orgtbl-ascii-plot.el – plots in ascii-art

Table of Contents

What about text-only plots in tables ?

All in Emacs, without any external package.

A few examples

| ! |  x |    sin(x/4) |              |
|---+----+-------------+--------------|
| # |  0 |           0 | WWWWWW       |
| # |  1 |  0.32719470 | WWWWWWWW     |
| # |  2 |  0.61836980 | WWWWWWWWWh   |
| # |  3 |  0.84147098 | WWWWWWWWWWW  |
| # |  4 |  0.97193790 | WWWWWWWWWWWV |
| # |  5 |  0.99540796 | WWWWWWWWWWWW |
| # |  6 |  0.90929743 | WWWWWWWWWWWu |
| # |  7 |  0.72308588 | WWWWWWWWWW-  |
| # |  8 |  0.45727263 | WWWWWWWWh    |
| # |  9 |  0.14112001 | WWWWWWV      |
| # | 10 | -0.19056796 | WWWWH        |
| # | 11 | -0.50127705 | WWW          |
| # | 12 | -0.75680250 | Wu           |
| # | 13 | -0.92901450 | ;            |
| # | 14 | -0.99895492 |              |
| # | 15 | -0.95892427 | :            |
| # | 16 | -0.81332939 | W.           |
| # | 17 | -0.57819824 | WWu          |
| # | 18 | -0.27941550 | WWWW-        |
| # | 19 | 0.050127010 | WWWWWW-      |
| # | 20 |  0.37415123 | WWWWWWWW:    |
| # | 21 |  0.65698660 | WWWWWWWWWH   |
| # | 22 |  0.86749687 | WWWWWWWWWWW: |
| # | 23 |  0.98250779 | WWWWWWWWWWWH |
| # | 24 |  0.98935825 | WWWWWWWWWWWH |
| # | 25 |  0.88729411 | WWWWWWWWWWW- |
| # | 26 |  0.68755122 | WWWWWWWWWW.  |
| # | 27 |  0.41211849 | WWWWWWWWu    |
| # | 28 | 0.091317236 | WWWWWWu      |
| # | 29 | -0.23953677 | WWWWl        |
| # | 30 | -0.54402111 | WWh          |
| # | 31 | -0.78861628 | W-           |
#+TBLFM: $3=sin($x/3);R::$4='(orgtbl-ascii-draw $3 -1 1)
| ! |  x | x^2 |              |
|---+----+-----+--------------|
| # |  0 |   0 |              |
| # |  1 |   1 | .            |
| # |  2 |   4 | :            |
| # |  3 |   9 | u            |
| # |  4 |  16 | W            |
| # |  5 |  25 | Wu           |
| # |  6 |  36 | WW:          |
| # |  7 |  49 | WWH          |
| # |  8 |  64 | WWWV         |
| # |  9 |  81 | WWWWH        |
| # | 10 | 100 | WWWWWW       |
| # | 11 | 121 | WWWWWWW-     |
| # | 12 | 144 | WWWWWWWWl    |
| # | 13 | 169 | WWWWWWWWWW.  |
| # | 14 | 196 | WWWWWWWWWWWV |
#+TBLFM: $3=$x*$x::$4='(orgtbl-ascii-draw $3 0 200)
| ! |  x |   sqrt(x) |              |
|---+----+-----------+--------------|
| # |  0 |         0 |              |
| # |  1 |         1 | WWW          |
| # |  2 | 1.4142136 | WWWW:        |
| # |  3 | 1.7320508 | WWWWW:       |
| # |  4 |         2 | WWWWWW       |
| # |  5 | 2.2360680 | WWWWWWh      |
| # |  6 | 2.4494897 | WWWWWWW-     |
| # |  7 | 2.6457513 | WWWWWWWH     |
| # |  8 | 2.8284271 | WWWWWWWWu    |
| # |  9 |         3 | WWWWWWWWW    |
| # | 10 | 3.1622777 | WWWWWWWWWu   |
| # | 11 | 3.3166248 | WWWWWWWWWH   |
| # | 12 | 3.4641016 | WWWWWWWWWW;  |
| # | 13 | 3.6055513 | WWWWWWWWWWV  |
| # | 14 | 3.7416574 | WWWWWWWWWWW: |
| # | 15 | 3.8729833 | WWWWWWWWWWWl |
| # | 16 |         4 | WWWWWWWWWWWW |
#+TBLFM: $3=sqrt($x)::$4='(orgtbl-ascii-draw $3 0 4)
| ! |  x |         1/x |              |
|---+----+-------------+--------------|
| # |  1 |           1 | WWWWWWWWWWWW |
| # |  2 |         0.5 | WWWWWW       |
| # |  3 |  0.33333333 | WWWW         |
| # |  4 |        0.25 | WWW          |
| # |  5 |         0.2 | WW;          |
| # |  6 |  0.16666667 | WW           |
| # |  7 |  0.14285714 | Wh           |
| # |  8 |       0.125 | Wu           |
| # |  9 |  0.11111111 | W-           |
| # | 10 |         0.1 | W:           |
| # | 11 | 0.090909091 | W.           |
| # | 12 | 0.083333333 | W            |
| # | 13 | 0.076923077 | H            |
| # | 14 | 0.071428571 | H            |
| # | 15 | 0.066666667 | V            |
| # | 16 |      0.0625 | V            |
| # | 17 | 0.058823529 | h            |
#+TBLFM: $3=1/$x::$4='(orgtbl-ascii-draw $3 0 1)

