How to optimze the looks of a Gnuplot graph

The plot style for all Gnuplot exports can be customized in Options: Gnuplot settings. This is convenient to achieve uniformous style of the exported graphs e.g. for a presentation. A style-sheet can be used which can be shared within the whole work-group.

Optimize your Gnuplot Graph manually

Alternatively or additionally to the style-sheet you can customize each Gnuplot file on its own. Just open the file with a text editor of your choice and change, add or remove commands.

Collection of some useful gnuplot commands.

Semi-log plot
set logscale x
set logscale y
Change the line thickness (lw 4)
plot 'D:\bandedges.dat' linetype rgb "#FF0000" pt 5 ...
plot 'D:\bandedges.dat' linetype rgb "#FF0000" pt 5 lw 4 ...
Change font size of the x axis (20)
set xlabel "position (nm)" font "sans - serif"
set xlabel "position (nm)" font "sans - serif,20"
Use subscript and superscript (enhanced vs. noenhanced)
plot 'D:\density_hole.dat' using 1:2 title "p (10^{18} cm^{-3})"enhanced ...
plot 'D:\density_hole.dat' using 1:2 title "p (10^18 cm^-3)" noenhanced ...
Change range [\(x_{min}\) , \(x_{max}\) ] and [\(y_{min}\) , \(y_{max}\) ] of the graph
set xrange [-0.3:100.3]
set xrange [0:100]
set yrange [-1.5:2.5]
set yrange [-1.0:0.5]
Set/Remove grid
set grid
unset grid
Change thickness of the border (lw)
set border lw 2
set border lw 3
Set/Remove legend
set key on
set key off
Set/Remove box around legend (box)
set key on ... box
set key on ... nobox
Increase font size in legend
set key on ... font "sans - serif,14"
set key on ... font "sans - serif,18"
Specify the location of legend
set key left top inside ...
set key right bottom outside ...
Remove line from legend (notitle)
plot 'D:\bandedges.dat' using 1:2 title "E_c " ...
plot 'D:\bandedges.dat' using 1:2 notitle "E_c " ...
Add Greek letter to line in legend ("{/Symbol G}" enhanced)
using 1:2 title "{/Symbol G} [eV]" enhanced

produces \(\Gamma\).

e, l, m, q produce \(\epsilon\), \(\lambda\), \(\mu\), and \(\theta\), respectively.

Add a label to the point \((x,y)\) in the plot
set label "label" at 0.5,1.5
Add an arrow
set arrow from 1.5,0.3 to 4,2
Graph Title
set title "title" font "sans - serif,18"

Generate high quality graphs

  1. In gnuplot window: Click on Export plot to file

  2. Save as SVG files (.svg)

  3. Open the saved .svg file with Inkscape

  4. File \(\Rightarrow\) Export .PNG Image… \(\Rightarrow\) Select Drawing \(\Rightarrow\) Export