You must use a reasonably recent version of Gnuplot (>4.4).


It is a good idea to specify line styles, e.g.

set style line 1 linetype 1 linecolor 0 linewidth "3pt"
set style line 2 linetype 1 linecolor 3 linewidth "3pt"
set style line 3 linetype 1 linecolor 1 linewidth "3pt"
set style line 4 linetype 1 linecolor 2 linewidth "3pt"
set style line 5 linetype 1 linecolor 4 linewidth "3pt"

Always specify the exact size at which the figure will be printed when setting the terminal. Then, place the axes on the canvas by explicitly specifying the margins.

set lmargin at screen 0.1 
set bmargin at screen 0.135
set tmargin at screen 0.95
set rmargin at screen 0.95

See pulse.plt or pulse_multi.plt for an example.

Creating Encapsulated Postscript (EPS)

Example terminal for generating EPS:

set term postscript eps size 7.5cm,4.7cm clip enhanced color font 'Arial' 11

The plot should fit exactly in the specified size, but sometimes Gnuplot screws up the bounding box. You may have to edit the resulting postscript file:

  • Open the eps file in gv, from the State menu, select “Watch file”
  • Open the eps file in vim, go to the bounding box line near the top, which looks something like

    %%BoundingBox: 50 50 262 182

    The numbers are left, bottom, right, top, in (“big”) postscript points (1/72 inch), measured from the bottom left of the page.

  • Edit the bounding box parameters. You may use the units program to do conversion between postscript points and cm, e.g.

    You have: (262-50) postscriptpoint 
    You want: cm
              * 7.47888888888888914152630604804
              / 0.133709701381666906661038751736

    gv should show you instantaneous feedback on the bounding box

Creating PDF

You may be able to use a pdf-terminal from gnuplot directly. Otherwise, create an EPS file first and convert it to PDF with epstopdf (which is just a wrapper around gs). The resulting pdf file should be cropped correctly to the postscript bounding box. If it is not, use pdfcrop. Check the page size with pdfinfo and possibly repeat the use of pdfcrop with an approprate --margins option.