Skill Pill: gnuplot

Skill Pill: gnuplot is a stand-alone specialized plotting tool that allows you to produce highly customized plots...

gnuplot is a classic free software that generate 2D and 3D plots of various data and data fits. It has a long history of being used for scientific publications and if you might benefit from learning how to use it.

If you have some interest to learn how to use gnuplot, please sign up the form below.


The teachers will be Juan Polo Gomez (postdoc) and Ruxandra Cojocaru (technician).

Target audience

This Skill Pill should be suitable for any audience who has an interest in producing plots for scientific publications.

A minimal background in programming in any language and minimal knowledge of command line tools would certainly help, but is not compulsory to get you started.

Program of the Second Edition (August 2020)

The Skill Pill will take part in three sessions, and one optional session for technical help installing gnuplot:

Date Time Topic Teacher
Monday, August 17 2PM - 3PM [optional] Help with installing gnuplot Jeremie
Monday, August 17 3PM - 5PM Basics: making plots, using variables, customizing... Juan Polo
Wednesday, August 19 3PM - 5PM Mid-level: fits, enhanced scatter plots, histograms...  Ruxandra
Monday, August 24 3PM - 5PM Advanced: for loops, animations, tables, fancy plots... Juan Polo

You will find the material of the course (slides, data) here.

Program of the First Edition (November 2016)

The teachers of this edition were James Schloss (PhD student) and Albert Benseny Cases (postdoc), two Skill Pill veterans who did not waste a minute of your time!

Date and time Topic Teacher
Mon. Nov. 14, 5~7PM Basics: making plots, making pretty plots, using variables...  James Schloss
Mon. Nov. 21, 5~7 PM Advanced: scripting, exporting animations, fancy plots, fits... Albert Benseny Cases

More information

  • Location: B701, Computer Lab, Lab 3.
  • Zoom link: if you prefer joining remotely, or if B701 exceeds 50% capacity, you can join using this link. Unfortunately, we won't be able to provide much help with the hands-on part via Zoom. 
  • What to bring:  your laptop with gnuplot already installed on it
    • For Linux: install with package manager (apt-get install gnuplot) or download and install tar.gz from here.
    • For Mac: download and install XQuartz, reboot, and install gnuplot with brew (brew install gnuplot) or from here
    • For Windows: download the .exe file from here. Run the .exe, install, add gnuplot to start menu/desktop, run it from there.
    • Gnuplot is sometimes a little tricky to install, so try it ahead of time and come to the optional session on the first day if you need help!
  • YouTube: this Skill Pill might be recorded and uploaded on YouTube, only the teacher will be seen. Contact Jeremie Gillet if you have reservations about this.
  • Drinks: There will be free coffee and tea, bring your cup!

If you are interested in the course but cannot participate to this particular event, let us know and we will contact you for any later occurrence of the Skill Pill.

Thank you very much for your interest.

Have you used it before? How comfortable are you with it?
Why are you interested in this Skill Pill? Is there a particular thing you would like to learn?