How to

1- Install it.

  • Through ELPA (Emacs package system). Add the repository to your .emacs:

    (add-to-list 'package-archives '("melpa" . "http://melpa.milkbox.net/packages/") t)
    

    List all packages with M-x packages-list-packages, look for orgtbl-ascii-plot and install it.

  • Alternatively, download the lisp file https://github.com/tbanel/orgtblasciiplot/blob/master/orgtbl-ascii-plot.el and load it (for example by typing M-x load-file RET orgtbl-ascii-plot.el RET)

2- Put the cursor on the column to plot.

3- Type

  • either C-c " a
  • or M-x orgtbl-ascii-plot

This adds a new ascii-art column.

4- The width in characters of the plot may be specified with a numeric prefix:

  • Esc 30 C-c " a
  • Esc 30 M-x orgtbl-ascii-plot

Additional details

The column containing the plot has a column formula. When the data column changes, refresh the plot with C-u C-c *.

The plotting column may be handled in the same way as any other:

  • remove with M-S-left
  • moved left with M-left
  • moved right with M-right

The column formula may be changed. Here is how it works:

'(orgtbl-ascii-draw $3 15 75 12)
  • $3 is the reference to the data column, here the third column.
  • 15 is the minimum value to be displayed (values lower than that will display "too small")
  • 75 is the maximum value to be displayed (values higher than that will display "too large")
  • 12 is the width of the column, it is optional, and defaults to 12

Lisp code (pure ascii)

Example of extension: unicode characters

Here are two examples of different styles.

Unicode block characters are used to give a smooth effect. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_Elements. Use one of those drawing functions:

  • orgtbl-ascii-draw (the default ascii)
  • orgtbl-uc-draw-grid (unicode with a grid effect)
  • orgtbl-uc-draw-cont (smooth unicode)

This is best viewed with the "DejaVu Sans Mono" font (use M-x set-default-font).

Be aware that unicode support is not available everywhere. For instance, LaTex export will not work. If you plan to export your Org document, either draw pure ascii plots, or use ascii plots only for quick and throwable visualization.

