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Build Status Gem Version DOI Docs Stable The MIT License

YouPlot is a command line tool that draws plots on the terminal.

📊 Powered by UnicodePlot


gem install youplot

Quick Start

barplot histogram scatter density boxplot

uplot <command> [options] <data.tsv>


curl -sL \
| sort -nk2 -t, \
| tail -n15 \
| uplot bar -d, -t "Areas of the World's Major Landmasses"



echo -e "from numpy import random;" \
        "n = random.randn(10000);"  \
        "print('\\\n'.join(str(i) for i in n))" \
| python \
| uplot hist --nbins 20



curl -sL \
| cut -f2,3 -d, \
| uplot line -d, -w 50 -h 15 -t AirPassengers --xlim 1950,1960 --ylim 0,600



curl -sL \
| cut -f1-4 \
| uplot scatter -H -t IRIS



curl -sL \
| cut -f1-4 \
| uplot density -H -t IRIS



curl -sL \
| cut -f1-4 \
| uplot boxplot -H -t IRIS



cat gencode.v35.annotation.gff3 \
| grep -v '#' | grep 'gene' | cut -f1 \
| uplot count -t "The number of human gene annotations per chromosome"  -c blue


In this example, YouPlot counts the number of chromosomes where genes are located.

Note: count is not very fast because it runs in a Ruby script. This is fine in most cases, as long as the data size is small. If you want to visualize huge data, it is faster to use a combination of common Unix commands as shown below.

cat gencode.v35.annotation.gff3 | grep -v '#' | grep 'gene' | cut -f1 \
| sort | uniq -c | sort -nrk1 \
| uplot bar --fmt yx -d ' ' -t "The number of human gene annotations per chromosome"  -c blue



uplot is the shortened form of youplot. You can use either.

Command Description
cat data.tsv | uplot <command> [options] Take input from stdin
uplot <command> [options] data.tsv ... Take input from files
pipeline1 | uplot <command> -O | pipeline2 Outputs data from stdin to stdout


The following sub-commands are available.

command short how it works
barplot bar draw a horizontal barplot
histogram hist draw a horizontal histogram
lineplot line draw a line chart
lineplots lines draw a line chart with multiple series
scatter s draw a scatter plot
density d draw a density plot
boxplot box draw a horizontal boxplot
count c draw a barplot based on the number of occurrences (slow)
colors color show the list of available colors

Output the plot

  • -o
    • By default, the plot is output to standard error output.
    • If you want to output to standard input, Use hyphen -o - or no argument uplot s -o | .

Output the input data

  • -O
    • By default, the input data is not shown anywhere.
    • If you want to pass the input data directly to the standard output, Use hyphen -O - or no argument uplot s -O |.
    • This is useful when passing data to a subsequent pipeline.


  • -H
    • If input data contains a header line, you need to specify the -H option.


  • -d
    • You do not need to use -d option for tab-delimited text since the default value is tab.
    • To specify a blank space, you can use uplot bar -d ' ' data.txt.

Real-time data

  • -p --progress
    • Experimental progressive mode is currently under development.
    • ruby -e 'loop{puts rand(100)}' | uplot line --progress

Show detailed options for subcommands

  • --help
    • The --help option will show more detailed options for each subcommand.
    • uplot hist --help

Set columns as x-axis or y-axis

  • YouPlot treats the first column as the X axis and the second column as the Y axis. When working with multiple series, the first column is the X axis, the second column is series Y1, the third column is series Y2, and so on.

  • If you pass only one column of data for line and bar, YouPlot will automatically use a sequential number starting from 1 as the X-axis.

  • --fmt

    • --fmt xyy --fmt xyxy --fmt yx options give you a few more choices. See youplot <command> --help for more details.
    • The fmt option may be renamed in the future.
    • The -x and -y options might be used to specify columns in the future.
  • Use awk '{print $2, $1}' to swap columns. Use paste to concatenate series.

Categorical data

  • With GNU datamash, you can manage to handle categorized data.
    • cat test/fixtures/iris.csv | sed '/^$/d' | datamash --header-in --output-delimiter=: -t, -g5 collapse 3,4 | cut -f2-3 -d: | sed 's/:/\n/g' | uplot s -d, -T --fmt xyxy
    • This is not so easy...

Time series

  • Not yet supported.

Tools that are useful to use with YouPlot


YouPlot is a library under development, so even small improvements like typofix are welcome! Please feel free to send us your pull requests.

  • Report bugs
  • Fix bugs and submit pull requests
  • Write, clarify, or fix documentation
    • English corrections by native speakers are welcome.
  • Suggest or add new features
  • Make a donation


# fork the main repository by clicking the Fork button. 
git clone
bundle install             # Install the gem dependencies
bundle exec rake test      # Run the test
bundle exec rake install   # Installation from source code
bundle exec exe/uplot      # Run youplot (Try out the edited code)
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MIT License.