Python + Matplotlib = Must Have on Every System

In the last few weeks, I had to visualize some data from time to time. And for me, it turned out that the Python library Matplotlib is one of the best tools to do some quick plots. I cannot imagine that I have never installed Python on the Windows partition of my laptop, but only on my Linux partition. And I can really recommend to have Python and Matplotlib installed on every device, so that you have these tools at hand whenever you need to visualize some data. In this short post, I would like to write down the few simple steps you should do...

1. Install Python from Python Software Foundations
Make sure you add python to your PATH, as well as select pip to be installed as well

2. Start your terminal, cmd or PowerShell

3. Install Matplotlib using the pip
> pip install matplotlib

4. Start the python console
> python

5. Import matplotlib.pyplot and make a plot with just a few lines of code
> import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
> plt.plot([8,4,2,1,0,1,2,4,8])

This results in the following plot:

You can also perform multiple plt.plot() calls before showing the graphics, in order to stack multiple lines in a single diagram. And of course, the library allows you to do much more. To get started, check out this tutorial.


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