function plotting (was: Re: [NTG-context] Q: about \externalfile from metafun-p.pdf)

Mojca Miklavec mojca.miklavec.lists at
Tue Oct 4 19:48:34 CEST 2005

Alexander Lazic wrote:
> On Mon 03.10.2005 19:26, Christopher Creutzig wrote:
> >
> > MetaPost is not really a function plotter.  So, yes, you have to use
> >some sort of loop, although there may be some predefined macros hiding
> >them.
> Is there a better way in ConTeXt/tex for this?!
> Should i use some external Programms for this?
> al ;-)

I use gnuplot which makes graphs of superb visual quality and has
extensive support for many different function manipulations and weird
stuff that you want to do with it. I do something like:

set terminal latex
set output "file.tex"
set title '\bf My wonderful function $sin(\omega t)$'
set xlabel '$t\ \rm[s]$'
set ylabel '$A$'
plot sin(x)

and then "\input file" inside of the main LaTeX file. Gnuplot cannot
make output in ConTeXt (yet), but perhaps you can include the
resulting PDFs in your ConTeXt source. (Gnuplot is one of the very few
examples where I still use LaTeX.) You can also output the
(ConTeXt-friendly) metapost (with set terminal), but you lose on


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