"A plotting tool is computer software which helps to
analyze and visualize data, often of a scientific nature. Using
this type of software, users can generate plots of functions, data
and data fits. Software of this nature typically includes
additional functionality, such as data analysis functions including
"A good plotting tool is very important for generating
professional looking graphics for inclusion in academic papers.
However, plotting tools are not just useful for academics and
scientists. Many users will need to plot graphs on occasions.
"Fortunately, Linux is well endowed with plotting software.
There are some heavyweight commercial Linux applications which
include plotting functionality. These include MATLAB, Maple, and
Mathematica. However, we are fervent advocates of open source
software. The purpose of this article is to help promote open
source plotting tools that are available.
"To provide an insight into the quality of software that is
available, we have compiled a list of 11 excellent plotting tools.
Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone
interested in producing high quality graphs."