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Building Plots

Plot Builder in Papeeria allows for building simple plots from CSV files. You can edit your data in a table interface, choose one of the plot types, tweak plot rendering options and finally build the image file using either built-in Gnuplot engine or integration with Plotly service.

This article gives a high-level overview of the plot building workflow.

Loading data into table

When you open any file with .csv extension in the editor, you'll see an additional "tab" called "Table" above the editor pane. When clicked this tab opens a table UI and suggests to load data from the file. You can change parsing options and choose column delimiters, comment chars and specify if there is a header row.

Papeeria remembers the chosen options and will not ask them the next time you open table UI. However, if you need to re-load data using other parsing options, you can always click Load from file button in the table UI.

Data sync between table and editor

Data in the table are not automatically synced with the text editor. Use Save to file and Load from file buttons to write data from table to text and re-load text into the table.

Choosing plot type and data columns

In order to build a plot you need to mark at least one column as holding X values and one or more columns as Y with toggle buttons in the column headers. You also need to choose one of the supported plot types in the dropdown list in the top-left corner.

There is a number of options which you may want to tweak to change the appearance of the plot.

Building plot

Button Build plot in the top right corner of the table UI will build the plot using chosen engine. You can change the engine with choice controls in the Build plot dropdown.


Gnuplot is the default engine and is available to all Papeeria users. We automatically build Gnuplot script from the plot settings, feed it with the data from table, compile on our servers and produce scalable PDF files.


Plotly is third-party service for building plots and charts. We use its REST API on behalf of you, which means that you need to be registered on Plotly and provide us your user name and API access key. You can obtain them from Plotly web site.

In order to build plot using Plotly you need to choose Use Plotly option in Build plot dropdown.

Keep in mind that Plotly produces PNG files which look awesome but may not scale well.

Plotly usage quota

Plotly imposes quotas on its API usage. If you hit hourly or daily limit, you will see an error message and will have to wait until your quota refills.

Saving plot image

We automatically save images produced by plotting engnies into Papeeria project. By default image file sits next to the data file with the same base name and either .pdf or .png extension. You can change the output file location using Save dropdown above the viewer pane. Papeeria remembers this choice and the next time you build the plot we will write the result file at the specified location.