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Win a Free Copy of My gnuplot Cookbook

This contest has ended and the winners have been notified. Stay tuned — there may be another contest later in the year.

Win a Free Copy of My Guide to gnuplot

I have teamed up with Packt Publishing to organize a simple contest. We will choose three winners, who will receive free copies of my new book on gnuplot. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

Overview of the gnuplot Cookbook

I have written the gnuplot Cookbook* The “g” is indeed officially lower-case. to be useful for beginners as well as advanced gnuplotters. The book covers all the new features added to gnuplot in version 4.4 in some detail.

I cover all of gnuplot’s graph styles and many of their variations and permutations. The book is called a “cookbook” because it is organized as a series of examples, each one with working code (the “recipes”) and an illustration. You can flip through the book, looking through the illustrations for the type of graph you want to create, and find a code sample ready to modify and run. All the code is also supplied in electronic form for purchasers of the paperback or any of the electronic book formats.

There is considerable emphasis on using gnuplot in concert with programming and document preparation systems. I have included examples of the many ways of using gnuplot with LaTeX and on the web, and even show how to write a web application using gnuplot on the back end. There are examples of using gnuplot with several programming languages, including C, Python, and Clojure.

To see the table of contents and download a free sample chapter, visit the publisher’s book page.

How to Enter

To enter the contest, simply visit the publisher’s book page, find out all about the gnuplot Cookbook, and come back here. Then, click on my comment link and let us know what interests you most about this book. That’s all there is to it. We’ll pick the three most interesting or useful comments and award them free copies (winners from the U.S. and Europe can either choose a physical copy of the book or an eBook. Users from other locales are limited to the eBook only.) As you may know, my comment system uses email — be sure to send your comment from an address where you can be reached in case you are a winner. And, as always, your email address will not be published nor shared.

Good luck! The deadline is in two weeks: all comments must be received by July 5 July 13, 2012. (You are welcome to comment after that, and there may be further contests, but the winners of this one will be chosen on that date.)

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Comments are handled through email. Please send mail to if you would like me to include it here. I will never expose your email address. Let me know if you want me to hide your name, as well.

Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2012

From: David Mann

I have been using Gnuplot since the last millennium but must admit, my creations are the plot equivalent of my first car, a 1980 Dodge Colt. Not much to look at but they'll get you there.

I am chomping at the bit to get at Chapters 2,3, and 4 which cover Labels and Legends, Colors and Styles, and Controlling Tics. My plots are putting my colleagues to sleep, time to wake them up!

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012

I like the news about the extended web section. Would like to see more scientific graphing for "quick and dirty" illustrations like multi wall carbon nanotubes, etc..

From: tony

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012

I love using gnuplot and having an up-to-date cookbook will be wonderful. I look forward to reading the section on formatting axes for dates and times - my biggest challenge!

... and a headache with any plotting software. I hope the book helps.

From: Richard B. Langley

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012

It looks like an extremely useful book. I have downloaded Chapter 10 and have already benefited from it. Although I own a copy of Gnuplot in Action, it looks like your book takes a different approach and might be a more useful reference. I'm really just a dabbler (so far) with gnuplot but have produced simple plots for the GPS scientific community such as this one [pdf] which shows the periods of visibility of the GPS satellites during a particular day here at UNB as determined from an actual observation file.

And the one attached, which shows the strength of received GPS signals (in dB-Hz on the L1 frequency) as a function of the position of the satellite in the sky (polar plot of elevation angle vs. azimiuth).

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book.

Thanks for your entry, and those beautiful plots. The GPS system is interesting to physicists because it’s the only example of a technology whose design needs to take into account general relativity. Gnuplot in Action is an excellent book, by the way.

From: Adam Russell

Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2012

I typically use Gnuplot indirectly through my own data analysis software. The documentation of accessing Gnuplot functions from various languages is often sparse and I look forward to the Cookbook’s coverage of this use case. Of particular interest is the section on accessing Gnuplot via C!

From: [Name withheld]

Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2012


I use gnuplot either from a terminal or from a script. I mostly use it to plot 2D and 3D functions to illustrate courses for my students. It's the quicker way I know to show a plot. It's really easy to show what happens when modifying a parameter. Here is an example with the sinc function.

The end of the chapter 6 "Making interactive plot for the web" could be of great interest for me and I also hope to learn new techniques to help me make beautiful plots! (chapter 6, High quality graphics, maybe)

That’s a beautiful example. Thanks for your entry!

Links to products on Amazon earn me a small commission when you buy through them. Thank you for your support.

* The “g” is indeed officially lower-case.

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