| ! |  x |    sin(x/4) | ascii        | uc grid      | uc cont      |
|---+----+-------------+--------------+--------------+--------------|
| # |  0 |           0 | WWWWWW       | ▉▉▉▉▉▉       | ██████       |
| # |  1 |  0.32719470 | WWWWWWWH     | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▊     | ███████▉     |
| # |  2 |  0.61836980 | WWWWWWWWWh   | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▋   | █████████▋   |
| # |  3 |  0.84147098 | WWWWWWWWWWW  | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉  | ███████████  |
| # |  4 |  0.97193790 | WWWWWWWWWWWV | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▊ | ███████████▊ |
| # |  5 |  0.99540796 | WWWWWWWWWWWW | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉ | ████████████ |
| # |  6 |  0.90929743 | WWWWWWWWWWW; | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▍ | ███████████▍ |
| # |  7 |  0.72308588 | WWWWWWWWWW-  | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▎  | ██████████▎  |
| # |  8 |  0.45727263 | WWWWWWWWh    | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▋    | ████████▊    |
| # |  9 |  0.14112001 | WWWWWWV      | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▊      | ██████▊      |
| # | 10 | -0.19056796 | WWWWV        | ▉▉▉▉▊        | ████▊        |
| # | 11 | -0.50127705 | WWH          | ▉▉▊          | ██▉          |
| # | 12 | -0.75680250 | W;           | ▉▍           | █▍           |
| # | 13 | -0.92901450 | ;            | ▎            | ▍            |
| # | 14 | -0.99895492 |              |              |              |
| # | 15 | -0.95892427 | :            | ▏            | ▏            |
| # | 16 | -0.81332939 | W.           | ▉            | █            |
| # | 17 | -0.57819824 | WWu          | ▉▉▍          | ██▌          |
| # | 18 | -0.27941550 | WWWW-        | ▉▉▉▉▎        | ████▎        |
| # | 19 | 0.050127010 | WWWWWW-      | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▎      | ██████▎      |
| # | 20 |  0.37415123 | WWWWWWWW:    | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▏    | ████████▎    |
| # | 21 |  0.65698660 | WWWWWWWWWH   | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▊   | █████████▉   |
| # | 22 |  0.86749687 | WWWWWWWWWWW: | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▏ | ███████████▏ |
| # | 23 |  0.98250779 | WWWWWWWWWWWH | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▊ | ███████████▉ |
| # | 24 |  0.98935825 | WWWWWWWWWWWH | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▊ | ███████████▉ |
| # | 25 |  0.88729411 | WWWWWWWWWWW- | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▎ | ███████████▎ |
| # | 26 |  0.68755122 | WWWWWWWWWW.  | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▏  | ██████████▏  |
| # | 27 |  0.41211849 | WWWWWWWW;    | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▉▍    | ████████▍    |
| # | 28 | 0.091317236 | WWWWWWu      | ▉▉▉▉▉▉▍      | ██████▌      |
| # | 29 | -0.23953677 | WWWWu        | ▉▉▉▉▍        | ████▌        |
| # | 30 | -0.54402111 | WWh          | ▉▉▋          | ██▋          |
| # | 31 | -0.78861628 | W:           | ▉▏           | █▎           |
#+TBLFM: $3=sin($x/3);R::$5='(orgtbl-uc-draw-grid $3 -0.99895492 0.99540796 12)::$6='(orgtbl-uc-draw-cont $3 -0.99895492 0.99540796 12)::$4='(orgtbl-ascii-draw $3 -0.99895492 0.99540796 12)

Related work

Below is a unicode ASCII art solution with Zach Holman's shell script package Spark: https://github.com/holman/spark

| Measurement | t0 | t1 | t2 | t3 |  t4 | t5 | t6 | t7 | Sparkline |
|-------------+----+----+----+----+-----+----+----+----+-----------|
|           1 |  1 | 20 | 12 | 13 | 141 | 13 | 24 | 90 | ▁▁▁▁█▁▂▅  |
|           2 |  0 |  1 |  2 |  3 |   4 |  5 |  6 |  7 | ▁▂▃▄▅▆▇█  |
|           3 |  0 |  2 |  4 |  6 |   8 | 10 | 12 | 14 | ▁▂▃▄▅▆▇█  |
|           4 | -7 | -6 | -5 | -4 |  -3 | -2 | -1 |  0 | ▁▂▃▄▅▆▇█  |
|           5 |  0 |  0 |  0 |  0 |   0 |  0 |  0 |  0 | ▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅  |
#+TBLFM: $10 = '(org-trim (shell-command-to-string "spark $2..$9")); L

An ongoing discussion [2015-01-08 Thu] is taking place on the Org mailing list about sparlines (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparkline) by Willem Rein Oudshoorn and Michael Brand which could end in yet another way of plotting Org tables.

License (GNU GPL)

Copyright (C) 2013-2014 Thierry Banel, Michael Brand

Authors: Thierry Banel, Michael Brand

Keywords: table, plot, ascii, unicode

orgtbl-ascii-plot.el is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

orgtbl-ascii-plot.el is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

the GNU General Public License can be obtained here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.

Documentation from the orgmode.org/worg/ website (either in its HTML format or in its Org format) is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License version 1.3 or later. The code examples and css stylesheets are licensed under the GNU General Public License v3 or later.