and line width, copy and remove graphs, save image files, rescale, zoom in and out any number of times, grab and move graphs, examine plotted numbers, and so on.  Quickplot is excellent presenting 2D plots to groups of people if you would like an interactive and flexible presentation format.  Quickplot can also make png images with translucent colors (version 0.9.*).

In most use cases the command to plot your data is quickplot FILENAME and Quickplot's default graphs may be all you need.

Quickplot is more like an interactive data browser than an interactive picture editor.

All future versions of Quickplot will keep the show me the data quickly theme.  This does not rule out additions that make Quickplot a more full-featured 2D plotter that one can make pretty pictures with.

New features in after version 0.8.*

Installation prerequisites

Quickplot uses the GNU Autotools (./configure) to build and install.  To build Quickplot from the distribution source tarball (example: quickplot-1.0.1rc.tar.bz2) the following packages are required to be installed:

Development prerequisites

To build and develop Quickplot from the GIT source the following packages, in addition to the above packages, are required to be installed:

The --enable-developer option flag is required to be set when running configure when building Quickplot from the repository source files. It adds make targets to build files that are not in the source repository but are needed to make a source tarball. Quickplot will fail to build without these generated files.

The name and history of this program

We call it Lanceman's Quickplot in order to distinguish it from another program called Quickplot which predates this program.  It used to be on NeXT computers.  It may have died with NeXT.

This is a complete rewrite, by the original author of the Lanceman's Quickplot which first appeared in 1998, and managed to find its way into the Debian GNU/Linux distribution soon after.

Quickplot started out in 1998 as an Athena Widgets X11 GUI (graphical user interface) program.  In 2003 it was rewritten as a QT GUI program.  In 2004 it was changed to a GTK+ GUI program using the gtkmm C++ wrapper to GTK+.  In 2011 it was rewritten again with C using GTK+, without GTKmm.

Copy Right and Legal Notice

Quickplot -- an interactive 2D plotter

Copyright (C) 1998-2011 Lance Arsenault

Quickplot is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Quickplot is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with Quickplot.  If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html.

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