What is Plottern?

Plottern is a graphical tool to help find patterns in CSV or TSV data. It is specifically aimed towards signals and time based data and allows you to combine data from multiple sources or files and perform mathematical functions on them.

Each series exists on its own layer that can be dragged and scaled independently which is useful if you need to compare data from different files. It also comes with handy features to combine, clip, extract, align, filter, apply custom formulae and export data you can think of it like an audio editor for your data.

Who is Plottern for?

Plottern is for anyone who uses spreadsheets and graphs to analyse, manipulate and communicate data. Students, teachers, researchers, scientists and engineers, it is even simple for non-technical folk to use.

Do you ever find yourself copying and pasting chunks of spreadsheets, wrangling with graphs that don’t show what you want, searching for anomalous points amongst thousands of cells or creating column after column for complex calculations? If you want an easier way to work with your data, Plottern has the tools you need.

When I would use Plottern?

Plottern is really useful when you want to compare data over time. It doesn’t matter whether that is a vibration in a machine or the area of sea ice over many years. It is useful when you have multiple files containing lots of data that you want to bring into one place which would be time consuming in Excel.

Why not use Excel?

Plottern is designed to work in conjunction with Excel and other spreadsheet applications. It is a great tool when you have a lot of data which would be cumbersome to work with in Excel. It is not designed to replace the job of editing individual cells but rather it is designed to add a powerful set of user friendly tools and features for comparing and analysing data which would be difficult and time consuming in Excel.

Excel and other spreadsheet applications limit the number of rows and columns that can be opened and saved, Plottern does not have any limitations. In some cases Plottern is the ideal tool for trimming and preparing data to be imported into Excel.

What data format does Plottern accept?

Plottern can read most Comma Separated (CSV) and Tab Separated (TSV) files. It does not currently support Excel native files (XLS/XLSX) but this will be added in future releases.

Do CSV files need to be formatted in a special way?

Since CSV files can take many different forms, Plottern is not always able to parse the data. The ideal format is a top header row naming all of the series and then each series laid out in columns beneath each heading.

Multiple tables within one file are not currently supported.

We are working on support for other layouts so if you encounter any issues then submit your file through the application and we will add support as soon as we can.

What can be plotted on the X axis?

When displaying a single CSV, the X axis can display the Index or row number of the data or it can display any other series in the CSV for example if you have a (time) field you can use that instead. When displaying multiple CSVs it uses the index as the common X axis.

How many data points can be displayed

There is no limit on the number of data points which can be displayed. This will vary depending on the specifications of your workstation. Plottern uses multi-threading to improve performance and displays the current number of data points and memory usage.

How many axes does Plottern support?

Currently Plottern supports 1 X axis and unlimited Y axes. Future releases will support a third Z axis.

Does Plottern support Log axes

Yes, simply select the series by click on any of its points and then right click on the axis itself to find the Log axis option.